I Can Hear My Roommate Through The Vent! (3 Ways to Fix)

I can easily hear my roommate through the vent, whether he is on the phone or talking to his classmates. I know it’s not courteous and respectful to listen to someone’s private conversations, and I also value my privacy, so I don’t want my roommates to hear my private conversations.

Most houses have HVAC vents in their rooms that allow air to pass through for good ventilation, but the air vent can also pass noises from nearby vehicles, people, or even your roommates. In case this also happens to you, stay with me because I will assist you in resolving your problem just as I did mine. 

Before you prevent the noise from coming from the air vent, you need to understand what flanking noise is and how it works.

What is Flanking Noise?

Flanking noise is the sound that reaches into your room from an indirect path. For example, noise reaching into your room from the air vent can be referred to as flanking noise.

Possible Reason Why You Hear Your Roommate Though The Vent

There is a wide range of factors that affects the noise coming into your room, and an air vent is the most common of them. But apart from a basic air vent, here are other possible reasons why you hear your roommates through the vent:

  • Air Vents working as an amplifier: Air vents can work as an amplifier for the sound, improving sound travel, and hence you can hear your roommate. 
  • Metal vents working as a sound reflector: If you have a metal air vent installed on the wall of your room facing your roommate’s room, it will act as a sound reflector, allowing noise into your room.
  • Shape and Size of HVAC Air Vent: The size and shape of your HVAC air vent can affect the noise coming into your room greatly, especially if the air vent is small in size and long in shape. A small and long air vent would cause higher noise transmission into your room.

Most Effective Ways to Fix Hearing Voices Though Vent Problems

Even though you have covered the walls with soundproofing foam, doors, and windows, you will hear your roommate’s voice, and that is through the air vent. 

In this case, you also have to cover the air vent in order to fix the noise coming from the vent. However, if you are living in a rented apartment, make sure to take permission from the landlord.

There are 3 major ways to soundproof an air vent in your room:

1. Removing the Air Vent

The best way to block the sound coming from your roommate’s room is to remove the air vent, as you don’t want to spend money on a modification that doesn’t work for you. Furthermore, this is the best and most cost-effective method to stop hearing your roommate through the vent.

Removing Air Vent:

  1. To start off, remove the air vent entirely by unthreading the holding screws.
  2. Inspect all the gaps in the vent and use a good-quality material to fill those gaps. We would recommend using sheetrock which is the most effective soundproofing material.

Installing Soundproofing Window:

Apart from this, you can also install a soundproof window that can cut out most of the sound from outside your room. A soundproof window is a better option as it gives you the freedom to open it for air ventilation and close it when you need privacy. 

2. Use Soundproofing material to cover the air vent

If you don’t want to remove the air vent entirely, you can cover it with soundproof material, as it is a convenient and feasible solution. 

There are different soundproofing materials available in the market, but we recommend you use Drywall material as it works best for covering the air vent. Along with Drywall, you can also use green glue for better and optimum results.

Apart from Drywall, you can also use MDF to cover the air vent in your room. You have to cover all the holes and gaps to block the sound.  

3. Soundproofing an Air Vent Using Soundproof Sealant

If you don’t want to go with the 2 solutions listed above, you should try soundproof sealant. However, it is not the best solution. There is an acoustic sealant available in the market which you can use to cover the air vent. 

Make sure to cover all the gaps and holes to prevent the noise from coming inside. Using soundproof sealant is a good option if you also want to stop mold and mildew growth on the wall. 

How to Soundproof Your Room’s HVAC Air Vent?

If you have an HVAC air vent in your room, you need a different approach to soundproof your room. Some of the old HVAC air vents cause annoying sounds like clicking sounds, rattling noises, or even grinding noises. 

In this case, you should get them repaired or replaced. After that, you can start soundproofing them using the duct liners, which will not completely stop the noise from outside, but it will cut down the noise up to 70 to 80%.

Other than duct liners, you can also use materials like flexible ducts to reduce the noise coming from the vent. On top of flexible ducts, you can also use soffit material to reduce the noise coming through the vent.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can my roommate hear my voice from the air vent?

If you are able to hear your roommate from the air vent, it is very much possible that your roommate is also able to hear your voice.

How can you soundproof your room’s HVAC Air Vent?

You can use soundproofing material like a soundproofing foam, duct liner, flexible duct, or even soffits to soundproof your room’s HVAC air vent.

Can I Use Plywood Sheet to Soundproof an Air Vent?

Yes, you can also use a Plywood sheet to cover the air vent and soundproof your room. However, you need to install the plywood sheet in such a way that it blocks the sound completely. For this, you can look up tutorials on the internet.


So this way, you can fix the problem of hearing your roommate through the vent. Hopefully, one of the solutions given above has helped you to fix your problem. 

Alternatively, if you are still having issues with the air vent, a carpenter can install a plywood sheet into the vent to solve the problem. 

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