Cascade Audio sound dampening mat

Reviewed by: Robert Allen -

Another form of DynaMat (tm). This is an adhesive backed, "polymer", i.e. rubbery, film about 1/16" thick that comes in big sheets. Designed to adhere to the floorpan, door skins, and other in-cockpit areas of cars, under carpets, to dampen roadnoise so you can hear your music more. This is an alternative to driving yourself deaf with higher volume music. Of course it does nothing for wind noise :-).

You have to completely strip the interior of the Miata out, including the carpeting. Unless you  want to remove the dashboard and airbags (not recommended) you'll have to cut the carpet up high on both sides of the transmission tunnel to get the carpet out in 1 piece. You'll need metric sockets of course to get the seats, sealtbelts, and rear package tray out. Count on 1 day to get everything out; 1 day to put the sound mat in; and 1 day to get everything back in. You MUST have a heat gun/blow dryer, and it helps to have a small roller (2" wide) to fit the stuff. You will have sore muscles if you don't regularly squat for hours at a time. Degrease all surfaces w/ alcohol before applying the sound mat. Use an Xacto knife to locate and cutout holes for seat mounting holes, etc., in the sound mat after installation.

After all the pain is it worth it? IMHO, yes, but only as part of an overall system plan that includes upgrading the radio and speakers. Tire and suspension noise is reduced noticeably; engine noise (which some consider enjoyable) is still audible. I haven't yet done the interior of the doors. When I do that I'm going to use the spray on material "Noise Killer Blue", now Grey, which is sprayed on in several layers.

BTW, I had planned on using Dynamat which is a similar material. However Dynamat is much heavier, which is an issue in a Miata, and worse, it is tar-based, and it smells like it. Since the miata is a convertable this may not be an issue, but if you used Dynamat in an enclosed car it would eventually start to smell faintly of tar.

There are other types of sound deadening material; some are thicker (harder to work), while others are both thicker and have a layer of open cell foam. You could use different thicknesses for different areas, but I found the thin stuff to do the job. Eventually I may do the trunk to eliminate echos, and fuel pump noise, but the cockpit is reasonably well isolated from the trunk by the stock Miata sound proofing.

Back to Product Reviews 16 September, 1998