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Living Above

Posted by NiceGuyIL (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 17, 05 at 10:35

I had a real upset lady ruin my New Years day this year by pounding on my condo which is on the third and top floor due to loud noises. My neighbor across the hall lets his kids run up and down the hallways at all times of the day and nite. She is aware of this as I made sure of it when she came banging on my door. My real question is does anyone know of a way to listen to a nice home theater sound system with a sub without affecting the tenants below? i know dont turn it on, is one option but would rather not hear replies like that. Thanks for your help.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Living Above

I live in a first floor apartment. I hear everything that goes on in the apartment above, from walking to talking to tv and music. The previous tenants had a home theater sound system and my life was a living hell when it was on. Thankfully they were gracious and didn't use it after I told them about the noise it made. However, they continued to play guitar which they might as well have done in my living room it was so loud. I would suggest you don't use the surround sound system. Personally I think these shouldn't be permitted in apartments anyway.


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RE: Living Above

It isn't fair to have a Home Theatre system in an apartment because of the noise. Those of you who have them should go and listen from the next door, above and below apartments with something playing on your Home Theatre and see for yourselves how noisy they are. While you might enjoy watching a movie with the surround sound, the whole building doesn't want to hear it, whether it be a movie or playing rap or loud base/thumpy music CDs through the DVD player with the surround sound.


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RE: Living Above

I hear enough noise from my neighbors between their barking dogs, arguments, screaming children and loud bass music that i don't feel the least bit guilty about using the stereo to watch a movie.

To minimize the noise passing to other units, first you have to simply not turn it up as loud. It doesn't have to shake the whole building to be enjoyable. Lessen the bass via controls on the subwoofer or equalizer. Don't put your subs directly against a wall since it will transmit the vibrations, and if you can get a speaker stand (with minimal floor contact) that lifts them up off the floor that helps too. You can put a heavy rug under the stand to minimize the vibration. Be considerate, don't play it when people are trying to sleep (i'd say after 9 or 10pm and before noon on weekends, depending on your neighbors).

Since it has bothered your neighbor before, i'd recommend talking to her after you make these changes and ask if you can listen from her unit to see if the modifications have helped. Find out her schedule so you aren't using it at times that really disturb her, etc.


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RE: Living Above

It's not reasonable or fair to ask ppl to stop using home system. But for the ppl who is playing the music they should be considerate. Nice piece of music for you may be a noise to your neighbor. If you receive a complaint try to talk to the ppl who complain and see if anything you could do. A rug or carpeting is the best way to lessen the muisc or noise or if you can afford to get a soundproof music room then you can play as loud as you can :-). Or a wireless or wired headphone is also a good choice.

Good luck!


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RE: Living Above

So far all the replies make sense, some seem a little more forward maybe due to their past with this problem, but anywho all good responses. I do not plan to live as a hermint in my condo that I own. I am willing to work with the tenant below, but she is someone I can communicate with. The tenants before me said they always had trouble with this lady and they did not have surround. Why do I have the urge to place my speakers face down and crank it up? :)Seems like it would be in her best interest to let me figure out when and where the sounds are coming from, yes?.


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RE: Living Above

Put something underneath the speakers, it will help absorb the sound. I have books underneath my speakers and it greatly reduces the noise, especially the bass.


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RE: Living Above

And it probably goes without saying, but don't play the system at night (after 9:00 p.m., I'd say - I don't go to bed that early but lots of people do) or in the morning (before 9:00 a.m.)


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RE: Living Above

If your neighbor can hear your speakers, then you shouldn't be using a surround sound system. If you can mitigate the noise with the suggestions above (and can confirm it with the neighbor), then go for it -- but if she can still hear it, then it's not fair to ask her to put up with loud noises from your place.

I had to live next to people who had a surround sound system. It was a living hell, because their television was louder than ours when they had it on. Your right to the enjoyment of your own apartment (or condo) stops at your walls -- if your actions are affecting other people in the building in an unreasonable manner (and I would consider a home theater system as something that is not a necessity, nor normal daily living noise), then it's not acceptable. Again -- if you can find a way to make it so that your neighbor can't hear the noise, then more power to you, and enjoy your system -- otherwise, wait to use it until you live in a place with better soundproofing or you're in a house.


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RE: Living Above

My husband and I had a problem with the volume of our tv. We don't have surround sound, but we are both deaf. What we did was go to Radio Shack and get some headphones that hook to the tv.

Now our volume is almost totally off and we can adjust how much we get with the headphones. We get much better sound. You can hear pages turning and other little noises that we couldn't get just from the tv. It's made a big differenece for us.

The kids upstairs never complained but I knew they had to be able to hear our tv. I asked and they said it was very noticeable after they put the girls to bed(2&4)

shirley


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RE: Living Above

"If your neighbor can hear your speakers, then you shouldn't be using a surround sound system."

The walls in these places are so thin i can hear people next door coughing. I can hear their tv. I can hear their radio. I can hear them talking. They are not being unreasonably loud just because i can hear them. Normal sound levels should not be an issue during the waking hours of the day. Do your best to lessen the sound transmission, watch what time it is, settle for a lower volume. What is unreasonable is expecting to live in silence in a multi family building.


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RE: Living Above

"Normal sound levels should not be an issue during the waking hours of the day."

Please notice that I mentioned normal daily living noise in my post -- a home theater system is NOT a normal daily living noise. You should expect to hear some noise from your neighbors, and the stuff that you should be understanding about is stuff that can't be controlled (walking, children crying, talking, water pipes, etc.). TV noise can be controlled -- especially home theater noise, which is a noise level far beyond normal television noise.


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RE: Living Above

A home theatre system is indeed part of the sounds of daily living for many people. Simply being able to hear it doesn't make it excessive noise. It's unreasonable to expect to deny other people the ability to use their home theatre system if you can hear it ~at all~ which the comment i was responding to. This is one of the types of sounds you should expect to hear from other people's units during waking hours, you should not be surprised or angry just because you can hear a neighbor's stereo in your unit due to thin walls. If you are so bothered by the sound of a home theatre or stereo system being audible from other units at normal times of the day, you are not a good candidate for apartment living. Now, if it's so loud it's rattling your windows, that's a different story.


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RE: Living Above

I don't agree. Television, yes, is part of daily living noise, but not a home theater system. You don't need a home theater system to enjoy television, nor would I consider it a necessity to daily living.

Frankly, if you are so bothered at the idea of not being able to play your stereo or tv loudly, then I would consider YOU to be a poor candidate for apartment living.

We all have to learn to live together when living in apartments -- that means making compromises, and recognizing how our lifestyle choices affect those around us. Some people have to learn to live with normal noise that they might not like to live with. Some people have to learn to not make as much noise as they might like. People who install a home theater system are making a CHOICE to inflict their noise on others, by installing a system that is intended to make loud and booming noise. That is not acceptable, in my opinion. Maybe I'm in the minority -- thankfully, I don't currently have any neighbors that are inconsiderate enough to inflict their noise on me.


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RE: Living Above

Ah but now you assume i am playing it loudly. Just because you can hear it does not mean it's loud. Stereo noise from other units bleeding through ~is~ perfectly normal living noise, and a home theatre system is really just listening to the audio of a movie/TV through the stereo. If you don't beleive me, ask a cop. If you call about a neighbor being loud, and they walk in your unit to see how loud it is, it has to be ~loud~ in your unit, not merely audible. It being simply audible in your unit is not any worse than being able to hear arguing or cabinets banging or walking overhead. It is only when it is unreasonably loud that your complaint has merit.


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RE: Living Above

Well, then I don't see what we're arguing about. I agree that some audible noise is part of apartment living. That's not what the original poster was talking about, nor what any of the other people who posted about home theater systems were talking about in response.

"I had a real upset lady ruin my New Years day this year by pounding on my condo which is on the third and top floor due to loud noises....My real question is does anyone know of a way to listen to a nice home theater sound system with a sub without affecting the tenants below?"

The original poster was obviously aware that his subwoofer was creating more than simply audible noises and that he was affecting the people below him -- that's beyond the acceptable level. That's what I was talking about, and responding to. If he can mitigate the noise to barely audible levels, then it should be fine. If it's loud enough to hear what people are saying in the movies, to sing along ot the music, or the floor/walls are shaking/vibrating, that's not acceptable.

How about you don't make the assumption that just because someone posts that they're using a home theater system that they're playing it at levels that are barely audible, and I won't make the assumption that they're blasting it. Fair enough? :)


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RE: Living Above

Home theater systems do not belong in apartments. People that use them are selfish schmucks. Show me one guy that can play his at a respectful volume, and I can show you 20 other jerks that blast theirs.

When you live in an apartment you accept that you can't have certain things: boats, RVs, surround sound, water beds or 5 dogs. If you want those things, then get a house. Don't ruin my life just because you want to blast your crappy music till your floor shakes.


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RE: Living Above

"Well, then I don't see what we're arguing about."

I was responding to your statement that "If your neighbor can hear your speakers, then you shouldn't be using a surround sound system." which basically says you expect it to not be audible at all. Since it seems that isn't what you really meant to say, no problem.

I am objecting to sentiments like "People that use them are selfish schmucks. Show me one guy that can play his at a respectful volume, and I can show you 20 other jerks that blast theirs. " Many people use surround systems and are courteous, use a moderate volume and don't use their system outside waking hours, you probably don't even realize that they have a surround system and think you are hearing a TV.

"If it's loud enough to hear what people are saying in the movies, to sing along ot the music, or the floor/walls are shaking/vibrating, that's not acceptable. "

I agree with this completely and offered suggestions on how to diminish sound transmission, starting with using a lower volume. I have also been bothered by other people's loud stereos in apartments, especially when their speakers were backed up against my bedroom wall and they turned on their system at 3am. Taking the steps i outline early in the thread can ensure your system doesn't disrupt the lives of your neighbors while still allowing it's normal use. Unfortunately many people's opinions of surround systems in general have been tarnished by people who were not courteous. Those same people will disturb you in different ways if surround systems were not allowed, since they are inherently selfish. I think it's important not to allow backlash from previous experiences with jerks to color your perception of ~everyone~ that uses a sound system.

"How about you don't make the assumption that just because someone posts that they're using a home theater system that they're playing it at levels that are barely audible, and I won't make the assumption that they're blasting it. Fair enough? :)"

I assume courteous people are listening to their systems at moderate levels during normal waking hours (everything sounds louder when you are trying to sleep), which are probably audible in nearby units at a background noise level which shouldn't bother anyone but the extremely oversensitive, that's all i'm trying to get at. Peace. :)


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RE: Living Above

Oh please, let's get real. There is NO way a surround sound system is NOT going to be overwhelming in an apartment environment! Just by nature of its design, the sound is LOUD. Even turned down, there are still vibrations. It doesn't belong in an apartment and it's not part of normal daily sounds.


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RE: Living Above

THANKS FOR ALL THE RESPONSES.
I HAVE SINCE PURCHASED A NICE HOME THEATER SYSTEM WITH A FRONT FIRING SUBWOOFER AND HAD ZERO COMPLAINTS. I AM NOT SURE WHY REPLIES WERE MADE ABOUT NEIGHBORS NEXT DOOR WHEN THE TOPIC WAS "LIVING ABOVE" WELL THANKS FOR YOUR IDEAS BUT IT JUST TURNED INTO A DISPUTE. TO SAY SOMEONE ISNT MADE FOR CONDO LIVING IS SEGREGATION AND PRETTY STUPID.


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RE: Living Above

The people below me have a barking dog, I don't care about using my treadmill in this 1920s building. If it's too loud, it's the managements job to affectively soundproof.


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RE: Living Above

Best solution I've found: headphones. I have a nice set of wireless headphones from Sennheiser. Not cheap, but well worth it - I can play music/movies/whatever as loud as I want, at whatever hour I want, and not bother anyone. (or worry about bothering anyone.)

Now if only all of MY neighbors were as considerate... :)


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RE: Living Above

Lasershow said: "There is NO way a surround sound system is NOT going to be overwhelming in an apartment environment! Just by nature of its design, the sound is LOUD"

Not true. The purpose of a surround sound system is not to be loud, it is to deliver sound that surrounds the listener. This sound does not have to be loud. We have had a surround sound system since our first apartment, living above, below, and next to numerous people, and never once had a complaint. Even now that we have a much more powerful subwoofer, still our neighbors can't hear it.....because we are courteous and keep the volume at a reasonable level. Can it be loud and obnoxious? Certainly, but that is not it's purpose.


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RE: Living Above

I hate surround sound in apartments, I had my neighbors take down theirs from their wall because it was up against my living room wall and i could barely watch t.v. because it was so loud, i know they weren't intentionally doing it but sound travels thru walls. And my neighbors downstairs play their guitar hero till the wee hours of the morning which i could care less but it's also coming thru my floors. So I'm moving out because of this into a nice house where i can be loud. I played my guitar for about ten minutes during the day and my downstairs neighbors complained on me(these are the ones that crank up guitar hero late at night), enough is enough, people can only take so much. I feel like the bad guy when all I want is peace, I guess noisey neighbors will always win. I've talked to the ones next door to me who are nice and they were cool but downstairs i don't think they give a rat's ass. Apartment life not for me, i want peace so I can turn up my music and not get yelled at. People are hyopcrites.


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RE: Living Above

You're sure right about that, Hasselhoff2009. People are hypocrites! My upstairs neighbors pound on my ceilings all the time, let their brats run around screaming & jumping on my ceilings at all hours of the night & they think it's perfectly fine. They don't care that they're bothering us with their noise, even at 4am! But if I pound with a broom handle on my ceiling to try to shut them up, they pound back twice as hard! They can dish it out but they can't take it. They sure don't like it when the same crap is done right back to them so they should stop doing it to other people! This is why I'm moving soon, thank goodness! I've been putting up with their crap for almost a year now & I've had enough. I found a better place which will be much more quiet & put a down payment on it yesterday. My troubles will soon be over! :)


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RE: Living Above

thegrinch17: congrats on moving! I know you've been dealing with rude neighbors.


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RE: Living Above

Thanks so much, Willamae! I'm ecstatic about it! The place I'm moving to is much more quiet & there's only 1 neighbor to deal with. Much better than an apartment complex full of ass***** like where I'm at now. Soon I'll have my peace & quiet back! :)


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