Maybe you’ve invested in the best automotive sound system but something is still not sounding right. What could be the problem? If you have the best car speakers and car stereo but the audio is not sounding right, then you need to soundproof your car. A car cabin is prone to a lot of unwanted noise. The noise interferes with the kind of sound experience you get in your car. This noise includes car engine noise, noise from the tires, shaky car panels, car vibrations, and traffic noise.
But how can you keep the unwanted noise away from your car cabin? The best solution is to install sound deadeners. They work by absorbing noise and vibrations, thereby enhancing the car cabin acoustics. Consequently, you’ll enjoy listening to your favorite music or radio without noise interference. Sound deadeners are readily available in the market today. They’re available in a wide range of brands to choose from. Read on for a review and buying guide of the best automotive sound deadening material.
How We Shortlisted the Top 10 Sound Deadening Materials
If you’re searching for a sound deadener for your car, you’ll come across a multitude of options to choose from. That can be confusing right? There’re many brands of sound deadeners available today. They come in different types and sizes. Luckily for you, we’ve teamed with leading sound engineers to come up with a list of the best sound deadening materials available today. Thus, we’ve made it easier for you to make a more informed choice. We’ve only included the top quality options for the best value of your money. Read on for the detailed reviews.
Top 10 Automotive Sound Deadening Materials
Here’re the leading sound deadening materials available in the market today, including their key features, pros, and cons.
Comparison Table of Best Automotive Sound Deadening Material
1. Kilmat 80 mil 36 sqft
We’ve listed this sound deadening material from Kilmat at the top of our list based on its numerous features that make it stand out among its competitors. Let’s look at some is its top features:
- You can tell whether it’s properly installed– One of the reasons why this sound insulator tops our list is that it’s designed in such a way that you can tell whether you’ve installed it properly. Each sheet has a special embossing that must look smooth to know you’ve properly installed it. You can do this by pressing it on the car panel you’re insulating using a roller.
- Easy to install– Kilmat comes in several sheets, each measuring 9.8 by 15.17 inches. Thus, you’ll have an easy time cutting and installing the sheets. Consequently, you can easily install them by yourself.
- Self-adhesive surface– The back surface of these sound insulators is self-adhesive. You’ll simply peel off a paper cover to expose the self-adhesive surface and stick it in place. Thus, you won’t have to struggle with applying glue. Besides, the self-adhesive is sticky enough for the sheets to adhere in place tightly.
- Lightweight design– Another notable benefit of this sound insulator is its lightweight nature. It weighs just 0.5 pounds per square feet. Its lightweight nature means that it won’t add any much weight to your car.
- High performance– The insulator comes with a thickness of 80 mil. It’s thick enough for enhanced sound insulation. It promises to reduce noise by 50 percent.
- Highly pliable for easier installation
- Holds up well in both high and low temperatures
- Effective in reducing road noise, rattling, vibrations, and squeaks
- Can be installed on any car panel
- Comes in a total of 34 sheets
- Doesn’t come with a roller
The Kilmat 80 mil 36 sqft is ideal for anyone who wants a lightweight and thin sound deadener.
2. Noico 80 mil 36 sqft
Noico is one of the most renowned manufacturers of sound insulating materials. Let’s look at some of the features that stand out most in this sound insulator.
- Great coverage– This mat from Noico comes with a nominal thickness of 80 mil. It can cover an area of 36 square feet. It comes in the form of sheets, each measuring 29.5 by 19.5 inches. Thus, each mat can cover a large area.
- Highly efficient– The mat is made of a high-quality material that guarantees high efficiency. It’s one of the thickest sound insulators available today. Its thickness allows for enhanced efficiency in blocking unwanted sound. It weighs 0.7 pounds per square feet for enhanced sound insulation.
- Easy to cut– Another great reason why you should consider buying this mat is that it’s easy to cut. Consequently, you’ll find it easy to work with the material and install it quickly. This makes it ideal for DIY installation.
- Special embossing– The top surface of the material is specially embossed to make it easier for you to know the areas that are not properly adhered. Roll every area tightly with a roller to ensure the entire mat adheres onto the car panel surface for optimum performance.
- Sticky bottom surface– The bottom surface of the mat that is applied onto the car panel comes with a sticky adhesive surface. Thus, you won’t need any extra glue. Besides, it sticks in place quite fast.
- Comes in a set of 9 sheets
- Reduces road noise, engine noise, vibrations, and rattles
- Ideal for installation on all types of vehicles
- Comes with installation instructions
- Doesn’t have any odor
- Doesn’t eliminate wind noise
If you’re a DIY enthusiast, then you should go for Noico 80 mil 36 sqft due to its ease of installation.
3. MAT66 80 mil 24 sqft
Manufacturers of this sound insulator kept affordability and quality in mind when designing it. Let’s look at its top features.
- Excellent quality– When buying this mat, you’re assured of excellent performance, thanks to its top-quality material and efficiency. It’s made of top-quality foil and butyl for enhanced performance in sound insulation
- Thick material– This mat comes with a thickness of 80 mil and weighs 0.7 pounds per square feet. This, its thickness and weight allow for enhanced soundproofing. Its thickness also allows it to work as a heat insulator.
- Special installation indicator– Another great benefit that comes with this mat is that it comes with a special installation indicator that allows you to tell whether you’ve installed it properly or not. If the embossing on the foil is not looking smooth, then it means that you haven’t installed it properly. Simply press it tightly on the surface using a roller until the embossing looks plain smooth.
- Handy sheet sizes– The mat comes in the form of stacked sheets. Each sheet measures 15.7 by 9.8 inches. The sheets can cover an area of up to 24 square feet. Thus, they’re extremely handy. Besides, they’re easy to work with on any car area.
- Great vibration control– Another notable feature that comes with this mat is that it performs superbly in controlling vibrations. It works by absorbing vibrations resulting from the car engine and the car movement. It’s also efficient in reducing rattling.
- Comes as a set of 23 mats
- It’s extremely affordable
- Insulates the doors, floor, back wall, roof, and firewall
- Has a temperature rating of between -49 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit
- Sticks well in place
- A little smelly when newly installed
Looking for an affordable yet efficient sound insulator for your car? If so, MAT66 80 mil 24 sqft will be your best option.
4. Dynamat 10455 18″ x 32″ x 0.067″
Dynamat is yet another popular manufacturer of automotive sound deadeners. Let’s review the Dynamat 10455 in detail.
- Aluminum-coated– One of the top features of this sound deadener is that it comes with an aluminum coating. Aluminum resists extreme temperatures such that you can use the mat even under the hottest conditions without losing its efficiency. Consequently, it also allows the mat to work as an efficient heat insulator to keep your car cabin more comfortable.
- Permanent adhesive– Another top feature of this mat is that each sheet comes with a permanent adhesive. It adheres tightly in place for enhanced performance. Besides, it sticks fast enough and doesn’t require a lot of waiting time.
- Easily flexible– You’ll appreciate the flexibility that comes with this mat. Each mat is extremely flexible such that it applies easily on irregular or curved surfaces. Thus, it’s easy to work with regardless of the shape of the car panel.
- Extremely versatile– The mat is efficient in reducing road noise, noise from buzzing car parts, speaker rattling, and engine rumbling. Thus, it’s extremely versatile in soundproofing and absorbing vibration. It’s ideal for applying on any resonant surface of your car.
- Light but effective– This Dynamat sound deadener is lightweight than most sound deadeners of its kind, yet it’s extremely effective. Thus, it will reduce unwanted noise in the car cabin while still not adding to the weight of your car.
- Comes as a set of 9 sheets
- Can be used for soundproofing the under-hood, panels, roof, and trunk lids
- Doesn’t require heating to adhere on a surface during installation
- Ideal for soundproofing contoured areas
- Can cover an area of up to 36 square feet
- It’s one of the most pricey sound deadeners
If you don’t mind paying a little bit more for a top-quality and highly efficient sound deadening material, then you can choose Dynamat 10455 18″ x 32″ x 0.067″.
5. uxcell 394mil 16.36sqft
Another top performer that we included in our review is the uxcell sound insulator. It comes as a roll measuring 16.36 square feet. Here’re the reasons that made us include it in our review.
- Excellent sound insulator– This sound insulator is specially designed to absorb noise and insulate the car cabin against unwanted noise. It’s also efficient in heat insulation such that it keeps your car cabin cool during summer and warm during winter.
- Fiberglass material– The insulator is made of high-quality fiberglass. This material performs efficiently under high heat. It blocks sunlight, heat from the engine, and heat from the exhaust pipe system. Thus, you’ll reduce overreliance on the air conditioner and save fuel.
- Reduces car paint aging– Besides being a sound and heat insulator, this material also reduces the aging process of car paint. It does so by insulating the car panel against heat from the car engine and sunlight, thereby slowing down the rate at which the car paint ages.
- Aluminum covering– The fiberglass material is covered with aluminum. The aluminum foil is 10mm thick. It further enhances the sound and heat insulation abilities of the mat. Besides, the aluminum material has damping properties that reduce resonances in the car cabin for enhanced audio experience.
- Strong shock resistance– The material resists shock, making it ideal for reducing car vibrations that interfere with sound. With reduced vibrations and rattling, you’ll be able to hear more details in your music.
- Its price range is favorable
- Can be applied on the firewall, hood, trunk room, floor, roof, trunk lid, and more surfaces
- Extremely thick
- Easy to install
- The adhesive sticks tightly in place
- The material is flammable
The uxcell 394mil 16.36sqft is ideal for any car owner who wants to insulate their car against noise and heat at the same time.
6. FatMat 50 Sq Ft x 80 mil
FatMat is extremely popular in the industry of soundproofing. The company is known for manufacturing some of the best automotive sound deadening material available today. Let’s look at the reasons that made us include this mat in our review.
- Comes with a roller– A roller is provided with the material. The roller will assist in pressing the material tightly in place. That way, the entire material will stick on the panel for enhanced sound insulation.
- Large coverage– The roller can cover an area of up to 50 square feet in total. Thus, you’re assured that a single roll will cover most of the car parts where sound insulation is needed.
- Super stick adhesive– Another great advantage that comes with this roller is that it comes with a super-stick self-adhesive surface. This makes it easy to stick in place quickly without much waiting time.
- Wide areas of application– This sound insulator outshines other materials of its kind due to its wide areas of application and versatility. You can install in your car, RV, and marine vessel. Besides, it applies well on most car surfaces.
- Heat-resistant– Another great benefit that comes with this material is its heat-resistance properties. The aluminum material resists extreme heat, thereby keeping heat away from the cabin. Thus, you won’t have to rely much on your car air conditioner during hot summer days.
- Highly pliable and easy to cut
- Retains sound in the car and keeps noise outside
- Comes with a knife for cutting the material
- Installation instructions are provided
- The glue has an unpleasant odor
- It becomes a little loose during a hot day
FatMat 50 Sq Ft x 80 mil is ideal for installing on areas that are contoured as it conforms to any shape.
7. Car Insulation – 4′ x 10′ Roll (40 Sqft)
Car insulation is another ideal sound deadener that is made to be light yet effective. It has several features to boast about. Here’re some of its key features.
- Lightweight– This car insulation weighs just 0.04 pounds per square feet. Thus, it’s extremely lightweight such that it won’t weigh down the car doors and other car panels. As such, you won’t notice any extra fuel consumption.
- Fiber reinforcement– The material is made of a polyethylene core which is enclosed and reinforced with fiber on either surface. The reinforcement prevents the material from crushing, making it more durable than other materials of its category.
- Thermal barrier– Another top feature that comes with this material is that it works as a thermal barrier. Besides making your car cabin feel quieter, it also makes it more comfortable by reflecting away heat during summer and keeping off heat from the exhaust and engine.
- Ideal for several applications– You can use this material on almost all motor vehicles. You can also use it to soundproof and insulate your entire car cabin. It’s ideal for use on most interior car surfaces. You can also use it in your boat.
- Minimized vibrations– Besides keeping noise and heat out of your car cabin, this material is also efficient in reducing vibrations and rattles. Its thickness makes it efficient in absorbing vibrations and rattling for enhanced sound experience.
- Crush resistant material
- Extremely flexible
- Easy to cut and install
- Can be stacked in layers for enhanced insulation
- Doesn’t come with a self-adhesive surface
- Less effective in dampening
If you carry luggage in your car often and you want a sound deadening material that won’t tear up or rip apart, then Car Insulation – 4′ x 10′ Roll (40 Sqft) is the best deal for you.
8. Thermo-Tec 14620 60″ X 36″
Thermo-Tec, just like its name suggests, is ideal for keeping away heat away from the car for more comfort. Besides, it also keeps away noise from the car. Here’re the features it has to boast about:
- Foil surface– The material is made of polyethylene and covered by a foil film. The foil is effective in keeping radiant heat away. It works by reflecting heat away from the car. Besides, the polyethylene material keeps noise away from the car cabin.
- Wide material– Thermo-Tec comes with a dimension of 60 by 36 inches. Thus, it’s wide enough for application on the floor, door panels, and roof. You can also cut it into fitting portions to install on the interior surface of the firewalls.
- Easy to trim– You can easily trim the material to fit in a desired interior car area. Thus, you can install in on just any car surface. After all, it’s easy to work with this material.
- High-temperature adhesive– Another benefit that comes with this material is that it has a self-adhesive surface. The adhesive sticks in place even under high temperatures. Thus, it won’t melt during hot summer days.
- Very flexible– The material is extremely flexible to work with. You can easily install it on interior car areas with corners and curves.
- Heavy-duty and durable
- Easy to install and work with
- Great in sound dampening
- Sticks well with little pressure applied
- Doesn’t come with a roller
- You might need a heat gun to install it during cold weather
Thermo-Tec 14620 60″ X 36″ is ideal where both soundproofing and control of radiant heat are needed.
9. Burton Acoustix Series 9
This sound deadening material from Burton Acoustix is specially designed by sound engineers for superb performance with affordability in mind. Here’re some of the reasons that made us include it in our review:
- Ultra high density– This material comes with a density of 12.5 pounds per cubic feet. It’s extremely dense for enhanced sound insulation. Thus, a single layer of the material is enough for optimum soundproofing.
- Versatile– Another reason why this material is worth your consideration is its versatility. Besides using it to soundproof your car, you can also use it to soundproof your home by installing it on the ceiling, doors, and walls.
- Made of fiber– The material is made of fiber. It doesn’t have any retardants and chemicals in its formulation. It’s non-inflammable, making it safe for use even at home.
- Easy to install– You’ll only need to tape the panels in place and enjoy listening to your favorite music in a quieter car cabin. Thus, the material is easy to install for a DIY enthusiast. Besides, it’s easy to cut and shape it.
- Efficient and affordable– Another great benefit that comes with this material is its high efficiency in sound insulation. Besides, it’s one of the most affordable materials you can find on the market today.
- Doesn’t have irritants
- Toughly designed
- Its marble grey color matches any décor
- Comes in a pack of 5 panels
- Its surface is not self-adhesive
- Not ideal for installing around corners
If you’re working with a tight budget, then you should consider choosing the Burton Acoustix Series 9 sound deadener.
10. HushMat 10200
HushMat boasts of being one of the most popularly used sound insulators. It comes with several desirable features. Let’s discuss these features.
- Eliminates vibration and road noise– This insulator is designed to eliminate both vibrations and road noise. It absorbs vibrations by making the car panels denser and blocks out noise from the outside.
- Heat reduction– Another key feature that comes with this sound deadener is that it reduces heat in the car cabin by at most 40 percent. Thus, you’ll find it more comfortable to drive your car even during the hot summer season.
- Performs superbly under harsh temperature– You’ll also want to choose this sound deadener for it works efficiently even under extreme cold and heat. You can use it at a temperature of between -30 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Highly pliable– You can easily wrap this material around tight areas and corners. Thus, you won’t be limited to the interior car surfaces to install it.
- Superb dampening– If your car sound system is suffering from resonance, take advantage of this material to dampen the car cabin. It eliminates frequency resonant noise in the range of 0 to 1 kHz.
- No surface preparation required
- Doesn’t require any special tools to install
- Adheres to any surface
- Has a self-adhesive backing
- May not match with some interior décors
HushMat 10200 is best suitable for reducing resonant frequencies due to its highly dampening properties.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Automotive Sound Deadening Material
As you can see, not all sound deadeners are made equal. Some outperform others in certain soundproofing properties. Thus, it’s important to consider certain factors when making a choice. Here’re the factors you should consider when choosing a sound deadening material for your car:
Thickness and Density
A highly dense and thick material will offer better soundproofing than a thinner, less dense material. Basically, the thickness of a sound deadener is measured in mils. The higher the mil value, the thicker the material. On the other hand, the density of a sound deadener is measured in pounds per cubic feet. The higher the value in pounds per cubic feet, the higher the density.
Another factor to consider is the size of the material. A larger material will cover a larger area whereas a smaller sized material will cover a small area. If you’re soundproofing areas such as the roof and hood, then you definitely need a larger material. A smaller sized material is ideal for soundproofing surfaces such as the doors and firewall.
You should also consider the weight of the material. For instance, a heavy sound deadener might weigh down your car doors and even add to the weight of your car if applied to more surfaces. The heavier your car, the more the fuel it will consume. Thus, a lighter material will not affect the fuel consumption of your car. Basically, the weight of a sound deadener is denoted in pounds. The higher the value in pounds, the heavier the material.
Ease of Installation
Another crucial factor to consider is the ease of installing the material. The best material is the one which is easy to work with. It should be easy to cut the material and shape it to match the area you want to install it. Besides, it should be flexible enough if you’re planning to install it around contours. Also, it’ll help if the material has some form of indication on whether you’ve installed it properly.
Tolerance to Extreme Temperatures
The tolerance of the material to extreme temperatures matters a lot when it comes to sound deadening materials. The car panels are exposed to heat from the sun, engine, and exhaust. Thus, the best material to use is the one that can tolerate high heat levels. It shouldn’t melt away during a hot summer day or when the engine heats up. Besides, it shouldn’t freeze or come off during a cold winter day.
The last thing you’d want in your car is installing a material that will add a bad odor. Thus, consider an odorless material, especially if you’re allergic to strong smells. Although the smell of some materials goes away a few days after installation, others may linger for a longer period. Thus, you’d rather go for an odorless material.
The adhesiveness of the material matters a lot on how reliable it will be. The best material is the one that adheres tightly to the area being insulated. It’ll help if the material comes with a self-adhesive surface. Such a material will save you from the hassle of applying glue. Besides, a material that adheres in place without heating it with a heat gun will also be easier to work with.
Method of Sound Insulation
You should also consider the method of sound insulation of the material you’re choosing. Some materials work by absorbing noise while others work by soundproofing. If most of the noise in your car cabin comes from outside the car, then you should choose a material that works by soundproofing to minimize outside noise. On the other hand, if most of the noise is coming from within the car such as rattling car panels, then you should choose a material that absorbs noise. You can as well combine the sound insulators in two layers.
The thermal insulation ability of the material is an added advantage. A sound deadener that doubles up as a thermal insulator would make your car cabin soundproof while still keeping it more comfortable by keeping heat away during summer. Besides, it will keep the car cabin warm during winter but retaining heat within the cabin. Consequently, you won’t have to turn on the air conditioner throughout, thereby saving on fuel.
Soundproofing your car can make all the difference in enhancing your car music experience. By choosing the right sound deadener for your car, you’ll enhance its acoustics by reducing road noise, rattling, vibrations, engine noise, and noise from loud exhausts among other unwanted noise. We hope that our review and buying guide will assist you in finding the right sound insulator for your car. After all, we’ve only reviewed the best automotive sound deadening material available today.
Michael Evanchuk is a San Francisco-based sound engineer with 20 years’ experience installing, troubleshooting, and repairing commercial, automotive, and household sound equipment. Evanchuk owns an auto stereo center, where he offers highly competitive car audio installation and repair services. He has written dozens of articles on different sound engineering topics, all of which have been published in leading journals, blogs, and websites.