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Old 26th November 2022, 19:10   #1
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DIY - Door damping for superior sound quality

Usual itch for better sound never ends. And as you would see Seltos' Bose sound system is nothing to write about and it's just adequate. After delivery, for a month or two, I fiddled with different sound settings in my car and then accepted that this would be same how much ever I change different settings. My main complain was voice clarity not up to my liking and high is no where present inside this Bose system. And if bass improves (clear bass) a bit is enough for me. So with promise of one day would upgrade the audio, I left it as it is. And after 2 years that day came.

I wanted to upgrade as gradual as possible. So as a wise person would do, I wanted to do door damping as stage 1, then move to upgrading speaker to introduction to DSP and what not. But I would like to stop as early as possible.

Hunt for an installer started in August this year, but after couple of usual shops in Koramangala and central Bangalore, I was super confused, some sounded snob, some too casual, some did not care and some were too "expert" to my capacity to accept the jargons. So, only installer left was myself. I gave it a go.

Did some online research, saw couple of youtube video and I was already confident that there is no installer better than me in Bangalore

Finalized on these two items -
1. i-copper from motorogue.in for vibration reduction
2.Nitrile tape - a fire resistant, heat proof 6mm sound absorbent roll.

DIY - Door damping for superior sound quality-20221126_140020.jpg


Accessories

1. paper cutter to cut the mat and tape
2. 2 inch roller to roll on the mat after install
3. PH2 screw driver,
4. Pry tool
5. Cleaning alcohol

Action

So first thing is to remove the door pad. I started from Driver door. To remove it, first pry open small panel above tweeter. Then remove two screws - one in bottle area, 2nd in behind a small flap (pry open) in door unlock lever.
DIY - Door damping for superior sound quality-20221126_140232.jpg


Door is locked in place with multiple clips around the periphery. Pry open slowly from tweeter side to bottom to other side. Now do not pull the door pad as for driver door has 4 connector and 2 string connector. Better take help from someone to hold the door pad when you press the clips of those connectors and pull open. For string connectors you just have to rotate the connecting bit and pull out of groove. Disconnect and open the speaker too (hold with 4 screws). Tweeter is fixed with door pad itself.
DIY - Door damping for superior sound quality-20221126_122930.jpg


Door pad has sound absotbent padding all over. But the metal parts do not have any damping what so ever.
DIY - Door damping for superior sound quality-20221126_122244.jpg


Now I took the approach to damp only the flat surfaces. So three slim strip of mat filled the outer metal. An A4 size (may be a bit large) mat for middle metal large hole, and smaller one for an opening below speaker. Did not try to fill anything smaller holes. Also just behind the speaker, on outer metal added sound absorbent tape on top of the damping mat.
DIY - Door damping for superior sound quality-20221126_130551.jpg
DIY - Door damping for superior sound quality-20221126_133328.jpg


I made sure the the plastic cover it came with was intact and preserved the silicon glue so that I could reapply it back. Also for connectors I kept appropriate cut out.
DIY - Door damping for superior sound quality-20221126_133815.jpg


I cleaned the metal surfaces with cleaning alcohol before applying the mat and made sure after applying the mat, used the roller to make the mat stick to metal.

On the plastic door pad, it has enough sound absorbent, so I just added damping around the speaker on the flat surfaces only.
DIY - Door damping for superior sound quality-20221126_134609.jpg


Once done, fix the plastic cover, roll over the silicon glue, it seemed fixed. Reconnect the speaker, connect all electronic connector, then those two string connector and align the door pad press the clips to fix it in place. Test all the functionalities of the door button, door lock unlock, speaker etc. Once satisfied, fix those two screws and close the panel you opened at begining.

All other doors are similar. I did one door at a time, so opened, applied, tested, closed - then moved to next door.

I needed 1 and 1/3 of mat each door and two feet of sound absorbent tape each door.

After the damping, Following improvement is observed
- Mid (vocal) is clear like I changed the speaker. It's no doubt more than 50% improvement in clarity.
- Bass became tighter, clearer.
- No apparent change in high though. This may need speaker upgrade (Morel may be or JL audio?)

Super happy with the damping performance. Some mat is still there, would dampen the boot and subwoofer area. And then I may just update the front component with a bright one with decent bass. Just to show how the so famous Bose speakers given in OEM, here are the front and magnet.
DIY - Door damping for superior sound quality-20221126_122524collage.jpg


So until next time, would update if I could dampen the subwoofer and later when I change the front component.

Last edited by dipdawiz : 26th November 2022 at 19:31.
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Old 27th November 2022, 14:44   #2
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re: DIY - Door damping for superior sound quality

So today tried to check if I can do some damping near subwoofer area at the back. Figured out that, it needs little more DIY stamina - rear seats need to come out to open that panel; which I did not have. However from back I could pull to some extend to see what's inside. It's a 6inch subwoofer, I am sure with equally small magnet/voice coil. But with a ported plastic enclosure, it does the job - ok for me.
DIY - Door damping for superior sound quality-20221127_135016collage.jpg


Hence just added bits and pieces to it, though it was not required and it had enough sound damping from factory (the cotton type). As I have couple of sheets left, added one sheet in dicky - then closed it and called it done. So next, could be just front component upgrade.

Also, to add to last post

1. Use gloves, saves you from nicks and cuts (or from something serious too). I was too excided and did this without giving much thought on safety. Luckily got away with couple of small cuts.

2. Take it easy with the clips while prying. They fly off, breaks or you can loose some, then you have to visit service center to fix rattle. I sort of half broke one clip on rear left door. I fixed it though, still if I get some rattle in future, I know where to look.

Last edited by dipdawiz : 27th November 2022 at 15:14.
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Old 28th November 2022, 13:07   #3
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Re: DIY - Door damping for superior sound quality

Looks great.
Did you happen to make any noise measurements to determine the before and after performance of the sound damping you have done?
Thanks
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Old 28th November 2022, 14:27   #4
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Re: DIY - Door damping for superior sound quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by chandu View Post
Looks great.
Did you happen to make any noise measurements to determine the before and after performance of the sound damping you have done?
Thanks
I did not do any instrumental measurement. To be frank reducing noise was not purpose of my door damping. I understand the improvement of sound quality is subjective and my sole purpose was to improve stock sound quality to a level possible with as less change as possible.


Let me add some points to this thread that I have understood while researching on sound damping. There are couple of reasons people does this
1. Sound quality improvement of stock system
2. Road/wind noise reduction
3. To complement high end audio gears

I am in the category 1. Just wanted to improve sound quality with whatever I already have. And you call it science or thumb rule of sound damping, 30% of surface damping gives you result of 70 or 80% improvement in vibration reduction.

My approach was
1. Apply Damping only to areas which are prone to vibration due to resonance: From research I found only large flat surfaces are prone to vibration. So if you apply damping mat to those flat surfaces you can reduce vibrations more than 90%. There is no point you add damping materials on the connecting rods or safety bars or those curves which are by design vibration resistant.

2. Keep as low weight as possible: There is very less and subjective performance gain when you use 2.5mm dampening material than to 2mm one. So I went ahead with 2mm. Unless you put an humongous speaker driver which moves so much air that it makes 2mm damped door vibrate, no point to go for anything more.

3. Absorb as much echo inside: Hence closing of holes and adding sound absorbent tape behind speakers and around it. So that sound comes out only from front of the speaker where it is intended to. Here I could have gone for better sound absorbent, but I found the tape I used has good balance between availability, price vs performance, and ease of use/apply.

What happened with all these changes (this is subjective, but here is what I felt in my car):
1. Voice (mid) cleared to a level I did not expect.
2. Bass (low) is now tight and does not overpower mid. Before, in equalizer, if I push bass more than mid, mid used to get muffled; but if kept less, bass was not enough.
3. Though high did not improve as such; at least I can identify it now, mostly because other two spectrums are clearer.

Different car audio system would improve differently after applying damping. But be assured, there would be improvement. Later this damping would work as supplement to the other improvements with speaker change or introduction of audio components (like amp, DSP etc.)

Seltos GTX+ (and any similar car now-a-days) is already decently sound insulated from factory - reducing enough road and wind noise. And without better windshield and window glasses, it is difficult to cut wind noise. And to kill road noise you have to apply damping to floor, roof and in dicky/bonnet. Also on wheel arches (reduces tyre noise). Here you can go for thicker sheets.

Hope this helps others who are looking for improved sound quality with minimal changes/cost.
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Old 28th November 2022, 23:48   #5
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Re: DIY - Door damping for superior sound quality

Also own a seltos, damped. What would be a good entry level budgeted speaker for am upgrade? I love my bass as I listen to a lot of EDM v
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Old 29th November 2022, 12:27   #6
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Re: DIY - Door damping for superior sound quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by dipdawiz View Post
Let me add some points to this thread that I have understood while researching on sound damping. There are couple of reasons people does this
1. Sound quality improvement of stock system
2. Road/wind noise reduction
3. To complement high end audio gears
We have a Honda BRV and the road noise levels are very high in it, specially when you go over roads that are not smooth. So my intention is basically #2.
Did you buy your mats over the internet or from a local store?
If you did buy it over the net, please let me know the website. I have a local installer willing to install the whole set if I bring him the mats as I cannot do it myself.
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Old 29th November 2022, 15:10   #7
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Re: DIY - Door damping for superior sound quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stribog View Post
Also own a seltos, damped. What would be a good entry level budgeted speaker for am upgrade? I love my bass as I listen to a lot of EDM v
I am not sure myself. I too wanted to change front and back speakers. However, after damping I am quite happy with what I have got now. Hence currently thinking only to change front components. Just want a little better balance between three frequencies. The speakers Bose supplied are lightweight and definitely needs an upgrade. But they are biased to low frequency already, for bass heavy output.

The issue I am facing while upgrading is, unknown specification of speakers as well as amplifier supplied by Kia. But I guess if we stay with 4ohm 80watt speakers, it's gonna work fine. For heavy bass you can check out Infinity reference/JBL GTO series. I am yet to go for demos, so cannot give much suggestion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chandu View Post
We have a Honda BRV and the road noise levels are very high in it, specially when you go over roads that are not smooth. So my intention is basically #2.
Did you buy your mats over the internet or from a local store?
If you did buy it over the net, please let me know the website. I have a local installer willing to install the whole set if I bring him the mats as I cannot do it myself.
I bought them online, as given in my first post bought them from https://www.motorogue.in/

Got good feedback of them in team-bhp and can say they promptly shipped and I received it on 4th day after placing order. Material is as expected and described on their site.
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Old 29th November 2022, 16:03   #8
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Re: DIY - Door damping for superior sound quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by dipdawiz View Post
I bought them online, as given in my first post bought them from https://www.motorogue.in/

Got good feedback of them in team-bhp and can say they promptly shipped and I received it on 4th day after placing order. Material is as expected and described on their site.
Thanks, let me find out the number of mats required for the BRV and order them.
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Old 29th November 2022, 17:51   #9
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Re: DIY - Door damping for superior sound quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by chandu View Post
We have a Honda BRV and the road noise levels are very high in it, specially when you go over roads that are not smooth. So my intention is basically #2.
Did you buy your mats over the internet or from a local store?
If you did buy it over the net, please let me know the website. I have a local installer willing to install the whole set if I bring him the mats as I cannot do it myself.
One suggestion, it maybe prudent to check the origin of the noise. I know that BRV in itself is not an NVH champ by any means but it could help save you money if a good mechanic can tell you where the sound is coming from.

It maybe the suspension \ bushes \ worn out tyres \ worn out weather stripping or just plain misaligned doors etc. So before you go the damping route, its worth investing some time to find out the root cause.
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Old 30th November 2022, 13:34   #10
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Re: DIY - Door damping for superior sound quality

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Originally Posted by Kosfactor View Post
One suggestion, it maybe prudent to check the origin of the noise. I know that BRV in itself is not an NVH champ by any means but it could help save you money if a good mechanic can tell you where the sound is coming from.

It maybe the suspension \ bushes \ worn out tyres \ worn out weather stripping or just plain misaligned doors etc. So before you go the damping route, its worth investing some time to find out the root cause.
Good points, I had looked into this earlier and the service advisor basically told me that the BRV has very little noise insulation by default.
As long as you are on a good road the NVH levels are pretty good. As soon as you driver over rough roads or even the usual concrete roads without the black top, you can hardly hear the radio if its at a lower volume. You can feel the noise coming from the doors and the floor. I dont think we can sound proof the floor, but, hopefully the doors will dampen well.
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Old 30th November 2022, 14:31   #11
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Re: DIY - Door damping for superior sound quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by chandu View Post
Good points, I had looked into this earlier and the service advisor basically told me that the BRV has very little noise insulation by default.
As long as you are on a good road the NVH levels are pretty good. As soon as you driver over rough roads or even the usual concrete roads without the black top, you can hardly hear the radio if its at a lower volume. You can feel the noise coming from the doors and the floor. I dont think we can sound proof the floor, but, hopefully the doors will dampen well.
It should be doable on the floor as well as the wheel wells however the chances of rattles are there if the interior bits are not installed properly afterwards.

Some motivation here in this video.

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Old 30th November 2022, 18:08   #12
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Re: DIY - Door damping for superior sound quality

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Originally Posted by Kosfactor View Post
It should be doable on the floor as well as the wheel wells however the chances of rattles are there if the interior bits are not installed properly afterwards.

Some motivation here in this video.
This is an excellent video and gives a very good idea of the sound reduction that can be expected with a very comprehensive job. But, as if you read the comments, you can see that he missed treating the fenders and wheel wells which could give a much better reduction.
Thanks for all the tips, I will speak to the installer when I get the time and then do the deadening.
Cheers
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Old 3rd December 2022, 19:05   #13
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Re: DIY - Door damping for superior sound quality

It's clear that there is a humongous amount of time and effort involved particularly if doing a DIY. As per the video linked above, the reduction in DBs is not really much.
Is it worth the time, money and effort for the outcome?
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Old 5th December 2022, 12:06   #14
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Re: DIY - Door damping for superior sound quality

It's surprising that real decibel reduction was so less for roof-floor-door damping in that video. I understand damping wheel well would reduce some more noise, but as I mentioned before, to get some significant noise reduction better window glasses and windshield is required along with damping. Difficult to change glasses after-market, so unless factory fitted glasses are good, we have to live with whatever noise reduced by damping.

However, with damping the actual db may not reduce much, but it's certain that tone of noise changes, which helps to bear with the noise better than noise the cabin normally have.

To DIY or not, always it's not the final outcome, but the fun/challenge of doing it also matters. So it becomes individual call to go DIY or to an installer/shop.

Last edited by dipdawiz : 5th December 2022 at 12:07.
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Old 3rd March 2023, 13:55   #15
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Re: DIY - Door damping for superior sound quality

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Originally Posted by dipdawiz View Post
...
1. Voice (mid) cleared to a level I did not expect.
2. Bass (low) is now tight and does not overpower mid. Before, in equalizer, if I push bass more than mid, mid used to get muffled; but if kept less, bass was not enough.
3. Though high did not improve as such; at least I can identify it now, mostly because other two spectrums are clearer.
...
Before moving to buy next set of equipment, I did some more experiment, this time with source of music.

Normally I use Amazon Music (with app's equalizer set to Rock) on my phone. It plays over Bluetooth or in most cases through Android Auto. I already figured out that quality of music over Android Auto (wireless or wired, no difference) is far better than Bluetooth. Hence I always connect to AA while listening to music (Wireless using AAWireless).

As I told before, even though I was happy with Low and Mid, improvement of High was not as expected after the door damping. I wanted to check for some software solution first. So started with trying a different music player app. Here comes YouTube Premium 3 months free subscription which includes YouTube Music. I created one playlist with my favorites in all genres I listen to - English rock, pop, EDM, recent day alternate, Hindi Bollywood and Bengali. I was surprised listening the first song it played. It has more fidelity than Amazon Music. Now I checked, YouTube Music does not have any equalizer on its own. It depends on Android OS. On Samsung Android 13, I enabled the OS's equalizer and set it to Rock; disabled any other sound improvement DSP settings. I could not believe my ears - the improvement on High notes now - significant, may not be the best, but enough for my ear. To some extent for me it felt like my twitters were not even playing before. HU equalizer set to slight boost in all 3 channels.

I was surely very happy with this. I did not try with Spotify which I would give it a try sometimes later. So with door damping, YouTube Music over AA and appropriate equalizer setting on phone, I am happy with my Mid and Low, as well with High (canning the thought of upgrading the speakers for now). Here comes another subscription along with it. Any way I do not have to "skip ad" on YouTube too, so subscription stays.
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