DIY

Noise/echo canceling

30/08/2020

Blank walls and surfaces reflect sound. No matter if it is the concrete wall with only a thin layer of wallpaper on it, the nice large window front towards the garden, or the large empty dining table, all of them reflected so much sound that our house felt a bit like a cave with all the echo.

Time required: approx. 5 minutes + drying time per panel/picture frame

Materials: Picture frame with space in the back or cardboard, studio foam, scissors, pencil or sharpie, glue (check if suitable for foam)

[unpaid ads] The first step is cutting the studio foam approximately the size of the picture frame. We cut the foam about one cm smaller than the inner side of the frame to still be able to access the metal holders that connect the parts of the frame.

Then cut both parts with the metal plates for hanging the picture out. If you are sure you only hang your frame in one orientation, just cut out the one you need.

Mark the shape of the studio foam with the pencil/sharpie. This is the area where you need to put glue.

Put glue on the back of the frame, inside the area marked in the previous step, not too close to the pencil line. If you want to remove the studio foam at a later point, use as little glue as possible (and maybe a stronger glue).

When you hang the picture make sure the nail or screw you hang it on sticks out a bit more than before if the foam does not level with the depth of the frame.

If your frame is deep enough (like the larger IKEA RIBBA), you can also cut the studio foam at exactly the right size and just squeeze it into the frame and then put the back wooden part on again.

The foam is then between the glass and the back. This has less echo reduction effect, but still helps a bit.

As not everyone has lots of pictures hanging around, and there is also furniture with unstructured and blank surfaces. Many parts of the furniture are out of sight and offer a great space to add more of the studio foam. Many restaurants do that too - look at the bottom side of your tabletop next time you are in a restaurant. We did not want to glue the foam directly on the furniture in case we want to sell it or position it differently. So, we glued the foam on a piece of cardboard and the whole thing on the furniture.

Cut studio foam and cardboard in the right size that fits your furniture. We added larger panels on the bottom side of the tabletop and some smaller parts underneath the chairs. The easiest way is to cut the cardboard the right size and make sure it fits where it will be attached later. Then add the studio foam.

Use just enough double-sided tape to make it stick. We used a double-sided tape from UHU, but Command and Tesa also offer tapes that might work depending on the surface you want to stick the panel to.

Tips:

  • Make sure your glue is suitable for the job. We tried several ones that could glue foam, but some of them just did not stick. We ended up using a simple kids craft glue from the supermarket.
  • Make sure you can still hang the frames as the studio foam might stick out a bit. This works for picture ledges. Then the echo is canceled better because there is just enough space between wall and frame.
  • If you attach the panels to furniture, test the double-sided tape first in a spot that you do not see.