How to Make High Performance Sound Absorption Panels for $5

  • Added:  9 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: 2 204

  • Jason Fraser
    Jason Fraser 2 hours ago


  • Logan McMillan
    Logan McMillan 2 hours ago

    What're the dimensions for the wood you cut?

  • Tiggerdyret
    Tiggerdyret 18 hours ago

    The reason to go with proper acoustic panels is not the amount of absorption, but what they absorb. The towels might kill all the high frequencies and let all the unwanted frequencies stay and thus get exaggerated. I don't know this for sure, but a solution like this might make your recordings sound muddy or harsh compared to the real deal.


    Could also test on insulation slabs as i believe that these absorb more sound and are better than acoustic foam thanks.

  • Jaguar Paw
    Jaguar Paw 2 days ago

    It is nice, but how to make this for the whole wall without space between panels?

  • MJ D
    MJ D 2 days ago

    I price interior finishes for a living and I'm fully convinced that Acoustic Panels/Baffles are the biggest ripoff in the whole industry. The word "Architectural" before any product means you will get overcharged. I don't know why the industry tolerates being ripped off.

  • kwschnautz
    kwschnautz 2 days ago

    You can easily run a simple reflection test -- put the microphone and speaker next to each other, surrounded in the test materials (make a 'soft box' of sorts). Then place a solid plane (maybe a wooden board) between the speaker and the microphone. The sound would have to bounce off the test surface to reach the microphone, thus testing reflection.

    I'd be interested in seeing (and hearing) that test!

  • Jesse L
    Jesse L 2 days ago

    Amazing! I will be decorating my studio with these

  • 노미라
    노미라 3 days ago

    This video is soooo useful!! thank you~^^

  • AsianBoyz102
    AsianBoyz102 3 days ago

    Your accent and the cleanness of the conten make your video seems high quality

  • REDmansterXP
    REDmansterXP 3 days ago

    if i spray paint on he panels would it obstruct​ the aound absorption

  • Sheldon Ye
    Sheldon Ye 3 days ago

    after many months of research I realise what you have done wrong

  • Maegan Standart
    Maegan Standart 4 days ago

    Wondering if towel absorption would work inside the walls?

  • dimmy dunk
    dimmy dunk 4 days ago

    I'm David. Hit the like button and we'll punish humanity.

  • jondough7777777
    jondough7777777 5 days ago

    thank you man!!!!

  • Thom Peterson
    Thom Peterson 5 days ago

    Thank you for this video. REALLY usefull info!

  • DIGmusic7
    DIGmusic7 6 days ago

    couldn't you use a painter's canvas?

  • zyga399
    zyga399 8 days ago

    Perfect job

  • hfvkhnml
    hfvkhnml 9 days ago

    No wood used, save the trees, our sole source of oxygen in the entire Universe. SAY NO TO WOODEN PRODUCTS.

  • Robert M
    Robert M 10 days ago

    Thanks for posting - you just saved me a bomb 😊

  • donepearce
    donepearce 10 days ago

    Shame this was entirely the wrong measurement. A slab of concrete would have performed better than all of them, but been entirely useless at reducing echoes. The correct measurement would have measured the sound reflected from the material, not what passed through it. That would be equally easy to set up.

  • philip lubduck
    philip lubduck 10 days ago

    Better option is a canvas painting then using a towel behind that.

  • Tommy Holmberg
    Tommy Holmberg 10 days ago

    Brilliant video! Thanks a lot.

  • David Deblaere
    David Deblaere 11 days ago

    I'm too lazy for this channel

  • Web Ghost
    Web Ghost 11 days ago

    Youre Awesome Man !

  • Mike Burke
    Mike Burke 11 days ago

    Very, very interesting test.

  • John Kightlinger
    John Kightlinger 12 days ago

    I subbed just for this video alone, this has been so helpful for my budget studio set up. keep up the awesome work!

  • Jamil Shintaro Saligumba

    Thank you. I learned a lot from this video. :) Now back to making more music. 😊

  • Tom Dallis
    Tom Dallis 12 days ago

    What a great idea Matt. Not only for home recording but as you suggest when decorated can be used location as part of the sets decor.

  • mrmadame28
    mrmadame28 13 days ago

    This treat mid high to high frequencys. The hard part to get rid of is low frequency and low mid... When you treat them, generally the midhigh and high are under control. Often, they are too much lowered and the room sound dead. We put a thin layer on top of acoustic treatement to give a bit of life back to the room and boost the low frequency's capacity of the treatment. I would say that this is a good solution if you are planning to record violin or voice. For speach, intelligibility is arround 3khz so it would be good also. Early reflection is the number 1 thing to take care of at the beggining. For those who are interrested, see Ethan Winner or Winer webpage (i don't remember correctly is name) anyway, he give a lot of advice and he know is stuff... For you, good try, but you should have read a bit more on acoustic to talk about the limitation and application of your device.

  • Jason Fella
    Jason Fella 13 days ago

    haha wow, this is great info. And surprising.

  • shor777
    shor777 13 days ago

    Sound proofing and sound absorption is completely different - this guy measure sound proof performance, and talking about sound absorption.

  • David Click
    David Click 13 days ago

    This test was totally done wrong lol... The sine wave test is testing how sound proof the towel is, not how absorbent it is. In order to test how much its reflecting/absorbing, he would need a mic on the side of the speaker emulator. This is stupid unless you're trying to build

  • Jacob Mayerry
    Jacob Mayerry 14 days ago

    fantastic work! thank you!

  • Jacob Wood
    Jacob Wood 14 days ago

    I'm sure your neighbors love hearing high pitched noises in the morning

  • Mitch Johnson
    Mitch Johnson 14 days ago

    What a cool dude, and well made vid - Thanks Matt fella

  • Casper Ko
    Casper Ko 14 days ago

    I was wondering could you overlay posters over them. I have several spots in my room where I would like to place these towel frames, but at those spots there are some posters. I was wondering if I could just put the posters over them. Would they still work? Would the sound just bounce off the paper? I really enjoyed your video by the way please do make more content!

  • Shrey Tyagi
    Shrey Tyagi 15 days ago

    too hectic!

  • Jeff Zakany
    Jeff Zakany 16 days ago

    Suggestion....Don't include the tones in the audio from your tone generator. I am listening to this with ear buds at a moderately low level and those tones are ear-piercing! When you did the first live test I turned up the volume to hear the difference between the bare walls and the paneled walls. Then you tested the professional acoustic tiles ....I ripped the phones out of me ears! AAAAARRRRGH! Jeez!

    • Jeff Zakany
      Jeff Zakany 15 days ago

      It's just the frequency of the tone itself. High frequencies hurt my ears. But I did turn it up slightly to hear the difference in the treated and untreated walls.

    • DIY Perks
      DIY Perks 15 days ago

      I can only assume you have your headphones on too loud if it's a problem. The actual levels at peak are similar to the voice track, so I'm not sure what's up. Still, I'll keep that in mind for next time!

  • planetlizz
    planetlizz 16 days ago

    Id like to see a comparison of cheapo acoustic foam squares and auralex squares. while youre at it ... cheap foam vs auralex foam vs DIY towel panels vs sheetrock vs rockwool vs corning 703 vs regular blankets vs moving blankets vs sound absorption blankets vs a bedspread vs a quilt vs a comforter vs a very large poodle

  • planetlizz
    planetlizz 16 days ago

    Aint no towels at Goodwill that look like the towels you got! Admit it, you placed em there ahead of time! Surprised it wasn't a complete set!

    • planetlizz
      planetlizz 16 days ago

      way cool +maks .. did u pretty much do it like the +DIY Perks video? super curious. gosh I wish u cld post a pic. all same color and what color? lol make sure u reply.. his blew all the other methods away. hope urs do as well

    • Maks
      Maks 16 days ago

      Can you please link what you used to hang them up? Thank you. Just finished making a set of 6.

    • planetlizz
      planetlizz 16 days ago

      A GREAT find indeed! Id never get that lucky!!

    • DIY Perks
      DIY Perks 16 days ago

      Yeah, it was a pretty amazing find! I've been down a few times since and there hasn't been a good stock of towels like that.

  • Mtamandeni Kalonga
    Mtamandeni Kalonga 16 days ago

    Life saver

  • Alex Frew
    Alex Frew 16 days ago

    You are testing sound insulation not absorption. So you have no good idea of the reflected, diffracted and absorbed sound. You'd be better off doing this in a room and in reality your acoustic panels off then on the wall test is more telling of the effectiveness than the "test" outside. But interesting video.

  • Plutarco Farché
    Plutarco Farché 16 days ago

    can anyone tell me where i can find that wallpaper ?

  • aloniking gaming
    aloniking gaming 17 days ago

    question can i use cloth/old shirts

  • Hemin Awarah
    Hemin Awarah 17 days ago

    welldone mate nice vid solved my problem

  • Rodrigo Guimarães
    Rodrigo Guimarães 17 days ago

    That is fantastic! Loved this channel. Do you have any alternative for Bass Traps as well without fiberglass?

  • The Best Stooge
    The Best Stooge 17 days ago

    Towelie would approve.

  • Turnt Marshfellow
    Turnt Marshfellow 18 days ago

    you need to think about noise reflection the fancy foam is made not to change the sound profile when sound is reflected

  • valley2118
    valley2118 18 days ago

    I live on a very busy intersection and I really enjoyed your video. Traffic noise cancelling fence with this idea covered in water resistant material?

  • Runner Mix
    Runner Mix 18 days ago

    Thank you for sharing!!! :) great info 👍🏽

  • Bruce Nguyen
    Bruce Nguyen 18 days ago

    Wow thanks so much for the tips!!!

  • Troels Nielsen
    Troels Nielsen 19 days ago

    acoustic foam check to see if its insulation or absorbers. test method not satisfactory. but good improvement. easier to hear the difference if you clap hard with your hands in the room

  • Eric C
    Eric C 19 days ago

    i am building some large panels from pallets and I was looking around for the perfect filler material for them. it looks like towels are the winner, thanks mate!

  • Tim Weening
    Tim Weening 19 days ago

    so if you place this in a hexagram shape( say like eggs carton(just the backlayer) then it should sound even better

  • Udit Sharma
    Udit Sharma 19 days ago

    Hi Matt, I'm planning to recreate this experiment. Could you perhaps share what equipment you used for detecting the frequency and decibel level of the tone detector? Thanks :)

  • Ronell Oropesa
    Ronell Oropesa 20 days ago

    Would it make a difference if I use a different cloth on the front side instead of the towel?

  • Dedo Ete
    Dedo Ete 20 days ago

    alfie allen is that you?

  • Photo Zavaleta
    Photo Zavaleta 20 days ago

    NICE!!!! Thanks Man!! a really complete video!!

  • Andrew Hensley
    Andrew Hensley 21 day ago

    Wait, hold the phone and forget the foam, what camera is that???

  • Michael Taylor
    Michael Taylor 21 day ago

    You didn't test sound absorption you tested sound blocking they are two completely different things, and there a 3 things that decide how well an acoustic material (usually foam) is, Sound Blocking (makes where outside sounds do not get through it) Sound Diversion / Deflection (how well the material makes the sound bounce off in lots of different directions) and sound absorption (how much sound is actually absorbed into the material)

    • Michael Taylor
      Michael Taylor 21 day ago

      You did have the right idea with your panels though, they work and do a good job for the price (although they are not "better" than actual acoustic foams that appear on the market, just diffrent

  • Healing QuietLand
    Healing QuietLand 22 days ago

    Soooo-o this is not a good idea to use on windows!??

  • Miss Bret
    Miss Bret 22 days ago

    Hey there! We were about to spend $600 to insulate a 10' x 10' wall. Our house was a rehab so one of the old kitchen walls became a bathroom wall. Every time you used the toilet even the slightest bodily function could be heard all over the back of the house. Thank you so much for making this video.

  • Perry Pelican
    Perry Pelican 23 days ago

    Did you find the best type of towels. And why towels and not layers of the same cloth, like cotton. Is it about the weave? Is it better to use 1 very thick one or several thinner ones adding up to the same thickness?

  • Contrastarian Contrastarian

    Do you think that would help if I want to block sounds coming form my upstairs neighbors, I just need to block the noise they make when they are walking.

  • Elias Morales
    Elias Morales 24 days ago

    Mono microphone plEASE

  • CoredusK
    CoredusK 24 days ago

    Glorious 60fps enhances my watching experience exponentially.

  • Lip stick
    Lip stick 24 days ago

    1) how do you keep the bugs out??? 2) How to you hang them on the ceiling???

    I have noise neighbors UPstairs... That looks like a lot of weight to be hanging up... What about thicker sound foam???

  • Benjamin Clark
    Benjamin Clark 25 days ago


  • Harry Halt
    Harry Halt 26 days ago

    My left ear enjoyed this video!!!

  • Steveo Gaymes
    Steveo Gaymes 27 days ago

    Matt can iron my towels any day of the week!!!

  • OnscreenSoucer
    OnscreenSoucer 27 days ago

    My ears are bleeding.

  • KL3XB
    KL3XB 28 days ago

    You should've used closed cell foam instead of open cell foam.

  • Mark Edwards
    Mark Edwards 28 days ago

    I thought of this a day after my last comment. Just because the sound isn't passing through to the other side doesn't mean it was absorbed. Think about using a 1/2" (12mm) plate of steel. Probably very little sound would be picked up by the mic. But most would be reflected. We need a different test method.
    Thanks again for posting.

    THYRONIX 28 days ago

    really awesome, thanks!!

  • William Stezowski
    William Stezowski 28 days ago

    love your garden!

  • The Lifestyle Marketer

    Great idea, thanks I need to reduce Echo on my videos so I'll try this

  • youngshinobi47
    youngshinobi47 28 days ago

    this has to be the biggest looking fag i've seen on youtube

  • Phani Tallapureddy
    Phani Tallapureddy 28 days ago

    where should we keep it.. exactly opposite to the sound source?? or anywhere in the room??

  • Mark Edwards
    Mark Edwards 29 days ago

    Awesome. This info is going to help us with an acoustic problem at our church. Very clean video and fast concise delivery. Thank you.

  • Edward Short / The Hoosier Craftsman

    Great Video ! Very Informative to !

  • Ciarán Mac an Iarla


  • deepspaceocean
    deepspaceocean 1 month ago

    I'm off to buy some towels!

  • Divyanshu Maithani
    Divyanshu Maithani 1 month ago

    I think the price of 6 decent towels + wooden frame (as used here) far exceeds than using decent sets of acoustic panels. Not to mention the time and effort required to make these DIY panels.

  • Nitram Midnite
    Nitram Midnite 1 month ago

    Just wanted to thank you for this video. I made a multi layered towel sound blanket for my bedroom window to keep street noise down and it worked really well. Only cost me about $25 and is WAY cheaper than buying custom sound proof window for $1K. Cheers!

  • Manuel Orozco
    Manuel Orozco 1 month ago

    Would these help with say, absorbing "tapping" vibration/sound from an electronic drumset?

  • Alex Swavely
    Alex Swavely 1 month ago

    I'm curious how this would compare to acoustic drop ceiling tiles, which are also quite inexpensive.

  • TeeTheCee
    TeeTheCee 1 month ago

    Brilliant tests mate.

  • umaga
    umaga 1 month ago

    hi may i know the dimension of the frame?

  • ImReadyD151
    ImReadyD151 1 month ago

    this is incredible. I remember when I was a kid, I would make forts and Chuck a ton of blankets on them. I could barely hear people talking on the outside

  • sula tan
    sula tan 1 month ago

    U can use watercolour to make portfolio on walls ;)

  • LaoJK
    LaoJK 1 month ago

    Just a clarification, I can use these things to lessen outgoing sounds right?

    • Heather. Ordover
      Heather. Ordover 17 days ago

      I was wondering that, too, but also wondering what size you cut the wood to? Nearby, I only have access to 2x4s and 1x3s and neither look like what you used. Just making a list.
      Thrift stores are great for towels. I was able to get 25 towels for $35 dollars at our local. Thank you so much for taking the time to make a useful DIY video. For someone who really just needs to reduce some noise and wants to do it as easily/cheaply as possible, this was a home-run for me. Many thanks.

  • Rard van der Hoeven
    Rard van der Hoeven 1 month ago

    Can I use wool as well?

  • DavidBaLaS
    DavidBaLaS 1 month ago

    I have a question. What kind of towels should it be? Mikrofibry or cotton? Cuz the price difference is a lot. And you used so many towels... it's much more than 5$ so the bait title worked well... but should be rather 50$ each panel. Still less than original X panels.Greetings

  • Muhammad Fariz
    Muhammad Fariz 1 month ago

    I was distracted by his dimples

  • Jake Tyler
    Jake Tyler 1 month ago

    Why not just use rockwool? I heard DIY acoustic panels with rockwool should best the sound Absorption improvement you can get + it doesn't cost much more :)

  • Nick Chamberlin
    Nick Chamberlin 1 month ago

    lol that foam is actually packaging foam, not acoustic foam lol

  • 정흥섭
    정흥섭 1 month ago

    love it!

  • Cal Denison
    Cal Denison 1 month ago

    There is a huge difference between sound blocking and sound absorbing. You could put a piece of plywood on there and It would probably fare well in this test but it doesn't absorb much sound. In a studio you want to absorb sound with your baffles to reduce certain frequencies not block them. I don't think this test tells you much but I appreciate the effort.

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