We all know how it is; you car stereo sounds superb in the driveway but once you get a couple miles into town and the engine has heated up, you notice a drastic difference in sound quality. The volume significantly drops, the bass disappears and the highs blur into an audible whisper. Of course, you can always turn up the volume to compensate, but the noise outside only gets worse. In the end, you just painfully pound your eardrums with loud music minus the crisp, clear sound you paid for. The truth of the matter is that road noise plays a major role in sapping energy and performance from your audio system.
Road noise comes from each and every corner of your car; the tires, wind exposure, engine grind, exhaust, brakes and whatever arrays of body rattles that you can’t pinpoint add to external sound disrupting your audio experience. At the most basic level, road noise comes from the loud vibrations your car experiences all over the body. To make things worse, the closed environment renders these vibrations incessant to your eardrums. This noise is not only a universal nuisance, but it can even hinder the best custom sound systems. There is a lot of noise competing with your music. Fortunately, car owners can drastically cut down on road noise by fitting their cars with a wide array of sound damping materials.
Two of the highest acclaimed brands when it comes to sound damping materials are NVX and Dynamat. NVX is a staple within the car audio industry due to their wide array of products paired with only of the highest quality materials. Dynamat takes a different stance with their business model because they only focus on sound damping material in either car or home audio systems.
These materials work by effectively absorbing sound wavelengths caused by vibrations. They also eliminate unnecessary speaker resonance and baffle any other excessive sound and noise from your vehicle. As opposed to simple noise blockades, sound-damping materials are designed to be customizable to fit any body type. Once measured they can be cut to mold any vehicle shape.
Choose Damping Material
Thanks to incredible innovations within the industry, car owners now have a variety of damping materials to choose from. The most common materials include damping mats, foams and sprays, and insulating materials all of which cut down on external noise. To achieve maximum levels of sound damping and get the best quality sound from your stereo, experts recommend using a combination of these products.
How to Install Damping Mats
Damping mats are very easy to install. This includes covering the panels of your car to deaden sound as well as at the hood and even under carpet padding. Typically, they are made of asphaltic panes with adhesive backing or styrene-butyadine rubber. This will either transform sound vibrations into heat or lower the resonant frequency of the covered panels depending on what material used for the mats. To install the sound damping mats, simply remove the door panel and precisely fit the mats to fit in between the door panels. You can also place another mat inside the engine compartment of your car to reduce rattling noises. However, any damping mats going to the hood will need metal foil backing to increase the heat resistance. Apply the damping mats with contact adhesive glue and let it dry.
How to Install Damping Sprays and Foams
Damping sprays can be purchased as professional kits or easy to use aerosol cans that are sprayed where mats are bulky. The foam also comes as either sheets or sprays and function by dispersing energy throughout the body. These damping materials expand as they dry and push up against the surfaces to create quite. Simply spray or apply your spray and foam dampers around the door, in engine compartments as well as the trunk. This is such a simple solution to a severe problem that will make a significant difference without spending a lot time or money.
How to Install Damping Insulation
This consists of thick panes of fiber that effectively absorb sound. While insulation can be less effective than other methods when it comes to sound damping, it adds a significant degree of thermal insulation to your car’s interior and creates a plush, warm carpet which in turn absorbs a lot of the sound waves. To install insulation, start by measuring the carpeted areas and door panels in your car. Slice the damping materials according to these specific measurements. Spray, paint or apply contact adhesion glue on all the surfaces you want to deaden and then place the insulation firmly. The last step involves spraying foam and spray damping materials to all nooks and crevices, letting it dry and cure.