The 10 Best Automotive Sound-Deadening Products of 2020
Automotive Sound Deadening
No matter what kind of car you have, how fast it goes, or what features it has, everyone wants two things: to safely get you from Point A to Point B and to be reliable.
Once your vehicle has accomplished those basic needs, you can start looking at other features. One small feature is the quieter the ride, the better. Of course, you have the option to blast music but the worst is for outside noise to interfere with your listening experience. Many people think of adding a sound deadener when they install new speakers or crank up the bass with a class D amp and some hard hitting subs, but that is just one of the reasons you should consider soundproofing your car. Perhaps you sprung for a sporty new Borla exhaust but you don’t want it to be as loud inside the car.
You can’t very well plug your ears and say “la-la-la” to drown out the noise. Not only would that be dangerous, you’d also just look downright silly.
Thankfully, someone thought of a solution to this problem and created automotive sound-deadening materials. These materials help keep out any unwanted outside noise, reduces vibrations, and in some cases can even improve thermal insulation.
You’ll see through this list that some materials can handle the heat and sound, while others can handle just one. Deciding which one is ideal for you is largely up to your personal situation, but we recommend you think carefully about which one is more important to you before making your final decision.
Below, we’re going to check out some of our favorite material and give you our best review for each product.
Whenever you’re browsing through materials, thicker always means better. You’re going to get more efficiency and better thermal insulation. With its butyl composition, this material is thicker than the majority out on the market and is going to give you top-notch sound quality.
It was made with vehicles in mind and can easily be applied to just about every space, like your trunk, below the seats, and around the engine hood.
Despite their thickness, these mats are lightweight so installation is a breeze. They also come fitted with automotive self-adhesive insulation, so they can be at the top of their game no matter what the temperature gauge shows.
Pros and Cons
- Incredibly efficient
- Very affordable, cheap prices
- Easy to install, remove, and adjust
- Package comes with an indicator that lets you know if it’s been installed properly
- Unique design can be confusing at first
This is a quality all-around product that does just about everything you ask of it. It’s great at deadening sound, works well in the heat, and doesn’t have that strong odor you might find with other materials.
It’s quite flexible and can be installed just about anywhere, meaning it can go both inside and outside the vehicle to resist heat or keep parts from rattling around.
The most interesting feature is its ability to turn the vibrations of the car into thermal energy.
The bad part is this product doesn’t come with any other products to help with the installation, so the initial setup can be a bit tricky, especially if this is the first time you’re applying such a product.
The manufacturer themselves actually recommend buying more of their products in order to get the full effectiveness, driving up your checkout total.
Pros and Cons
- Works incredibly well in heat
- Deadens sound
- Can be applied anywhere
- Adhesive doesn’t have strong odor
- Difficult to install
- Pretty expensive
- May need other products to work its full potential
This is one of the most popular soundproofing materials out on the market, as it’s heat resistant and quite flexible. This material keeps your engine noise, a rattling speaker, and any road noise silenced so you can enjoy your ride and not be distracted.
One of our favorite things about this material is how lightweight it is while not lacking in positive benefits. Installation is easy and you’ll be able to get everything set up quickly.
It can be applied to your car’s sides, tops, and contoured areas. You can even put it on firewalls and floors because of its handy aluminum coat. This means that it can handle itself quite well in high temperatures.
Pros and Cons
- Very high resistance to heat
- Immediately blocks out noise
- Installation is quite easy
- Can be difficult to remove
- Difficult to cut
Another material that’s more affordable than many big brands, it can fit in just about any car thanks to its universal nature. It does a good job of keeping noise out while also retaining heat inside your vehicle.
Another plus is you can easily install it inside or outside your vehicle. The product’s adhesive makes installation incredibly easy and it’s quite strong, meaning it will last for the long haul.
They work well at any time during the year, doing a great job of keeping in heat during the winter and keeping heat out during those sweltering summers.
While many products come with just a few sheets inside, Kilmat packs it to the maximum and stuffs 34 sheets inside. They are easy to manage and small, so you can cover plenty of space with just one purchase.
Pros and Cons
- Strong adhesive
- Very affordable
- Plenty of sheets come in the package
- No noticeable odor
- Installation isn’t hard but time-consuming
- Roller sold separately
This is a great 2-for-1 package as it works as both a sound repressor and a heat insulator. While it shines brightly when it comes to noise control, it does not perform as well in managing the heat of your vehicle.
It can be applied just about anywhere and thanks to its sturdy design, it can be used for doors, firewalls, and floorboards.
The main problem with the heat isn’t the material itself but its adhesive. When faced with high heat, the glue starts to melt and the pads start to fall off.
It’s sound repressing qualities do enough to put it on the list but in terms of insulation, it falls well short of what we are looking for.
Pros and Cons:
- Does a great job at suppressing sound
- Boosts interior audio quality
- Easy to install
- Can’t withstand high temperatures
- Glue melts pretty easily
While this material is great, it does come at a bit of a price and is going to be among the more expensive options on this list.
It’s made with butyl material which will allow it to reduce road noise, improve your interior sound quality, and provide padding for any rattling objects.
We found that this was one of the best in reducing exterior noise and was able to withstand high temperatures with ease. It’s ideal for just about any season.
The big negative to the Hushmat is that it simply does not come with enough sheets in a package to cover your entire vehicle. Chances are you’ll be buying two packages, doubling your price immediately.
It does look pretty cool, going for a black foil finish instead of the silver foil that the majority of similar products employ.
Pros and Cons
- Reduces essentially all noise
- Heat resistant
- Nice black foil finish is a change of pace
- Not enough sheets in a package
- Adhesive has a strong smell
With a polyethylene surface, this material protects well against heat and blocks out all external noise from your vehicle. It’s ideal for summers and comes with only 70 mil nominal thickness.
It’s a cheap option that simply gets the job done. You won’t have to worry about your car overheating or being stifled by the heat.
It also does a great job of keeping noise out of your vehicle, able to be applied to areas such as firewalls, doors, and floorboards. This versatile material is perfect for the average car user.
If you want to trim or cut the material, it makes it quite easy as well. This material can be placed in just about any contoured area and sticks well thanks to a strong adhesive.
Pros and Cons
- Great for keeping the heat out during summertime
- Easy to trim and apply
- Installation is quick and simple
- Tough to remove
- We noticed the material would unglue during extreme heat
FatMat certainly lives up to its name as this material is incredibly thick and efficient. It’s quite simple to install and soundproofs your entire vehicle incredibly well.
The great thing about this material is how versatile it is. While other materials are more contoured towards cars, this can be applied to just about every vehicle. Some people have even found it works quite well in their homes.
The vibrational damper will easily reduce distortion and help improve your vehicle’s overall acoustics. If you’re a fan of bass, many users noted how this material improved the overall bass in their vehicle.
It’s also great at insulating your vehicle or keeping heat out. You’ll be good to go no matter what time of year you’re driving around in.
Pros and Cons
- Easy installation
- Comes with instructions and tools
- Easy to trim
- Can be applied to many different areas
- A bit on the expensive side
- Adhesive has quite the odor
Another unique looking mat, this one also uses a black foil but comes with a fancy green logo on it as well. While it has a cool look, its use is pretty basic.
The adhesive on the back is going to reduce vibrations and make sure no loose parts are rattling too much. It also does a great job of reducing car noise and many users applauded the improved audio quality while driving around.
The materials made this an excellent product that does plenty to get the job done. There’s not much more to say about this certain material, it does the job done while providing some solid overall performance.
Pros and Cons
- Greatly improved sound quality
- Durable materials can be applied almost anywhere
- Works quite well in the heat
- You may need to apply more layers for its full effect
- Difficult to remove
For the most part, these products are all pretty similar but this Uxcell material changes the game a bit. It’s actually smart material that will drive the car for you.
That is, of course, a lie but it does stand out from the rest for its thickness. This sound deadener is an astounding 394 mils thick. It’s by far the thickest liner we’ve seen out there.
Despite its relative thickness, the material can fit just about anywhere. But if you want to get it into tight spaces or specially contoured areas, that may be a bit more of a challenge.
It does a lot, like blocking heat that comes from the vehicle and any sound. In addition, it’s waterproof which means it’s ready for whatever the elements have in store for your vehicle today.
While the thickness is what we talked about at the beginning, it may also be a glaring negative. It’s hard to cut and sometimes the adhesive doesn’t stick as well as you’d like.
Pros and Cons
- Effectively deadens all sounds
- Heat resistant
- Can be applied almost anywhere
- Tricky installation
- May not fit in tight areas
Things to Consider Before Buying Sound Deadening Products
Just like anything else you’re planning on purchasing, there are a few things you should be looking at. If you don’t buy the right materials, that could be annoying and frustrating with another trip back to the shop.
Now, you don’t have to pour over the features and specifications as much as if you were purchasing an audio system or upgrading your car, but they are important. Above all else, you want to save yourself from making multiple trips to the store and multiple purchases. Keeping track of those receipts can be tricky.
That’s why research is so important, and we’re here with a small guide to help you know which parts you should be focusing on when looking at deadening material.
When looking at the size, you’ll see that it solely depends on the surface area that you aim to cover. The majority of products come rolled up, so you’ll need to trim them as much as possible in order to fit them in the right area.
Many of the products are easy to trim but as usual, the thicker it is the more difficult it will be.
Some manufacturers sell sheets or patches instead of entire rolls which are much easier to apply to those hard to fit spaces and contoured areas.
It’s a pretty easy equation: thicker materials equal better sound insulation. If you’re someone that gets bothered by vibrations or constant road-noise, then you’re going to want to opt for thicker materials.
You’ll find all sorts of ranges when looking at thickness. The standard ranges from 50-80 mil thickness with some topping the 100 mark. Those aren’t too common, as the thicker you go the more difficult installation is.
Handling the Heat
If you’re someone who is out and about in the summer or live in a warm climate, you need to know how well your material will handle heat.
Heat can make your materials come off the vehicle, cause the glue to melt, leaving behind awful smells, or more.
The last thing you want is to go and purchase a material only to find out that it smells awful. Glue isn’t exactly the greatest smelling thing in the world and it can be a big turnoff to have that glue smell follow you around for weeks.
While some of those smells will dissipate after a week or so, some leave behind their odor even if it’s just a faint smell.
Do They Have Rollers?
Before you apply these materials, you need to roll them out first. Some packs come with rollers while others do not.
That means you may have to purchase one separately in order to best prepare your sheets for use.
As you can see from above, some of these materials are easy to install while others tend to take a bit more time. No two materials are the same and while some may be tricky to install, they can offer a few more benefits.
Generally, you will find sound deadeners in four different forms: insulation, mats, foam, and sprays.
Each form has a unique installation method and tends to be more suitable for different areas of your vehicle. Insulation is made of fibers and works best for your doors and roof while mats are better for your panels and floors.
If you’re installing on the floor, you need to remove the carpet and clean the floor. Once the cleaning process is finished, you can apply the deadener. After the glue settles you can then put the carpet back on.
For your roof, you should remove the cloth headliner and make sure to clean the roof with a rubbing alcohol. You can then apply the sound deadener and then put your headliner back into place.
In the trunk, you first have to take everything outside of the trunk. That includes any fabric or carpet that its there. Once you clean the trunk, you can apply the sound deadener.
Finally, the firewall. You’ll have to dismantle the dashboard and then clean everything. Once you’ve applied the deadener, you have to put all the components back.
Removing the Deadener
While installation is usually pretty straightforward, it can often be much more difficult to remove the sound deadener from its position. Typically those that brag about easy installation are the most difficult to remove. There’s probably a Murphy’s Law quote about that somewhere.
If you’ve got the proper tools, you should expect about an hour to go through the entire process.
You’ll need about 20 pounds of dry ice and a small hammer. Sprinkle the dry ice over the tar and then lightly tap with your hammer. A rubber mallet can also work.
If dry ice isn’t your game, plenty of people use heat in order to scrape the material off. This is effective, but it can take forever to do and creates a huge mess.
When you’re looking for the ideal sound deadener, we recommend reading plenty of consumer reviews to find the one that will best suit your needs. Everyone’s budget, vehicle, and wants are different so it’s important you find a product you won’t regret.
Make sure you have enough sheets to cover your whole vehicle, but other than that everything is fairly standard. Good luck shopping!