How to Make High Performance Sound Absorption Panels for $5

  • Added:  11 months ago
  • In this video I explore the possibility of making DIY sound absorption panels on a budget, later comparing them to much more expensive acoustic foam. The results are pretty amazing!

    There have been many comments pointing out that my test only measures transmission and not reflection, so is essentially unsuitable for my initial testing goal. While this is partly true, testing reflection is pretty difficult to do in a home environment, and the only way to do it that I can think of would be to spend a long time in the middle of a field with a powerful speaker and mic rig, which is really beyond the scope of what I was prepared to do for the video.

    My tests are not rendered pointless however - it would do no good to have only measured reflection, as the thinnest lightest material would have won (like foam), as nothing would have bounced back. Reflection and transmission need to be tested together to measure how much sound passes through, and how much sound is reflected back - this should give an indication of how much sound is absorbed by a given material.

    Regardless, only testing the transmission doesn't affect the outcome of the project at all, as any sound waves reflected by the panels themselves would have theoretically bounced off the wall anyway - again this is why reflection wasn't tested, as it doesn't matter so much for a panel setup (though would matter very much for a vocal booth).

    Open to hear any thoughts about it though! Keep up the great discussion. :)
  • Video CategoriesHowto & Style
  • Runtime: 8:38
  • Tags for this video:  diy  project  sound  absorption  panel  acoustic  foam  sound proof  echo  reverb  reduction  treatment  music  home  studio  make  

Comments: 2 507

  • DutchDashcamVideo
    DutchDashcamVideo 23 hours ago

    The towels Just bounce the soundwave's back, wich is the problem in the first place.

  • Macau Gr
    Macau Gr 1 day ago

    And what about :
    1) Stone wool
    2) Carbon fiber
    3) glass wool

    Is towel better that these?

  • Emmanuel Felix
    Emmanuel Felix 1 day ago


  • Emmanuel Felix
    Emmanuel Felix 1 day ago

    this is my fav vid on youtube so far

  • IMr LAPS
    IMr LAPS 1 day ago

    Very good video. Thank you so much. Its odd though seeing Elijah Wood with a deep voice.

  • Matthew Barraclough

    My right ear loved this vid

  • Michihiko Mori
    Michihiko Mori 2 days ago

    Gosh I was Just looking for this to buy in Norway, and it costs around 180 USD for just a single 60x60 cm. Totally gonna make this! Thanks! Now I can use the extra cash for a greater Surround system ;D

  • batmandeltaforce
    batmandeltaforce 2 days ago

    your theory is wrong. Passing thru is not the determining factor, reflection is

  • Is Az
    Is Az 2 days ago

    Will the towels work in a wood & plasterboard wall to soundproof?

  • Zolly Papp
    Zolly Papp 3 days ago

    what did you use to shoot your video? it looks amazing

  • TheOriginalName
    TheOriginalName 4 days ago

    I had my volume all the way up when he played the different sounds, my head hurts bow

  • Danny Figueroa
    Danny Figueroa 4 days ago

    You made my day. Probably saved me a thousand dollars.

  • Two Wheels
    Two Wheels 4 days ago


  • Alex Cantlow
    Alex Cantlow 5 days ago

    No I live in a flat and love dnb

  • HotBoyRob1105
    HotBoyRob1105 6 days ago

    Hey @diyperk do you have the measurements of the panel frames and the towels you had to cut? I am about to build me 8 of them homie!!!!

  • Mark Thomas
    Mark Thomas 6 days ago

    Awesome Matt, thanks! I'm a home-based Voiceover, and I'm going to make the shit out of this.

  • Jkou Files
    Jkou Files 6 days ago

    so, u just thru in the towel

  • Alan Wilson
    Alan Wilson 7 days ago

    Oh the irony. Concerned about sound quality, but keeps a potted plant to vibrate on top of the speaker.

  • Ambar Das
    Ambar Das 7 days ago

    Nicely done...

  • Savannah Ervin
    Savannah Ervin 8 days ago

    this is phenomenal. Heading to the charity shops today!

  • Weirdo Somefckn
    Weirdo Somefckn 8 days ago

    Animal fur works well hair is maid of protein and each hair acts as a difuzer of sound/vibration.

  • President Business
    President Business 8 days ago

    Who doesn't love a towel?

  • David Wyman
    David Wyman 9 days ago

    Great research. Nice job for absorption. If you want to take it one step closer to recording studio environment "diffusion" is also required in concert with absorption. Shop bought diffusion panels can be really expensive. Any ideas ?

  • Bob McKenzie
    Bob McKenzie 9 days ago

    We collected catalogs of carpet samples (stores are happy to give away old ones free!) and stapled the carpet tiles all over the walls, door, and ceiling of our 'music room'. Easy to apply 2 or more layers with tacks or nails.
    We never bothered color coordinating so it looked awful, but it worked brilliantly!!!! ;)

  • Mike G
    Mike G 10 days ago

    Nice test and to everyone saying this test is wrong and implying that the towel reflected the sound away instead of abosrbing it, his before after test in the room completely debunked your statments, If the towel was just reflecting the sound, there wouldnt be such a noticable difference when he put the panels up so clearly the sound is being ABSORBED. And LOL at ppl bringing up concret slabs and plywood.. a towel is no where near those so just because those will do good on this test by not letting sound through and reflecting it doesnt mean thats what the towel is doing. it just seems like towels are veryy good at damping sound. Id like to see how it does down to 100hz.

  • demonocus drumocus
    demonocus drumocus 10 days ago

    Towelie always says don't forget to bring a wanna get high?

  • nicosgeo
    nicosgeo 11 days ago

    Try bitumen waterproofing sheet it will kill the sound.

  • Qwerty Uiop
    Qwerty Uiop 11 days ago

    Beautiful autistic panels

  • SanguineJackal
    SanguineJackal 11 days ago

    If I were to, say, buy a cheap canvas panel across the street and stuff that frame with towels, as well as drape a few over the front, would the gesso'd canvas bork the muffling do you think?

  • Svetlin Totev
    Svetlin Totev 12 days ago

    Aren't you supposed to measure how well they reflect sound?

  • Matt Smith
    Matt Smith 12 days ago

    If you are wearing headphones, turn them down before 1:22 unless you enjoy pain.

  • Lukas Zickus
    Lukas Zickus 13 days ago

    why you chose to do this outdoors??

  • samuel dahl
    samuel dahl 13 days ago

    This is good bro. What about egg cartons? I have heard that they are not that great, but I would still like to see what they can do.

  • Matthew Cooper
    Matthew Cooper 13 days ago

    Wow man, I've been subscribed since you had only 20k subs, it's great to see you have grown so much

  • EvilWiffles
    EvilWiffles 14 days ago

    Lucky me for having shag walls?

  • Donald MacGregor
    Donald MacGregor 14 days ago

    THANK YOU FOR THIS GREAT IDEA! I don't have the tools or skills to make a wooden frame but your video inspired me to find an alternative. My wife is a painter and has many stretched canvasses on wooden frames around the house that aren't being used. I was able to pirate one and modify it suitably using foam, towels and an old fleece blanket, all got from op shops (like Salvation Army) for almost nothing. I was also able to get more canvasses that had been donated to Salvos. Although the pictures on the canvas were frequently hideous, they were given purpose by me re-creating them as sound absorption panels. Again, thank you.

  • Nitin Tonk
    Nitin Tonk 15 days ago

    Liked - thanks bro.

  • Chris Cuthbertson
    Chris Cuthbertson 15 days ago

    Am I wrong or is the test at the start not measuring absorbance, the sound could just be getting reflected towards the ground. The towels could be just very reflective.

  • Christopher Abnett
    Christopher Abnett 15 days ago

    Incredible! great video. bye bye foam, hello towels 👍👍👍

    #WTFOOK SNAFUWORLD 15 days ago

    Brilliant DIY hack-around solution. SUBSCRIBED!

  • bigbrothervladamir
    bigbrothervladamir 16 days ago

    go towel! :D

  • G0SuBunnY
    G0SuBunnY 17 days ago

    I wish DIY Perks Put the material informaion such as measurements, types of wood, sizes of towels.
    1. if i were to build this, what measure ments would i need for each piece?
    2. what would the measurements be if i didnt put a miter cut into it.
    3. about what size wood, would you start out with. for example 2 by 3 by 8. is an example of a measurement of wood. out of that what would be ideal about using?

    I want to build the measurements similar to the video but the information isn't all there :) if you could add those into the description or comment on my comment I would be greatly appreciated!

    My plan is to film my build and seeing how my build matches up with yours :D ( i have no experience with building with wood)

  • Ed Witte
    Ed Witte 17 days ago

    I noticed from the video of your testing of the acoustic foam - there's something protruding from the microphone and touching the foam. This could cause a direct conduit for the sound waves and could adversely affect the results.

  • John Bergman
    John Bergman 19 days ago

    Wow! I've noticed this effect in fabric shops. They'd make a great recording studio.

  • Vincent Lopez
    Vincent Lopez 19 days ago

    memory foam

  • EnderNite
    EnderNite 20 days ago

    is it my headphone? but my left side sound louder

  • Pixel Pirates
    Pixel Pirates 20 days ago

    Making ten of these to form a folding screen so that the noise from our A/C is diffused when we record. Does anyone know what would be a method that's just as effective as sewing? After sewing two of the panels, it's getting very tedious after cutting the material.

  • EumlOriginal
    EumlOriginal 20 days ago

    Unfortunately, your method is not suitable with the test for the desired result ...

    Which you have tested is not how much sound is absorbed, but what is less sound-permeable

    But the sound should come through the material in order to remove the energy, but if the resistance of the material is too high the sound will be thrown back

  • Nullamount
    Nullamount 20 days ago

    Awesome editing, funny, smooth voice, liked and subbed

  • prototype9000
    prototype9000 20 days ago

    spray foam works very good for that they use it for sound dampening material in building rich psople houses and apartments

  • Hue
    Hue 22 days ago

    nice man I'm going to go try this. thx

  • Flavian Dioscuri
    Flavian Dioscuri 22 days ago

    So what If I put that geometrical acoustic foam on top of the towel panel?

  • Hopey Olguin
    Hopey Olguin 22 days ago

    seeing how I'm trying to keep down the noises from OUTSIDE, this seems like what I need :3

  • Aldrich Allison
    Aldrich Allison 23 days ago

    very informative vid

    PS: you sound like William Regal mate :D

  • Acoustic POTATO
    Acoustic POTATO 23 days ago

    thank you very much man love your videos

  • deen
    deen 23 days ago +1

    hey mum get me some old towels

  • ovo nisamja
    ovo nisamja 24 days ago

    Would be nice if the tests were done with even lower frequencies. This is interesting stuff.

  • Emad Van-
    Emad Van- 24 days ago

    Awesome video!

  • MeTuLHeD
    MeTuLHeD 24 days ago

    Acoustic cotton - made from recycled denim - is sold commercially as a sound absorption/sound proofing product. There are several companies which make products ranging from insulation batts for walls to small squares for spot treatments and everything in between. And it is indeed one of the most efficient sound absorbing materials.

  • Bora Gamerz
    Bora Gamerz 24 days ago

    Wow the method for sound test was unscientific.
    Why bother doing a half ass test... Very stupid

  • A. WEBB
    A. WEBB 24 days ago

    THANKS for sharing your knowledge - EXCELLENT VIDEO, Great info !!

  • Harley Brignall
    Harley Brignall 25 days ago

    I like how he uses proper drill bits and counter sinks it and then uses fucking drywall screws ahaha

  • DJ Game
    DJ Game 25 days ago

    wow great vid

  • Erdo Djunianto
    Erdo Djunianto 26 days ago

    thank you for saving my money

  • milan hofman
    milan hofman 27 days ago

    Are Your ears/speakers in your wall??

    Why measure the sound they let trough if you are only interested in what they don't reflect, (try putting a thick panel of glass in between, it Wil come first out of the test, hang your walls with glass and you have a reverb-room)

  • Internet Media Empire
    Internet Media Empire 27 days ago

    Can I cap windows with this, trying to lessen the sound of train passing outside.

  • Jörg Kirchhof
    Jörg Kirchhof 27 days ago

    why do you use such high frequencies? Human voice mainly takes place in the range below 4khz. and transmission properties are often different to reflection properties.

  • Graeme758
    Graeme758 28 days ago

    Is that your Ultimate DIY Mic wandering around in the garden?

  • Silmein
    Silmein 28 days ago

    idk where you live but I can't get 5 towels of that size for $5, let alone wood for frames

    • Steve Johnson
      Steve Johnson 13 days ago

      Regular fiberglass insulation is very effective although ugly.

  • infergnome
    infergnome 29 days ago

    Am I wrong, or does his test not actually test the echo reduction? The foam isn't supposed to stop sound from passing through it, its supposed to stop sound from bouncing off of it.

  • gmf iq
    gmf iq 1 month ago

    can i just tape a towel on my wall and not do the frame?

  • Seung Choe
    Seung Choe 1 month ago

    Wouldn't a set up of having the microphone behind the speaker and the speaker facing the material make more sense when testing which material is most suitable?

  • Robert Coles
    Robert Coles 1 month ago

    you need various density material in-between to spread the over the frequency range. also, the frame may not touch the walls... it would create a sound bridge...

  • susto music
    susto music 1 month ago


  • Gonz@nline
    Gonz@nline 1 month ago

    Subscribed! You have really smart and useful tips.

  • PelenTan
    PelenTan 1 month ago

    Damn. Nice. And I actually like the way those look! I may make some just to hang up around here.

  • Jarek Bullfinch
    Jarek Bullfinch 1 month ago

    In your tests you are confusing sound absorption with sound insulation. You are checking how much sound is being prevented from passing through the material, not bounce off of it. Towels perform better in your test because that have greater mass (which is the main factor in getting good sound insulation). However, sound absorption depends more on porosity and other factors. Notice, that in your test a wooden or concrete plank would perform best! That is why sound absorption tests are performed in reverberant chambers, not in free field, i.e. garden.

    Flawed test, but the idea is still good though. I do believe that "acoustic" foams are mostly rubbish. Simple mineral wool works much better, but the towels are a great idea as well! However, I am pretty sure that you need to spend more than $5 to get 4-5 towels and all that timber framing...

  • Keon
    Keon 1 month ago

    Aaaaaahhhh all these videos are so cool aaaaaa

  • Pulse/Krilium
    Pulse/Krilium 1 month ago

    Heh, I'm glad that I have the small box-room in my house now, no noticeable reverberation at all!

  • catonlsd3
    catonlsd3 1 month ago

    the towel doesn't "absorb" the sound as much as it will not let it though in this case, making it more of a diffuser basically... try the initial test with a sheet of metal for example and I dare you to say it absorbs sound ;)

    RAY ALLEN 1 month ago


  • Lajos György Mészáros

    Awaiting comments about flammability

  • Kris McGovern
    Kris McGovern 1 month ago +2

    Lots of missinformation!!!
    There is a difference between sound absorbtion and soundproofing. (Google it!!) the setup in the video measures the soundproofing because the microphone is on the other side of the material. But what affects the sound “quality” inside the room is the absorbtion. To keep it simple: flat surface = more reflections= bad sound. Like a wall for example. This is why the towel thing works.

  • GriffyBoiii
    GriffyBoiii 1 month ago

    Thank you so much! Manliness achieved

  • kaka pupu
    kaka pupu 1 month ago

    Would thick blankets be as effective as towels? Does the towel have some specific features that makes it useful for sound absorption or would any similar material do (like bedsheets, quilts, carpets even)?

  • Wendell G.
    Wendell G. 1 month ago

    Hey Matt, Could you compare the towels with regular fiberglass and Rock Wool?

  • Mesh Tutors
    Mesh Tutors 1 month ago

    we use layers of egg trays in our radio station and they work well

  • ZM Vlogz
    ZM Vlogz 1 month ago

    I read this as, "DIY AUTISTIC PANELS" very sorry.

  • Richard Burns
    Richard Burns 1 month ago

    How will it hold up against my loads of gizz blasts?

  • shriramvenu
    shriramvenu 1 month ago

    this is a test of sound BLOCKING not absorption!. To properly test for sound absorption, you need to create an echo chamber, by putting the speaker and microphone in a wooden or metal box together with the material lining the walls, and measure the echo.

  • Scrotumdepoulpe
    Scrotumdepoulpe 1 month ago

    Sound tip : don't record in stereo. My left ear is dead since the introduction.

  • Pippsters
    Pippsters 1 month ago

    The acoustic foam isn't meant to absorb sound like how you tested it's meant to limit echos and the towels just muffle the sound they do help with echo cancellation but you didn't test the foams correctly

  • elmohead
    elmohead 1 month ago

    As a professional kidnapper, I can confirm that a woolen fabric is indeed best for sound absorption. Best if you soak in chloroform prior to doing your own DIY kidnapping.

  • diamened
    diamened 1 month ago

    Is there a similar test with cork and styrofoam?

  • no u
    no u 1 month ago

    Man that first 13 seconds was probably the most truth i've heard from any youtube video ever lol


    Thank you for your effort. I appreciate it!

  • Thomas Green
    Thomas Green 1 month ago

    South Parks' "Towlie" approves this message.

  • Frynker Murr
    Frynker Murr 1 month ago

    I thought it was a video on making acoustic ceiling tiles. But I found this to be way cooler

  • hammockmonk
    hammockmonk 1 month ago

    Wow, great sound quality for your video. Cheers, mate!

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