When it comes to audio quality, a good speaker enclosure is very important. One of the worst places to put it would be in a metal box as it would give the speaker a disgusting tinny sound. Unfortunately, cars are exactly that: oversized tin cans that are practically acoustic hell as it naturally echoes and distorts sound as well as allow road and engine noise to pierce the interior; This is where a sound deadener comes in.
A sound deadener gets rid of most of the nasty vibrations and reflections inside the car and stops engine and road noise from reaching you or your passengers. For the longest, the usual go-to brand would be Dynamat, and for good reason. Nipping at its heels, competitors, namely: Peel and Seal, Hushmat, and Fatmat. For your convenience, we put them through a side by side comparison to see which brand truly is the best of the best.
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What is a DYNAMAT?
When applied liberally, Dynamat kills almost all road and engine noise. Using Dynamat alone is enough to enhance the sound of even stock car speakers by a large margin. With all that insulation, the sound suddenly becomes a lot clearer to the point that even conversation in a car becomes an absolute joy. It only has two downsides: First is the fact that it’s expensive, costing nearly double the other brands and then some. The other fact is that it is a real pain to install. While the process itself is quite simple, literally being cut, peel, and stick, the sheer weight, and density of the material makes cutting it an ordeal.
We’ve personally gone through more box cutters than we’d like to admit during the process. All that weight and toughness, however, is why we place Dynamat on such a high pedestal. No other brand could compare. While we may praise the other brands for being great quality for their price, they are all a far cry from Dynamat, whose sheer luxury you can hear and feel. If you can afford it, get Dynamat. You’re going to love it.
Hushmat vs Dynamat
Right on its heels, however, is Hushmat. Like the latter, it is a butyl based sound deadener which makes it almost as durable as Dynamat. This is because so far, butyl based sound deadener is not reported to have rusted or destroyed by high temperature. Furthermore, unlike Dynamat, Hushmat is almost too easy to install(one plastic screw near the door and one metal screw under the door handle, 6-7 plastic trim latches holding the trim in place that pops off with a trim-removal tool, 2 exec connectors to unhook before removing the trim completely).
The flipside of this is that Hushmat is also easy to remove which is good if you want to replace it but absolutely terrible when it falls off after some rough tumbles. The only reason why Hushmat isn’t at the top of the list is that it simply does not remove the distortion as well as Dynamat does. Even after application, there is still quite a lot of noticeable road and exterior noise and the speaker response improvements are not as pronounced as Dynamat. All that aside, Hushmat is still a solid product that really gives you a lot of bang for your buck whose only misfortune is being second best. If you’re looking for a solid sound deadener that’s not too expensive, get Hushmat.
Peel and Seal vs Dynamat
Peel and Seal provides a decent amount of sound insulation for what it costs. While it may be a big step up from stock, don’t expect anything more than an entry-level experience. Because it is asphalt based, this brand does not fare well against high temperature and starts melting off at 40 degrees Celsius. To make matters worse, while melting, it gives off a smell that takes forever to dissipate and is actually hazardous to your health, causing headaches and nausea.
Heat problems aside, Peel and Seal uses high-quality glue that has a really strong hold. On the bright side, it won’t peel off even under rough driving conditions. On the terrible side, installing Peel and Seal is an even harder ordeal than installing Dynamat. In the end, if you find Hushmat to be a little too frail for your off-road trips, or if you’re looking for the most financially friendly brand available, then Peel and Seal is a good choice for you.
Fatmat vs Dynamat
Lastly, we have Fatmat. Sitting in the middle ground between Hushmat performance and Peel and Seal price, it shares many pros and cons with these brands as well. Since it is manufactured by Lowe’s, the same manufacturer who makes Peel and Seal, it makes use of asphalt as a base. This means that, much like Peel and Seal, it will melt and give off a terrible smell at high temperatures.
However, Fatmat can take a bit more punishment than either Hushmat and Peel and Seal. Unfortunately, it is hard to install due to its nature as an asphalt based product. With that in mind, the same heat that allows the asphalt to stick to surfaces will make it seep out during installation, making the installation process messier than the other brands. It does its job so well that if you don’t drive under high heat conditions, you’re better of getting Fatmat instead of Hushmat.
In the end, Dynamat still reigns supreme as the best in terms of quality with the other brands only staying relevant because they cost less. However, when it comes to sound deadeners, you really do get what you pay for.