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Soundproofing vs. Sound Absorbing: What’s Right For Your Basement Remodel?

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

You may want your basement to be a private hangout away from the hustle and bustle of the home. Or maybe a workshop where you can tinker away without bothering your family. Either way, you’re going to need to treat the room for sound. There are two primary ways of doing this: soundproofing and sound absorption. You may think that these are the same thing with different names, but that isn’t the case. Soundproofing and sound absorption are two very different things.


Soundproofing, also referred to as sound blocking, focuses on keeping sound from getting out of — or into — a room. The materials used in soundproofing are often hard and solid, like acoustic panels and sheetrock. While this is great for keeping sound from leaking out of the room, it can sometimes cause issues with echo depending on the materials used. So, if you want your privacy and don’t particularly care about how pleasant the room itself sounds then soundproofing is a good option. Now, what about sound absorption?

Sound Absorption

Unlike soundproofing, sound absorption isn’t very effective at removing sound entirely. It simply “traps” the sound and keeps it from reverberating back into the room. You’ll still be able to hear noise from outside of the room to some extent, and people will also be able to hear noise from inside the room.

You often see sound absorption in recording studios where the goal isn’t to remove sound entirely. Instead, the aim is to make the sound of the room more pleasant. Typically sound absorption material is soft and porous — think sponges — as these qualities are best suited to absorbing sound without eliminating it.

Now you know that soundproofing eliminates sound while sound absorption reduces the amount of echo in a room. So, it’s time to answer the big question: which sound treatment method is better for a basement remodel?

Which One Works Better For Basements?

There’s no easy answer to this question. It’s all a matter of what you’re trying to do. Do you want to keep sound from entering and exiting the basement full stop? In that case, soundproofing is your best bet. Do you simply want to reduce the amount of echo in your basement? Well, then sound absorption is probably a better choice.

Even this isn’t a complete answer though, as the dimensions of your basement and the construction materials used can make a huge difference in how a space responds to sound. Some basements may be very good at blocking out sound — even before the remodel — but suffer from annoying echo issues as a result. Installing more soundproofing materials would be overkill, and may even exacerbate the actual issue.

Simply put, there’s a lot that you need to know before you can really answer this question. That’s why it’s so important to get a professional consultation. If you’re looking for more information on planning your basement remodel, don’t hesitate to contact us at Majestic Home Solutions for a free consultation.

This entry was posted in Basement Remodeling, Basements

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