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Soundproof Booths - WhisperRoom, StudioBricks, etc.

Customising, building or repairing your own gear? Need help with acoustic treatment or soundproofing? Ask away…

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Soundproof Booths - WhisperRoom, StudioBricks, etc.

Postby NothingOminous » Fri Jul 17, 2020 1:43 am

I received quotes from two companies and need help deciding which booth will best serve my needs. Suggestions and insights into soundproofing and other suppliers/manufacturers are also welcomed.

I need a soundproof booth without windows that has internal dimensions of 9' x 9' x 7'. It must be able to significantly reduce or eliminate perceptual vibrations and audible frequencies of 125 Hz and below, and of course frequencies of 125 Hz and above.

Whisper Room's quote is $17,295 for a 9 x 9 Platinum Series Vocal Booth. Wall thickness is three inches. It includes side mounted ventilation, three-vent high capacity fan unit, one cable port in plain panel, one cable port in vent panel, two cable ports in separate plain panels, 9 x 9 exterior black ice promo color, executive gray fabric interior, and left door hinge.

Crate and handling fee is $790, and the truckers do not have lifts to unload the crates. Customer opens the crate in the truck and offloads the panels.

In addressing my need to significantly reduce or eliminate perceptual vibrations and audible frequencies of 125 Hz and below, the sales representative added the "Platinum Plus treatment - MASS Loaded Vinyl layer" for $1,775. MLV contains barium.

Without the addition of a mass loaded vinyl layer, the booth's Decibel Reduction Specs are as follows (accurate to +/- 3dB):

Frequency (Hertz) 125 200 500 1,000 2,000 4,000
Reduction (dB) 29 36 44 46 48 65

Whisper Room's total is $19,860.00.

Studio Brick's quote is $19,483.00 for a 9 x 9 x 7 STUDIOBRICKS Pro Triple-walled booth. Wall thickness is 4.33 inches.

Here is what's included.
Here is the booth's sound measurement report.
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Re: Soundproof Booths - WhisperRoom, StudioBricks, etc.

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:01 am

If I was spending that kind of money I would either employ an acoustic consultant or get the booth professionally installed and guaranteed to achieve a measured level of isolation. I would also write that agreed level of isolation into the contract stating that it is 'of the essence' and that the contract is void if the booth does not perform as expected.

If you don't write it into the contract (and get a proper competent survey of your premises and it construction) you will be responsible for fixing any shortcomings yourself after the fact.
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Re: Soundproof Booths - WhisperRoom, StudioBricks, etc.

Postby James Perrett » Fri Jul 17, 2020 1:10 pm

While a ready made booth like this will work for vocals, if you are thinking of using it for things like drums or other instruments with significant bass content you are probably going to be disappointed. They don't give you any specs for really low frequencies because those specs aren't going to be very good.

As Sam says, if you are spending that kind of money and need good bass isolation, you need to be thinking about getting advice and probably building a custom room within a room.
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Re: Soundproof Booths - WhisperRoom, StudioBricks, etc.

Postby NothingOminous » Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:09 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:If I was spending that kind of money I would either employ an acoustic consultant or get the booth professionally installed and guaranteed to achieve a measured level of isolation. I would also write that agreed level of isolation into the contract stating that it is 'of the essence' and that the contract is void if the booth does not perform as expected.

If you don't write it into the contract (and get a proper competent survey of your premises and it construction) you will be responsible for fixing any shortcomings yourself after the fact.

The sales representative wrote, "The MLV adds about another 15-20 decibel reduction, mainly on the lower end." It's from Soundproofing America, which states in its spec sheet, "All statements herein are expression of opinion that we believe to be accurate and reliable, but are presented without guaranty or responsibility on our part."

I took your advice and asked the sales representative whether they can guarantee in writing that the added MLV will achieve the desired measured level of isolation, noting "of the essence" is the 29 dB reduction of the booth itself plus the MLV's 15-20 dB reduction for a cumulative 44-49 dB reduction of frequencies 125 Hz and below. Awaiting the sales representative's reply.

A week ago, the sales representative also wrote, "This booth is made of a variety of material and has some that are standard construction materials that will be affected the same by low frequency vibrations. We do as much as possible to keep it low like the isolated floor and varying wall materials but the strength of the outside vibrations/noise interference has a lot to do with how this Booth will handle it. We have plenty of clients that use our Booths in high traffic areas and close to airports that do just fine."

James Perrett wrote:While a ready made booth like this will work for vocals, if you are thinking of using it for things like drums or other instruments with significant bass content you are probably going to be disappointed. They don't give you any specs for really low frequencies because those specs aren't going to be very good.

As Sam says, if you are spending that kind of money and need good bass isolation, you need to be thinking about getting advice and probably building a custom room within a room.

My tentative plan is to use the booth for keeping out sounds with significant bass content (20-250 Hz) so that I can have a quiet home office. If I were to use the booth for music, it would be for instruments that operate at frequencies over 150 Hz. Perhaps I might play the piano, which spans the frequency range of 27.5 Hz to 4186 Hz.

Off the top of your head, do you know how much it'd cost to build a custom room within a room that'll adequately address all my needs and not disappoint me, preferably 9' x 9' x 7' or 14' x 17' x 7'?
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Re: Soundproof Booths - WhisperRoom, StudioBricks, etc.

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sat Jul 18, 2020 1:51 am

NothingOminous wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:If I was spending that kind of money I would either employ an acoustic consultant or get the booth professionally installed and guaranteed to achieve a measured level of isolation.

...

A week ago, the sales representative also wrote, "This booth is made of a variety of material and has some that are standard construction materials that will be affected the same by low frequency vibrations. We do as much as possible to keep it low like the isolated floor and varying wall materials but the strength of the outside vibrations/noise interference has a lot to do with how this Booth will handle it. We have plenty of clients that use our Booths in high traffic areas and close to airports that do just fine."

In all earnestness, it sounds to me as if the sales people are talking you into an expensive solution that you don't need and for that kind of money if they are hedging their bets with caveats then it's a red flag.

James Perrett wrote:As Sam says, if you are spending that kind of money and need good bass isolation, you need to be thinking about getting advice and probably building a custom room within a room.

I couldn't agree more.

NothingOminous wrote:Off the top of your head, do you know how much it'd cost to build a custom room within a room that'll adequately address all my needs and not disappoint me, preferably 9' x 9' x 7' or 14' x 17' x 7'?

That's pretty hard for us to call as we're UK based, not in the US. That said, if anything, in the US construction materials are cheaper than they are here.

You really do need to get an independent acoustic consultant to discuss your requirements. Soundproofing is all about mass (thus may translate into something as basic as cheap concrete blocks, perhaps with additional absorbancy in a lighter skinning material).

Once you have the mass you can acoustically treat the interior to taste and they'll advise on that also. Rather than an 'off the shelf' expensive pre-built booth which the sales people can't give you solid answers on in a heartbeat, employ the services of a consultant.

There is a likelihood that they will be able to spec up a room-in-room solution using largely off the shelf materials, most of which will be easily obtainable from a builders merchant, that will outperform any of these pre-built solutions for significantly less outlay even taking construction costs and the consultancy fee into consideration.
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Re: Soundproof Booths - WhisperRoom, StudioBricks, etc.

Postby James Perrett » Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:22 pm

NothingOminous wrote:Off the top of your head, do you know how much it'd cost to build a custom room within a room that'll adequately address all my needs and not disappoint me, preferably 9' x 9' x 7' or 14' x 17' x 7'?

It is hard to say as I'm not an acoustic consultant but, from my personal experience, the materials cost for my last studio were less than a quarter of the cost of something commercially built. This keeps out the sound of everything apart from low flying Chinooks directly overhead.
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Re: Soundproof Booths - WhisperRoom, StudioBricks, etc.

Postby NothingOminous » Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:32 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:
In all earnestness, it sounds to me as if the sales people are talking you into an expensive solution that you don't need and for that kind of money if they are hedging their bets with caveats then it's a red flag.

James Perrett wrote:As Sam says, if you are spending that kind of money and need good bass isolation, you need to be thinking about getting advice and probably building a custom room within a room.

I couldn't agree more.

NothingOminous wrote:Off the top of your head, do you know how much it'd cost to build a custom room within a room that'll adequately address all my needs and not disappoint me, preferably 9' x 9' x 7' or 14' x 17' x 7'?

That's pretty hard for us to call as we're UK based, not in the US. That said, if anything, in the US construction materials are cheaper than they are here.

You really do need to get an independent acoustic consultant to discuss your requirements. Soundproofing is all about mass (thus may translate into something as basic as cheap concrete blocks, perhaps with additional absorbancy in a lighter skinning material).

Once you have the mass you can acoustically treat the interior to taste and they'll advise on that also. Rather than an 'off the shelf' expensive pre-built booth which the sales people can't give you solid answers on in a heartbeat, employ the services of a consultant.

There is a likelihood that they will be able to spec up a room-in-room solution using largely off the shelf materials, most of which will be easily obtainable from a builders merchant, that will outperform any of these pre-built solutions for significantly less outlay even taking construction costs and the consultancy fee into consideration.


I suppose I have to face reality. 'Off the shelf' expensive pre-built booths like those at VocalBooth.com won't satisfy my requirements.

I will seek out an independent acoustic consultant to discuss my requirements and seriously consider a room-in-room solution. It does seem to be the most logical and most affordable course of action.

With regard to your idea about using cheap concrete blocks, could you please critique my alternative plan below?

James Perrett wrote:
It is hard to say as I'm not an acoustic consultant but, from my personal experience, the materials cost for my last studio were less than a quarter of the cost of something commercially built. This keeps out the sound of everything apart from low flying Chinooks directly overhead.

I have an idea and would appreciate feedback.

Eddy Deegan said, "Soundproofing is all about mass."

What if I were to buy Cap Concrete Blocks and stack them along the perimeter of the room? Prior to stacking the blocks, I could also (possibly) apply Green Glue to the existing drywall and attach MLV; afterward, stack the blocks, install a hat channel, and drill in 5/8" drywall. Alternatively, I could exclude the Green Glue and MLV and just stack the blocks, install a hat channel, and drill in 5/8" drywall. This would make it easier to uninstall in the future should I, for example, move.

According to this online calculator, I would need 444 blocks for a 50' x 8' (W x H) room. Total cost of 444 blocks is $599.

I wonder whether they might fall over and kill me someday, though...
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Re: Soundproof Booths - WhisperRoom, StudioBricks, etc.

Postby James Perrett » Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:48 pm

The big worry with concrete blocks is whether your floor can handle the weight. If it can then you should do things properly and use mortar between them so that they won't fall over (better still, hire a professional bricklayer). You'll still need to find some way of building a ceiling and a floor. You may also need to isolate the structure from external vibrations which is probably more difficult with concrete blocks.

I used concrete blocks as part of my soundproofing but as part of the outer structure rather than the inner structure (so no isolation needed) and I used 6" thick high density blocks rather than standard blocks.
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Re: Soundproof Booths - WhisperRoom, StudioBricks, etc.

Postby MOF » Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:32 pm

How about building a floating room within another floating room all made out of wood framework and plaster boards? If any residual bass gets through, a high pass filter should take care of that.
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Re: Soundproof Booths - WhisperRoom, StudioBricks, etc.

Postby NothingOminous » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:33 pm

MOF wrote:How about building a floating room within another floating room all made out of wood framework and plaster boards? If any residual bass gets through, a high pass filter should take care of that.

Building a floating room within another floating room all made out of wood framework and plaster boards is an option.

I had to look up "high pass filter" on Google. I'm not an audio engineer, but how could I use an electronic filter to help me create a quieter home office?

James Perrett wrote:The big worry with concrete blocks is whether your floor can handle the weight. If it can then you should do things properly and use mortar between them so that they won't fall over (better still, hire a professional bricklayer). You'll still need to find some way of building a ceiling and a floor. You may also need to isolate the structure from external vibrations which is probably more difficult with concrete blocks.

I used concrete blocks as part of my soundproofing but as part of the outer structure rather than the inner structure (so no isolation needed) and I used 6" thick high density blocks rather than standard blocks.

It'll be on the first floor, so I assume my floor will be able to handle over 15,000 pounds. I'd normally use concrete blocks as part of the outer structure, but I suspect my HOA wouldn't approve.

In addition, perhaps I am going too far in stacking 15,000 pounds of high density blocks around the perimeter of my home office. As part of the inner structure, it could deter prospective buyers if I were to sell my home.

Furthermore, as you pointed out, using concrete blocks would make building ceilings/floors and isolating structures from external vibrations difficult. My current level of experience prevents me from devising safe, reliable solutions to those problems.

May I ask what else you did as part of your soundproofing?
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Re: Soundproof Booths - WhisperRoom, StudioBricks, etc.

Postby James Perrett » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:46 pm

NothingOminous wrote:May I ask what else you did as part of your soundproofing?

Probably best to point you towards my studio build photo album on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/james.perrett2 ... 141&type=3

I had a local builder build the outer shell to my spec after I'd had a friendly architectural technician help me with the spec. With the inner shell I took some ideas from my previous studio which had been built by a company who specialise in radio studios and also had a few pointers from Max (Studio Support Gnome on here) who used to design and build studios for a living (but I'm not sure whether he is taking on any studio work at the moment).
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Re: Soundproof Booths - WhisperRoom, StudioBricks, etc.

Postby Sam Inglis » Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:16 pm

Even if the off-the-shelf manufacturers can deliver something with the required level of isolation, this seems a huge amount of money to spend creating what might end up a very oppressive and claustrophobic working environment. Studio engineers put up with things like a lack of natural light or fresh air because sound isolation is essential to what they do. I'm not sure I would willingly embrace those sacrifices just in order to create a quieter office space.
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Re: Soundproof Booths - WhisperRoom, StudioBricks, etc.

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:52 pm

Is your new office going into an existing building or into a new build?
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Re: Soundproof Booths - WhisperRoom, StudioBricks, etc.

Postby NothingOminous » Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:35 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Is your new office going into an existing building or into a new build?

It's going into an existing building.

Sam Inglis wrote:
Even if the off-the-shelf manufacturers can deliver something with the required level of isolation, this seems a huge amount of money to spend creating what might end up a very oppressive and claustrophobic working environment. Studio engineers put up with things like a lack of natural light or fresh air because sound isolation is essential to what they do. I'm not sure I would willingly embrace those sacrifices just in order to create a quieter office space.

Indeed. Fortunately, I don't fear confined places, and I plan to frequently exit the area for a healthy dose of natural light and fresh air. In my opinion, creating a quieter office space is worth every penny. It's akin to having one's own man cave, a room or other part of a home used by a man as a place to relax and pursue hobbies away from the rest of the family.

James Perrett wrote:
Probably best to point you towards my studio build photo album on Facebook

I had a local builder build the outer shell to my spec after I'd had a friendly architectural technician help me with the spec. With the inner shell I took some ideas from my previous studio which had been built by a company who specialise in radio studios and also had a few pointers from Max (Studio Support Gnome on here) who used to design and build studios for a living (but I'm not sure whether he is taking on any studio work at the moment).

Your studio build photo album is impressive. It's unfortunate you and Max are not available for hire!

I noticed your use of rockwool. Out of curiosity, if I were to stack high density blocks several inches away from the existing wall and fill in that gap with rockwool, would the air quality go down because the rockwool's "single monofilament strands" aren't contained inside drywall?

If rockwool isn't ideal for this situation, what kind of soundproofing material would you recommend I use to fill in the gap between the existing wall and blocks?
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Re: Soundproof Booths - WhisperRoom, StudioBricks, etc.

Postby James Perrett » Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:46 pm

It might help if you told us how the existing building is constructed - and presumably your are in the USA? Rockwool will help stop the sound from bouncing around inside a cavity but whether this will help in your case depends upon the exact construction.
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