by Ruhia

This inquiry is frequently asked in audio discussion groups and comments. Some people question whether or not the price of so-called soundproofing curtains is justified by their ability to effectively block out traffic noise, neighbor yelling, and other loud disturbances.

The quick answer is “YES,” curtains act as a significant sound barrier, but sure signs indicate if they will be effective.

When placed between walls, soundproof curtains significantly reduce noise transfer.

Although they claim to reduce noise, many curtain and window treatment options do very little. The soundproofing effectiveness of such a curtain will be minimal at best. Curtains designed to block sound are thick, heavy, and typically have an additional layer in the middle. Both vinyl and fabric are suitable for use in creating these intermediate layers. The effectiveness of curtains is typically reduced when they are layered with other curtain materials. Fortunately, the amount of sound transmitted through curtains can be measured scientifically.


The most effective method for soundproofing a room is to hang soundproofing curtains with a high STC rating. A curtain that has been given a rating from the Scientific Testing Committee (STC) is evidence that the claims made about it have been checked out in a laboratory setting.

The sound transmission class (STC) rating of a building partition indicates the amount of noise that is reduced by the barrier. In the United States, it is utilized extensively to assess the quality of a building’s partition walls, roofs, floors, windows, and doors. It is necessary to perform tests on a partition at several different frequencies to obtain an accurate reading of the amount of transmission loss it causes. A standardized transmission loss measurement dependent on frequency is called an STC rating.


The soundproofing capabilities of curtains, like those of other dividers, can be validated by completing tests in a laboratory setting. A material’s sound transmission class (STC) rating is roughly equivalent to the number of decibels (dB) it blocks. If you lower the volume of the noise by 10 decibels. It will appear as though it has been cut in half. Regarding extremely low frequencies, an STC rating is of decreasing practical value. For instance, one material might be very effective at muzzling human speech. But it might not be very good at silencing the rumbling of a train in the distance.

Drywall, studs, and insulation have a sound transmission class (STC) rating of 33, which can be used as a benchmark for determining how well soundproofing works. Ideally, your curtains should have an STC rating of between 20 and 30, but 30 is preferable. A product’s STC rating indicates how effectively it blocks sound; a rating of 50 indicates that no sound is blocked, while a rating of 30 indicates that sound transmission is reduced by 30%.

As with everything else, there is a significant variation in quality from one product to the next. Many currently available on the market claim that they will lessen or eliminate noise, but in reality, they do neither. Last but not least, remember that getting rid of the noise’s origin may not always be the best option. Sometimes, taking measures to absorb noise is preferable to other approaches.

Sound blocking vs. sound absorption.

Curtains are an additional option that can be utilized to lessen the amount of ambient noise. With the assistance of a soundproofing device, it is possible to prevent the passage of sound through a wall. With the assistance of a sound absorber, one can reduce reverberation and echo. The reverberation and acoustics of the space are improved due to their presence. While the material that is used for soundproofing is typically porous, lightweight, and low-density, the material that is used for sound absorption is typically dense, heavy, and non-porous.


You should shop for an item with a solid, weighty feel and an STC rating to prove that the company’s claims aren’t just empty bravado. Unless the product has been given an STC rating, you should expect to get little use out of it. Confirm with the manufacturer that the soundproof curtain will address your specific concerns.

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