In fact, very soon you’ll be at loggerheads with everyone and everything indicating to make noise. Including your loyal neighbors and even, your loud children in the house.
But one thing is for sure, you can’t stop talking!
Just as a quick reminder, echoes are very common in large rooms with high ceilings and wooden or hard floors. You’d not be wrong to mention large public halls as an example – even homes!
The impact of echoes is already known to you. Music, conversations, and movements can be maligned when they travel in the form of echoes.
This, in general, is not going to augur well with people who love peace and quiet. However, there is a solution to this issue.
I will introduce to you some of the best ways of reducing echo in a room cheaply.
What Causes Echoes?
Before that, you need to understand what an echo is.
In the simplest words, an echo is the repeated sound as a result of sound waves being reflected back off hard surfaces. The sound reaches the room and hits the surfaces or objects on its path and back to its source – the outcome is an echo.
Whether these hard surfaces are walls in a small spaced room or a huge room, an echo will just occur. Echoes can be caused by the following:
1. Little Or No Furniture In The Room.
When the room is empty or without furniture, it is a straightforward thing that you won’t escape the echo problem. You don’t even need to conduct research to know this – it is common knowledge.
The reason being that echoes happen in such spaces where there are no soft surfaces they can land on. Instead, the hard floor and wall surface available only allow these sound waves to bounce off back to the original source and other directions.
2. Hardwood Floors
With their compact structure, you shouldn’t expect hardwood floors to absorb any sounds. Because of that, the sound waves will keep bouncing off the floor and into the space causing serious echoes.
These floors may be beautiful to the eye but the visual appeal comes at the expense of something else. And there is no doubt that they are prone to echoing all the time.
Hence, you will need to have soft surfaces on the floor to help reduce these echoes considerably or at least to some extent.
3. Concrete Walls
You cannot talk about echoes without mentioning the concrete walls. In fact, some of the best echo solutions target these walls.
Concrete walls can cause a lot of sound deflections resulting in intensive echoes.
You are going to need to cover these walls with suitable materials. I’ll be giving a detailed explanation of this later in the next section.
11 Different Ways to Reduce Echo in a Room Cheaply
Generally, having absorptive materials in your rooms are going to provide you with great acoustic solutions. You need to apply these materials on your floors, walls, and ceiling to help you out on this problem.
Therefore, whether you want to reduce echo in a room with high ceilings, office, recording room or that one with hardwood floors, the strategy is just the same. Let us look at them right next.
1. Apply the Acoustic Foam on Your Ceilings
You will purchase a suitable acoustic foam on the market – usually online – and fix them on the ceiling. Definitely, you will attach these materials using adhesives.
If you find this Foamily Acoustic Panels Studio Foam, the acoustical treatment will be far much better than what you’d expect. These foams are created with awesome sound dampening properties and are able to reduce the noise/echo in both large rooms and small ones.
The good thing about acoustic foams is that they come in a variety of colors. So, depending on your preference, you can choose which colors match your décor and apply them.
For recording studios, you will mostly need to use these type of materials to help you with echo.
2. Fill the Room with Big Soft-Fabric Furniture
An easy, quick fix that comes extremely cheap is the use of furniture in the room. I am talking about your couches, shelves, cabinets, armchairs, loveseats, etc. – these can be the difference you are looking for.
If you don’t have these, buy some. Together with the old furniture, you can now rearrange your furniture in the room.
You will need to be smart if you will be successful using this simple method. For example, the sofas or bookshelves aren’t just placed anyhow; you will need to ensure that the sofas are well arranged more to the center of the room and bookshelves placed closer to the walls.
With more furniture in the room, you have controlled a certain amount of echo. Because these furniture/objects form obstacles on the sound waves pathways.
As the sound waves travel, they hit against these soft surfaces and are absorbed instead of bouncing off. The outcome is a significant echo reduction.
3. Cover Large Windows with Drapes
You can also help eliminate the echo problem by ensuring that you cover the windows (and doors) on your room with drapes. Drapes or curtains meant for this purpose have great noise-reduction qualities.
Most of the times these drapes are heavy, thicker and tall enough to cover the whole window from top to the bottom/floor of the room. You will definitely need to use them on the walls too.
To fix these drapes, you will need to have rods fixed above the windows and doors and on the walls. Then hang them on the rods.
Try to look for the colors which fit your décor. Because drapes come in a range of colors and you have no reason to why you shouldn’t use them.
You can try out this NICETOWN Blackout Curtain coming with your dream thickness and great noise-canceling potential. You won’t have to worry about the room temperature with these curtains on your walls.
4. Cover the Floor with Suitable Rugs
As I said earlier, hard floors can promote echo in the room. Even worse, when these floors are empty.
The sound waves will keep hitting them and bouncing off freely. You know the outcome.
Talking about hard floors, concrete, and hardwood floors are the major culprits. Most homes have these floors because of the visual appeal they provide.
This is not bad but if you are having some soundproof goals, you will need to add carpets on such floors to help reduce echo in your rooms. It is easier to get unique designs of rugs that won’t even compromise with your interior décor.
Depending on the room design, choose the ideal rug that perfectly matches it. If you want it colorful, patterned, plain, etc. just take your time and get the right area rug.
Place the rugs on the floor and see the changes coming on board right away.
This Ultra Soft Thick Indoor area rug is something you want to consider when covering your floor. With its anti-slip properties, the comfort it provides is first class.
It also looks decorative apart from helping you around with muffling noise problems.
5. Carpet Your Floor
Carpeting your room is a more advanced step on the rugs which cover only portions of the floor. To be confident if most of the echo will be contained, no areas on the floor should be left.
And that’s why the idea of installing carpets comes in. Carpets cover across the whole room without leaving any patches of the floor exposed.
What you may need to do is get the correct carpet for the job (that which has better acoustic properties). Ensure that you measure the size of your room to know how much area you are going to cover.
Since installing a carpet may be time-consuming, difficult and on top of that requiring specialized tools, a professional installer is recommended. Don’t do it yourself, especially if you have never done before – you could end up spoiling everything and get back to square one.
This method may not be the best way of reducing echo in a room cheaply but it works just fine.
6. Use Mass-Loaded Vinyl on Walls
One of the most effective methods of canceling noise and echoes is by use of the materials called mass loaded vinyl. These materials are known to be great acoustical treatments.
You need to fix them on the walls. And you need professional assistance if you want the installation to be perfect.
It is not easy to install the mass loaded vinyl when you don’t have the right tools for the job. The only downside with these materials is their price. Most are very expensive on the market.
Arrowzoom New Black Mass Loaded Vinyl is better with the price and noise-canceling properties. It comes as an elegant, easy to install the product with high-quality materials.
7. Large Paintings, Tapestries, and Photographs Can Be Helpful
If you have to learn how to eliminate echo in a large room cheaply, then large paintings and tapestries should come in the bigger picture. Yes, they add beauty and gather memories but they are also amazing tools that can help echo management.
You only need to hang them on the walls, and many of them. The more you have them hang on the wall, the better the echoes in the room are handled.
This doesn’t, however, mean that you have them all over the wall. Unless you don’t care about the ugly visual appeal.
Hanging these paintings or tapestries is a simple task. Just have nails driven in the wall and then lay the hanging wire over the nails.
Your paintings will right on the wall, hanging lively but most importantly providing the echo reduction buffer.
8. Install Sound-Dampening Floor Underlays
The other method you want to implement is the installation of sound-dampening underlays. These are placed under the floor and can be really effective in absorbing sound waves reaching the floor.
In most cases, these underlays are placed beneath the carpets or mats. When installed under the floor, some work is required to be done in terms of removing the old floor and place the underlay; then install a new floor.
This is a lot of work that may need you to look for some help professionally rather than doing it yourself. It is also labor-intensive.
This FloorMuffler Flooring Underlayment is engineered for more than just echo reduction. It is resistant to moisture and comes as a very strong, versatile option for reducing noise in a room.
9. Replace Metal Blinds with Fabric Blinds
As you know, metal blinds form hard surfaces that would only become great hard surfaces over which the sound waves can bounce off. You certainly want to replace these.
And softer fabrics are going to be the go-for option to consider. Fabrics are soft and therefore absorb the sound waves when they reach them. These sounds are softened in the process leading to reduced or no echoes.
Check out this Redi Shade Easy Lift Trim-at-Home Cordless Light Filtering Fabric. It is very easy to install this blind. It also looks picturesque and crisp to the eye.
10. The Natural Method: Add Plants to the Room
Another somehow new way unknown to most people is the use of natural plants to help cancel echoes in a room or office space. Get the big potted plants for even better results.
The plants not only beautify the environment but they act as obstacles that distort the sound waves pathways. In the process, the echoes are reduced.
You should take note that it’s only some plants which are suited to this task. Also, plan to use as many plants as possible, big enough with broad leaves to absorb as much sound as possible.
11. Try Hanging Blankets
You can improve the room acoustics by use of blankets. That is if you did not afford to get the more effective acoustic panels.
Usually, the blankets are thicker and heavier to form great surfaces for sound absorption.
So, cover the walls of the room with these blankets and experience an improvised option of reducing echoes the cheapest way.
A good blanket to use is this Supreme Mover Moving Blanket that comes with premium quality when it comes to absorbing sound waves.
It is important to understand the cause of echoes in a room before you start to plan for the best way of reducing echo in a room cheaply. We have looked at some of the common ways echoes come to happen.
Mark the empty rooms, hardwood floors, and concrete wall; anything hard can be serious sources of echoes. You need to consider a combination of the methods I have mentioned to make the entire process a success. Echoes can be disturbing and irritating.
One thing I didn’t talk about though is the window plug. This can as well help you handle the echo problem better.
You can feel free to question these methods and also add others you think can be quiet instrumental.