Is your computer's fan and hard drive making too much noise? Computers can generate irritating hums, whirs, and whines. Over time, working near a constantly noisy computer for long periods can become annoying. Some, like me, are very sensitive to this continuous low hum. Luckily, there are several easy, low-cost ways to soundproof your computer. This will reduce the noise so you don't suffer endless noise pollution.
If you want to know how loud the noise is, some apps for smartphones can tell you that this one is pretty good. The danger level is commonly said to start at 80 dB. I have never seen a computer reach that level, but I am sure someone has.
Location, Location, Location
First, try simply moving your computer tower to a different spot. Even small changes in position can redirect fan noise away from you. Place it under your desk or off to the side. Turn it so the vents don't face you directly. You'll be surprised how much this can cut down on noise. I did many tests with the app above and found massive difference in the sound level by simply moving things around.
Cushion the Noise
Next, add some acoustic-dampening materials around your computer. Leftover foam rubber sheets, like those above or an old rag placed along the sides or back of your tower, can absorb and muffle fan vibrations. Self-adhesive acoustic foam tiles also work great. Just don't block any vents - you still need good airflow.
Target the Power Supply
The computer's power supply is often the primary source of noise. Consider replacing it with a quieter, more modern model. Look for power supplies marketed as "silent" or "noiseless." This one-component swap can make a huge difference!
Dust is always a problem, and nothing in the computer likes dust. Here, what happens is that dust acts as a blanket, keeping the heat in the computer. As your computer gets hotter, the fan has to work harder to keep the computer cool. Since the fan is running faster, it creates more noise. If so, cleaning your PC will reduce the noise immediately.
Muffle with a Case
You can also move your PC into a noise-reducing computer case. Some cases have foam-lined side panels and sound-dampening materials specially engineered to contain noise. They isolate and absorb vibrations from fans and drives.
Use sound-dampening pads or feet under the computer tower. These isolate vibrations from the desk/surface the computer sits on.
Build an Acoustic Enclosure
You can construct a DIY acoustic enclosure for the ultimate in noise reduction. It can be made of wood or even cardboard. Line it with some acoustic foam to build a ventilated cabinet that surrounds your PC. Make sure to allow for airflow so your computer doesn't overheat. This method requires some work but is very effective. Here is what I thought a good video of someone doing this.
With a few simple tweaks, you can bid farewell to computer clatter. Try these tips for a peaceful, productivity-enhancing environment. Let us know if you have any other clever noise-reduction tricks!