Japan has a real problem with noise pollution. The walls of their houses are so thin that even the sound of a sewing machine late at night can cause trouble with one’s neighbors (yes, I’m speaking from experience here). For people with a penchant for singing, this can put a real damper on their daily lives. No one wants a warning from the family next door or landlord after wailing along with Whitney Houston in the privacy of their own home.

That’s why VIBE, a subdivision of the BANDAI NAMCO Group, is releasing the Danbocchi this November! This glorified example of a cardboard box has soundproofing abilities and room for one occupant, so no one has to worry about bothering their neighbors with vocal practice, sound recordings, or voice-based video games any longer.

The name Danbocchi is a combination of the words danboru (cardboard) and hitoribocchi (solitude), and as the name implies, it is a person-sized box made of thick cardboard. This simple and lightweight room of solitude can soundproof up to 30 decibels for anyone standing about three feet from its outer walls. While that’s not enough to completely muffle a person’s powerful singing voice, it can at least bring the volume down to something resembling natural conversation levels. The Danbocchi is intended for use predominately by amateur vocal artists and gamers who wish to sing without disturbing anyone else in the house or the surrounding area. Though, it can also be used to block out noise from the outside world when a person wants to focus.

The Danbocchi stands 110 cm wide, 80 deep, and 160 tall (43 by 31.5 by 63 in). The shelf inside can hold up to 15 kg (33 lbs) in weight, and the back wall has holes near the bottom for ventilation and running cables. All-in-all the price comes to 59,800 yen (US$608). Compared to the cost of renting space in a recording studio or making daily trips to a karaoke booth, I can see how the investment might be worth it for some, though that sounds rather steep for some classy cardboard…

Source: Net Lab (Japanese)
Pictures: Danbocchi, Joysound on Twitter, Danbocchi_info on Twitter

▼ Danbocchi. Easily assemble your own personal sound booth!


▼ Here’s an example of how it might be used.


▼ Is anyone else reminded of Korea’s Study Cube?