Insulating a home recording studio requires a careful analysis of the building in which the apartment is placed, and choosing an appropriate foaming system. This can be done by a specialized team, but I guess you are on a tight budget and you will skip this step. There are many online shops that will provide some of the best acoustic foam products at reasonable prices. All you have to do is read the reviews, compare the prices and decide for what’s better for you. Remember, a bigger price does not necessarily mean great quality. Read the reviews!
I have gathered few acoustic foam options that are suited for a home studio, starting with the cheapest and simplest one.
Here are some of the best acoustic foam products for a home studio
This is the cheapest and simplest acoustic foam you can buy, and one piece of this has the following dimensions: 1/2″ x 12″ x 12″. The pack contains 2 pieces. They can be used on the sidewalls, the wall behind the control desk and in the recording booth.
ATS Wedge produces acoustic panels with dimensions of 24″ x 24″ x 2″. The square panel is 2 inches thick and one package contains six panels. Reading the reviews, I found out that one user manage to reduce the sounds coming from his basement by half using just the six pieces from the package. This acoustic foam looks stylish and modern, so you can also use it in your room without messing to much with the room’s design. Contrary, you will add a futuristic flavor to the room. It can be glued with 3M double sided tape. It comes in two colors, charcoal and burgundy, so you can choose the one that better fits the color of your control room or recording booth.
More images and price: Amazon
SoundTrax has designed a special type of acoustic foam, the SoundTrax PRO Studio Acoustic Foam. The size of this acoustic foam is 24″ x 12″ x 2″, and it offers great performance at low price. Its unique design absorbs sounds especially on mid and high frequency range, so they work great on sidewalls and front wall. If the room is small enough, they can be also placed on the back wall, instead of diffusers. The package contains 12 panels (6-nested pair).
If we are talking about design, this Soundproofing Studio Foam is the mother of all foams. The package (as seen in the image) contains 12 pieces and covers around 12 square feet. You can use it in small and medium sized rooms and works great for boots and control/mixing rooms. If you want to insulate all frequency bandwidth, you will also need to buy corner bass absorbers.
As I said, getting the best acoustic foam panel is not enough for your home studio project, because they will absorb only mid and high frequencies. If you want to insulate the full sound frequency spectrum, you should also get Bass Trap/Absorber. The package from the image above contains 8 durable pieces, each with 12″x12″x24″ dimensions, just enough to use them on the four corners of the room. If the bass in the room is too powerful, you should use all 8 bass corners, in pairs of two.
My honest opinion is that the diffusers can be skipped if you are on a tight budget. They have an important purpose in large rooms, but if you have a small room you can use normal acoustic foam instead. They are mounted on the back wall, right in the absolute center. Usually, you only need two pieces. The diffuser in the image is called T’Fusor and it’s made from lightweight sturdy material. Although it is white, it can be paint in order to fit the room color.
In order to place the acoustic foam products, you need some type of glue. Auralex have developed Ftspray Foamtak, a glue that allows you to mount up to 96 square feet of acoustic foam per tube. As an alternative, you can use wooden strips or other 3m adhesive spray.