How to reduce road noise
Quiet your car with Dynamat
Jeff has worked in the car audio industry since college and has designed and installed hundreds of car systems. He spent a handful of years at Crutchfield, helping take our company to new heights. After a productive tenure with us, he has moved on to a new challenge, but his enthusiasm and expertise still guide us.
More from Jeff Fay
In our final installment in the Car Stereo Proving Ground series, we examine the effects of Dynamat on sound quality. We had better-than-expected results, achieving an incredible 9dB drop in road noise in most situations, and better results over noisy terrain. The Dynamat greatly reduces noise, which in turns makes our music sound more detailed and present.
Read all about it in our article, Putting Dynamat to the Test.
How to reduce road noise with Dynamat | Video Transcript
Welcome back to the Crutchfield Labs and this ongoing saga with the Ford F-150. We're really trying to define for you, the consumer, where to help spend your money, and what's gonna make the biggest difference. And one of the things that people have always told us is that Dynamat makes a big difference. I believe that as well, but I can't tell you how much of a difference that it really makes. So today we're going to try to validate, now that we've created a baseline in the truck, we're gonna try to validate what difference Dynamat actually does for us.
And the theory is, that if we had done Dynamat along the way, yes, we would have perceived probably and gained incremental value by doing that. However, we couldn't tell you at all on where that actually helps, and what it actually helps. So the plan for today is we're gonna actually get in the vehicle and we're gonna drive around in three real-world scenario driving conditions. We're gonna take the truck on kind of a dirt/gravel road. We're gonna take the truck at normal speeds around, say, 25 to 30 miles an hour around town, and then we're gonna take the truck up to highway speeds, probably around 65 miles an hour.
Alright, so we just took a road trip and what we determined was that certainly, you know, engine noise, road noise, wind noise, other car noise all tends to be in this low frequency.and now you probably understand better why I wanted my slope the way I want it.
This was a quick snapshot we took at about 35 miles an hour, but when we were up to 65 it got a little extended out even a little further — all the way up to 1.25k., even 2k at one point. The point is, we should be able to kill a lot of this with some Dynamat. We're gonna do these pieces at a time. We're gonna do the doors first. Then we're gonna do probably the hood and the floors. And then we're last gonna do the headliner and the really, really, last I guess will be the rear doors.
But, you know, we think that we're gonna be able to see some marked improvement, and hopefully get better SPL out of the system. I expect maybe 1dB. I expect that we'll also get better bass response. I know we'll get less rattles in the system, and it should even have a little more impact from the midrange as well. So hang on.
It certainly doesn't sound like the same truck. This is the noisy bridge. 90. It has literally been a long bumpy road — a long process. I'm kind of tired of taking the seats in and out. But I tell you what, we learned a lot. We learned that basically just having Dynamat in the car killed the road noise and wind noise of standard driving about 9dB. But when we were on gravel roads or bumpy roads, 16dB of noise reduction to the overall sound system. So that's pretty awesome.
What I've also noticed since living with this for a little bit longer is that the response in the mid-bass and the midrange has really jumped. I've gotten a lot more impact and a lot more visceral response out of the doors, which means that we're getting more frequencies. How do I know this? Well, when I went to re-tune the car I actually had to bring several of the midrange frequencies down because they were now out of my target curve. So that's great news. So we're driving the speaker less hard, it's, the enclosure, or the door itself, is actually helping to work a little bit harder, and overall the sound is great.
The best news is, I think we're done for a while, so we're gonna enjoy the system and then we'll be ready for the next round of gear that we want to throw in and test in the mobile lab. Thanks for joining us on this great experiment.