A few years ago, I relocated to a stunning new apartment uptown primarily for its spaciousness, which could comfortably accommodate my beloved family and the breathtaking views.
Nevertheless, the commotion from the bustling city was a major source of irritation, as it was impossible to take a restful nap with constant interruptions.
Despite trying numerous soundproofing techniques from online sources to block out the noise from sources such as construction, heavy traffic, and police sirens, they proved ineffective in reducing the external noise.
After several attempts, I stumbled upon the ultimate sound barrier – Mass Loaded Vinyl. This material effectively protects against disturbing noise pollution.
Thanks to its optimal blend of vinyl and natural high-density compound, it serves as both a sound barrier and noise absorber. This is something you can’t get with other soundproofing options like fiberglass.
But many products I found have misleading STC value and marketing info, which made choosing the right one tricky and overwhelming. To save you from the stress of reading hundreds of reviews and wasting your hard-earned money, here are my top five best mass-loaded vinyl for soundproofing that I have used over the years.
Top 5 Mass Loaded Vinyl for Soundproofing
|Soundsulate™ 1 lb Mass Loaded Vinyl
|Noise Grabber Mass Loaded Vinyl
|Safely use anywhere
|Soundsulate™ 1/2 lb Mass Loaded Vinyl
|Durability & flexibility
|TMS Mass Loaded Vinyl for Blocking Noise
|Noico 80 mil car Sound deadening mat
Mass Loaded Vinyl for Soundproofing – What is it?
MLV is made of vinyl and natural high-mass compounds – calcium Carbonate or Barium Sulphate. Vinyl is known for its impressive flexibility, which makes it easier to wrap around corners and tight edges. The highly dense compounds are responsible for MLV’s excellent soundproofing capability.
Thus, mass-loaded vinyl is one of the few options that effectively blocks and absorbs multiple sound frequencies passing through ceilings, floors, and walls.
How is Mass Loaded Vinyl Used for Soundproofing?
Before you go ahead and purchase a vinyl soundproofing material for your home, it’s crucial that you know how it’s being used.
MLV is often placed between layers of drywalls or other building materials to create sound-blocking walls, floors, and ceilings. Its application is not limited to homes only. Most architects and engineers use mass-loaded vinyl in industrial facilities and commercial buildings to muffle loud airborne and impact noises.
For the best soundproofing results, stick with an MLV that combines noise isolation, damping, and absorption. Vinyl soundproofing material helps reduce noise by adding mass without significantly increasing the thickness of your walls, ceiling, or floor.
They come in different thicknesses and STC values. A vinyl soundproofing material with an STC rating of 26 or 32 is only about 1⁄4 or ⅛ inch thick. This means they won’t add any visible thickness to your walls, car roof, ceiling, etc. but block out unwanted noise noticeably from interfering with your peace.
Unlike most soundproofing options like drywall, mass-loaded vinyl is flexible, softer, and thinner, which offers many benefits. You can wrap MLV around steel columns, plumbing pipes, metal ducts, etc., to attenuate noise transmission.
Thanks to their flexibility, vinyl soundproofing material makes it easier to control annoying impact vibrations and dissipate the sound energy for a noise-free space. Also, they can be used in between plywood and drywalls to create a more effective soundproofing solution.
Mass Loaded Vinyl for Soundproofing Reviews
1. Soundsulate™ 1 lb Mass Loaded Vinyl for Soundproofing
My top choice for the best mass-loaded vinyl for soundproofing ambient noise is the Soundsulate mass-loaded vinyl – and hundreds of customers agree. This product features cutting-edge vinyl construction, a super thin design at ⅛ inches, and a whopping 27 STC for superior sound-blocking performance.
This top-quality material takes the lead with its build quality. It’s made from the finest vinyl quality in the USA. Thus, making it one of the market’s most durable and efficient sound-blocking barriers. Also, it’s environmentally friendly. Unlike some of its competitors, I did not release harmful chemicals during unboxing or installation.
Coming at ⅛-inch thick, this best-in-class vinyl material was easy to cut to my desired shape and size to soundproof my basement without taking up any space. Another benefit of the ultra-thin design is incredible flexibility without compromising strength. This material could be wrapped on pipes, machinery, etc., several times without cracking, breaking, or tearing.
Plus, it has an STC rating of 27, which is dense enough to stop unwanted traffic or chattering noise. This is one of the few options that are true to the STC rating. This material quiets down external noise up to 20 dB even without using any other soundproofing materialThe only downside is it’s not as thermally resistant as I’d hoped. It tends to shred and decompose when exposed to moderate heat. This is not a deal breaker if you are not using it anywhere near direct sunlight.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a mass-loaded vinyl that protects you from disturbing noise like Soundsulate mass-loaded vinyl. Well, you can try other options if you have some extra cash you are willing to risk.
- Easy to cut and install
- Made in the USA
- Available in different size options
- It weighs about 1 pound per square foot
- Thin and flexible
- Poor thermal resistance
2. Noise Grabber Mass Loaded Vinyl Soundproof Barrier
If you have inconsiderate neighbors and need to block out their noise for a good night’s sleep, the Noise Grabber is the best buy. This material is thicker, denser, and heavier and has a higher STC rating for an unmatched sound insulation experience.
Straight out of the box, this unit is odorless. So, you don’t have to waste time airing it out like others I’ve tried. Unlike the Soundsulate mass-loaded vinyl, this material is ¼-inch thick and rated 32 STC, which means it’s stronger and delivers better soundproofing results.
I installed the Noise Grabber on my ceiling to eliminate the late-night stomping noise that constantly interrupted my sleep. The result was astonishing; the noise was significantly reduced. While I can still hear them, it’s whisper-quiet and non-interrupting.
- It suitable for muffling loud noises
- Made in the USA
- Thicker and denser for a better noise barrier
- Easy to cut and install
- Misleading information about the material being adhesive
- Also, its heavyweight means you’ll need an extra hand when installing it
3. Soundsulate™ 1/2 lb Mass Loaded Vinyl for Soundproofing
The Soundsulate™ 1/2 lb Mass Loaded Vinyl is the best option for eliminating occasional noise without breaking the bank.
It’s thinner than my top choice, and you could cut it into perfect sizes and shapes with a utility knife. This 1/16-inch thick vinyl material has a decent 20 STC rating, making it an excellent sound barrier for occasional noise or next-room chatters.
Although thin, this vinyl effectively protects my space from moisture and noise. However, it does not soften loud noises like the super thick Noise Grabber, except you double the layer.
- Perfect choice for occasional unwanted noise
- Easy to cut, wrap and install
- Made in the USA
- Heavy and durable
- Requires a helping hand to install
- You have to double it to dampen deafening noise
4. TMS Mass Loaded Vinyl for Blocking Noise
This is the next best thing to the top-class Soundsulate™ 1 lb Mass Loaded Vinyl. I picked this product because it can attenuate migrating noise on large projects.
It’s also made with durable vinyl materials in the USA, which guarantees it’s strong and safe to use. You don’t have to worry about toxic fumes or awful odors.
However, I love the TMS Mass Loaded Vinyl because of its optimally balanced thickness and mass. It’s ⅛-inch thick with an impressive STC rating of 27. This is just as perfect as Soundsulate™ 1 lb Mass Loaded Vinyl for blocking noise and moisture from setting into your space.
Even better, it’s one of the few options you can use on your fences and other outdoor spaces without fading.
- It features a heavy-duty, long-lasting texture for a tear-free experience.
- It helps reduce outdoor noise
- It can withstand high temperatures without fading
- Odorless and safe to use
- A bit pricey
5. Noico 80 mil (2 mm) 36 sqft (3.4 sqm) car Sound deadening mat
Wrapping up the lineup is the Noico 80 mil Sound Deadening Mat. This product is arguably the best soundproofing material for automobiles on the market.
This product is thicker than most competitors, at 0.08 inches of thickness. Plus, it has the right weight, about 0.7 pounds per square foot, to offer unparalleled acoustic insulation for your car. It deadens the external noise sneaking into your vehicle and improves the speakers’ sound quality.
Furthermore, it comes in sheets, which makes installation a breeze. However, I love its strong self-adhesive butyl for an effortless peel-and-stick installation.
Also, the manufacturer claims this product could reduce impact noise in your car. It didn’t provide the best result without using closed-cell foam material. In addition, it’s more difficult to cut because of its thick and heavy design.
At an extra cost, you can have the brand’s roller that helps ensure you install this sound-deadening mat correctly.
If you want to block out external noise and heat and get more thumping base from the stereos in your car, the Noico 80 mil Car Sound Deadening Mat is your best bet.
- Thicker than a lot of options out there for better soundproofing performance
- Easy to install, thanks to its self-adhesive butyl
- Excellent sound dampening and insulation
- Affordable price point
- The roller is sold separately
Key Factors to Consider When Shopping for the Best MLV for Soundproofing
There are lots of MLVs available. This makes choosing the right one for your soundproofing project confusing, especially if this is your first time. Also, many factors must be considered to ensure you make the right call.
Here are some of the crucial factors to pay attention to when shopping for an MLV for either your residential or commercial soundproofing project:
Generally, mass-load vinyl is thin but dense enough to act as an excellent sound barrier. However, they are available in different thicknesses. The typical thickness options include ¼ and ⅛ inches.
If you only want to cancel out the occasional ambient noise like echo, you would be better off with the thinner MLV. For softening loud noise, thicker vinyl soundproofing material is your best bet.
Also, if you intend to wrap this material around an object, it’s essential to consider the size of the thing. Thinner MLVs are more flexible and easy to warp and contour for a noise-seal fix.
Roll or Sheet
Mass-loaded vinyl materials are available in either roll or sheet. If you want to improve the STC of a large surface, go with the roll option. You can easily measure and cut the material into one-piece soundproofing material. Also, it takes the hassle of combining several sheets to form a solid sound-blocking surface.
If it’s a small wall, sheets can be the way to go. Some MLV sheets come with adhesive. This means you can peel and stick them to where you want to soundproof. However, you want to ensure you are not skimping on this option. Otherwise, you might get a weak adhesive that won’t hold the sheet.
Mass-loaded vinyl is available in different colors – and not just black. While the color does not affect the material’s soundproofing performance, it might be necessary to match your project’s style. Vinyl soundproofing material also comes in transparent or translucent, depending on your project.
Yes! Mass-loaded vinyl can be installed in between or over the drywall. Once you’ve successfully done that, seal the perimeter and any other openings with a good-quality acoustical sealant. Afterward, you can cover or paint the drywall with any decor that matches your room.
Generally, MLVs are made from recycled goods. However, it would be best if you stayed away from low-quality options. These cheap products tend to spell trouble. Their thicknesses might not be consistent, leading to mediocre soundproofing performance. Also, these subpar MLVs are not usually brittle. They are more likely to rip when wrapping it around an object. Some of these cheap options are not even MLV.
When it comes to soundproofing with mass-loaded vinyl, it’s vital to ensure the material covers the entire object’s surface. Therefore, I suggest measuring the area before purchasing a soundproofing material. Also, it would be best to buy a slightly larger MLV than the measured space to give room for error.
You’ll need more than mass-loaded vinyl for a completely soundproof room. However, it’s essential for effective noise cancellation.
They are flexible, making them suitable for a wider range of applications than the traditional options.
If you are looking to block out the noise, pick one of the top 5 best mass-loaded vinyl for soundproofing I’ve reviewed on this list. They deliver unparalleled soundproofing performance to help make your home more comfortable.