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Stuck In the Middle: Soundproofing a Condo

by Nyal Mellor October 28, 2023

Stuck In the Middle: Soundproofing a Condo


In 2012, Charlie was living in Carmel, California and contacted Acoustic Frontiers to transform a room into a high-end listening space. In 2020, he downsized from his spacious Carmel, California home to a Memphis, Tennessee condo and wanted to replicate the acoustic excellence he had achieved in Carmel, and add a media room -emphasizing top-tier audio quality. The project encountered several challenges due to the room's size and its location on an upper floor, sharing walls between two other condos, necessitating complete soundproofing.

To address this unique challenge, Charlie again turned to Acoustic Frontiers, who created a comprehensive 24-page plan for sound isolation, HVAC, audio/video layout, subwoofer number/placement and acoustic treatment. The plan involved a significant structural overhaul,  including the creation of a room within a room and a new hallway entrance. The existing drywall was removed, and mass-loaded vinyl was installed between the studs from floor to ceiling, along with additional insulation. The walls were then covered with two layers of 5/8-inch drywall with constrained layer damping compound applied between layers to dampen resonances and air sealed with caulk. To ensure soundproofing integrity, resilient isolation clips and hat channels were horizontally mounted, preventing direct contact between the new wall and existing studs. A "faux wall" was incorporated at the front of the room behind the screen to conceal six fabric-covered bass traps as part of the acoustic treatments.

To avoid sound transmission to the lower floor, the original flooring underwent a replacement process that included mineral wool insulation in the floor cavity, and two layers of oriented strand board (OSB). The addition of a carpet pad and carpet completed this multifaceted sound absorption system. 

In Acoustic Frontiers' plan, special consideration was given to the two HVAC vents routed into a vaulted attic ceiling. Six-foot boxes were constructed to muffle these vents, with insulation added for sound attenuation.



  • You'll have a system you love.
  • You'll experience audio-video like never before.
  • You'll have no doubt you got the best performing system for your budget.




When talking to Charlie about his project in Carmel and Memphis he said, “The sound was so spectacular in Carmel, I had to have it again. At the project’s completion in Memphis, I tested out the soundproofing by turning the volume up on my sound system, and called my neighbor to see if he could hear anything and he couldn’t!  I’m totally blown away by the project's outcome and can’t believe I can enjoy this room at concert level without disturbing my neighbors.  I know that 60% of sound quality is contingent on the room and I understand room acoustics, but Acoustic Frontiers tamed the room by addressing its specific acoustic needs.”


To gain further insight into how this plan was executed, check out the video below that includes a step-by-step photographic account of the build process provided by our client. Additionally, you will learn more about the rationale behind our selection of specific applications for this project.


Nyal Mellor
Nyal Mellor


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Nyal Mellor, Founder, Acoustic Frontiers

  • (415) 524-8741
  • Serving USA & Canada
  • Fairfax, Northern California, USA

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