Sound testing

Posted: 27th March 2023

How much does sound testing cost?

Sound testing for Building Regulations Approved Document E

Sound testing is required for most new houses and flats in England and Wales.  It is applicable for both new build properties and flats formed by the conversion of an existing building.  The purpose of the test is to confirm if the installed soundproofing meets the minimum performance in Part E of The Building Regulations.

So, how much does sound testing cost?

Our standard price for a set of SITMA accredited Building Regulations airborne sound tests between a pair of houses is £395 + VAT for sites within a 50km radius of our Highworth offices.  However, the price for each development depends on various factors, which we will discuss below.



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How ACA Acoustics can help with your sound testing

ACA Acoustics will provide you with an accredited formal test report for you to submit to your Building Control Officer.  We offer a fast turnaround to arrange the tests and to issue the report once the tests are complete.  We will usually send you the report the next day.  Sometimes if we have all the relevant details in advance, we can even issue the report by email whilst we are on site!

Unlike some companies, we are not just sound test engineers.  ACA Acoustics’ team are fully accredited and experienced acoustic consultants.  This means we can guide you on the best way to soundproof your separating walls and floors.  If you do fail your tests, we offer free advice on the best remedial works to pass Approved Document E.  And, because we don’t supply any products you can be sure that our recommendations are what is best for you and not what is going to earn us the most commission.  Other services include noise impact assessments for planning, noise assessments for Approved Document O, and noise monitoring during the construction phase.

We also offer a FREE initial sound insulation design review service!  Get in touch to find out more and to take advantage of this great offer.


How we work out the price of your sound tests

The price for your sound insulation testing depends on the number of walls and floors that need to be tested.

A common misconception is that sound tests are required to 10% of the properties on a development.  However, it is slightly more complex than that.

Paragraphs 1.11 to 1.26 of Approved Document E explains the process to determine which walls and floors should be tested.  In summary terms, the development is split into groups for the number of houses (including bungalows), flats, and rooms for residential purposes.  The groups are then split into sub-groups if needed.  Sub-groups are required if there are more than one type of separating wall or floor construction.  Sub-groups may also be required if there are different flanking or junction details.

If your development only has flats with the same construction separating walls and floors throughout, for example, then only one group is required with no sub-groups.

Once the number of groups and sub-groups is confirmed, we will need to carry out one set of tests for every 10 properties within each group/sub-group.

There are other considerations which can affect the work required.  For example, impact sound insulation tests are not needed on floors with flats over commercial properties.

Luckily ACA Acoustics can calculate the number of tests you need, based on your layout drawings and construction details.

The sound testing cost for your site will depend on how many airborne and impact tests are required.  Discounted prices are offered for additional sets of tests carried out during a single visit to site.

The distance to your site from our offices will also affect how much your sound tests will cost.

Get in touch now to receive your free, no obligation, quotation


How many sound tests are there in a set out tests?

Again, there isn’t a simple answer to this question.  A set of tests between houses normally includes two airborne sound tests.  A set of tests for flats includes up to six individual tests.  Two airborne tests on separating walls, 2 airborne tests on separating floors, and 2 impact tests on the floors.  However, if your site doesn’t have enough separating walls or floors to carry out all the individual tests then the number of tests can be reduced accordingly.


More about Building Regulations sound tests

What criteria is required?

Sound insulation criteria for flats and houses is detailed in The Building Regulations Approved Document E.

Airborne Sound Insulation

DnT,w + C’tr

Impact Sound Insulation


New Build
Walls ≥ 45dB
Floors and Stairs ≥ 45dB ≤ 62dB
Material Change of Use (conversion)
Walls ≥ 43dB
Floors and Stairs ≥ 43dB ≤ 64dB


Building Regulations specifies the airborne sound insulation performance as a DnT,w + C’tr.  This is the performance that is achieved by a test on site.  It is important to keep this in mind, as product manufacturers often publish data as an Rw or Rw + C’tr.  These are the performance tested in a laboratory.  The DnT,w + C’tr is often around 5dB to 10dB lower than the equivalent Rw + C’tr, although that isn’t always the case and that the correlation between Rw and DnT,w is variable.

What this means, is that the published performance for an acoustic treatment is very unlikely to be what you will achieve on your site.  An experienced acoustic consultant will be able to advise you on appropriate wall and floor constructions and soundproofing treatments.


What is the sound test procedure?

  • Our fee proposal will include a site checklist.  It is important that you review the checklist and make sure your site is at a suitable stage before we arrive.
  • Our experienced acoustic consultant will arrive at the agreed time and explain the test process to you.
  • ACA Acoustics’ consultant will carry out a visual inspection of the test rooms and take physical dimensions and other relevant notes.
  • We will discuss any required action with you.  For example, if you need to relocate decorators or other trades out of the test flats/houses and to other areas of the site.
  • We use UKAS calibrated sound testing equipment to measure the airborne and impact sound insulation performance of the separating walls and floors.
  • One set of tests usually takes 1-2 hours to complete. The number of sets of sound tests will have been agreed in advance.
  • On completion of all the sound tests, our acoustic consultant will pack up the test equipment.  We upload the results to the SITMA online portal and the formal test report is sent to you by email.


Contact ACA Acoustics to find out how much sound testing will cost on your next project

To obtain your free quotation and find out how much sound testing will cost on your next project, please get in touch with ACA Acoustics.

We also recommend you take advantage of our FREE initial sound insulation design review service.  Making mistakes on your soundproofing works can be very costly and getting advice from ACA Acoustics’ experienced consultants can help you pass first time.

To find out more, call us on 01793 766324 or request a call back at a convenient time.

Posted By:Rob Cant

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