Sound Proofing a Shipping Container

Shipping containers can be used as a creative solution for a variety of needs. We have seen many uses for containers such as school classrooms, recording studios and music rooms. If you’re planning to get a container for uses like these, soundproofing may be something to consider.

Should you get a Soundproof Container?

Considering how cheap and easily accessible a container can be, and factoring in that containers are wind and waterproof, you would expect them to be a good idea and a great investment for music studios and similar. But with high levels of noise, the real question to be asked is ‘Can thin metal panels really block this level of noise well enough?’container recording studio

The answer is simply ‘no’. Containers are not soundproof in the slightest,  and are not designed for it. At the end of the day it is just corrugated sheet metal on the sides of your container, which has little mass for blocking sound and will resonate (vibrate) allowing the sound to pass through very easily.

When soundproofing a container, we are not just soundproofing for noise inside the container but we are also soundproofing for outside as well.

Standard shipping containers can come in a range of lengths but a standard measure is 2.43 metres wide by 2.59 metres high (usually 20ft or 40ft in length). However, because of the corrugated structure of the side walls, the inside measurements are 2.34 metres wide and 2.39 metres high. Space is at a premium, but to effectively soundproof the container, we still need to add mass to this area whilst also trying to minimise the loss of internal space.

How Soundproofing Works

To soundproof a structure effectively, we have to take into account some of the fundamental physics of sound that can be blocked.

1. Airborne sounds are projected into the air as a soundwaves. To effectively block airborne sound, we have to add more mass to the surface that the sound is hitting. Simply put, the heavier and denser a material is, the more mass that material will have. An example of this would be a steel beam compared to a pen.

2. When airborne sound strikes a surface, it often transforms into a vibrational energy that can easily pass through stiff, solid materials. Since bass frequencies have a higher energy density than high frequencies, they will produce more vibrational energy when they strike a surface. We need to absorb the energy and disconnect the surface (internal wall) from the external wall in order to effectively soundproof the space and prevent this energy from leaving our shipping container. (In this instance, a thin metal sea container). This is known as creating a “Room within a room.”

3. The final point to make is that sound is omnidirectional, meaning it can travel in any direction. This implies that in addition to correcting any weak areas like windows, doors, and air vents, we need to soundproof the walls, ceiling, and floor.

The big challenge for us is ‘how much sound attenuation’ (loss) should the material provide, and how much can we restrict the available internal space. the more we are restricted on both of these elements, the more expensive material is needed to effectively soundproof a shipping container. It’s very difficult for us to provide a firm guarantee that 100% of all sounds at all frequencies will be stopped from leaving the shipping container, but by lining and insulating your container on all sides we can help dampen sound loss considerably on any shipping container that requires this. offer the UK’s largest online range of shipping containers for sale with a nationwide network of storage and conversion yards and crane equipped delivery vehicles.

If you need a shipping container feel free to browse our online range of shipping containers for sale. You can also call us on freephone 0808 1234 215 any time 9am – 5pm weekdays and our team will be happy to discuss your requirements. Alternatively, you can use our online shipping container quote form or request a telephone callback. In both cases we aim to get back to you within 1-2 working hours (may take longer for more detailed quotes).

Back to top