How do I reduce road noise?

  • 5 minutes
  • 14 May 2024

Road noise can be mildly irritating to evoke fully-fledged exasperation, and reducing road noise is a common query from our customers. Rest assured, we’ve got a few tips and tricks to minimise (nay, nearly erase!) this pesky frustration. Read more to discover the key ways to reduce traffic noise in your home – and find out how a ModularWalls solution may help you achieve your goals. 

Ensure your acoustic fence blocks the line of sight from the noise source

The three key elements to effectively reduce road noise are: 

  1. Noise barriers within 10 metres of the road
  2. Quality acoustic fences or noise walls
  3. White or pink noise to mask traffic sounds.

Proximity to the road

When embarking on a journey to reduce road noise, it’s vital to broadly understand what the difference is between sound and noise. Sound is a form of energy that we hear. It is created by a vibrating object, creating pressure waves. Sound becomes noise when it is unwanted or intrusive and interferes with one’s ability to perceive other sounds or to enjoy silence.

What does this mean for reducing road noise? One of the primary methods of noise control are noise barriers.

An acoustically rated noise wall will assist in reducing road noise

Types of noise barriers

Noise barriers will serve as an acoustic shield between a noise source (the road) and the receiver (your ears!). A noise barrier will interrupt the direct path of sound ways by either reflecting the sound back towards the source or absorbing and dampening the sound energy.

The noise barrier (typically a wall or fence) must physically reflect or ‘bounce’ the noise away before it reaches your home. A rule of thumb is that the noise barrier should block the line of sight between the noise source and the receiver and is most effectively located as close to the noise source as possible.

Reducing road noise starts with blocking the line of sight with a noise barrier

Acoustic fencing and noise walls

An acoustically rated fence or wall is an effective, “reflective” noise barrier that can efficiently reflect road noise, especially when designed and installed specifically for your needs. You should consider the following:

  • Density: A noise barrier requires a specific density to perform acoustically. Brick, block, and modular walls offer substantial noise reduction benefits. However, steel and timber typically do not have the required density to reduce road noise.
  • No gaps: Noise, like water, can trickle through any gaps. For optimal acoustic performance, ensure your acoustic fence or wall sits flush with the ground and is solid all the way to the top.
  • Height:  Generally, the higher the noise barrier or acoustic wall or fence, the greater the noise reduction level. If your wall is too low, noise can easily spill over the top. If you’re on the high side of the street, you’ll need a higher wall to reduce traffic noise (subject to Council approval). As mentioned above, your wall or noise barrier must block the line of sight from the road to ensure optimal noise reduction.
Blocking the line of sight is crucial to assist in reducing traffic noise

How to reduce traffic noise with ModularWalls

The entire ModularWalls range features elevated aesthetics and superior acoustic capabilities. Our walls and fences help reduce road noise from your home, meeting the criteria of no gaps, density and height mentioned above (subject to Council approval).  

Firstly, SlimWall®  is perfect for dividing fences, front fences and boundary fences. With a sleek profile and a minimalist appearance, SlimWall® can reach heights of 2.1m. Featuring a 50mm thick panel, it’s possible to choose from steel or aluminium posts to meet your requirements.  

SlimWall provides a sleek acoustic barrier

ModularWalls SlimWall®

Secondly, TrendWall® is ideal for pool walls, privacy walls, and homes in a coastal location. Featuring aluminium posts, TrendWall® reaches heights up to 3 metres and comprises a 75mm thick panel*.  

TrendWall is a high performing acoustic fence

ModularWalls TrendWall®

Thirdly, VogueWall® is the perfect choice for taller front, dividing and boundary walls. Offering a rendered masonry look, VogueWall® features steel posts, a 75mm thick panel and can reach heights of 3 metres.  

VogueWall provides a stylish acoustic barrier to help reduce road noise

ModularWalls VogueWall®

Lastly, EstateWall® offers our widest posts for those wanting the look of a rendered masonry wall for their front wall, feature wall or grand entrance. EstateWall®  features steel posts and a 75mm thick panel that can reach heights of 3 metres. 

EstateWall gives a grand, stately effect ideal for taller front walls

ModularWalls EstateWall®


For more on reducing noise in your home, please check out our handy guide to reducing noise in your backyard. 

 Drown out road noise with white noise

Including white or pink noise could be the final step to a peaceful space. You may have heard this as a noise control measure for office spaces or for a nursery; here’s how it could help you reduce traffic sounds. 

White noise combines different types of frequencies, similar to static sound. However, since human ears can only process a set number of frequencies at once, they use a greater level of ‘hearing power’ to hear the white noise; this can help mask other irritating noises. 

Pink noise  follows the same principles. However, it focuses on lower frequencies, making it more similar to the sounds of nature — the crash of waves, the trickle of a stream, a rushing breeze. Create these sounds with items like wind chimes and water features. Not only will they reduce stress, they fit seamlessly into any outdoor setting.  

A combination of pink and white noise can help you tackle that last, lingering thrum of traffic and reduce road noise for more peace.  

A combination of white and pink noise will assist in muffling road noise


All in all, remember the three key elements to reduce road noise.  

Ensure your new fence or wall system consists of the following: 

  • solid panels 
  • a dense material and  
  • an adequate height  

With all boxes ticked, all that’s left to do is enjoy your newfound serenity in your outdoor space with ModularWalls.  

*The maximum height attainable for the different wall types will be influenced by various factors, including wind regions, soil conditions, topography and shielding.