Are you shopping for sound-deadening materials? Canvassing for sound-deadening alternatives is a tricky undertaking. Sometimes, you wouldn’t know which is best to buy, especially when there are too many options to choose from.
All you need for your car is deadening insulation with the best overall value. That’s why Dynamat is a top choice. It outruns its competitors in terms of quality, efficiency, durability, and ease of installation.
Though the other alternatives to Dynamat have their pros and cons, it depends on the customer what’s perfect for their preference.
This guide will help you compare the most popular sound-deadening materials in the market, including Dynamat. Make your wise decision if your goal is to have a quiet ride.
Brief Explanation of Sound Waves
To understand how sound-deadening materials work, you need to recall our previous article on sound waves. Sound travels through waves; thus, the term “sound wave.” Without an object to hit, sound cannot propagate and be heard.
Imagine throwing a ball in space or shouting in an open stadium. Where does the ball or the sound go?
In short, sound needs an object so it can reach someone’s ears. If you are in an empty room and you make a sound, that sound will bounce back to you after it hits the walls because the walls serve as the object of the propagated waves.
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So sound should be absorbed by something—the wall. We use sound-deadening materials based on what we would like to happen to sound or how we shape the sound favorable to our ears.
Sound-deadening materials are acoustic tools or objects we use to “absorb” sound.
In an empty room with four walls around you, the walls reflect the sound, thus the term “echo.” This is because echo is produced when the object’s surface of sound vibrations is hard, the wall. But if you place furniture or any sound deadening material, such material will sink or absorb the sound, removing the echo effect.
On the other hand, soundproofing materials block or prevent sound from escaping to travel to another room or entering the room.
Types of Sound-Deadening Materials
The primary purpose of sound-deadening materials is to control vibrations to have a quieter space. Sound-deadening materials are used more appropriately in all kinds of automobiles.
Since vehicles are made of metal sheets, bearings, chains, and engines—which are all sound and heat conductors, we use sound-deadening materials to reduce the effect of rattling noise and control heat as well by these materials that also serve as insulators.
There are two types of sound-deadening insulation for automobiles:
- Adhesive sheets
- Peel and stick sheets
1. Adhesive sheets
Adhesive sheet insulations come with adhesive that you apply on your own. The idea is to control how much adhesion is needed for a particular spot in the car. For complicated corners, adding adhesive is more effective for firm adhesion in tight spaces.
2. Peel and stick
The peel-and-stick sheets are much easier to install as they already have adhesive. You need to peel the top layer and push firmly with a roller so the sheet will stick to your desired spot.
Benefits of Sound-Deadening Materials
- Reduce noise; road and car components’ noise
- Added privacy
- Improves sound system
Sound Deadening Comparison
If you are looking for value, what are other considerations to watch out for before deciding to buy a particular brand of sound deadener?
The following factors will have a significant impact on your personal choice of sound-deadening product.
Size: how large or small do you need for your space? What parts of the car or the house can the sound-deadening insulation cover? The cost will add up to the more areas that need insulation.
Heat insulation: Car engines having problems with heat should have sound-deadening materials that are effective in heat insulation. If you can get a deadener sheet that has a dual purpose—absorbing noise and heat—mainly when you use it for your HVAC needs, it will be the best buy.
Sound Deadening Calculation
Understanding sound-deadening calculation adds more insight in your decision to choose the best sound-deadening material for you. In this regard, you need to grasp how STC ratings or measurement is done.
STC, which stands for Sound Transmission Class, is a rating standard for how an airborne sound is attenuated when it hits a partition. In other words, STC is a metric solution to identify how much sound a sound deadener or a wall might reduce the sound that passes through it.
STC ratings can easily determine how much particular sound assemblies like walls, floors, ceilings, and doors can block or propagate based on the decibel, frequency, and transmission loss.
To put it simply, the transfer of sound from the source passing through the sound assembly to the listener will have varying impacts.
It is important to know the basics of the following as this will influence your choice in selecting practical sound deadener alternatives:
dB is the measurement of how loud a particular noise is.
For example, the rustle of leaves has a low sound pressure measuring only around 20 dB, compared to a loud street noise which is around 80 to 100 dB.
Hz or Hertz is the scale of the tone of a sound if a high pitch or low pitch.
Human beings like us have the capacity to hear as low as 20 Hz up to 20,000 Hz compared to animals who can hear lower than 20 Hz. But animals are more “sensitive” to hearing low-frequency sounds and vibrations.
That’s why animals can sense an impending danger through the vibration they feel from the ground.
This is the measurement of sound in dB based on the “difference” on either side of the sound assembly, whether that assembly is a wall, ceiling, floor, window, or door.
For example, a plain sound like a neighbor’s party would rate to 80 dB. But if there are partitions blocking the sound, it will only reach your ears for a certain decibel, like 50 dB, depending on the deadening ability of the material blocking the sound.
Now, let’s get to the heart of it. As mentioned, Dynamat is a brand known for being a top pick among acoustic geeks.
Dynamat is not only known for insulation products for the automotive industry but also for residential and commercial purposes.
Since other people find Dynamat pricey, perhaps with its unparalleled qualities, here, we laid out some of the best Dynamat alternatives for your sound and insulation needs.
Let’s go and make a head-to-head comparison before you hit the road and have a more peaceful drive.
Best Dynamat Alternative – (Updated Review)
1. Mfm Building Product 50042 6″X33.5′ Peel & Seal
The Mfm Peel & Seal is a self-adhering membrane, is waterproof, and can be used on many applications. The base of this product is rubberized asphalt and fuses well on any surface.
Thickness plays around 45 mils or 1.143 mm and can be used on any metal roof, exhaust vents, or mobile homes (trailers) to prevent leaks.
It can wrap on wheel wells perfectly or cover your car’s floor or door panels for noise reduction and heat reduction.
The peel-and-stick feature of Mfm makes it convenient to install.
- Car floor and door panels
- Garage door
- Trailer roof
2. KILMAT 80 mil 36 sqft Car Sound Deadening Mat
Thicker than Mfm Peel & Seal, with 80 made of butyl and foil, Kilmat is also a good choice for sound-deadening insulation material.
The butyl rubber is excellent against heat and cold, waterproof, and soundproof as it dampens metal vibrations from the surface.
The product comes in pre-cut sizes, making it easy to stick. You get a thicker sound-deadening mat that can be a more effective sound insulation material-the more expansive, the better without adding too much weight to the vehicle.
Kilmat 80 mil thickness is automotive self-adhesive sound insulation designed for optimum efficiency.
For installation, Kilmat pads have a unique indicator, so you won’t go wrong installing them!
The box or package comes in handy pliable sheets giving you more convenience in cutting to your desired size.
To install correctly and deaden sound 100%, use a roller to flatten the special foil embossing.
Best for All kinds of vehicles.
3. Frost King FV516 Duct Insulation & Tape
Frost King Duct Insulation & Tape is not only effective for insulating materials in your HVAC system, but it is also an excellent sound-deadening tape for car hoods and trunks.
This can be used in DIY applications when insulating pipes at home to control both extreme cold and heat brought by the weather. It also offers you huge savings on energy bills when you tap this to ducts and pipes that emit high heat coming from your boiler.
Installation is easy and quick as the material follows curbs and sharp corners and sticks well for a long time.
Best for: Made of fiberglass material, known for stopping heat. This is best suited for HVAC applications but can be used for car parts that emit heat and sound.
Pro tip: Fiberglass is suitable for heat. It is lightweight but strong. Fiber is a composite material mainly made of plastic with reinforced glass fibers, a perfect heat insulator.
4. Noico 80 mil car Sound deadening mat
Noico 80 mil is an excellent and cheap alternative to Dynamat for your insulation needs. It is built with an aluminum coating and a self-adhesion feature for easy installation.
They say that thicker is better. This is what Noico boasts as you get more sound-deadening performance and more effective insulation.
Similar to Kilmat, Noico mat is automotive insulation made of butyl. It is thick but lightweight, appropriate for automobile sound and heat protection.
If you want a closed-cell foam, get the Noico Red 150 mil.
Noico is a little bit more expensive than Kilmat in the same size and package. But the price will not make a difference because they are both competitive in cost and efficiency.
Best for: All kinds of vehicles.
5. HushMat 10200 Ultra Black Foil Door Kit with Damping Pad
Expect to get the best quality sound deadening and insulation mat from HushMat. The product itself says “hush,” which means it is most effective in eliminating road and car noise and vibration.
One of the most significant nuisances in automobile noise is the banging of doors and loud vibration when you volume up your stereo. With HusMat, those annoying bangs will be silenced, giving you a “thumping” and solid sound on doors and trunk and compact bass for your music.
HushMat vs. Dynamat
Dynamat has thicker insulation mats compared to HushMat. However, Husmat has its own trait to boast about.
HushMat has a high heat resistance and reduces up to 40% of heat. Easy and quick to install as the mats wrap and conform even too tight corners.
Best for Sports cars, trucks, vans.
6. FatMat Self-Adhesive Rattletrap Sound Deadener
FatMat has one of the most remarkable features when it comes to sound-in and noise-out capability. If your goal is to eliminate road noise and enhance bass sound inside your car, reducing the vibration effect, FatMat is the sound deadener to fit all your needs.
Same thickness and adhesion strength compared to Dynamat and other competitors and come in pre-cut mats for installation convenience.
Reduces unwanted noise drastically, eliminating the rattling and vibrating noise. Aside from road noise, drivers cannot avoid the irritating sound of the engine, exhaust, wheels, and more. FatMat is a more effective deadener by improving car audio quality.
Installation is more fun as the package includes a roller, cutter, decals, and instructional slips.
Best for Underneath and rear seats of cars and trunks.
Choosing the best and most effective sound deadener that’s worth the buy is a pretty complicated judgment. Telling from the features, pros, and cons, it seems all of them have a fine reputation and are highly recommendable.
These three brands all reduce road noise and enhance bass within a space at the same level. They were all lightweight with a thickness fit for the surface they stuck.
Ultimately, it’s only the price that will matter. When it comes to aesthetics, there’s not much to think about as these mats are intended to be used in stealth as they only serve to be laid inside the door panel, floor, hood, or trunk of an automobile.
The Kilmat seems to have a more sophisticated look, like Fatmat and Dynamat. There is no downside to whatever you choose. It is your intuition that really matters to affect your decision-making.
If you have a huge car, it is better to work with the size and areas to cover before buying. You will have value for your money when you settle for less but get the same benefits of sound-deadening material.
Besides, no one will know what you bought and placed there in your car unless you tell them. The difference will only be felt when you start kicking your vehicle on the road more frequently and experience the effectiveness of the material by yourself.
PRO TIP: It is impossible to completely make your vehicle soundproof, but it is worth using sound deadening for a better sound and reduced noise. You can only maximize deadening based on the amount of noise you want to eliminate.
It depends on what specific type of Dynamat product you are looking for. A set of 9 sheets of Dynamat called Xtreme bulk pack costs around $165 on Amazon, exclusive or roller and liner (Dynaliner). And this pack has a product dimension of 21 x 13 x 3.5 inches, but you will probably need two boxes if you cover the entire car floor, trunk, and all four doors.
Note: Add on the budget accessories like rollers, adhesives, and cutters. You can also check for a Dynamat roller alternative.
Installation is not a huge problem, but if it is, given that you have no time to do it, you will hire someone and pay for the labor, which would cost you a range of $600 to $1000. The work of a professional is more labor-intensive and accurate instead of doing it by yourself.
PRO TIP: Deaden the metal of a typical vehicle to 100% if you want the full benefits of sound insulation and thermal insulation.
If you are the type of person who loves driving a car, free from much noise–bumpy roads, loud whistles from the wind, rattling metal sounds–and want to simply listen to your playlist and have a safe journey, then you won’t regret spending on an excellent insulation package.
While Dynamat deserves your money and time, the deadening mats mentioned here still have their place in the market and for your personal use when it comes to quality and price.
Whether you are in favor of Hushmat, Kilmat, Fatmat, Noico, or Frost King, you will always look for an industry leader like Dynamat. Even so, there are variables at play like:
- Money or budget
- Hire an installer or DIY
- Size and type of car
- The area that needs insulation
- Popular brand
- Cost-effective brand
If you have a ready answer to these factors, then do what your heart desires.
Robert is an electronic engineer with more than five years of experience with a solid affinity for helping people reduce noise. He writes about these silent home appliances and easy soundproofing measures to help everyone avoid the negative effect of extended exposure to high noise levels.