Sound proofing listening room

My listening room is in the basement. My problem is that my wife above can hear too much, always telling me to turn it down, I was wandering if anybody has any cheap ideas to help keep the music in my basement.I do know the the space between the ceiling and floor are not insulated and I'm planning on doing that. But I'd like to do more. Treatment for the ceiling in my room is ok. Anything is ok cause it is my room to do with what i want. So I welcome all suggestions.
Philefreak your problem is similar to mine. I posted a thread for advise for a loft problem-wanted to keep the sound in the loft area. I did come to a solution I hope will work. I am going to buy some screens that you use as dividers and change the curtain material inside the dividers to something more tweaky. As suggested above insulation will probably be your first step. Good luck in your project. Bret
Acoustic ceiling panels will have a huge effect on the quality of the sound.
Several companies make devices that suspend a standard sheetrock ceiling separating it from the studs by rubber insulation. This should help tremendously.
This is a very good post. Let us know how the insulation does, by itself. Thanks.
As usual, I recommend reading F. Alton Everest's "Sound Studio Construction on a Budget", which deals with this problem (and a ton of others).
Thanks Gentlemen, now where would I happen to get some acoustic ceiling panels. Is this a product you get at a building supply or is it a Audio specialty?
In regards to the suggestion of what amounts to a suspended ceiling. You could well make things sound a lot worse in your room taking that route. I strongly second Tom's suggestion of perusing both the book he suggests and another by the same author, The Master Handbook of Acoustics. There are great (affordable) suggestions that should work toward both a better listening environment for you... and a worse one for her!
I put insulation between the first and second floor of our home (blown in) and found it didn't help very much. There are so many cavities (walls) that remain sound carriers, and I think the joists themselves may carry sound.

I have found that if you can have two doors between you and "them" that is *much* more effective than a single door.

I'll be curious to hear how it works for you.

- Eric
You have to look at the room / system as a "whole". Don't jump into anything as you may end up wasting your money or having to re-do it later.

If your floor beams / joists are exposed ( unfinished with no ceiling ), THICK fiberglass insulation is your best bet. It is both linear in absorption characteristics and cheap. In plain English, it will absorb bass, midrange and treble frequencies pretty evenly. This is especially true if you can use at least a 6" - 8" layer of it ( your floor joists should be that deep anyhow ). You could / should then cover this in a layer of polyester batting ( acts as a "filter" to the fiberglass and adds more absorption ) and then a layer of burlap dyed to match the walls. If your wife wants to get involved, she can even create designs by sewing or crochetting ( spelling ??? ) colors / patterns into the burlap, kind of like a HUGE ceiling tapestry.

As to using "foam" or acoustic tile type treatments, they will produce an uneven tonal balance due to non-linear absorption characteristics. You'll then have a whole new set of problems to deal with as a side effect.

Outside of that, try and pick up at least one of the two books already mentioned. I'm just getting ready to dive into the Master Handbook of Acoustics myself. You may be able to borrow it from a local library or you can order it from Amazon, Parts Express, etc... Sean
The suggestions for fiberglass insulation between the floor joists is the first step. The next would be to decouple the floor joists from the acoustic space of the basement. This could be done in the same way that an offset or staggered stud wall would be constucted. In other words you don't want sound to hit the ceiling of the basement and then transmit into the floor joists (and upstairs floor) therby making it's way upstairs. You could do this by adding additional framing (not directly connected to the floor joists), using specialty metal decoupling strips or rubber isolators. Both ASC (1-800-ASC-TUBE) and Owens Corning make products specifically for this purpose. Of course this requires a layer of sheetrock to be installed-this is the only way to really get the results you desire. Avoid "drop" ceiling acoustical tiles in your application.
Todd you may never be able to completely get rid of the noise causing the complaints. A double ceiling may help? Alternatively you may want to look into eliminating the source of the complaints? (I doubt the Dr. Baker would be very interested in crochet). If I was relegated to the basement for my listening, hmmm...
Several interesting products and acoustic isolation ideas are available at "". Neoprene sheeting, acoustic foam, etc. Good luck.
This is EXACTLY my situation/problem too. As an added level of difficulty I have ductwork to contend with. And if you add all this in I will be lucky to have 7 feet of ceiling height to play with, how about you? I plan (so far) to insulate between the existing floor joists. BEFORE I do that I might spray the whole underside of the floor with some type of sound deading material (like the kind they use in cars) Then I plan on building a "room within a room" totally decoupled and not touching anything besides the concrete. Insulate that as well. Then a double layer of 5/8" sheetrock (alternating seams) I am also looking into either a double door or a sound proof door. After all that is done then I plan on treating the remaining space so it will sound the best that it can. Any thoughts?

Philefreak lets keep in touch and share pointers. This is a project that WILL get done this fall before I go insane not being able to enjoy my music at volumes that even begin to do it justice. I am interested in hearing what you plan on doing.


I live in a concrete bunker and have the walls covered with insulation and drop carpet on top of that.The tile floors in front of the speaker have a massive oriental rug,and my ceiling has 4 in. of foam,while I have cought flack from other members on this aproach ,the foam adds a bit of life.
This has been very inexpensive room correction.