Sound dampening in an open/non-dedicated HT. - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 2 Old 05-23-2013, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a contractor coming in to finish our basement in July and in one section I'm having a non-dedicated HT area. I'm super excited!

Anyways, I'm becoming increasingly concerned with sound transmission. Right now I can hear a little bit of sound coming through the vents with just laptop speakers at full volume down there (granted its unfinished completely at the moment). R-13 in the ceiling doesn't seem to do much from what I've read, sound clips seem expensive ($6-$8/ea + channel is probably ~$1000 for the whole basement). Given that this isn't a closed off room (3 walls), the floor above is all hardwood, and the room above the media room is "open" and goes all the way to the second floor - what are some non budget-breaking ideas that I can pass by my contractor? Would only treating the immediate area and not the whole basement be worth it?
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post #2 of 2 Old 05-24-2013, 07:37 AM
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A couple of things....

Your estimate for clips is too high. Contact Ted (or John ) at

Here are my thoughts on open concept rooms.

I have an open concept room. I have a theater area roughly 12'x17'x7'2" that fully opens to a bar area about 12'x17'x8' that leads to an entrace hallway and hallway to the bathroom and closed off storage area. Basically, it's L-shaped.

My overiding idea was to do as much to the room as I could, knowing that there would be compromises. You want to build the room to be as good it can be, then deal with what's left over. So, do the things that you CAN'T go back and do once drywall is up. I clipped and channeled the ENTIRE ceiling and used the L-shaped clips on ALL the stud walls so ALL walls and ceilings are decoupled (yes, even the bathroom!). I replaced all metal ducts that crossed the drywalled ceilings with soft, insulated ducts and added two supplies while I was at it. Then R19 in ceilings and R13 in the walls. Then double 5/8s X-Type drywall and Green Glue inbetween throughout the ENTIRE basement.

Frankly, I couldn't be happier with the results. I still have not beefed up the door to the basement and I don't think I need to. The seats shake WITHOUT the buttkickers turned on and it doesn't bother anyone upstairs. It's BARELY noticable in the family room directly above and you can't hear a thing on the upper floor, even with the door to the basement OPEN.

Remember, the REAL objective of decoupled walls, etc (usually referred to as "soundproofing") is to stop outside noise from getting INTO the room. The fact that it helps keep sound from getting out is only a happy coincidence.

Tom Logan
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