Have you ever dreamed of having your own little soundproof sanctuary where you can belt out vocals without disturbing the neighbors or get some noise-free studio time? Building a soundproof booth at home is totally doable if you’re willing to pick up some new DIY skills.
In this guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to build your own custom soundproof booth from start to finish. We’ll cover planning considerations, framing the structure, insulation, finishing the walls, installing doors and seals, acoustic treatment options, and aesthetic finishes to give your booth some personality.
With the right materials and a willingness to learn, you can construct a professional-grade recording and creative space on a budget. Let’s get started!
Pick the perfect spot and size for your soundproof booth
Finding the right location is the first step to building your audio oasis. You’ll want to choose a corner of a room with existing walls on two sides since you’ll only need to build two new walls for a basic booth. This saves time, effort, and materials. Bonus if one or both of those existing walls are exterior ones, as they tend to provide better sound insulation.
Before constructing anything, measure the corner you have in mind and sketch out some rough plans noting the room’s dimensions. Standard professional vocal booths are often around 4 ft by 6 ft, but adapt your sizing to fit the space you have available. If you plan to record a full band or drum kit, you may need something wider.
Locate the wall studs in your corner and map where they fall on your sketches. You’ll attach the booth’s framing directly into those studs for stability. And pick a corner with an electrical outlet and light fixture if you can to save on wiring work later.
Now that you’ve mapped out the blank canvas, let’s start building the bones.
Construct a solid frame anchored into your existing walls
The frame establishes the structure of your soundproof booth, so build it to last using 2×4 lumber. Cut the boards to size and screw them together to form the shapes of your two walls according to your plans. Secure the bottom into the floor using appropriate screws or anchors.
Before fully assembling the frame, mark and build in a rough door frame in one of the walls. Take careful measurements and leave an extra inch or two all around for easy door installation later.
Once assembled, stand the frames up in the corner and align them with the studs you located earlier. Have a friend help brace them while you screw heavily into the studs and adjoining wall to anchor it all up solidly. The goal is to make sure the booth won’t budge an inch once complete.
Now add in electrical boxes for any outlets, lights, or AV connectors you need mounted inside. Get these in place during the framing stage for easier wiring down the road.
Muffle sound with insulation in the walls
Now that you have your soundproof booth framed up, it’s time to insulate those cavity walls. This dampens noise transmission in and out. Standard fiberglass insulation works wonders here thanks to its density. Measure and cut rolls or batts to fit snugly between each wall stud bay without compressing it. Watch those glass fibers though – work gloves are a must!
If budget allows, upgrade to heavy-duty soundproofing insulation like Roxul Safe’n’Sound. The rigid mineral fiber boards cost more than fiberglass but improve acoustic isolation in the booth even further.
Once insulated, it’s drying time. Cut drywall sheets to fit each wall, screw them up onto your frames, then tape the seams with mesh tape. Apply three coats of joint compound, letting it dry fully and sanding between coats. This seals up the walls smooth and seamless.
Install the door and seals to contain sound
A door is a necessity for any recording booth, but it’s also the trickiest part to get right acoustically. Solid wood doors with good heft block sound best. Have a carpenter properly hang the door you selected in its pre-framed rough opening.
Once mounted, close the door and mark a stopping point just before it hits the inside wall. Then install strips of wood as stoppers around the inside edge at your marks. This ensures a consistent seal when closed.
Take it further by applying weatherstripping adhesive foam between the stoppers and door. Combined with the airtight drywalling, this completes the sound containment shell.
Now it’s ready for acoustic treatment inside to optimize the recording environment.
Add acoustic foam panels to absorb sound
Bare drywall walls alone result in a boxy “slap back” sound effect. To absorb unwanted reflections inside your new booth, cover the interior with acoustic treatment.
Foam panels work great for damping mid-high frequencies. Use adhesive spray to mount 1-2 inch foam sheets edge-to-edge on the walls and door. For bass control, strategically place some corner-mounted bass traps made of thicker absorptive material.
If your budget allows, consider upgrading to professionally engineered acoustic panels made from insulation or mineral wool. While pricier, these improve sound isolation and absorption across the full frequency spectrum.
Either way, keep the acoustically transparent door window uncovered for visibility. Monitoring from outside while recording inside is handy.
Paint, prime, light up and decorate your sound space
You’re so close to completion! Put the finishing touches on by priming and painting the exterior wall you built to match the existing room decor. For inside, choose a darker color that contrasts nicely with the bright foam.
Light up your new vocal booth or podcast studio with inexpensive LED strip lighting. Run it along the ceiling, floor, and even behind corner bass traps for a cool look.
Finally, decorate and furnish your new soundproof sanctum! Mount acoustic blankets as wall art, lay down a rug, and add a stool, mic stand, and anything else to make it your own. Until you unlock that booth again, no one can hear you scream…into the mic!
Get building your own soundproof escape!
As you can see, building a DIY soundproof vocal booth or recording studio is very doable with basic construction skills and the right materials. Follow this guide to create your own noise-blocking oasis tailored to your space.
Now grab your safety goggles and power tools, crank up those headphones, and start building! I hope these steps give you the confidence and knowledge to construct a soundproof space for whatever audio adventures you dream up.