cheap acoustic foam

Acoustic foam panels are the best tools you can use to reduce audio discrepancies in a room. To learn about how they do that, you have to understand the way soundwaves interact with the environment. You see, sound spreads out in all directions from its source, coming into contact with materials that either amplify or dampen it.

When soundwaves interact with solid surfaces, they simply bounce off, resulting in all sorts of distortions. Acoustic foam is one of the materials that can effectively trap soundwaves in its complex structure. But that’s just the basic idea behind the products we’ll be talking about today. Before we get into the recommendations, you should understand what acoustic foam is and how it prevents sound reflection.

BEST ACOUSTIC FOAM PANELS: A QUICK COMPARISON

What Is Acoustic Foam?

A vast majority of soundproofing panels is made out of so-called “acoustic foam”. Usually, this foam has polyurethane-based materials, such as polyether, polyester and extruded melamine. Thanks to these materials, open cells will be formed across the surface and inside the panels. 

Once the sound waves penetrate the foam, they will get caught into those small cells. Afterward, the sound waves will spin and bounce until they can make their way out. And, during all the spinning and bouncing, they will most likely lose a significant amount of energy, which leads to them dying more quickly than usual.

Acoustic foams are usually cut in small panels with wedge or pyramid patterns. However, there are larger sheets and other patterns, too. Furthermore, having in mind that the materials used for acoustic panels have a chemical composition, you might notice a chemical odor. But, keep in mind that this odor is not harmful and will dissipate almost immediately. Hence, you can relax and focus on the benefits and the usefulness of this product.

Is Acoustic Foam Soundproof?

The only way to completely block the sound from passing through a wall or another object is to prevent it physically from doing such thing. So, there should be something as a barrier. This barrier should be thick and made out of dense materials, preferably in as many layers as possible.

If you’ve ever held an acoustic foam panel in your hands, or you just took a closer look at it, I’m sure that you could notice that there is nothing solid or dense about it. In fact, this foam is exceptionally soft, light, and porous. This type of material allows the sound to pass through its porous surface into the panel itself and it finally lets it out on the other side.

Now, this is where the open-celled structure starts doing its magic as it catches the sound inside. The caught sound waves rub against the foam inside the panel, which leads to energy loss. Essentially, the energy of the sound gets absorbed by the foam panel, and that’s how eventually the foam takes control of the sounds and makes the room feel a lot quieter.

If you plan to use acoustic foam to BLOCK the sound from entering your room, then I have to disappoint you because it just WON’T WORK. However, if you want your acoustic foam to ABSORB the echo, I have good news for you – IT WILL WORK!

If you’re feeling curious about this segment, go ahead and learn more about it:

A Guide to Buying Your Acoustic Foam Panels

Before making a purchase, you need to have a clear picture of the exact characteristics you’re looking for. Without a clear idea, you might end up being confused and settle for foam panels that just don’t cut it. You have to make sure that this kind of scenario doesn’t play out.

To be able to do so, you absolutely have to take a few things into consideration while shopping for acoustic foam panels. A good purchase depends on the following:

  • Thickness
  • Patterns
  • NRC
  • Size and quantity

Thickness

There are panels with different levels of thickness that you can purchase. And, it goes without saying that the thicker the panel is – the better the effect will be. The reason behind this statement was already explained.

If you want to dampen high- to mid-range frequencies, then 1 or 2-inch panels may suffice. On the other hand, you’ll need thicker foam to deal with low-frequency sounds. But before jumping to a conclusion and buying the thickest panels you can find, you might also want to consider where you want to use them.

For instance, thicker foam panels might be a good choice if you have enough room, so you don’t mind them sticking out of the wall. However, if space is at a premium, you might have no choice but to pick a thinner version. That being said, mind the “where” too.

Patterns

The most common acoustic foam patterns are pyramids and wedges. The first ones are probably more popular, but I prefer the later version as I find it more aesthetically pleasing.

If you don’t like the standard look, you can find other patterns too, not to mention plain panels. Also, you don’t have to limit yourself to only one pattern. Just play around and combine them – get in touch with your creative inner self.

You’re probably impatient to find out how patterns affect the performance of the foam panels. It’s pretty simple – they don’t. Hence, the only parameter you should go by is the aesthetics. Additionally, please keep in mind that because of the shape of the pattern, some panels might have spaces that are hard to reach and difficult to clean.

Noise Reduction (NRC)

NRC stands for “noise reduction coefficient.” It basically represents the rating of how much sound the panels can reduce. Panels with higher NRC ratings will, typically, deaden more sound than those that have lower ratings.

You can find the NRC information in the product description of any reputable brand. Basically, the higher the number, the greater the absorption. Therefore, you should take this parameter into consideration quite seriously as well.

Size and Quantity

The foam panels are usually sold in packs. But, the number of panels in each pack may vary based on the brand. Typically, the pack can have 6, 12 or 24 panels.

When it comes to the size, each panel will be either 1ft², 2ft² or will have dimensions of 2ft by 4ft. The size of a single panel won’t matter much. However, it will affect the amount of time and work you will need for installation. For example, mounting two larger panels will take you less time than mounting twelve smaller ones.

Before heading out to buy the foam panels, I suggest you take the measurements of the wall, the ceiling or the whole room that you want to soundproof. That will give you a rough idea of the number and size of panels that you’ll have to purchase.

10 Best Acoustic Foam Panels on the Market (2021)

Without further ado, let’s check out the best acoustic foam panels available right now:

1. Foamily 6-Pack Acoustic Panels Studio Foam Wedges

This acoustic foam tiles from Foamily are pretty much the most basic kind of product you’ll find in this category. Rather than being an inch thick, these 12-inch squares are 2 inches thick. That should make them somewhat more effective than thinner products. However, since these Foamily packs only contain six tiles, you’ll have to purchase more to cover everything you need to.

In any case, the set is once again full of wedge-style panels you have to install in alternating directions. The added thickness means that the wedges will cut about an inch and a half into the foam, leaving the base about half an inch thick.

The set comes in four different solid colors including charcoal, ice blue, red, and burgundy — which is a dull purple shade. There are also three mixed options that come with three charcoal tiles and three in one of the other solid colors. But of course, you can always mix and match the tiles by getting one blue and one red pack, for example.

Features:

  • 6 wedge-style tiles
  • 12-inch squares
  • 2 inches thick
  • Four solid colors and three mixed sets

2. IZO All Supply Convoluted Acoustic Foam Panels

The convoluted tiles from IZO All Supply are similar to the egg crate style you might have seen on the market before. However, since these tiles are fairly thin, the pattern resembles waves more than anything else.

The tiles are about a quarter of an inch thick at their lowest height, rising to an inch thick at their highest. Overall, these panels have an NRC rating of 0.41, which is pretty standard. Basically, they should be able to cancel about 40% of all soundwaves. As expected, they tend to fare better against high frequencies.

In total, you get twelve 12-inch squares per package. There are four colors to choose from. You can either have all twelve be the charcoal gray everyone makes, or you can choose between three mixed color sets. In the mixed sets, six of the tiles would be gray and the rest would be blue, green, or red.

Like many other products on this list, these tiles have been tested and approved in accordance with the requirements of CAL 117. Those procedures test the flammability of materials that can be used to upholster furniture. So that should tell you that these tiles won’t make matters worse in the event of a house fire.

Features:

  • 12 convoluted tiles
  • 12-inch squares
  • An inch thick
  • Available in solid charcoal sets or mixed with blue, green, or red

3. New Level Egg Crate Acoustic Panels Studio Foam

Like the previous set of acoustic panels on this list, this set from New Level has a convoluted design. So they have a similar structure to basic egg crate panels, but the shapes have a gentler slope. What’s more, two major features separate this product from the previous one.

For one, the New Level packs contain only six tiles, not twelve. The panels are still 12-inch squares so a single set will cover six square feet. Additionally, these tiles are about two inches thick. By all accounts, that should make them more absorbent than one-inch panels.

When it comes to color, you can choose from the standard options. The solid color sets are available in charcoal, ice blue, red, and burgundy (again, that’s the dull purple shade). Additionally, you can also get mixed sets that come with three charcoal tiles and three pieces in any of the aforementioned colors.

Features:

  • 6 convoluted tiles
  • 12-inch squares
  • 2 inches thick
  • Available in four solid and three mixed color sets

4. Pro Studio Acoustics Wedge Acoustic Foam Absorption Tiles

As we have established, most wedge-style acoustic foam panels have twelve peaks and valleys. However, these Pro Studio Acoustics tiles only have six, even though they’re the same size as all the other panels we’ve seen so far.

The chunky appearance of the wedges could make some people like this product more than regular wedge-style panels. However, if you’d like to see the design in a particular color, you may be out of luck. Unfortunately, the tiles only come in the standard blue and charcoal mixed color set.

There’s a chance that the chunky wedge style isn’t just there for its aesthetic appeal. It might have even improved the noise reduction coefficient of the product. According to the manufacturer, the NRC rating of these tiles is 0.65, which means that they should be able to absorb 65% of all soundwaves bouncing around the room. That also makes them the highest rated product on this list so far.

Of course, that’s not particularly surprising. The tiles are 2 inches thick, which gives them an edge over their thinner counterparts. Still, the chunky wedge design might have had a part in making them so effective.

Like the previous product I’ve mentioned, these tiles are made of a Class A fire-resistant material. Additionally, like many of the products mentioned above, they passed the CAL 117 tests for the flammability of upholstery materials.

Features:

  • 12 chunky wedge-style tiles
  • 12-inch squares
  • 2 inches thick
  • Blue and charcoal mixed set

5. JBER Pyramid-Style Acoustic Sound Foam Panels

If you liked the chunky design of the previous product, but not the wedge style, you may prefer this acoustic tile set instead. These 12-inch square panels have a 6 by 6 pyramid grid set into 2 inches of foam.

But don’t be surprised if they don’t look like much when you take them out of the box. The manufacturer ships them compressed by a third of their size. So let them breathe for a bit while you figure out how you’re going to position them on your wall. At least you won’t have to worry about positioning them correctly, which isn’t something you could have said about wedge-style panels.

The only thing you’d have to worry about is the color pattern when you arrange the tiles on your wall. Even that would only be a concern if you ordered the mixed charcoal and blue (or red) set. Your only other option would be to get the solid charcoal package, which would be a pretty safe choice. Moreover, the charcoal set is currently available in 6 and 24-piece packs, whereas the colored options are only available in the larger quantity.

Features:

  • 24 pyramid-style tiles
  • 12-inch squares
  • 2 inches thick
  • Charcoal and two mixed color packs

6. Foamily Acoustic Foam Egg Crate Wall Panel

Now, this Foamily product promises to be the only set of acoustic foam panels you’ll ever need. In addition to being 2.5 inches thick, these panels are also the largest ones we’ve had on this list. That should make up for the fact that there are only four of them in a pack.

After all, when you have four 24 by 48-inch panels — what more do you need? You can put one behind your computer, two on the sides of the room where the sound will be most likely to bounce off the wall, and the last piece can go right behind your seat. Of course, that suggestion assumes that you have positioned your computer and speakers against one wall and are surrounded by the others. So it doesn’t account for irregular room shapes and furnishings.

There is one additional benefit of getting large acoustic foam panels. You can cut them down to whatever size you need them to be! So if you’re building an acoustic studio booth or a foam shield for a microphone, these panels would be perfect. The convoluted surface design would easily bend and maintain its efficacy no matter how you shape it.

The only potential disadvantage to getting these panels is that they only come in two rather predictable colors. Still, if you were planning to get a basic charcoal set or a classic red one, you won’t need any other options.

Features:

  • 4 convoluted panels
  • 24 by 48-inch rectangles
  • 2.5 inches thick
  • Available in charcoal or red

7. Fstop Labs 12-Pack Beveled and Mushroom-Shaped Acoustic Foam Panels

At this point, you’ve seen many different three-dimensional designs that can be cut into foam to eliminate the flatness of your walls. With that in mind, you might think that a flat tile wouldn’t be as effective at absorbing sound as the other products on this list. However, these beveled tiles from Fstop Labs might just prove you wrong!

The 2-inch thick panels have a density of 50 pounds per cubic yard, which is probably how they earned an NRC rating of 0.92. However, if you want these tiles to be as effective as they can be, you’ll have to wait for them to expand. The manufacturer vacuum seals the tiles so you’ll either have to give them a day or two to expand or soak them in water then wring them dry.

These panels are available in two different designs and colors. You could get the flat ones with the beveled sides in a 12 or 24-piece pack. Alternatively, you could purchase the kind with a mushroom design, which has all the features I’ve explained above. However, that one comes in packs of 12 or 48 pieces — and both designs are available in both black and red.

Features:

  • Up to 24 beveled or 48 mushroom-style tiles
  • 12-inch squares Dimensions
  • 2 inches thick
  • Available in black and red

8. JBER 24-Pack Acoustic Studio Foam Wedge Tiles

Now that you know the benefits of using a beveled design, I won’t have to convince you to get these JBER tiles. They should have pretty much the same properties as the previous product on the list. Still, let’s go over the features of these acoustic foam panels.

The only notable difference between these tiles and the previous one is that the slope of the sides is perhaps a bit gentler. Other than that, this product is fairly similar to the one above. You’ll get either six or twenty-four 12-inch squares in a set. But if you happen to like this product, you’ll have to order it in the standard charcoal gray as no other colors are available.

Notably, the manufacturer has noted that you’ll have to let their tiles decompress after you take them out of their packaging. As you may recall, JBER products are compressed by a third of their size. So you’ll have to let them breathe or wet them to get them up to their full 2-inch thickness.

Features:

  • 6 or 24-piece pack of beveled tiles
  • 12-inch squares
  • 2 inches thick
  • Charcoal

9. Mybecca 2-Pack Decorative Baffle Kit

This decorative baffle kit from Mybecca contains six pieces that come together to form two panels. The core pieces are rectangular wedge-style panels though the cutouts are square rather than triangular. Additionally, the core pieces have two wings each, which act as bevels for the shorter sides of the middle piece.

When you put these panels up on your walls, they’ll come in at about 12 by 24 inches. The middle pieces are about 3 inches thick, which should provide plenty of sound absorption. However, you should keep in mind that these products are mostly decorative (even though they only come in gray). You would ideally use them in conjunction with matching Mybecca acoustic foam products.

Features:

  • 2 decorative acoustic foam panels
  • 12 by 24 inches
  • 3 inches thick
  • Charcoal gray

10. Foamily 6-Pack Decorative Acoustic Studio Foam Panels Waves

Lastly, we have these understated decorative panels from Foamily. A set comes with six 12-inch square tiles in a uniquely modern design that will suit any room. Each tile has a deep and shallow end, so placing them right next to each other will essentially create a deep wave pattern on the wall.

Fittingly, the panels are available in blue as well as the standard charcoal. Even though the blue would make the style look like water on your walls, the charcoal tiles may be more modern in this case.

They’re about 2 inches thick at their highest point, so they should be effective enough at absorbing noise. However, if you decide to cover an entire wall, you’ll have to get more than a single 6-pack of panels. You wouldn’t even need to worry about the tiles being a fire hazard since they have met all the CAL 117 testing requirements.

Features:

  • 6 wavy tiles
  • 12-inch squares
  • 2 inches thick
  • Available in charcoal and blue

Getting Cheap Acoustic Foam Online

Well, one thing is for sure – the chances of you finding acoustic foam panels in your local store are slim to none. Instead, you could try finding a store near you that specializes in acoustics or technology. But, even then, there are no guarantees.

I would recommend simply buying the soundproofing panels online. Not only are you 100% certain to find available stock, but you will probably end up spending less money. In fact, you can get a pack that covers 12 square feet for around 20 dollars online. And. that is simply by opening Amazon and clicking on the first, cheapest link you see.

Another advantage of online shopping is the ability to be picky. Even if you find a store near you that sells acoustic panels, they rarely offer a wide variety of products. Online, however, you can select the quality to price ratio as well as the design details of your panels.

MORE OPTIONS: You might also want to check out these sound absorbing fabric panels. They come in larger dimensions and more attractive shapes than foam products do. Besides, they often come in nicer colors — and you can even make your own fabric covers for them pretty easily.

Where to Place Acoustic Panels in a Studio or Home Theater

Figuring out where to put your acoustic panels is really important. Basically, you can mount them pretty much anywhere you want. It would be reasonable of you to want to cover your walls, doors, or the ceiling to get the perfect acoustics in your studio or home theater. However, the proper positioning usually depends on where the reflection points are.

If you are trying to set up a listening room or a studio for recordings, make sure to do a couple of tests to figure out where those points are. You can find detailed tutorials online to get some tips on how to do this properly. Usually, placing acoustic foam on your door or walls works fine. Of course, if you are having issues with the neighbors above, placing the panels on the ceiling can also be beneficial.

In the end, the best way to figure it out is through experimentation. Take your time and move the panels around until you are perfectly happy with the result. For that reason, it’s recommended to use the Command strips. With these strips, moving the panels around is not a big issue at all. What’s more, you won’t destroy them after a single installation.

Acoustic Foam Panels Installation Tips

Installing foam panels can seem overwhelming, especially if you have no idea where to start. Naturally, you might assume that some glue will do the job just fine, yet, you can end up damaging both your wall and panels. As a result, you will need to avoid using glue or nails and try an alternative such as command strips.

Command strips allow you to mount pretty much anything to your wall, including foam panels. Not only that, but they are easy to use and even easier to take down when needed. All you have to do is to remove the strips that cover the adhesive from one side and press it onto the foam panel. Do the same for the other strip and stick it to the wall, then you can simply press the tapes that are on the strips to mount the panel.

If you don’t feel comfortable sticking command strips directly on your foam, you can use cardboard to separate the two. Simply purchase some cardboard, preferably A1-sized as they are usually designed for mounting artworks, and then install the command strips on its back. Next, you can use a spray adhesive to stick the cardboard to your foam panels and then clip it on the command strips already mounted on the wall. However, keep in mind that you will need heavy-duty command strips, as they will need to hold the cardboard’s weight.

And if you are struggling with command strips, you can always check out this video to learn more.

Conclusion

Acoustic foam panels are among the cheapest methods that you can use to soundproof your room. However, let me remind you of something I said at the beginning. These panels can only absorb the sound and echoes and reduce their “bouncing” within the room. They won’t stop the sound from leaving or entering the room.

So, no matter if you want to soundproof your home theater in order to optimize the sounds coming from your TV, or if you’re looking to soundproof your studio, you’re now ready to go panel shopping. If you get the right acoustic foam panels, you will surely notice the difference they make!

Consider all the key features I mentioned and prepare for this easy chore that won’t take you a long time, but it will certainly leave you satisfied with the acoustics of your studio or room.

RELATED POSTS:

Photo of author

Author S Krone

A lawyer never retires. So I would just say that I am not as active as I used to be. Now I simply dedicate myself to fishing, my hobby, and my grandchildren. For Business Finance News I write about legal aspects of mortgage policies, mostly regarding the rights of policyholders. I also have articles about personal injuries.

Thank you for visiting businessfinancenews.com

Leave a Comment

Business Finance

About Us

Business Finance News is a brand oriented to business owners and dedicated to analyzing and comparing the cost and conditions of B2B procurement of goods and services through free quotes delivered by business partners.

Contact

Address 5050 Quorum Drive, (75254) Dallas TX

telephone 844-368-6072

DISCLAIMER

A personal loan is a medium term loan with a fixed interest rate that is repaid in equal monthly payments and it's usually limited to 24 months. Loan offers and eligibility depend on your individual credit profile. Our lenders can help you obtain as much as $3,000 depending on the lender, your state and your financial situation.

The owner and operator of businessfinancenews.com is not a lender and is not involved into making credit decisions associated with lending or making loan offers. Instead, the website is designed only for a matching service, which enables the users contact with the lenders and third parties. The website does not charge any fees for its service, nor does it oblige any user to initiate contact with any of the lenders or third parties or accept any loan product or service offered by the lenders. All the data concerning personal loan products and the industry is presented on the website for information purposes only.

Businessfinancenews.com does not endorse any particular lender, nor does it represent or is responsible for the actions or inactions of the lenders. Businessfinancenews.com does not collect, store or has access to the information regarding the fees and charges associated with the contacting lenders and/or any loan products. Online personal loans are not available in all the states. Not all the lenders in the network can provide the loans up to $3,000. Businessfinancenews.com cannot guarantee that the user of the website will be approved by any lender or for any loan product, will be matched with a lender, or if matched, will receive a personal loan offer on the terms requested in the online form. The lenders may need to perform credit check via one or more credit bureaus, including but not limited to major credit bureaus in order to determine credit reliability and the scopes of credit products to offer. The lenders in the network may need to perform additional verifications, including but not limited to social security number, driver license number, national ID or other identification documents. The terms and scopes of loan products vary from lender to lender and can depend on numerous factors, including but not limited to the state of residence and credit standing of the applicant, as well as the terms determined by each lender individually. 

APR REPRESENTATIVE

APR (Annual Percentage Rate) is the loan rate calculated for the annual term. Since businessfinancenews.com is not a lender and has no information regarding the terms and other details of personal loan products offered by lenders individually, businessfinancenews.com cannot provide the exact APR charged for any loan product offered by the lenders. The APRs greatly vary from lender to lender, state to state and depend on numerous factors, including but not limited to the credit standing of an applicant. Additional charges associated with the loan offer, including but not limited to origination fees, late payment, non-payment charges and penalties, as well as non-financial actions, such as late payment reporting and debt collection actions, may be applied by the lenders. These financial and non-financial actions have nothing to do with businessfinancenews.com, and businessfinancenews.com has no information regaining whatsoever actions may be taken by the lenders. All the financial and non-financial charges and actions are to be disclosed in any particular loan agreement in a clear and transparent manner. The APR is calculated as the annual charge and is not a financial charge for a personal loan product. 

Late Payment Implications

It is highly recommended to contact the lender if late payment is expected or considered possible. In this case, late payment fees and charges may be implied. Federal and state regulations are determined for the cases of late payment and may vary from case to case. All the details concerning the procedures and costs associated with late payment are disclosed in loan agreement and should be reviewed prior to signing any related document. 

Non-payment Implications

Financial and non-financial penalties may be implied in cases of non-payment or missed payment. Fees and other financial charges for late payment are to be disclosed in loan agreement. Additional actions related to non-payment, such as renewals, may be implied upon given consent. The terms of renewal are to be disclosed in each loan agreement individually. Additional charges and fees associated with renewal may be applied. 

Debt collection practices and other related procedures may be performed. All the actions related to these practices are adjusted to Fair Debt Collection Practices Act regulations and other applicable federal and state laws in order to protect consumers from unfair lending and negative borrowing experience. The majority of lenders do not refer to outside collection agencies and attempt to collect the debt via in-house means. 

Non-payment and late payment may have negative impact on the borrowers’ credit standing and downgrade their credit scores, as the lenders may report delinquency to credit bureaus, including but not limited to Equifax, Transunion, and Experian. In this case the results of non-payment and late payment may be recorded and remain in credit reports for the determined amount of time.