When installing a performance car audio system into a vehicle, it is critical that we do sound treatment process. This process allow us to prevent unwanted noise like rattles and vibrations and helps us to get cleaner sounding bass and better sound quality from our mids and highs. So what does it takes to do sound treatment process on to a vehicle. You basically need two important tools to do the process which is a sound deadener sheet and a roller to install it on the surface and spread it evenly. Before starting the sound treatment process we have to consider that every car audio install has a budget! You can spend just a little on speakers, amplifiers and subwoofers and get a certain level of performance or you can spend a lot more and get a higher level of performance. This is a similar theme for the application of sound treatment. We will be able to listen the fine details in the music after dampening process as we are removing the ability of the panel to vibrate. The vibration is the loss of energy, the more we prevent it the louder our system will be!
Now the next is how much sound treatment sheets you need to sound treat the whole car?
That totally depends upon you budget how many sheets you are getting for your car. If you do not have a high level car audio installed in the vehicle you do not require to have high level of sound treatment installed. A audio system with very loud equipments like subwoofers with thousand watts power creates large amount of rattles and vibrations which flex the surface of the vehicle. In such cases you need a high level sound treatment for entire car to reduce the amount of vibrations and noise which reduces the experience of music. A entry level sound treatment also works very good for the car even if you are having a stock music setup installed. Sound treatment is really a time consuming process but the results are definitely worth it!
NOTE: Always use a good brand of dampening sheets which is tested properly before installing in your car as a mass produced or cheap non branded dampening sheets which is not even tested gets melted in the vehicle and foul smell starts to come in the cabin of the car. Do not go for sound treatment process if you do not have proper budget for it. Get it done once with good quality dampening sheets only.
Types of Sound treatments
There are various kinds of sound treatment materials available in the market as per the purpose and the location for treating the sound. First is the sound dampening sheets which are also known as sound deadening sheets which is made up of butyl and aluminium which are installed on the surface of the car which is flexing. This sheet adds up weight to the surface attached and give it more strength and rigid so that when the bass hits the surface it will not resonate. Butyl dampening sheets comes in various thickness as well according to the need and purpose of installation like starting from 1.8mm to 2.2mm is common for the general car audio sound treatments. These sheets can be cut into pieces as well for easy installations and can be used to treat majorly the doors, floors and trunk of the car.
A sheet made of acoustical foam with butyl at the backside works as an adhesive is also one of the kind of sound treatment material used in the vehicle. The butyl and foam mixed dampening sheets are mostly 4.0mm thick which contains 3 different layers of sound deadening material but they are expensive in price too. A very useful sound treatment thing is a damp rope which is used to seal the corners or number plates of the car from flexing.
Speaker foam rings are also available for better mid bass performance in the doors which helps to beam the speaker directly to the grills of the car door panel. This will increase the accuracy of the mid bass more better than stock.
Why there is need for Sound Treatment?
Sound Treatment helps to increase the listening experience of the music by eliminating the noise like rattles and the vibrations in the vehicles. The sound treatment helps to increase the mid bass of the speaker in the doors. Sometimes the doors have open areas which brings noise into the vehicle, that problem is also solved by sound treatment.
If you are not upgrading to a high end music system but want to get a feeling of closed and isolated feeling in the car, the sound treatment is the perfect solution as no body wants unwanted noise coming into the cabin of the car. A silent cabin of the car will make you feel less fatigue than a stock normal car.
The doors of the car are the most integral part for the noise, So they should be treated first while you starting the process of sound treatment. The doors of the car have 3 major parts which should be covered by the sound treatment material. The inner part of the door, the centre layer of the door and the back side of the door panel which is made up of a flimsy plastic which rattles the most when the mid bass of the speaker punches the bass in the doors. Make sure you do not put the sound treatment materials on the parts of fitment of the door panel to the door of the car. The best material for the door panels is the acoustical foam for sound deadening. Make sure all the locks of the door panel are intact and on the place perfectly to seal the door perfectly after the treatment.
How to apply sound treatment?
First clean the surface by a rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth, so that the material should well stick to the surface and be effective. make sure the surface is not at all have any kinds of oil as it will not let the material to stick on to it properly and even if it sticks then it will come off in sometime. Cut the sound treatment material into pieces according to the size of the area, they are going to be installed on. Do not try to fully cover every part of the door panel as it will not increase the response of the sound treatment. Avoid applying on to the wire harness in the doors.
If you are going for treating the floors of the car, Always start from vacuuming the floor and clean it properly first as they dust collected on the floor can prevent the sheet to stick on the floors.
The dampening sheets should be properly installed by the roller and rubbed to the surface to stick better and spread evenly. The most important part of the vehicle which should be treated properly is the trunk of the car, when the subwoofer is playing the trunk becomes a second cabin for the subwoofer so the vibrations and rattles chances are the highest in the trunk area or even the boot lid of the car. Avoid cutting the dampening sheet after sticking it to the vehicle as it will leave marks on the surface of the car and do not throw away the small cut pieces as they can be used at different places where you do not need larger pieces to install.