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How to reduce road noise

Quiet your car with Dynamat

In our final installment in the Car Stereo Proving Ground series, we examine the effects of Dynamat on sound quality. We had better-than-expected results, achieving an incredible 9dB drop in road noise in most situations, and better results over noisy terrain. The Dynamat greatly reduces noise, which in turns makes our music sound more detailed and present.

Read all about it in our article, Putting Dynamat to the Test.

How to reduce road noise with Dynamat | Video Transcript

Welcome back to the Crutchfield Labs and this ongoing saga with the Ford F-150. We're really trying to define for you, the consumer, where to help spend your money, and what's gonna make the biggest difference. And one of the things that people have always told us is that Dynamat makes a big difference. I believe that as well, but I can't tell you how much of a difference that it really makes. So today we're going to try to validate, now that we've created a baseline in the truck, we're gonna try to validate what difference Dynamat actually does for us.

And the theory is, that if we had done Dynamat along the way, yes, we would have perceived probably and gained incremental value by doing that. However, we couldn't tell you at all on where that actually helps, and what it actually helps. So the plan for today is we're gonna actually get in the vehicle and we're gonna drive around in three real-world scenario driving conditions. We're gonna take the truck on kind of a dirt/gravel road. We're gonna take the truck at normal speeds around, say, 25 to 30 miles an hour around town, and then we're gonna take the truck up to highway speeds, probably around 65 miles an hour.

Alright, so we just took a road trip and what we determined was that certainly, you know, engine noise, road noise, wind noise, other car noise all tends to be in this low frequency.and now you probably understand better why I wanted my slope the way I want it.

This was a quick snapshot we took at about 35 miles an hour, but when we were up to 65 it got a little extended out even a little further — all the way up to 1.25k., even 2k at one point. The point is, we should be able to kill a lot of this with some Dynamat. We're gonna do these pieces at a time. We're gonna do the doors first. Then we're gonna do probably the hood and the floors. And then we're last gonna do the headliner and the really, really, last I guess will be the rear doors.

But, you know, we think that we're gonna be able to see some marked improvement, and hopefully get better SPL out of the system. I expect maybe 1dB. I expect that we'll also get better bass response. I know we'll get less rattles in the system, and it should even have a little more impact from the midrange as well. So hang on.

It certainly doesn't sound like the same truck. This is the noisy bridge. 90. It has literally been a long bumpy road — a long process. I'm kind of tired of taking the seats in and out. But I tell you what, we learned a lot. We learned that basically just having Dynamat in the car killed the road noise and wind noise of standard driving about 9dB. But when we were on gravel roads or bumpy roads, 16dB of noise reduction to the overall sound system. So that's pretty awesome.

What I've also noticed since living with this for a little bit longer is that the response in the mid-bass and the midrange has really jumped. I've gotten a lot more impact and a lot more visceral response out of the doors, which means that we're getting more frequencies. How do I know this? Well, when I went to re-tune the car I actually had to bring several of the midrange frequencies down because they were now out of my target curve. So that's great news. So we're driving the speaker less hard, it's, the enclosure, or the door itself, is actually helping to work a little bit harder, and overall the sound is great.

The best news is, I think we're done for a while, so we're gonna enjoy the system and then we'll be ready for the next round of gear that we want to throw in and test in the mobile lab. Thanks for joining us on this great experiment.

  • Brad from Winfield, IA

    Posted on 1/31/2021

    I just purchased a brand-new 2020 Chevrolet Equinox. I am very disappointed in the sound system (I got the basic system and blame myself) so I'm overhauling the sound system. I'm starting out with simply switching out the stock speakers for aftermarkets (eventually adding a 4- channel amp for these, mono sub amp and sub) and want to squeeze the most out of the upgrades. My question: in this new vehicle with modern-day insulation and such, would it be financially reasonable to purchase this stuff? Times are tough and my budget is tight. Thank you for your insight.

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 3/22/2021

    Brad, Adding sound treatment to a vehicle always improves the signal-to-noise ratio, but if your finances won't allow it, so be it.
  • Dan Lue Everett from Foster City, Ca

    Posted on 9/28/2020

    Question, if you could do only doors or only floors which would give the biggest impact

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 9/29/2020

    Dan, Most people start with the doors and speaker locations.
  • ARIEL ESQUIVEL from Omaha

    Posted on 8/15/2020

    So where exactly in your doors do these dynamats go?

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 8/18/2020

    Ariel, The best approach to noise-deadening is to apply these sheets to every metal surface you can reach - both the inside of the door's outer surface and the parts facing the interior.
  • Don from emerald isle

    Posted on 1/23/2020

    where did dynomat get installed? doors only? article sid it would eventually do more area?

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 1/24/2020

    Don, Jeff, with help from JP, installed Dynamat just about everywhere possible in his truck. That means that after doing the doors they took out the seating, carpeting, and headliner; applied the Dynamat to the floor and ceiling of the cab; and then reassembled everything. The results were stunningly good - the F-150 rode very quietly. Check it out here. (Neither Jeff nor JP work at Crutchfield anymore.)
  • Erik Almaraz from Manchaca

    Posted on 10/12/2019

    I recently installed an aftermarket exhaust system and although it sounds awesome on the outside I hear a lot of the drone in the cab. Will this help with reducing drone?

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 10/14/2019

    Erik, Most people who install aftermarket exhausts like to hear that droning rumble and roar. Unfortunately for you, sound-deadening will not block out those low-frequency sounds and vibrations very well, if at all.
  • Stan from Bloomfield, NJ

    Posted on 4/10/2019

    Here's a novel application for Dynamat: I have an older house that I am not able to upgrade to central A/C or the newer mini-splits, so I must use window or wall A/C units. In my college days, I worked as an A/C mechanic in the summers, on units from the '60s and '70s. The best of those units had asphalt impregnated felt noise absorption material on the outside of the firewall to prevent outdoor compressor and fan noise from getting inside the house. Most of today's window A/C's have little more than Styrofoam, and possibly thin sheet metal between the inside and outside, meaning that all that machinery noise (and a fair amount of street noise) gets inside. A layer of Dynamat on exposed areas of sheet metal substantially quiets these units down, just as it does in your car. Well worth the time and money invested. Note: I would not recommend wrapping any refrigeration components such as the compressor; they would likely run hotter and shorten the life of your unit.

  • James

    Posted on 3/1/2019

    I have sound deaden that I'm waiting to install when it's warmer. After doing a lot of research on home speakers and those that may need deadening, I find it interesting while sound deadening material is placed inside a speaker box, we're all installing deadening material to the outside of the inside of one's vehicle doors. Besides being difficult to install inside the door itself, I can't help wondering if installing deadening on the outside of the door makes a huge deference? I guess it's more about reducing vibration of one's doors, than the absorption of the back-wave and other mechanical noises that could come back through the cone. Anyway, I may attempt to install my dampening material differently than every article and video I've read or seen. Thoughts?

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 3/2/2019

    James, You needn't over-think things concerning sound-deadening. Applying sound deadening material to every area of bare metal you can reach will improve the sound environment inside your vehicle.
  • Jesse Nash from Sarasota Fl

    Posted on 8/15/2018

    I am 74 and unable to do an installation. Do you have anyone in Sarasota Fl. area that can install for a Camry 2017?

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 8/15/2018

    Jesse, We don't give installer recommendations because we can't guarantee the quality of their services. I suggest you start with an online search for car stereo installation in Sarasota and research the results, including reviews.
  • Janice J.

    Posted on 8/11/2017

    When I hear the word noise, it reminds me of the overwhelming wind noise that I had to endure in my roadster until I managed to find a good wind deflector to rein that in. Thanks to the Zefferus windscreen, cabin is calm as a clam.

  • Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/1/2017

    Adi, Adding Dynamat will reduce audible road noise and door reverberation, improving the signal-to-noise ratio of your system. It will not affect the system's tone.

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