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What is the best material for soundproofing?

Investigation into soundproofing materials

As part of our work on sound in science, Woodpeckers carried out an investigation into which material was the best at soundproofing (stopping the sound waves from travelling through the air).


We used Miss Harvey's alarm clock and put it in a box surrounded by different materials: nothing (well, air); plastic bag; paper hamster bedding; packing peanuts; and felt.  Then we used a decibel meter (an app on an iPhone) to measure how loud the sound was.


The plastic bag was the best soundproofing material.  It allowed only 68 decibels through, whereas 83 decibels was the measurement for just air.  Felt was the next best at 70Db, then packing peanuts at 76 and hamster bedding, which at 80Db almost let through as much sound as air on its own.


We wondered if we should have tried bubble wrap, to see if that was even better than a plastic bag!