my tv is not too loud, neighbor says it is

trudijaneOctober 25, 2007

This message may already be on here, but I may have made a mistake.

Part I

My neighbor complained to me that my TV was too loud and "we" had to do something about it. I have perfect ears, and often find myself straining to hear my TV and hear his over mine. I also went over to his townhouse to see what he was complaining about. Yes, you can hear a dull speaking sound but loud? Originally my speakers (have no surround side and am a very quiet person) were on hooks on our adjacent walls for acoustics, decor, and more space. So what I did per his request was take the speakers off the walls and bought a pair of $80 speaker holders so they would not be on the floor.

Part II

Several months went by, and he told me that he'd been meaning to tell me for a long time that my TV was still too loud. Again, I went next door to hear what is too loud, and I could barely hear anything. I like my neighbor very much, but he's very rigid in his ways and likes complete quiet when he is in his living room. I don't have parties; he does. He does tell me when they are coming up, but talk about noise on those nights that go well into the night! sometimes at times that were not convenient for me. Like the night my brother died and I had to listen to his party all night.

Anyway, let me get to the point. He was away for a week on business. I'm on disability so one of the few pleasures I have right now is catching a good movie at night. Sometimes, when I go upstairs, the sound doubles during a commercial and I find myself killing myself to get downstairs as soon as I can to adjust the sound. Simultaneously...I hear those 3 knocks which are beginning to bother me.

I wrote him:

IF my TV continues to bother you, particularly after 10 O'Clock, or otherwise,

1) I going to continue to be aware of noise levels, and if I have to strain to hear my own TV, and you hear noise, enough to complain about, then I will continue to be as courteous as I can to keep it down. If I'm upstairs for a few minutes and the noise escalates during a commercial, I will get downstairs as soon as I can to turn down the sound. If a particular movie is on that I want to hear with a little bit more sound, I will let you know, just as you let me know about your parties and noise, and hope you don't mind.

2) I don't think my sound level is high most of the time, but I am a night owl and often I forget that. I figured you would have been fast asleep by then or at Diane's.

3) If that doesn't work, I suggest getting 2 neutral parties, and have them check the sound level that bothers you both at my house & yours to get an objective opinion as to what they think. Possibly noone we know.

4) If all that doesn't work, I am willing to compromise by wearing earphones (with wires) because the salesman at House Of Music told me that wireless is nice ut tends to pick up other activity in the area. They are also cheaper. They had them there, I tried them on, and on a not so hot night, I would not mind wearing them all the time, and you won't hear a thing. I already compromised with decor and costs for 2 speaker stands, so I think it would be fair to split the cost of the earphones. He did give me a price there (about $220) -- perhaps I can find out the brand and you can see if they offer the same item at Bestbuy or whereever.

I think these are fair suggestions.


This is what he wrote back:

Im back. These are all good ideas. Let´s discuss soon.

I´m not sure if I agree with the recommendation about the wired vs.

wireless, but we´ll find out.

The only thing I would thing he could possibly disagree with re speakers is a technical opinion about wired vs. not OR even worse, he things that I should pay for the speakers which are $200 which ordinarily I would not get because it's HIS problem that is bothering him and it is far more nice to watch a movie with your own ears than earphones!!!! I'll find out soon, but I have other priorities that are just too important.

I've been here through 2 other neighbors and noone has ever complained about my noise. In fact, it was just the opposite and all worked out. Somebody please tell me you feedback.

Thanks alot.


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Don't you have anything else to worry about? I'm sorry, but maybe you both should live somewhere very alone, but then you'd probably get bored.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2007 at 9:34PM
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Lucy, why are you reading a board about apartment and living issues if you have nothing to add? Don't you have anything better to do?

to the OP- I think you are being extraordinarily accommodating. I also think he should pay the full cost for the earphones if you are willing to wear them. That sounds like a compromise to me.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2007 at 11:39PM
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That wasn't nice or fair. As a matter of fact, I have a lot to worry about right now, like an illness and an operation coming up, like a legal problem that I'm scared to death about, like will I make it through the month with my disability income. Should I go on? The point is, this IS a forum, I thought where posts such as mine might receive an opinion or feedback. And, thank you Seneca for recognizing that. If he refuses to even pay part for the earphones should it come to it, I'd rather pay for them in full than have to continue to hassle with this issue. Wouldn't it be funny if I did, and he still came over to complain when you can't hear anything? I don't know. I don't understand why what I posted on a forum would generate such a negative response such as Lucys. Maybe she lives on the bottome floor?
Thank you,, anyway.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2007 at 3:03PM
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I'm sorry, didn't want to offend anyone, though it occurred to me that I might. It's just that the letter is so intense and detailed about the whole thing and it just seemed that the two of you had gotten way more involved in the business than necessary. I can't believe it's so hard for two grown people to come to a compromise on the issue and just live with it. Or maybe I've (purposely) focused on only a few things lately trying to make a bunch of trivia go away so I can get on with life - doing that tends to make you impatient with little things, or see everything as being trivial (when it's obviously not, to the person it's happening to!). I hope your surgery goes well, really, and that you work out the noise issues.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2007 at 6:08PM
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I hope your surgery goes well and that nasty legal problem gets resolved without much more fear ;) lucy's not so bad, either. (Nice apology, lucy ;)

I don't have much more to contribute, only that it does seem that you've gone to great lengths to appease your neighbor/friend. My only concern is that if you come to some kind of suitable compromise, will that be the end of the rather extreme demands and measures taken? I don't mean to be or sound harsh. What I'm pondering is that some people in this world, when they come across someone like yourself who is willing to make major accommodations out of the goodness of their heart, will turn that into a "give me more" situation. It would be sad with all that you're going through to see this go further and your neighbor attempt to make you their doormat. But you would know best if they are that type or not.

Oh, the wireless deal. I would tend to agree it might be glitchy. Wireless can pick up so many goofy signals. My wireless phone goes completely on the fritz when I get near the computer (wireless router) or microwave when it's on. I don't know about headphones, but I could certainly envision you snuggling up to watch a movie, nuking a bag of popcorn and your sound turns to complete static! :D

    Bookmark   October 26, 2007 at 6:50PM
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It sounds to me like you've been MORE than accomodating.

With the growing popularity of flat-screen TVs, I think we're going to see more problems among apartment-dwellers whose neighbors insist on mounting them on the walls. Any time you have a speaker either connected to or even touching part of a structural surface (wall, floor, or ceiling), the sound waves carry into the adjoining dwellings.

This is particularly true in post-war apartment buildings and townhouses that don't have the benefit of the thick sound deadening walls that we in PRE-war buildings enjoy.

But as far as this person's neighbor, anyone who demands absolute church-like silence should be living in a HOUSE, not in an apartment or even a townhouse.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2007 at 11:57PM
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I used this post to drive home a point to my husband I tried to make 2 years ago when we moved in here.................

We waited an additional 4 weeks for this particular apt instead of taking one that was already to go.........a 3bdrm/2bath with garage.

The reason being...........this unit is on the end and on the other side is the model which means NO next door neighbors! haha

Thanks for proving my point to my hubby this morning!

Now on to your issue, I am so sorry you are in such a squabble about this tv noise. It is impossible not to hear people who share adjoining walls, impossible! ( that is why I wanted to wait as we have nobody to hear).......this guy is nuts thinking you should provide him complete quiet yet he can party. And, would I buy earphones to appease this guy, NO have enough to worry about with all you are dealing with, tell this guy to worry about something that matters!

Best of luck, keep us posted on how you make out.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 12:07PM
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Actually ... in most prewar buildings, it IS impossible to hear your next-door neighbors (unless, of course, they've connected a sound-making device to your shared wall). Our walls are about 18 inches thick.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 11:43PM
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You said you've already compromised your decor by moving the speakers, but might you be able to fit in some type of thick fabric wall-hangings (like tapestries or decorative rugs) covering the common wall, to absorb sounds? Also, make sure no part of your tv or speakers are touching that common wall, and are insulated from the floor by carpet pads or some such.

Also, get in the habit of muting the tv when you go upstairs with the t.v. still on. I mute my tv anytime I leave the room, because volume levels are *not* constant! Commercials are commonly much louder, as are certain scenes of action movies.

Other than these suggestions, you've done everything a resonable person could expect. If he still says he can hear your tv, tell him you've done everything you can, and he's just going to have to accept it as part of apartment living. Remind him that you can hear *his* tv and that you've learned to live with "normal" levels. Your obligation as an apartment dweller is to keep noise to a "normal and acceptable" level, you cannot be expected to live without making a single solitary sound that your neighbor can hear.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 11:56PM
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I work nights and am up on the weekends all night long (usually watching tv).

So I rigged up a speaker that sits behind my head & then muted the tv just so it would only be as loud as I needed it to be just so only I can hear it.

I also moved my tv as far away from the wall that my neighbor & I share.

I have yet to ever get a complaint, but once a week my neighbor just cranks the heck out of a tv or stereo (or something) and I cant help but hear it. I mean that it is insanely loud@!
I have been tempted to just blast mine in response, but I am not confrontational type. Anyway I only have to endure it once a week for two hours or so at most, so it isnt that much of a problem. I suspect it is my neghbor's kids (they are true little hellions!) doing it when she leaves them home alone.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 9:01PM
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in an apartment,speakers attached to the walls in ANY manner will enable the neighbors to hear them.there's no excuse..flat screen tv's..surround sound..whatever..take them down!!!

i have surround sound but i have the speakers mounted on stands and placed in a way that i can keep my tv volume down to a minimum at night and still hear them okay.
as a person who doesn't like to hear my neighbors late hours of the night,i don't even like the idea of hearing'low conversation'. in the middle of the night/. a resident shouldn't hear a neighbors 'ongoing' all in the middle of the night.(exceptions include a maybe a footstep now and then at the most or a dog bark something like that,but not 'ongoing ' music,or tv,etc).that's why nearly every lease states 'minimum' in regard to noise volume after a certain time of night.that doesn't mean you should hear your neighbors noise at a minimum,that means your neighor shouldn't hear YOUR noise because its supposed to at a minimum so your neighbors can't hear it at all!!.but yet i talk to people all the time who tell me that a resident should expect and tolerate low noise from a neighbor in the middle of the night in an apartment complex.Bull crud,,not after a certain time of can be prevented.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 2:48AM
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Did you notice the last post in this thread is over a year old and that the OP said they DID take the speakers off the walls.
Either way I am sure it has long since been settled one way or another

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 8:22PM
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I think that personally, your neighbor is a baby. If you have to strain to hear the noise of your own t.v. in your own home and he is still complaining, he needs to move somewhere where he doesn't have to share a wall with someone. I live in an apartment and my husband and I always hear neighbors, but we know this is just part of living in an apartment. If he is having wild parties until all hours of the night, and doesn't care about the noise and bothering you, then why not just forget the headphones and watch your t.v. the way you want? Not blaring of course, but enough to where you can comfortably listen. He can't call the cops if it is still in reasonable listening volume and he needs to quit being picky. Maybe this is hateful, but he either needs to pay the FULL price of your headphones (Which you are being way too considerate for him, so it sounds) or he needs to get over it.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 5:21PM
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I think that with people like your neighbour you really have to put your foot down. You do what you can practically do (not using ear phones) and then you tell them that you have made some changes and that is all you can do. If you continue to appease a him he will continue to make demands and wants to rule the building. Perhaps you are an easy target.

I moved into a place and after 20 years of apartment living and never having a neighbour complain about my noise, my new downstairs neighbours started complaining about my noise. That was that my tv was too loud and they could hear it in their lounge under mine and in their bedroom. The night the wife came up to complain I had the volume on 4 when 2 is silent. I couldn't hear it in the next room of my own apartment. I moved the tv away from the wall and then next day told them what I had done. However, I then added - I have done all i can do. My television is not at an unreasonable volume and I have to be able to live in my home. If it continues to be a problem then you may have to contact the body corporate (as they own their apartment) and the owners of my apartment (as I rent which i think also explains their power feeling) and organise to have the sound proofing improved in the floors (which are floor boards with carpet). Other than that I do not think an indepenent body would think the volume of my tv was unreasonable.

I really got the idea that these people were going to keep coming up with things if I didn't put my foot down. They did it all in a very nice way - but this is often passive aggressive behaviour to get their own way. So don't get pushed around. Ps they haven't complained since. But I also doubt they want to fork out money to fix the sound proofing. The only thing now is that I notice their sound more - one being the sound of the husband talking on the phone and they both irritate the hell out of me now.

Oh yes prior to this complaint they complained about my son's basket ball hoop in the common garden area and their cat bullies my cat all the time and attacked me when I tried to stop it coming in to my home after my cat so I had to get a tetnus shot and go on antibiotics. When I origanally told them about what had happened with their cat their was no offer to pay my medical bills. So I am glad that I then set them straight and made it clear that I was not going to put up with their constant nit picking. They have been super nice since but I now don't want a bar of them. Well good luck and stand up for yourself.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 10:38AM
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We have the same problem with our neighbor. Shes constantly knocking on our wall cuz she says our tv is too loud when we can barely hear it. We cant exactly do the headphones deal being a family of 4. But what erks me is that she talks on the phone 24/7 and even with my tv on i can still understand every word she says, but when I knock on the wall she bangs back. So hows that fair? And she calls herself a christian! HA!!! A christian wouldnt bsng on the wall when I lightly knock to let her know shes too loud. And I only did it once cuz I was rocking my newborn and her phone conversation woke her up at 2am

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 4:24PM
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Your that lady! I know you so well. You spend all day in front of that TV pressed against a shared wall. In return
it turns my wall into a bass speaker cab. All day, all night. I don't watch my TV so it drives into my brain all day and night. Besides if I did it's against my wall. I try to write, I try to read (I'm in a wheel chair) I could put my 65 inch TV against your wall and see how you like it but it's known the only rights you care about are your own. At that point, weeks of not sleeping I don't feel like buying you head set. You already intrude into my apartment every moment of everyday and you don't even split my rent. I have a feeling it's like everything else your existance always has to be someone elses problem.
Dad, soc., ssi, welfare, food stamps, hud, ex husband, the state of NY, The guy next door.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 12:19AM
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