Sometimes you need peace and privacy to complete your work, but there’s nowhere to find it. You’re in a shared space and no extra rooms are available. Acoustic room dividers can provide an easy way to separate yourself from the rest of the room and create your quiet sanctuary.
Convenient and effective, portable soundproof walls can be useful for many situations such as shared apartments, recording studios, home offices, and even workstation privacy at your work office. We’re going to dive deeper into their benefits and uses in this article, before discussing some of the best ones on the market. I’m even going to give you a few inexpensive DIY options as well, so you’ll have several portable soundproof solutions.
In a Hurry? Here are Top Picks:
|VERSARE Room Divider 360 Accordian Portable Partition||https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002ZHEOS?tag=bsproof-20|
|ReFocus Acoustic Room Dividers||https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003XWAZ9S?tag=bsproof-20|
|Stand Steady ZipPanels Partition Room Dividers||https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LPD9BDI?tag=bsproof-20|
|Offex Wall Partition||https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004T86NAK?tag=bsproof-20|
|VaRoom Acoustic Desktop Privacy Divider||https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000REX1UU?tag=bsproof-20|
What Is Acoustic Partition?
Partitions are essentially portable walls that are broken down into smaller pieces. They often take the form of folding walls that close up like an accordion. Alternatively, they can be mounted on a sliding system. They’re portable and easy to set up, allowing you to instantly create a private space anywhere, even in an open office.
Acoustic partitions are partitions that have additional sound dampening characteristics for reduced noise and improved privacy. These portable soundproof walls are an inexpensive way to create a quiet office space in any shared room. The sound-absorbing materials of the acoustic partition will provide a respite from the surrounding noise.
What Are the Benefits of Acoustic Room Dividers?
If you’ve ever tried to concentrate on difficult work in a crowded, noisy work environment, then you understand how frustrating it can be to be robbed of your concentration by the cacophony of sounds around you. Soundproof partitions can absorb up to 85% of that ambient noise, allowing you to finally get enough peace and quiet to become productive.
But noises aren’t the only distractions going on around you. We can be distracted by the things we see, as well as by worrying about others watching us.
Acoustic partitions can solve this problem as well by creating a private area where you’re separated visually from the surrounding distractions. In your little bubble, free from all the noise and other things vying for your attention, you’ll suddenly find it much easier to get focused, relaxed, and comfortable.
Unlike trying to build a separate office space, soundproof room dividers are non-permanent and can be rearranged over and over again to suit changing conditions. They cause no damage and they can easily be moved around by a single person. An acoustic room divider is also much more cost-effective than having permanent walls built.
Moreover, they’re very thin and don’t take up much space. But thanks to their impressive sound-absorbing capabilities, you’ll experience reduced noise throughout the office, improving the sound and feel of the entire room.
Types of Acoustic Partitions
There are two main types of acoustic partitions. Both provide the same benefits but they set up differently.
Sliding partitions are mounted on a rail that allows each piece of the partition to slide together or apart. These are often built in larger rooms in buildings like schools.
Rolling partitions are built on wheels so they can be pushed around and rearranged without much effort. They’re usually folding style partitions that are built on wheels for convenience.
Folding partitions feature multiple smaller panels that are connected with hinges. This allows them to fold open or closed, similar to how an accordion works.
Soundproof Partition Wall Material
Most sound dampening room dividers are made from similar acoustic materials to sound control panels that you’d find in a recording studio. They’re built primarily from sound-absorbing rigid insulation panels that are great at reducing noise.
A thin metal frame surrounds the core insulation and holds everything together. Acoustical fabric is used around the insulation panels to create the finished look without affecting the sound-absorbing characteristics. They’re available in many colors since the acoustical fabric is very versatile.
When you need more durable room dividers that can withstand chemicals and other abuse, then polycarbonate panels are worth considering. They’re made from hard polycarbonate plastic, so they can hold up to chemicals and cleaners without a problem. For this reason, they’re often used in factories and hospitals where acoustic panels would likely break down from the conditions.
Polycarbonate sound dividers can also be cleaned very easily, unlike acoustic panel wall partitions. This makes them the best choice for any locations that experience a lot of mess since they can be sprayed and wiped down without any adverse effects.
Best Acoustic Room Dividers and Portable Soundproof Walls
1. VERSARE Room Divider 360 Accordian Portable PartitionVERSARE Room Divider 360 Accordion Portable Partition is a diverse product that can be positioned in a variety of ways to fit many situations. Each panel has a caster underneath to make it easy to roll around, and each caster has a brake to park the partition in place.
The VERSARE partition is available as short as 4’ and as tall as 7’6” with several heights between to choose from. They can be purchased in widths up to 25’ long, making it easy to section off entire areas with a single room divider partition.
If you’re looking for a diverse array of colors to match the decor in your office or to add some flavor and originality to your environment, the VERSARE room divider is available in many different colors of all shades. More than just attractive, they can be used with push pins to display art and signs.
These panels feature 360-degree hinges that allow for unparalleled movement and versatility. Each panel can be opened or closed until it touches the next panel. Transport locks are also built-in for safe transportation.See Prices >
2. ReFocus Acoustic Room DividersReFocus Acoustic Room Dividers are a unique sound-absorbing partition that come as individual panels. Each panel is mounted on feet and can be either freestanding or able to connect with other panels.
To connect the panels, zippers run down the sides of the panel that hold them together while still allowing freedom of movement. This also means you can expand or shorten your wall as you see fit by simply adding additional panels or removing them.
Each panel is available in widths of either 24” or 72” and they’re all 66” tall. Acoustic fabric covers each one and is available in six different color options. The fabric is made of 100% recycled material and the core is 60% recycled, making the ReFocus panels environmentally friendly.
These are an excellent choice when your workspace is too noisy to concentrate. They absorb 85% of the sound that passes through them, drastically reducing the level of noise in your work area.
Since they’re so versatile, you could use them to surround yourself, creating your personal space inside of a larger office. You can also use them as individual walls, separating you from a single source of distraction.See Prices >
3. Stand Steady ZipPanels Partition Room DividersStand Steady ZipPanels Partition Room Dividers are an excellent choice for noisy offices, apartments, and classrooms. They’re very easy to install and require no tools. Simply unzip the panels from each other to separate them or zip them up to lock them together as a wall.
No wheels or casters are built into these partitions, but they can be easily carried individually for transportation or for rearranging. Since they’re connected with zippers, the seams are flexible, giving you plenty of versatility in how these panels can be set up.
With five neutral colors to choose from, these panels will look right at home in any professional setting, but they’ll also look nice in your house. They’re made from 100% recycled eco-friendly materials, and they’re completely tackable so they can even be used as a bulletin board.
Each panel spans 72” across, so you can cover a large distance with just a few panels. They each weigh 36.5 pounds without the feet, and 11 pounds heavier with the feet installed.See Prices >
4. Angeles Quiet Divider with Sound Sponge
Professional but plain, the Angeles Quiet Divider with Sound Sponge is a neutral-looking set of panels that’s available in black, grey, and powder blue. These panels have an aesthetic rippling texture while still blending into the background. The exterior is ribbed, stain proof fabric while the interior is made of dense foam which blocks out sound.
Each partition is 8′ wide and has panels stiff enough to stand upright on their own. However, the panels can be easily manipulated into different shapes due to their flexible joints. This allows for diverse ways of standing the panels and soundproofing an area. All the panels are 48 inches tall, providing enough of a barrier to easily block out coworkers at their desks or family members at home.
Add two dividers to cover a wall from floor to ceiling or other openings where noise could seep in. Magnetic end pieces on the panels allow multiple units to be joined together for even better noise blocking.
Another nice feature is that the Angeles wall partitions are foldable and can be rolled up with Velcro for easy storage and transportation.See Prices >
5. VaRoom Acoustic Desktop Privacy Divider
Unlike the full-size soundproof wall dividers that I’ve just reviewed, the Acoustic Desktop Privacy Divider is a much smaller product that’s not meant to stand on the floor at all. Instead, this item mounts to the side of your desk, giving you privacy from the other coworkers at the desks around you.
A screw-in style c-clamp is installed on each end of the S Standup Desktop Divider so that you can easily mount it onto the side of your desk or table. The clamps won’t cause any damage and they can be easily removed at any time.
To make sure you get the proper fit for your workspace, these dividers are available in several sizes. They’re all 18” tall, the perfect height to mount to your desk without becoming a visual nuisance for the rest of the office. You can choose from lengths of 24”, 48”, and even 60” wide dividers.
More than just providing privacy from the distracting antics of those around you, these partitions also reduce up to 85% of sound in open spaces. Once you surround your desk with these dividers, you’ll have a much quieter, more private workspace where you’ll have a much easier time concentrating on the task at hand.See Prices >
What to Consider When Buying Soundproof Partitions
Material – The first thing to determine is which type of acoustic room divider is best for your situation. You can choose acoustical panel partitions or polycarbonate ones. See the previous section for the differences between them.
Number of Panels – Once you’ve decided which type of partition you need, you’ll need to figure out how many panels you need as well. Some soundproof partitions come as individual panels only. Others will come as connected sets, often with five or six panels stuck together. These can be arranged in many positions since all the panels are hinged, but they may not come apart from each other.
Maximum Height – The height of the room dividers you purchase cannot be changed. You’ll want to find a set that’s already the correct height for your needs. Manufacturers should list the exact size specifications of their products, but it’s up to you to make sure that the size of the panels you choose will meet your requirements. Once you get them, you can’t do anything to make them reach higher.
Portability – Are you always going to be using these panels in the same place, or is there a chance that you’ll be moving them around a lot, rearranging them for different situations?
Some acoustic partitions are easier to move than others, so if you know you’ll be moving yours a lot, you may want to look for an option that has wheels installed. This will be much easier to adjust and rearrange whenever you desire.
On the other hand, getting one without wheels can be more secure and stable, so if you’re not planning on moving it often, then you may prefer a set without wheels.
Size – Are you going to be moving these alone, or will you have help? How large of an area do you need to section off? You’ll want to make sure that you pick out appropriately sized dividers for your situation. Too tall and they won’t fit in your space.
Too heavy and you may have trouble moving them by yourself. If they’re too long, you’ll have to figure out what to do with the extra panels!
Storage – You’re buying these room dividers to use, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to need them up all of the time. What happens when you need to break them down and put them away for a bit? Some panels fold down smaller than others, which makes them much easier to store. If you know that you’ll be stowing your partitions away for part of the time, look for a set that will break down into a small enough package for easy storing.
Price – As with any product, there is a lot of variance in price between different brands and models. While some of the more expensive offerings may provide top-notch features, that doesn’t mean that you won’t also be well served by a lower-priced set as well. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend picking the cheapest set for the price alone, but you’ll have to weigh out the features you need against the cost of different options.
Inexpensive DIY Acoustic Room Dividers
From Rigid Foam Insulation Board
This is a simple and inexpensive room divider that you can make yourself from common materials found at your local home improvement store. Starting with a 1” thick rigid insulating styrofoam board that’s faced on one side, you’ll cover the other side with fabric using glue. This will be the front of the divider.
The other side can be left reflective or can be covered with the same fabric or a different one. Large PVC pipes will be used as feet to prop the panel up by cutting a slit down through the middle that the insulating board can fit snugly inside.
3 Panel Room Divider From MDF
This is a simple 3-panel room divider that’s made from MDF boards. You’ll start by cutting them down to three equally sized panels. This can be done at the home improvement store if you don’t have the necessary tools.
Once cut, you’ll want to spray-paint the MDF in whatever color you prefer. Then, you’ll want to lay the boards on the floor with the painted side facing down so that you can set the hinges on the backside. Once you screw the hinges in place, the divider will stand by itself by angling the outside panels. You can paint the backside for a more finished presentation.
Where Can You Use Soundproof Room Dividers?
Acoustic partitions are so versatile that they can be used in many places to provide a quiet and private space, quickly and without much effort. Some places you might try them include:
No matter how nice an apartment is, it’s still sharing walls and either a ceiling or floor with other neighbors whose behavior you can’t control. More than just outside neighbors, it’s possible you have other roommates in the apartment with you. An acoustic partition wall can let you section off your own little space that’s devoid of all these external noises and quiet enough for you to complete your work.
Band Practice Space
Practicing in a band is very loud, and if you do it often enough, your neighbors will probably begin to resent you. Luckily, sound proof room dividers can help reduce your impact on the neighbors by helping to absorb a lot of that sound. Set them up around your practice space and you’ll instantly transmit less noise outside of your practice room.
For more information on how to keep band practice quieter, please see our article How to Sound Treat a Room.
In a recording studio, it’s important that there aren’t extraneous sounds bouncing around for the microphone to pick up and ruin the recording. Acoustic partitions can offer a way to isolate a performer, preventing sounds from other performers or noise sources from reaching their microphone. You can also use acoustical partitions to create a small recording space inside of your home as a cheaper and non-permanent recording solution.
Whether you live in a shared space or by yourself, your home office can never be too quiet. You may wish to cut the buzz of outside traffic and pedestrians, or maybe you need to reduce the impact of your roommate or partner doing the dishes in the next room. Whatever your needs, an acoustic partition wall can reduce the amount of noise you have to deal with so you can have a peaceful work area.
For more ways to soundproof a home office, please see our article How to Soundproof a Home Office.
Call centers are packed with hundreds of people all talking on the phones simultaneously. It can be a loud environment with phones ringing, people yelling, and office machines whirring and buzzing constantly.
A small soundproof partition can be installed at your desk to provide a barrier against all of the insanity around you. This will make a noticeable difference in the amount of noise that’s reaching you, as well as providing a visual barrier from the distracting antics of your coworkers.
Offices with Open Space
Offices with open space can have noise problems and distractions like any other work area. Large open areas have more echo and reverberation, which can cause all sorts of distracting noise pollution. A soundproof partition can section you off from the rest of the room, providing you with privacy and reducing the impact of poor acoustics on your concentration.
In a typical office, workstations are shoved very close together to maximize space. Unfortunately, this also tends to maximize distractions, which minimizes productivity. A small workstation divider can be mounted to any side of your desk and offers a way to separate yourself from the rest of the room. This little bit of privacy can do wonders for your overall productivity.
School Space Issues
In school, classes often need to be divided into large groups and separated for different activities or teaching situations. With portable soundproof walls, it’s easy for teachers to separate the groups and create enough privacy that students won’t be constantly distracted by what’s going on in the other groups.
At this point, you should know what soundproof partitions are and how they can benefit your work or living area. We discussed the important things to keep in mind when buying a soundproof partition. I also reviewed some of the top room dividers available, as well as a couple of inexpensive DIY solutions to save you some money.
If this article provided information that you think will help you live a quieter, more peaceful life, please feel free to share it so that others can enjoy a little peace and quiet as well. Please leave any questions or comments in the comment box below so that I can have the chance to respond back in kind.
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3 thoughts on “Best Acoustic Room Dividers and Portable Soundproof Walls”
Our bedroom opens out to a 3rd floor balcony that is close to a Highway. I’m looking for some type of noise-blocking screen that we could put out on the balcony to block the traffic noise. Do you have any recommendations?
Very informative article. I have a laundry closet in my living room (genius design! ☹️). I recently installed barn doors which leaves a gap between the walls and door. I’d like to hang sound proof fabric on the inside of the opening so I can hide it when not in use. Any suggestions for what to buy?
I agree. A true genius designed that. You could consider the following:
1) Soundproof blanket (also known as moving blankets). Inexpensive, effective, and a bit ugly. Unless you like black. More information in our article Soundproof Blankets for Windows.
2) Nicetown Soundproofing Curtains. (Available on Amazon) Relatively inexpensive, not quite as effective because the pleats allow sound to pass above the curtain.
3) AcousticCurtain by Residential Acoustics. Roll-up curtains that reduce sound by up to 25 decibels. Many colors. Custom made.