Sound isolation for general music listening in basement - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 2 Old 12-01-2017, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Sound isolation for general music listening in basement

I'm looking for a decent middle ground for isolating sound between the main floor of our home and a 2500sqft basement we're finishing this winter. My HT was a bunker build so sound isolation came easy (although there's a lot of sound deadening to get rid of flutter of course) but now comes the time to do the rest of the audio in the basement. The basement has a guest room, workout room, craft room, a bathroom and the rest is all open(about 1800sqft). The exercise rom is pretty easy to isolate with in-wall's that are mounted on shared wall with the utility room so sound leak into that area is acceptable. The craft room has a laundry above so I can use some ceiling speakers with boxes and insulation around and not worry too much if sound leaks above.

The guest room though would have the TV mounted on the exercise room wall so I need to address sound isolation there somehow, this is one of my questions as I bought some MLV but I don't know if that's enough? Double drywall on each side, MLV and in-wall or do I go wall-mounted speakers? I do want distributed audio available in all rooms and wonder if in-wall, wall mounted, or ceiling will be better, each with their own tradeoffs (as I prefer ceiling for music listening and in/on wall for TV.

The bathroom will have distributed audio as well and has our sons bedroom right above it. Again, ceiling would be ideal (with a marine speaker in the shower) but sound isolation here is important.

Now the hardest part. The main open area will be where the music is played the loudest and has the master bedroom, living, family, and kitchen all above it. I fear ceiling speakers would not be isolated enough without a LOT of green glue, double drywall, and maybe even clips. I could go on-wall and double drywall the ceiling (I'm torn on insulating the ceiling as I'm the type that likes to add and change network and low voltage related wiring at times and insulation might get in the way) to help isolate sound. On-wall seam like the best for not needing to do a lot of extra sound isolation work but are not great looking when I need about 10-16 speakers for the H shaped open area. In-wall also might be even harder in some spots to make work well for sound vs on-wall. In ceiling would be best but again sound isolation is tough.

I will note on our main floor, I did not use the best back boxes and I can hear the family room TV outside of our home even at typical listening levels so I'm not sure back boxes work well for in-ceiling, unless the ones I used on our main floor were just terrible for sound isolation.

I'm curious what people would suggest as some 90% isolation options that aren't overly labor or cost intensive. Some bleed through is fine, but I don't want to end up like our main floor where you can hear the TV outside the home with those ceiling speakers.
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post #2 of 2 Old 12-01-2017, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by distoga View Post
I'm looking for a decent middle ground for isolating sound between the main floor of our home and a 2500sqft basement we're finishing this winter. My HT was a bunker build so sound isolation came easy (although there's a lot of sound deadening to get rid of flutter of course) but now comes the time to do the rest of the audio in the basement. The basement has a guest room, workout room, craft room, a bathroom and the rest is all open(about 1800sqft). The exercise rom is pretty easy to isolate with in-wall's that are mounted on shared wall with the utility room so sound leak into that area is acceptable. The craft room has a laundry above so I can use some ceiling speakers with boxes and insulation around and not worry too much if sound leaks above.

The guest room though would have the TV mounted on the exercise room wall so I need to address sound isolation there somehow, this is one of my questions as I bought some MLV but I don't know if that's enough? Double drywall on each side, MLV and in-wall or do I go wall-mounted speakers? I do want distributed audio available in all rooms and wonder if in-wall, wall mounted, or ceiling will be better, each with their own tradeoffs (as I prefer ceiling for music listening and in/on wall for TV.

The bathroom will have distributed audio as well and has our sons bedroom right above it. Again, ceiling would be ideal (with a marine speaker in the shower) but sound isolation here is important.

Now the hardest part. The main open area will be where the music is played the loudest and has the master bedroom, living, family, and kitchen all above it. I fear ceiling speakers would not be isolated enough without a LOT of green glue, double drywall, and maybe even clips. I could go on-wall and double drywall the ceiling (I'm torn on insulating the ceiling as I'm the type that likes to add and change network and low voltage related wiring at times and insulation might get in the way) to help isolate sound. On-wall seam like the best for not needing to do a lot of extra sound isolation work but are not great looking when I need about 10-16 speakers for the H shaped open area. In-wall also might be even harder in some spots to make work well for sound vs on-wall. In ceiling would be best but again sound isolation is tough.

I will note on our main floor, I did not use the best back boxes and I can hear the family room TV outside of our home even at typical listening levels so I'm not sure back boxes work well for in-ceiling, unless the ones I used on our main floor were just terrible for sound isolation.

I'm curious what people would suggest as some 90% isolation options that aren't overly labor or cost intensive. Some bleed through is fine, but I don't want to end up like our main floor where you can hear the TV outside the home with those ceiling speakers.
I personally mounted a 9.4 system theater 4 speakers in ceiling 2 speakers rear in wall two speakers side in wall the method I used was 2 by 6 walls that allowed 4 to buy 2 inch long box behind the in-wall speakers which are all shallow mount then I was able to put sound barrier insulation behind them in the ceiling it was vapor barrier placed just above stapled to floor joists with insulation all around to create the in ceiling boxes keep in mind the box is I have found to be mainly for increasing sound depth bass related which is why I use 4 Subs to fill the excess sound Gap most in ceiling and in-wall are not very Bassy so as long as you can get decent insulation behind them I use safe and sound mineral insulation with solid wood doors and found it worked great as for your wiring it's a lot of work but I ran conduit same thing prefinished walls like to change my wiring you can get flexible wiring conduit might make it easier but you'll end up cutting small patches in your drywall to feed it through sounds like you're a do-it-yourselfer so it shouldn't be too much work definitely pays off in the end as I have changed my wiring twice to accommodate advancements in technology

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