Reviews of 10 Best Automotive Sound Deadening Materials
Installing sound deadening materials in your vehicle will completely change your life. However, if you’ve never considered doing that, getting into it can be a bit overwhelming. What are some of the best automotive sound deadening materials on the market? Which brands should you use or avoid?
I’ll admit it, when I started looking for ways to make my life quieter, I initially neglected to think about my car. But can you blame me? Like many other people, I didn’t really know why someone would need to soundproof their vehicle or even what that would look like.
Well, if you’re like I was all that time ago, you’re in luck. Today, I’m going to answer some of the most common questions people have about sound deadening products for cars:
- Which types of products are out there and what are their uses?
- What are some of the features you should be looking for when you shop?
- Which tools do you need to apply them?
And, of course, I’m going to review 10 of the best automotive sound deadening materials as well. But first, let’s start at the very beginning.
a) Sound Isolation Types
As you may be aware, soundproofing materials on the whole serve one of two purposes. They’re either sound blockers — so they prevent noise from going in and coming out of a space — or they’re sound absorbers. The latter type of products actually softens the sound within a space. If you have acoustic foam in your home, you know exactly what types of effects you can expect from these products.
Well, automotive sound deadening materials serve slightly different purposes. Actually, many of them act as both blockers and absorbers. But they also need to be able to prevent the rattling of metal parts within the vehicle. So let’s discuss what types of products we can use to improve the sound quality inside a car.
b) Material Type
There are four available materials when automotive sound deadening is concerned that come to mind. Each of these materials absorbs various vibrations, sound waves, and resonance in their own ways. Just as equally, each of these materials has its own intended use, meaning that some of them can’t be used in all areas. They are as follows:
- Sound deadening car mats: They are usually the first thing that comes to mind, and people often use them to cover panels.
- Woven fiber and foam insulation products: These two types of insulation products are other options you might use underneath the carpet and the floor mats of your vehicle.
- Sound dampening sprays: They are used in situations when regular matting is impossible. It is the least used method because they are dependent on using a compressor in order to be applied.
Sound deadening mats for cars can have multiple uses. Not only are they good for sound isolation but they also keep the temperature cool/warm in the car. They are quite affordable, lightweight, and easy to install as well, which are additional benefits.
This factor is almost self-explanatory. You can either opt for a thicker material or a multilayered use of the regular ones. Either way, the same rule applies; the thicker your sound insulation, the better.
The size of the material that you get solely depends on the surface area that you intend to cover. Sound deadening materials for cars often come rolled up. That means that you can cut them however you want in order for them to fit a particular shape. On the other hand, some manufacturers sell them in sheets/patches, which are more suitable for smaller area coverage. There are several other options, which are mentioned above (sprays and insulation) but their use is limited to certain areas.
10 BEST SOUND DEADENING (INSULATING) MATERIALS CURRENTLY ON THE MARKET
If these products are listed according to any particular order, it’s going to be according to their popularity. Or, at least according to their reputation. So I will start with the one people have the most good things to say about. But we’ll see if it can be beaten by one of the other products on my list.
Still, you should keep in mind that all of these sound deadening materials are on this list for a good reason. With that being said, let’s just dive into these reviews.
Dynamat is definitely the most famous sound deadening mat brand on the market. But, before you start thinking that they don’t deserve that reputation, allow me to explain why this company’s products have long been considered the most effective automotive soundproofing materials around.
In fact, Dynamat might be the original aluminum-front, butyl-back product. It offers a great reduction in sound and vibrations. And since it’s a butyl material, it’s also particularly heat-resistant and odorless. Not to mention that it’s pretty easy to apply, at least when you know what you’re doing.
The one criticism Dynamat customers have for the company seems to be its pricing. I’ll admit it, I’ve harped on this point in the past. However, I’ve also admitted to the fact that the price may be justified, when you think about the advantages of using Dynamat. Still, I can’t say that I’m not pleased with the fact that it’s no longer the only automotive sound deadening product on the market.
The 67 mil Dynamat Xtreme is probably one of the most effective products in the company’s lineup. According to the company, this product is actually lighter than the original version of Dynamat and 4 times as effective. Apparently, you’d need heat to apply the original Dynamat. Thankfully, that’s not the case anymore.
Nowadays, the brand has several versions of the product available, including some that are specifically made for rear decks, cabin or trunk floors, or doors. There are even different weights of the product, as you can see from the Dynamat SuperLite bulk pack. Although this thinner version of the product may sacrifice a bit on efficiency, it’s much easier to install than regular Dynamat.
In addition to the Dynamat sound deadening mats, there are also several other products you might use in your car.
The company released separate products for each part of your car in order to increase the overall success of their products’ performance. Each of these products can be used together in order to achieve maximum efficiency. There are Dynapads (for floors and trunks), Dynaliners (for headliners), and Dynamat Hood liners (for the hood). As far as vibration, sound, and heat reduction is concerned, they are second to none.
1.1. Dynaliner and Dynapad
Dynaliner and Dynapad are both Dynamat products that have their own purposes. For example, the primary purpose of Dynaliner is to improve your car’s heat-resistance and deaden the sound.
While Dynamat can be used anywhere around the car, this synthetic rubber foam material is usually confined to the doors or under the hood. After all, these are the usual areas we usually worry about letting heat in. So if you’ve had issues with that before — or you frequently find yourself leaving your car out in the sun — something like this might come in handy.
The material comes in several thicknesses, with the thinnest 0.12-inch one being the only one to be able to fit inside a door. On the other hand, Dynapad is about as thick as the thickest version of Dynaliner, at about 0.45 inches.
Unlike Dynaliner, this product is waterproof — as it should be, if it’s going to go on the floor of the car. Also, unlike Dynaliner and Dynamat, Dynapad isn’t self-adhesive. Since it’s going to go under the carpet, you can just put it on the floor, cover it with the carpet, and forget about it.
I’ve already written about the differences between these products before, so you can check that out if you’re curious to know more.
There is really nothing bad to say about Dynamat, except for the price, which is pretty steep. However, it’s a known fact that this is a popular brand name and so it might be a bit more expensive, but it definitely delivers.
But now, let’s talk about a brand that’s built their reputation as the more budget-friendly version of Dynamat.
Ever since people started figuring out that Noico products can get them results that are similar to the ones Dynamat gives them but at a lower price, this brand has been gaining in popularity. In fact, I’ve even written a more in-depth comparison of the two before.
Long story short, while Dynamat is technically the purer butyl product, Noico gives you nearly the same quality at a lower price. Besides, if the brand that comes out with the thickest deadening mat wins the match, then Noico’s 80 mil mat is the clear victor here.
That version of the product comes in a pack that can cover a surface of 36 square feet. However, there are also smaller coverage packs, of about 10 or 18 square feet. Additionally, if you’re concerned with the appearance of your vehicle in the places where the foil top layer of the mat will be visible, you can rest easy. Noico also makes a black version of this product.
There are also various other thicknesses available for those who don’t need that much coverage, such as the 50 mil Noico mat. And, their other products can be even thicker than 80 mils.
2.1. Noico Green Liner
The Noico Green liner is Noico’s answer to Dynamat’s Dynaliner. The 170 mil sheets come in 18 square foot packs. This product is actually closed-cell polyethylene foam that serves as both heat and sound insulation. It will easily withstand temperatures up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
These liners are both meant to block the noise coming out of your engine. They’re also supposed to prevent the heat from the engine from damaging the paint on top of the hood. Additionally, the fact that this material is water, oil, and petrol-resistant is also pretty great.
Although Kilmat isn’t the most talked-about name on this list, it’s definitely one of the best sound deadening materials on the market. It manages to stay within the same price range as some of the budget-oriented alternatives out there while still performing good.
The 80 mil foil and butyl mat absolutely deserves a mention because of its excellent handling of engine noise, loose metal rattling, vibrations, and outside noise. So, you could say that it’s a bit universal in that regard.
However, even though this material will be able to handle any noise that comes its way — you may not want to handle it. According to some users, the material has had a tendency to be a bit unwieldy. But since that’s also been said about Dynamat, I’m not too worried.
Besides, this product comes in precut 9.8 by 15.7-inch sheets, with a single pack covering 36 square feet. If anything, that leaves you less work than you’d have if you were working with a roll of butyl deadener.
FatMat products are among the favorite when it comes to sound deadening mats. This product comes in two rolls (33 feet long and 18 inches wide). The installation is fairly easy as these are self-adhesive rolls which do not require any additional glues. You can set it in a matter of moments.
The material might require a very sharp knife in order for you to cut it though. You just need to make sure that you apply constant pressure in order for the material to adhere to the surface properly. The noise reduction is not too dramatic like some other materials have, but it is there.
This material is specifically engineered to eliminate road noise and vibration. It’s safe to say that it more than just succeeds in that regard. However, the sound of the nearby passing vehicles such as loud motorcycles can still be heard.
It comes in 30 sheets, the dimensions of which are 12’’ x 23 ‘’ (4 square feet). The sheets are enough to cover the floor and maybe the passenger’s compartment. If you want to cover more than that, you’ll probably have to buy another package.
In addition, unlike other materials that will also be mentioned, it is extremely resistant to high temperatures. It can withstand temperatures from -30 degrees to 400 degrees (Fahrenheit). The recommended use for this product is to try to cover everything that you can for maximum effect, as it’s really effective.
Q-Mat consists of butyl rubber and is 2.2mm thick. Due to its 100% butyl component, it is a lot stickier than the rest, which makes it quite easy to apply and install. When it comes to noise reduction within the car, it reduces vibrations and rattles only remotely.
Where this material shines is when soundproofing is concerned. It greatly eliminates various noises that are coming from the outside and the traffic. The fact that the sound from a stereo system sounds sharper and clearer with this material installed attests to that statement.
It’s really difficult to pinpoint the material’s flaws. However, there is one minor remark. To achieve that level of sound, you will have to install at least two layers of it.
As its name suggests, this material aims to work as both sound and heat insulator. Unfortunately, it partially succeeds in that regard. Even though it reduces the sound that comes from the outside as well as the inside of the vehicle, it does not fare well against high temperatures.
Its polyethylene surface offers protection from the outside radiant heat sources, but there is a possibility of it ungluing during such conditions. The reason for this is that the bond between the material and the adhesive is not resistant enough. If we put this aside, it is a generally good sound absorber, especially when installing in areas such as firewalls, floorboards, and doors.
This is a viscoelastic material which goes extremely well with a supercharged butyl-based adhesive. The material itself is quite flexible, and it adheres to any surface properly, considering that you apply it correctly.
As far as its performance goes, it shines when it comes to converting the vibrations into thermal energy. However, it marginally deadens the sound. It comes in a 1-foot wide roll, and its thickness is 1.6mm (60 mils). The product does not come with any additional equipment (adhesive, roller, etc.). However, it compensates for it by performing well against the rattling and vibrations.
This material has a high-fiber cloth (fiberglass), and its surface is very scratch resistant since it has an aluminum foil coating. It fares well against the heat so you can use it even as a protective material that blocks sunlight.
The overall thickness is roughly 10mm, and its surface covers around 16.36 square feet (40’’ x 60’’). It’s suitable for door panels and trunk covering, that is, smaller surfaces. It does not perform well as a floor insulator since you need a thicker material there. What separates it from the previous one is definitely its price.
GTMAT sound insulator comes in two rolls which are 25 square feet in length and 16 inches in width. There is also a biodegradable degreaser, 2 GTMAT decals, and an application roller. When it comes to the material itself, it is a decent sound absorber since it has a rubberized compound which adds mass to rattling parts within the car.
The application is pretty straightforward. The only thing that you need to pay attention to is to apply constant pressure when using the application roller. Applying pressure is important because that way you ensure that the bond between the adhesive and the panel is strong.
The downside of this product is its price. It is a bit pricey for what it offers, and there are certainly better alternatives out there. But that’s why it is listed here and not as the best material.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON SOUND DEADENING MATERIALS FOR CARS
Ultimately, if you’re looking for good and reliable sound deadening mats for your car, I’d stick to Dynamat or Noico. Those two are the most popular products on the market by far. However, Noico is definitely the more affordable and even the thicker option — it’s definitely the fan favorite. And if you’re looking for a more in-depth comparison of the two products, you can read the article I linked to in my reviews.
Of course, that’s not to say that the liquid insulation and the other materials you can use to reduce the noise in your car are in any way bad. Still, we definitely know more about the effects of sound deadening mats than we do about any of the other materials I’ve mentioned. So at least when you get Noico, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into.
Hopefully, this article has helped you be more informed on the subject of automotive sound deadening materials. No matter which of these materials you end up choosing, your driving experience is sure to improve once you have them put it.
Do you agree with this list? If not, you can tell in the comments what you would have listed differently as your favorite brand or specific product?