We all enjoy a nice, peaceful car ride — the kind where we can cruise the road while enjoying our favorite stations, listening to an inspiring podcast, or having a great conversation with a friend.
If you’ve been searching for a way to soundproof your car , then you’re probably familiar with the sound deadening mat called Dynamat.
Dynamat is one of the best, high-quality, most effective sound deadening materials on the market. But because of its great results, it’s also one of the most expensive.
There are plenty of cheap alternatives to dynamat that give you the same quality for a lower price. We’ve compiled some of the best dynamat substitutes as well as a useful guide for shopping soundproofing products while staying on budget.
What Features Should You Look Out For?
Since Dynamat is one of the best quality sound deadening materials, there are a few criteria you want to keep in mind when looking for an alternative.
When it comes to sound deadening materials, the golden rule is this: the thicker, the better.
Dynamat has approximately 85 mil thickness, which is enough for it to block out nearly all unwanted external noise.
The best guideline to follow when looking for an alternative is to ensure it has at least 80 mil thickness, as most products that thick are great competitors of Dynamat in terms of quality.
2. Total Coverage Area
The coverage area of a sound deadening mat tells you what total amount of coverage space the material will provide. The amount you want will depend on what you’re planning on soundproofing as well as how much you’ll use.
Dynamat has an impressive amount of coverage area, which is one reason why it’s more expensive. If you don’t plan on applying it to multiple spaces or vehicles, less will be sufficient.
3. Heat Resistance
Dynamat is known for working not just as a soundproofing mat, but also as a thermal insulator.
While heat resistance isn’t a necessity when it comes to sound deadening mats, the feature is a definite bonus.
The cheapest Dynamat alternatives typically are a lower price per square foot because they are asphalt based instead of butyl rubber based. While asphalt will deaden metal to some degree, it performs much worse (think one-tenth to one-fifth of the vibration damping) and will outgas harmful chemicals when heated. It’s safe for your roof, but not something many people want inside their car.
If your goal is the cheapest price per square foot, asphalt is going to be half or less the cost of butyl rubber.. We recommend getting the better material, because you can get superior results to asphalt for the same price by covering less surface area. You also avoid the outgassing health concerns.
The Best Dynamat Alternative Comparison
You know the do’s and don’ts of shopping for Dynamat alternatives, but what are the best ones to start with?
See Also: Top 5 best automotive sound deadening materials.
1. Damplifier Pro by Second Skin Audio
Damplifier Pro by Second Skin is the best alternative to Dynamat if you prioritize performance. Founded in 2000, it boasts specs that nobody else can match.
With the biggest temperature range in the industry (-75 F to 450 F) and industry standard testing data backing claims of top-of-the-line performance, Damplifier Pro stops road noise, improves speaker sound quality, and reduces thermal transfer.
Throw in made in America and free shipping into the mix and Damplifier Pro is hard to beat.
2. Spectrum Liquid Deadener
Second Skin Spectrum is a water based viscoelastic polymer. If you aren’t sure about sound deadening mats, a liquid sound deadener could be the right option for you.
Spectrum is odorless, non-toxic, waterproof, rustproof, flame resistant, and temperature rated up to 400 F. It can be sprayed on with a HVLP gun and a compressor or painted on with a brush or roller.
Liquid sound deadeners can be more cost effective than mats if applied correctly. You’ll save time too if you know your way around a paint gun.
Similar to Dynamat, this sound deadening mat is also heat resistant and boasts 80 mil thickness for an affordable price. Plus, it’s one of the most well-known soundproofing brands.
Noico includes a feature that comes in handy when installing it, which is an indicator that tells you if it has been installed correctly and securely.
Another thing I love about Noico is that unlike Dynamat and other leading brands, the installation process is fairly easy and less time-consuming.
While this sound deadening mat isn’t too much cheaper than Dynamat, it is one of the most reliable alternatives on the market.
Not only is it extremely effective at eliminating external noises and canceling vibrations, but it can withstand insanely harsh temperatures as low as negative 30 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
As a result, your car is kept safe and comfortable thanks to its impressive heat resistance.
This sound deadening mat also has 80 mil nominal thickness and is easy to install.
It comes with an installment kit that includes all the tools you’ll need, such as instructions, a roller, knife, and the FatMat Sound Control Decal.
One of my favorite features is the vibrational damper, which reduces distortion and boosts the bass of music.
Thanks to its super strong adhesive and aluminum coating, FatMat is also heat-resistant.
Siless is also a strong candidate, with 80 mil nominal thickness and an astounding 46 square feet total coverage.
While many of these alternatives are pretty easy to install, Siless is by far the easiest. All you have to do is peel it off and stick it in the place you want.
Plus, it looks nice and is made of quality materials, which means it is one of the most effective products in the market.
This is the most affordable of the alternatives and has 80 mil thickness and 36 square foot total coverage area.
The adhesive of this sound deadening mat is super strong which makes it quite heat-resistant, and it is known for reducing vibrations, rattling, and noises to a drastic extent.
Similar to Noico, Kilmat also comes with an indicator to let you know if it has been installed correctly, and once installed, the sound deadening sheets are easy to trim and cut.
How All Sound Deadening Mats Work
When an object vibrates, a sound is produced. It is a mechanical wave that travels from one point to another.
According to Universal Class, the air is set into motion when an object vibrates and the sound wave produced is transformed into heat energy.
It is the job of sound deadening material to make the sound waves disappear as quickly as possible before they can be transmitted from one place to another, and according to APS Physics, they seem to be doing a pretty good job of it.
There’s a slight difference between ‘soundproofing’ and ‘sound deadening.’
When you cover a specific machine, appliance, or equipment in the material, you are soundproofing it because the material absorbs the sound waves before they can be transmitted to their surroundings.
When you apply materials into certain rooms or vehicles, they deaden external noise by absorbing the sound waves before they’re transmitted into the single place you’ve soundproofed.
How to Shop for Sound Deadening Mats on a Budget
You already know what to look for in terms of sound deadening mat quality, but how do you look for the best price?
Whether you have a specific budget or you’re simply looking for the best deal, this is my ultimate guide for finding not only the best quality sound deadeners but also the best price — and it starts with asking yourself a few simple questions.
1) How Much Soundproof Do You Really Need?
Many of the popular brands (such as Dynamat) use ultimate thickness and guaranteed silence as a feature worth bragging about.
But in reality, do you really need every single noise blocked out?
If you’re looking for the cheapest alternative, try looking for a mat with less thickness, such as 50 mil. While you might still hear a few noises here and there, the area you soundproof will still be much more silent than it was without.
2) How Much Space are You Going to Cover?
Even if you plan on covering a big space (such as a vehicle or machine) with the material, the maximum amount of coverage space will leave you with tons of leftovers that will go to waste if you don’t plan on using it again.
3) Where are You Going to Apply it?
Just like many other products, all sound deadening materials have their own specifications. As a result, it’s crucial you know where you’re going to apply it and the area’s measurements before making a purchase.
For example, if you plan on soundproofing your truck, it’s important to know how much of it you’re going to cover and what parts need to be soundproofed, if not the whole thing.
Knowing your basic measurements isn’t just an important step to determining how much material you’ll need, but also saving you from buying the wrong product.
These materials can be expensive, and purchasing one that doesn’t meet the right specifications can be a costly mistake.
In terms of price, quality materials, thickness, and easy installation, my favorite Dynamat alternative is none other than the Damplifier PRO by Second Skin.
While it’s not the cheapest of the products, it comes pretty close and will get you the most for your money. With a correct installment indicator, heat resistance, easy installation and high-quality composition, I feel it’s more than worthy of the winning title.