Riding in a Jeep is an adventure, but the constant interior noise can sometimes take away from the enjoyment of the journey. We went looking for an upgrade to help elevate comfort and silence the noise. We found a Jeep sound-damping headliner kit from DEI (Design Engineering Inc.) to be a simple and effective solution to a droning problem. DEI offers a range of sound-damping and heat control products for various vehicle applications and also generic cut-to-fit kits for custom projects.
For Jeeps, DEI offers many interior sound-damping products that cover XJ, LJ, TJ, JK, JL, and JT vehicles. The Jeep sound-damping headliner we selected for our project is the deluxe Wrangler JL 4-Door – Black Leather Look Complete Headliner Kit, P/N 50182. Besides the distressed black leather look, it also comes in grey and white and even a slimmed-down version that is a headliner-only option. And while we were more concerned about noise reduction than looks, the black accent material looks pleasant against the white roof.
DEI’s Jeep JL Sound-Damping Headliner Kit Key Features:
Besides significantly reducing the bothersome external noise, it enhances the aesthetics of your Jeep’s interior. DEI’s sound-damping headliners come as custom laser-cut, peel-and-stick high-quality marine-grade acoustic foam insulating panels. These headliners are a formidable barrier against mold, mildew, external temperature fluctuations, and unwanted noise, boasting an impressive R4 value for sound insulation. This ingenious solution not only elevates the interior aesthetics of your Jeep but also mitigates exterior noise and vibrations, providing a shield against varying weather conditions.
- Headliner reduces noise levels by 3 to 4 decibels
- Reduces radiant heat from roof
- Improves acoustics inside
- A significant change in noise level that will make it easier to have conversations & enjoy your favorite music
- Black Leather Look finish is easy to clean
- Durable for extreme offroading
- 13-piece kit for JL Wrangler Jeeps, 2018+
- Does not fit Jeep Wrangler JL 4 doors equipped with Sky One-Touch Power Roof and removable side windows
One of the standout features is DEI’s proprietary Boom Mat sound-deadening material and its ability to reduce noise levels by 3 to 4 decibels. This seemingly modest change translates into significantly improved interior acoustics. Now Jeep enthusiasts can relish their audio systems and engage in conversations without the persistent and bothersome road noise distractions.
For ease of installation, removing the hardtop from the vehicle following the manufacturer’s guidelines is recommended. Placing the hardtop on a protective blanket prevents unwanted scratches, ensuring it remains immaculate. However, ours was already scratched from a run-in with a large cat. Don’t ask. Anyway, you will be happy to know that removing and re-installing the hardtop is the most challenging part of the entire process.
The first step after removing the top is to clean the inside surface of the hardtop using isopropyl alcohol. This process will ensure that the surface is adhesive-friendly. A clean surface is crucial for a secure bond between the headliner and the hardtop.
To minimize the appearance of the recessed molded ribs on the hardtop surface, install the foam filler strips provided in the kit. These strips vary in length, width, and thickness, so test-fit them in each location before adhering them.
Once the strips were in place, we laid out the larger pieces to make sure we had them oriented correctly. Then, we began installing each part of the headliner by removing one edge of the paper release backer liner from the back of the piece we were installing. Once the starting edge is adhered, gently pull off the backer liner while applying pressure by hand to ensure a secure attachment. After installing all the supplied pieces, allow them to sit on the inverted top for approximately 25 minutes. This waiting period allows the adhesive to set correctly. With the top side complete, we focused on the JL window kit.
The window kit goes in just like the headliner. So if you didn’t clean the entire top like we did, repeat that step before laying out the window kit pieces to check the fit. Each piece is designed to fit precisely, with left and right sides, so pay attention. With the components staged, remove the backing and firmly press the window trim piece to ensure a tight bond. Then, we did the other side along with the trim strips. And that’s a wrap; we were done with this installation.
The total installation was really straightforward and only took about one hour from start to finish. The technical level is one out of five wrenches on our difficulty scale. Of course, reading the directions in full before beginning the work helps you understand the process and avoid mistakes.
We were excited to install the top and see how the DEI Boom Mat performed. We hopped in for a quick test drive with the Jeep buttoned up and hit the highway. While 2-3 decibels may not seem like a significant sound reduction, it makes a difference with cabin noise and, in our opinion, is a worthwhile investment for any Jeep enthusiast. The installation is simple and can be done in just an hour or two. The results are genuinely transformative, not only in a sound reduction but also in the looks department. And who doesn’t want a quieter, more luxurious Jeep? The Jeep DEI Sound-Damping Headliner helps with both.
Overall, this was a simple DIY Jeep upgrade that really made a difference in the everyday usefulness and comfort of our vehicle.