So your car stereo system sound impressive in the parking lot or in your garage, but when you’re on the highway or just driving around town, it leaves a lot to be desired. The distortion kicks in, the sound gets muddy, the overall volume drops, and the bass disappears. By the time you get home your ears are numb from the pounding and your music has lost that crisp edge. You get frustrated thinking that your car stereo system is to blame.
The very next day, you hustle out to your car, turn the key in the ignition, and your music is quite loud and sounds pretty good. What changed? What makes the stereo system sound much better than the day before? Chances are, road and engine noise played an important role in compromising the quality of your music, sapping performance from your car audio system and unnecessarily abusing your speakers (and your ears).
The noise can come from all over — tire hum, engine whine, wind, exhaust, nasty rattles and vibrations — which is a lot of noise to compete with your music. Road noise is irritating and can greatly impact and make any custom car audio system sound like mush in no time.
The good news, however, is that you can reduce the road noise to a reasonable level by installing a sound-damping material like Dynamat. Sound deadening materials work like magic.
They eliminate speaker resonance and cut down on road, tire, and engine noise, keeping unwanted sounds out of the cabin. This translates to tremendous sound quality gain. All in all, sound deadening materials are very effective at creating a more acoustically friendly environment for your car audio components – speakers and subwoofers.
Is Dynamat the best sound deadening material?
Dynamat is indeed one of the best sound deadening materials on the market. It’s very effective at isolating the cabin from external noise. It’s a bit expensive than most deadening materials we’ve come across, however it does a great job at creating a more acoustically friendly environment for your car stereo system.
Most vehicle manufacturers don’t invest heavily in making the sound system of their vehicles sound great — they’ve got plenty of other issues to think about.
That’s the reason why most factory-installed speakers aren’t anything to write home about. And to add insult to injury, these speakers are mounted in sheet metal enclosures (door enclosures for example).
Metal isn’t by any means acoustically sound. Have you ever heard or seen a speaker mounted in a sheet metal enclosure? Of course not. It’s the worst material to make a speaker enclosure with.
Yet, that’s exactly what’s inside most vehicles, and that’s exactly how most car speakers are mounted. In a tin can. So no wonder why your speakers sound great when you’re parked, but once your vehicle starts moving, the cabin gets filled with noise, the highs get muddy, and the bass disappears.
How much Dynamat is needed?
Well, it depends. If budget is not a constraint, I’d say you should Dynamat the full cabin. However, if you’re on tight budget, consider Dynamat for the doors as well as any other area where speakers are mounted. Dynamat has different kits, and packages of pre-cut sheets designed for specific installations.
You can also buy Dynamat in bulk and wrap the whole cabin in it. So, it’s up to you to decide how much sound dampening you need, and how much you have to spend.
To do a full cabin, you’ll need to buy a Dynamat mega bulk pack. Dynamat offers Xtreme Mega Bulk Pack which is about 72 square feet and should be enough for the entire cabin. Dynamat Xtreme is a great sound dampener and has a heat-resistant aluminum coating which makes it suitable not only for the cabin, but also for warm areas such as under the hood.
So, the first step is to remove all door panels, the seats, panels, carpeting and the headliner. And start applying Dynamat Xtreme on all exposed metal surfaces. That’s usually more than enough to notice a big difference. However, some people go a step further and add a few more layers of protective noise reduction and thermal insulation materials to the headliner, floor, and hood.
Dynamat DynaPad – Use it under the floor carpet
Once you’re done applying Dynamat Xtreme to the floor of your car, you can go a step further and overlay that with an extra layer of DynaPad.
DynaPad is a 3/8″, four-layer composite barrier material designed to provide an under carpet sound barrier in automotive interiors, residential and commercial applications.
The downside, however, is that It’s not cheap, but it can make a night and difference. So, if you’ve already taken the seats out of the cabin, just go for it and add the Dynapad in there.
Dynapad comes in a roll, 54″ x 32″. To cover the entire cabin floor with Dynapad, you’ll need four of these. Two for the front, one split between the rear seats footrest and one for the trunk.
Dynamat Dynaliner – Use it for your headliner
Dynaliner is similar to DynaPad. It provides high acoustic absorption and excellent thermal insulation. It comes in various thicknesses (1/8″, 1/4″ and 1/2″); ; the 1/2″ size is used most frequently.
You might ask yourself why do I need an extra layer for the headliner. Is it worth? Hell yes, it is. A lot of noise can come in through the roof of a vehicle, but Dynaliner is very effective at cutting down a lot of it, and thereby allowing for a quieter listening experience in your car.
Dynamat Hoodliner – Use it under the hood
So you have a vehicle with a very powerful engine which makes a bit of noise? Or is your vehicle fitted with a diesel engine which is quite loud? Well, you can cut down much of that noise coming from the engine and stop it from reaching the interior cabin by using Dynamat Hoodliner.
The Dynamat Hoodliner consists of a specially treated acoustic dampening material that is oil and water resistant and provides up to 97% heat reflection. It also has a cleanable, reflective aluminized skin.
How to install Dynamat
Installing Dynamat is quite easy. Once you’ve removed all the door panels, the seats, panels, carpeting and the headliner, start off by cleaning any dusty or dirty surfaces before applying Dynamat to insure a good adhesion.
The steps to install Dynamat are pretty much:
- Cut to shape
- Stick and press into place (you can use a heat gun and a roller to mold the sheets for a custom fit)
Is Dynamat worth the investment?
Installing Dynamat take time, money, and effort. So is it worth all of that? Hell yes, it is. If you’re going to shell out some serious dough for quality speakers and subwoofers, why not invest a bit more in sound deadening materials like Dynamat and get the best performance possible out of those components?
Install Dynamat in your vehicle and say goodbye to rattles, resonance, vibrations and distortion. All in all, sound deadening materials – even the cheapest ones – can make noticeable difference. It feels to me like upgrading a car stereo system without using some sort of dampening material as taking two steps forward and taking one step back.
If you’re on a tight-budget, however, the least you can do is to use Dynamat – or any other sound deadening material – wherever you speakers are mounted. That’s not going to cost you a ton of cash, but it sill way better than mounting speakers in a sheet metal enclosure.
There are various sound deadening materials. If for whatever reason you don’t want to go for Dynamat, here are a few different alternative sound dampening materials for you.
- B-quiet is a pretty big name in the sound deadening material industry. They make some of the best sound deadening materials. Take for example the “B-Quiet Ultimate” which is a viscoelastic deadener with a supercharged butyl based adhesive and an aluminum constraining layer which is proved to be extremely efficient at the conversion of vibration to thermal energy. B-Quiet Ultimate is 1.6mm thick, weighs 0.35 lb/sq. ft. comes in 1 foot wide rolls and is available in 2 sizes – 12 and 50 sq. ft. rolls
- Fatmat is one of the most affordable sound deadening solutions for anyone who’s looking to cut down noise level without breaking the bank. It’s lighter than Dynamat and it’s a bit cheaper. Because this material has a low heat tolerance, we highly recommend not using it if you’re living in a very hot climate area like Florida. It’s wise to invest in something that will last you forever, than to invest in some crappy material that will start to melt and peel off the next summer.
- Hushmat is another well-known sound and thermal insulation product in the industry. HushMat is self-adhesive and will stick to any interior surface. It’s said to reduce noise by up to 15 decibels as well as reduce heat by 70%.