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How to Block Out Low-Frequency Noise?

“Low-frequency noise got you down? Find out how to put the ‘hush’ back in your environment with these effective strategies!”

How to Block Out Low Frequency Noise

Managing low-frequency noise, commonly referred to as bass noise or infrasound, can provide significant difficulties. These noises, which can be very annoying, include the hum of large machinery, the rumbling of passing cars, and the distant thump of music. Fortunately, you can reduce low-frequency noise and create a more tranquil atmosphere with a few useful techniques. We’ll look at 13 methods in this blog post to assist you in doing exactly that.

The low-frequency range of low-frequency noise, also known as infrasound or bass noise, is usually around 20 Hz, which is below the threshold of human hearing for the majority of people. It is audible to the human ear, but it is nevertheless perceptible to the body as vibrations.

There are numerous artificial and natural sources of low-frequency noise.

Low-frequency noise originates naturally from geological phenomena such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. These occurrences generate strong infrasound waves that can pass through the Earth’s crust and atmosphere across great distances. Infrasound is produced by weather phenomena like thunderstorms and tornadoes because of the quick expansion and contraction of air masses.

Low-frequency noise comes from a wider variety of man-made sources. Low-frequency noise can be produced in large quantities by industrial processes, heavy machinery, and construction equipment.

Infrasound is produced by moving transportation systems, such as trains, aircraft, and big ships, particularly during takeoff and landing. Furthermore, because of their mechanical processes, large-scale energy production facilities like gas compressors and wind turbines are known to produce low-frequency noise.

People can be affected by low-frequency noise in a number of ways, such as irritation, disturbed sleep, and even health problems. In residential and industrial environments, mitigation methods like sound insulation and noise barriers are frequently used to lessen the effects of low-frequency noise.

Is low frequency noise harmful?

In general, low-frequency noise like bass noise or infrasound is thought to be less damaging to the auditory system directly than high-frequency noise, which can lead to hearing impairments.

This is due to the fact that most people are unable to perceive sounds lower than about 20 Hz. It’s important to realize, though, that low-frequency noise can still have a variety of unintended consequences on people’s health.

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These effects are mostly related to the mental and physical elements of well-being.

Because low-frequency noise can cause pressure or vibrations in the body, prolonged exposure to it can cause tension, irritation, and pain.

These kinds of feelings have the potential to interfere with sleep cycles, which can lead to sleep problems, weariness during the day, and diminished cognitive function.

Furthermore, long-term exposure to low-frequency noise has been linked to elevated levels of stress and anxiety, which may eventually exacerbate a number of health problems.

People who are exposed to high-amplitude low-frequency noise on a regular basis run the risk of developing vibroacoustic illness, an uncommon ailment that causes physiological changes in tissues and can have serious health consequences.

Low-frequency noise can also hinder productivity and focus, which can have an impact on performance in both professional and educational environments.

Source: Research Gate – Effects of Low Frequency Noise and Vibrations

Do low frequencies damage ears?

No, there’s less chance that low frequencies will do actual harm to the ears. On the other hand, they may add to the total amount of noise exposure, which when combined can raise the chance of hearing impairment.

When opposed to high-frequency sounds, low frequencies are typically less likely to directly harm the ears. The mid-frequency region, which is normally between 2,000 and 4,000 Hz, is where the human ear is most sensitive to sounds, and prolonged exposure to strong noises in this range can cause hearing loss or damage.

Low-frequency noises, which are frequently perceived as tones below 20 Hz, are usually felt as vibrations. They might not harm the sensitive inner ear structures that are responsible for hearing directly, but they can still have an adverse influence on auditory health indirectly.

Extended exposure to extremely high-intensity low-frequency vibrations, such those found in some industrial environments, can cause detrimental vibrations to be transmitted throughout the body, which could have an impact on various organs and systems, including the inner ear. This may cause discomfort, tension, worsen pre-existing hearing problems, or worsen other health problems.

It’s crucial to remember that even though low-frequency noise by itself probably won’t harm ears, it can still add to overall noise exposure, which can raise the risk of hearing loss when paired with exposure to other noises.

Although prolonged exposure to loud noises has long been known to lead to hearing loss, a new study shows that low-frequency sounds may also cause damage. Neurobiologists at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich exposed 21 volunteers to a deep, vibrating noise in the 30-Hz range—barely audible to the human ear.

Source – Low frequency background noise may damage ears

13 steps to block out low frequency noise

Handling low-frequency sounds, such as distant bass from music, the hum of industry, or the rumble of traffic, can be a never-ending difficulty. These piercing, deep noises can be especially annoying because they frequently appear unavoidable. Nonetheless, you may greatly lessen the effects of low-frequency noise in your surroundings if you take the appropriate measures. Here, we’ll go over 13 doable actions you may do to successfully filter out low-frequency noise, giving you a calmer, quieter environment.

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Put on earplugs

Earplugs are tiny inserts that you put within your ear canal; they are frequently made of silicone or foam. They obstruct sound waves from reaching your ears physically. Good earplugs made specifically to block out noise can be a great way to reduce low-frequency sounds. When you need a short fix that is portable, like when traveling or sleeping in a noisy place, they come in especially handy.

Cancelling noise Headsets

In order to cancel out incoming noise, noise-canceling headphones employ microphones to pick up outside sounds and then produce sound waves that are exactly opposite (inverted phase). Because it actively blocks the vibrations caused by low-frequency noise, this technique is quite effective at reducing it. For the greatest results, go for headphones with strong noise-cancelling capabilities.

Soundproof Curtains

Specialized window coverings called “soundproof curtains” are made to efficiently block off noise incursion. These curtains are made of thick, sound-absorbing materials; they usually have several layers of vinyl, fabric, and occasionally mass-loaded vinyl (MLV).

  1. Dense Materials: Density is the key to soundproof curtains’ effectiveness. Since the materials are thicker and heavier than typical curtains, sound waves may be absorbed and blocked more successfully.
  2. Blocking Sound Waves: By creating a physical barrier, soundproof curtains stop sound waves from entering your home through your windows. This is especially useful for low-frequency noise, which can be difficult to suppress and frequently passes through solid buildings.
  3. Absorbing Sound: These curtains not only absorb sound energy but also block it. The thick materials of the curtain absorb sound waves and transform them into heat, which lessens the quantity of noise that reverberates back into space.
  4. Reducing Echo: Additionally, soundproof curtains reduce echo and reverberation in the space. Having a more acoustically pleasing home or working environment is a benefit of this.
  5. Effective Against Traffic Noise: Soundproof curtains are especially practical for combating low-frequency noise from sources like traffic. They can significantly reduce the impact of constant rumbling or droning sounds, making your space quieter and more comfortable.

When selecting soundproof curtains, consider factors like thickness, density, and the specific materials used.

A weather-tight seal

One useful and frequently disregarded way to deal with low-frequency noise problems in your home or place of business is weatherstripping.

It involves filling in any holes or fissures that could be present around doors and windows, fulfilling two vital functions at once.

Weatherstripping, first and foremost, improves energy efficiency by averting drafts, which in turn can help lower energy bills by causing heat gain or loss. It is equally significant in reducing the amount of sound leaking.

A more airtight seal is produced around windows and doors by using adhesive-backed weatherstripping materials, which also serves as a strong sound barrier.

This sealing keeps sound waves especially low-frequency ones that are frequently difficult to stop from entering your room through the cracks.

To address energy and noise problems, it’s critical to select weatherstripping materials that are not only good at sealing but also have soundproofing qualities.

When combined with other soundproofing techniques like acoustic panels or soundproof curtains, weatherstripping can make a big difference in creating a more peaceful and calm atmosphere.

Reposition furniture

Putting your furniture back in its proper place can be a useful and affordable solution to low-frequency noise problems in your home or office. Large, substantial furniture pieces like cupboards, sofas, and bookshelves can be used to physically block and absorb sound waves. 

These furniture pieces serve as barriers that help obstruct the path of sound transmission when they are positioned strategically between you and the source of the noise. 

Furthermore, furniture’s dense materials have the ability to absorb and dampen sound vibrations, which lessens the effect of low-frequency noise.

Thick Carpets & Rugs

Sound absorption can be achieved by thick carpets and rugs that have thick padding underneath, especially when it comes to low-frequency noise. 

By lessening the floor’s ability to transmit vibrations, these floor coverings help keep them out of your living and working areas. 

The carpet’s density and thickness serve as a buffer, absorbing sound energy and reducing its spread. 

This is especially helpful in spaces where sound tends to reverberate and bounce, such as those with hardwood or tile flooring.

Panels Mounted on Walls

When it comes to mitigating low-frequency noise, acoustic panels which are made expressly to absorb sound reflections can be a useful addition to any soundproofing plan. 

Usually made of fiberglass or foam, these panels are intended to reduce the amount of reverberation of sound in a space. Installing them on walls and ceilings will lessen low-frequency noise’s reverberation and echo. 

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The acoustic environment of your space can be greatly enhanced by placing them strategically in locations where sound tends to reflect or resonate. Proper placement is essential for optimizing their impact.

Thick Drapes

When draped across windows, heavy drapes with soundproofing qualities provide an extra barrier against low-frequency sounds. These curtains are commonly constructed with numerous layers and densely woven textiles, which improves their ability to block out sound. 

They provide an additional barrier when closed, which might lessen the amount of low-frequency sound waves that enter your room. 

They are an excellent addition to your soundproofing arsenal because of their thickness and density, which assist absorb and attenuate vibrations.

Electric outlet seals

Shared wall outlets and switches may unintentionally act as conduits for the transfer of noise. Use foam gaskets or soundproofing putty beneath the outlet covers to solve this problem. 

By doing this, any gaps or spaces surrounding these devices are effectively sealed off, preventing sound from passing through electrical conduits. 

By doing this, you can reduce noise leakage from one room to another by strengthening the sound barrier inside your walls.

Shelves containing books

Dense materials and bookshelves full of books can function as an efficient sound barrier against low-frequency noise. Placed next to walls that are close to busy locations, these bookcases efficiently absorb and prevent sound. 

This soundproofing method is both functional and aesthetically beautiful because of the density of the books and materials inside the shelves, which helps to limit sound dispersion.

Vinyl with a mass load (MLV)

A dense and adaptable soundproofing material that may be hung on walls or ceilings to give surfaces more heft and density is called mass-loaded vinyl, or MLV. 

This additional mass efficiently stops sound waves from traveling through it, which makes it very helpful in limiting the spread of low-frequency noise. 

Because MLV is adaptable and simple to install, it’s a great addition to your soundproofing project.

Improved Doors

Standard light-weight doors frequently don’t offer enough soundproofing, particularly when it comes to low-frequency sounds. Take into consideration swapping them out for solid-core doors, which have more bulk and density and are therefore more effective at blocking sound.

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To further minimize noise leakage around the door perimeter, install airtight seals around the doorframe. This all-encompassing method improves the door’s ability to block out sound, making it a crucial component in producing a quieter interior space.

Build a Soundproof Room

The most thorough and efficient way to cope with extremely low-frequency noise or create a completely noise-isolated zone in your house or place of business is to build a soundproof room. To achieve the highest level of soundproofing, this strategy combines specialized building techniques and materials.

Here’s a more in-depth explanation:

  • Double-Layered Drywall: One of the most important parts of a soundproof room is double-layered drywall on the walls and ceilings. These two layers are separated by a damping compound, like Green Glue, which helps to absorb and dissipate sound energy. The added mass and damping properties stop low-frequency noise from entering or leaving the room.
  • High-Density Insulation: High-density acoustic insulation is put in the walls, floors, and ceilings of a room to make it even less noisy. This insulation helps take in sound energy and stops low-frequency waves from getting through.
  • Before putting up the drywall, metal or wood strips called “resilient channels” are connected to the room’s frame. They make an air gap between the drywall and the frame, which stops vibrations and sound from going through the drywall. This makes the drywall less connected to the rest of the room, so it can stop low-frequency noise better.
  • Doors and Windows: A room should have sealed seals on the doors and windows to keep out noise. Special sound seals and gaskets are used around the door frame and window frames to make sure there are no gaps or leaks. This keeps sound from getting out through these holes.
  • Room Within a Room: The soundproof room is sometimes made as a “room within a room.” To do this, you’ll need to build an inner room with its own walls, floor, and ceiling. This room will be separated from the outer room by an air gap. Then, a lot of insulation is put in the inner room, which makes it even quieter.
  • Acoustic Panels: Even though insulation is the main goal, it’s important to pay attention to how the room sounds. Placement of acoustic panels on the walls and roof can help control sound reflections and cut down on echoes in a room. This helps make the surroundings more comfortable and sound-balanced.

Building a soundproof room is a significant investment in terms of time and resources, but it offers the ultimate solution for those dealing with extreme low-frequency noise issues or requiring a truly isolated space.

Final Thoughts!

Low-frequency noise can be a constant bother, but with the right strategies and a combination of these 13 steps, you can greatly reduce its effect on your everyday life. Whether you use earplugs, soundproofing materials, or talk to your neighbors, you can make your space quieter and more peaceful. Keep in mind that these methods often work best when used together, so don’t be afraid to change your approach to fit your needs.

About Author

Muhaiminul is the insightful article’s author on and a fervent DIY living enthusiast. Muhaiminul has spent countless hours learning about and exploring the world of soundproofing techniques and products because he has a deep fascination with creating peaceful and noise-free spaces. Muhaiminul shares helpful advice, detailed how-to guides, and product reviews on out of a desire to help others cultivate peace in their lives.

Quiet Hall Author

Muhaiminul Anik