The Best Sound in Your Home

David Bates / May 16, 2012-11:19 am

While you’re sitting in your condominium, can you can hear your neighbors’ conversations, footsteps, baby crying or stereo? Joe Drago of New England Soundproofing  says he can solve that. In the past, the only thing that separated sounds between floors was the ceiling and a wood floor. More recently, contractors constructing quality condo homes installed fiberglass insulation in between the floor joists. That helped a little. However, this method is not very effective against anything that vibrates. Although, some developers may have gone an extra mile in managing sound transfer, Joe Drago suggests that when anyone tells you a place is soundproof, ask for a list of materials that made it “so-called sound-proof.” Bates Real Estate Report suggestion: Give the list to Joe for his feedback.

When I was a victim to the sounds of my neighbor, it felt pretty much like this.

State of the art soundproofing involves tearing down the ceiling or walls and installing products with high sound transmission classes (STC’s), like isolation clips. According to Joe, the cost of soundproofing may run $25 – $50 a square foot. According to his customers, the quiet is “priceless.” Just ask Joe’s customer who owns a Hawthorne Place condominium in Beacon Hill. Her ceiling was re-done and as a result, not only has it greatly reduced the amount of sound that her condominium gets, it has changed the sound, so that it is much more palatable and innocuous.

If the offending sounds coming into your home aren’t from your neighbors, but from outside, it’s likely because your windows aren’t soundproof. Richard Mann of EZ soundproof says that “Glass magnifies and projects sounds.” According to their website EZ’s windows provide up to 95% soundproofing and stops traffic noise… as well as the noise of sirens, garbage trucks, music and drunkards from entering your home. Maybe you hesitated buying on a busy street because you feared the disruptive sounds, but there are numerous video testimonials on EZ’s website attesting to their products ability to stop outside sounds from becoming unwanted visitors in you condominium, including one from a Berklee School of Music recording engineer who operates a studio on busy Massachusetts Avenue in Boston. Other videos feature South End homeowners glowing about the impact the windows have had in the quality of their home life, while trucks and buses race silently by the window behind them.

The sound of silence, arguably the best sound in your home.