Bad Neighbor!
May 28, 2012 9:53 PM   Subscribe

Neighbor is using an ultra-high-frequency device against us at very high decibels. It causes constant low-grade nausea and a long-lasting ringing in the ears afterwards. Problem is, it can't really be heard because its such a high-frequency. Cops have come to our house, felt the nausea and ear-ringing themselves, but refuse to do anything about it because they can't "hear" it and we have no way of recording it. My question is: Can you point me towards a device that can record high decibel sound in very high frequencies so we can show objectively that this is happening?

This has been going on for over a year now. We are often forced to sleep in a hotel on nights he decides to keep it on "high". We have been to the cops many times but they seem to be ineffective and/or uninterested. We have tried to show them that this goes beyond noise ordinance issues, and is basically a physical attack. For some reason, even though the cops themselves have felt it, they just do not take action.

This neighbor guy is a bit of a psychopath. He has some kind of beef with just about everyone in the neighborhood, but these sound devices are somehow local enough that we, his direct neighbors, are the only ones affected by it. Several of our other neighbors have been over to our house and have experienced the ill effects. When someone returns to our house after being gone, it will be off, but as soon as the neighbor notices a car in our driveway he will turn it on again. He is very vigilant and it is frightening.

Please, if you have any idea how we could record this happening in an objective way, or any other suggestions about how to get the cops to do more than they are doing, I would appreciate it immensely. Thank you.
posted by captain cosine to Human Relations (48 answers total) 112 users marked this as a favorite
These people make bat detectors for triggered recording of the ultrasound emitted by the animals.

Your situation doesn't sound like it will be taxing from a sensitivity standpoint.
posted by janell at 10:10 PM on May 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

Here are some great instructions for recording high frequency sounds.

Be aware that once you've recorded, to demonstrate the sound beyond visual soundwaves in a program like Audacity, you will need to lower the pitch and/or slow the recording down. Both of these can be done in Audacity.

Finally, not part of the question, but I think you might wish to brace yourself for disappointment should you take this path. No offense, but this sounds pretty off the wall - evidence for high-frequency effects is patchy to say the least, far more gimmicky than actually scientific. Additionally, for it to be effective - unless your house is like right next to his, the output volume would have to be prodigious and it's highly unlikely other neighbours would be unaffected, least of all the actual perpetrator himself. Good luck.
posted by smoke at 10:12 PM on May 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

Ordinary microphones can pick up ultrasonic frequencies. However, high frequencies are also easier to block and are more directional. Just get some mass between you and the source and it should be damped significantly.

Similarly, you'll want to be directly in the path of the sound to get the best recording. You can get a dog whistle or ultrasonic pest device to check that your setup is recording in the ultrasonic rance. However, I have to say that your situation sounds awfully similar to people who claim that the government is sending signals into their heads. I'm not saying that you're not being exposed to a sonic weapon, but just that such weapons are really just emerging from the edge of science fiction, and many people have never heard of them. You'll have to proceed especially carefully because the last thing you want is to have the police thinking you're a crackpot.
posted by wnissen at 10:15 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

How do you know that your neighbour has this sound device? Has he shown it to you or told you about it? I'm assuming there has to be some actual evidence, because it is quite a leap to make from "I come home and feel sick" to "therefore my neighbour is using an ultrasonic weapon against me".

Assuming the problem is real , are you sure it's not something in your own home?
posted by Sternmeyer at 10:17 PM on May 28, 2012 [32 favorites]

Even taking as a given that there is an ultrasonic weapon being used here, the reason the cops aren't taking an interest is because I can guarantee you they hear stuff like this all the time and it is pretty much always a case of "Someone went off their meds for two days" rather than an actual secret technological assault. I have personally had to deal with:

1) "The NAACP is 'booming' me with low-frequency soundwaves whenever I poop. I feel it in my legs right when I let go."

2) "The airplane pilots are hacking my house's electrical system with their laptops whenever they fly overhead. I can tell because of the tingling in my teeth and the way the lights flicker."

3) "A novelist is secretly sending radiation into my house to cause excruciating pain whenever I sleep. He's doing this so he can find out the limits of human endurance for a book he's writing."

4) "The hospital keeps pumping nerve gas in through the vents. It makes my stomach upset and gives me a headache. The nurses have moved me to a new room three times, but every time, the room was already full of gas. Now they won't move me anymore because the doctors got to them and made them part of the conspiracy."

The cops probably did not feel any nausea of any kind when they came to your house. They just nodded and agreed with whatever you said because they've heard it all before, and far crazier things. Documenting it objectively might help, but you're going to have to overcome a big old dose of Occam's Razor if you want law enforcement to actually take action.
posted by Scattercat at 10:30 PM on May 28, 2012 [60 favorites]

Best answer: My question is: Can you point me towards a device that can record high decibel sound in very high frequencies so we can show objectively that this is happening?

A handheld digital oscilloscope and a high frequency microphone might be helpful to demonstrate this.
It would present differently to a skeptic than 'I recorded it on my computer'. A cop could also use it to track down a speaker being driven with high frequency sound.

You'll have to proceed especially carefully because the last thing you want is to have the police thinking you're a crackpot.
When dealing with techies, to sort out the equipment, you may want to tell them this: "We're trying to track down the source of a high-frequency sound source somewhere just off out property", if you don't want to bring up the neighbor and present as a tinfoil hat type.

b1tr0t is correct that audacity should work and should help you pin down what frequency it is. You might also try software that does "real-time spectrum analyzer" using your sound card (i.e. microphone input)
This, on a laptop, would allow a cop to 'dowse' for the sound.

any other suggestions about how to get the cops to do more than they are doing,

Yes. Pay an environmental noise technician or a freelance (and licensed) electrical engineer to come to your property with an oscilloscope and mike, and have them write up a brief statement of their findings.

Once you have this statement, you'll be able to make a much more clear presentation to law enforcement and legal types. You might try the local district attorney at this point? (Your lawyer, or a mefi-ite) would be able to better advise you here

This would be much more effective than trying to muck around with an oscilloscope yourself.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:36 PM on May 28, 2012 [12 favorites]

Response by poster: I'm not familiar with medical/scientific evidence for the effects of this kind of sound, but I can tell you without a doubt that is has deleterious effects on us, our neighbors, and others who have come to our house. The cops genuinely felt the same effects. Perhaps I made it sound like they just didn't care before, but they actually did try to monitor the situation for us, but were unsuccessful. I don't know what else I can say about that point.

This is unfortunately one of those situations that sounds completely batshit, but is really quite true. It has been happening for over a year. I appreciate the input so far but please, if you would like to answer, please do so with the assumption that what I am saying is true and that I am not wearing, nor do I own, a tinfoil hat.
posted by captain cosine at 10:38 PM on May 28, 2012

Are you sure you don't have carbon monoxide poisoning? Maybe you have a leak somewhere and that's what's causing your symptoms. Says Wikipedia, "Chronic exposure to relatively low levels of carbon monoxide may cause persistent headaches, lightheadedness, depression, confusion, memory loss, nausea and vomiting."
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 10:39 PM on May 28, 2012 [10 favorites]

Best answer: Before we all start tossing around speculation about exactly who the crazy person might be in this scenario, and how unlikely this is to be really happening, it would pay to know that high frequency irritant devices are commercially available.

If the neighbor is using one of those, you will need a microphone good to 17kHz. And Audacity probably is indeed the right software tool to couple it with.
posted by flabdablet at 10:42 PM on May 28, 2012 [5 favorites]

Response by poster: Are you sure you don't have carbon monoxide poisoning?

Like I said, there are times when this sound/effect does not happen. It never happens when the neighbor is gone for an extended period of time. It never happens when he is even just gone for the day (when his car is gone). The effect is more pronounced on the side of the house/property that borders his house. I could go on and on.
posted by captain cosine at 10:42 PM on May 28, 2012

Response by poster: We haven't actually seen the device but I've kind of assumed its something like this. (scroll down to the one called "Phasor Pain Field Generator")
posted by captain cosine at 10:51 PM on May 28, 2012

Well, my suggestion still stands. He could be using something that is leaking Carbon Monoxide, and if he's not home, that device or appliance probably isn't on. I don't mean to diminish your belief that he's using a high frequency device (I certainly understand, having sensitive hearing myself), but since you asked for advice re: getting authorities on your side, you need to consider other possibilities, and I really think it would be worth your while to have someone come and test for CO levels in your house and around the area that you feel the symptoms are the most extreme.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 10:54 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

So wait - you've done lots of investigating/snooping around, but you haven't actually talked to your neighbor? It sounds like it could be any number of things beyond one of those mosquito device things. Why not talk to him? At least try to find out if he's doing it intentionally, and if so, why.

He may well have no idea that it bothers you since you haven't, you know, told him it bothers you.
posted by zug at 10:56 PM on May 28, 2012 [4 favorites]

Best answer: If you've got the funds to pay an electrical engineer or environmental noise technician to come out with an oscilloscope and microphone, a written statement from them will help with the police.

Otherwise, expect the police to continue to be polite but non-helpful.

Using audacity on a laptop to verify that it's a 10 KHz to 20 KHz sound will make it much easier to get an electrical engineer or environmental noise technician to come to your house.
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:03 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Why not talk to him? At least try to find out if he's doing it intentionally, and if so, why.

We are not exactly on speaking terms. He has a long history of animosity towards us prior to this sound thing starting. Soon after he moved in next door we showed him around the place a bit. Later on we had a very minor dispute and he called the city and managed to get them to send inspectors because of some alleged minor code violation (the dispute was completely unrelated to the code violations, it was just something he knew about our property that he could exploit).

We did knock on their door once and casually asked if they were hearing any high pitched noises or feeling anything strange; they said no (as a reminder, everyone else in the neighborhood who has come to our house has said that yes, they do hear and feel something strange).

I'll mention again that the whole neighborhood is more or less "on our side" about this. The neighbor frequently aggressively asserts to others that the street parking outside his house belongs only to him (obviously not true), and he does all kinds of other strange petty things to everyone. We have every indication to believe he is doing this intentionally as part of a long-standing grudge.

As for the CO2 thing, the instantaneous on/off-ness of this effect suggests that its not related to a gas. Sometimes it will turn on when we're out working in the yard (not all the time, so its not motion-activated). It can be felt in our front yard closer to his property, which I assume is open enough (completely open) that it would take huge concentrations of gas to achieve that kind of effect. Its also very unlikely that its caused by some normal electronic device he uses that just happens to produce this sound as a by-product. Its just too powerful an effect to be an old television or something. It is beyond annoyance and into pain/discomfort territory.

Thanks for the suggestions about Audacity and the various hardware suggestions, I'll be looking into them. I'm turning in for the night but I'll be checking in with this thread tomorrow.
posted by captain cosine at 11:26 PM on May 28, 2012

Seems like a cinder block wall along your (presumably) adjoining property line would solve any such issues, provided of course there really is such an thing. You wouldn't even have to cement the blocks together, just stack em to kill line of sight. Though you may want to stack them so they don't fall over on you.

This could be just inside of your fence line. It would also send a good message about your feelings for your neighbor.
posted by Chekhovian at 11:39 PM on May 28, 2012 [5 favorites]

Just based on physics, high frequency sound is fairly easy to stop. Almost any obstacle with some density, like a plank of wood, is likely to stop a direct beam. To penetrate such a board, you'd have to generate incredible volume - those would have to be crazy powerful speakers. I suppose he could be bouncing the waves off of something, but a careful examination of your property would clue you in as to what would give a clean bounce (say, a metal sheet f.ex.). To penetrate a dense object you need the opposite - low frequency - which you might feel as a vibration. Is there a way for your neighbor to aim a direct beam at the people in your domicile?
posted by VikingSword at 11:49 PM on May 28, 2012 [8 favorites]

I would really just retain an environmental noise technician and an attorney. It's quite possible that you won't be able to charge him criminally, but if he really is doing this you could certainly sue him over that and seek an injunction against continuation.

Doing your own Scooby and Friends approach is just buying into his harassment, assuming you're correct about that.
posted by dhartung at 12:02 AM on May 29, 2012 [7 favorites]

There are smartphone apps our there for audio analysis if you want to do the tricorder thing.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:23 AM on May 29, 2012

The link you give for the Phasor Pain Field Generator also advertises a detector which will enable you to register ultrasonic frequencies, for precisely the reason you've given - to see if someone is using such as device against you.
posted by KateViolet at 1:01 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Like I said, there are times when this sound/effect does not happen. It never happens when the neighbor is gone for an extended period of time. It never happens when he is even just gone for the day (when his car is gone). The effect is more pronounced on the side of the house/property that borders his house. I could go on and on.

I wonder what he is doing to avoid suffering the effects of this sound himself? Perhaps looking into this could be helpful as well?
Not to suggest that you should have to work up your own defense while he continues his attack, but maybe if you can show that he has some sort of protection installed for himself this will help convince others that this is in fact happening?
Surely he must be shielding himself somehow - otherwise his own home would be at least as unbearable as yours, right?
posted by zoinks at 2:33 AM on May 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Surely he must be shielding himself somehow - otherwise his own home would be at least as unbearable as yours, right?

Given that you lose your perception of high frequencies as you age, it could be the neighbour can't hear the noise at all if he's old enough/his hearing has deterioated enough.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:48 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Can you move? It sounds to me like even if you can prosecute this guy, he will still be a problem neighbor.
posted by emilynoa at 4:16 AM on May 29, 2012 [3 favorites]

I have to wonder if he purchased some extremely high wattage, high performance speakers and a monster amp some time ago, and just can't hear the frequencies above 10khz anymore. Tweeters are very uni-directional, and it could be as unintentional as the stereo system being set up against a wall and projecting in your direction.

My stereo system usually goes on the minute I walk in the house, and stays on most of the time until I leave. The bass response is dialed way back so the neighbors can't feel it, and the midrange does not project outside the house. I've sampled outside to make sure.

The solution may be as simple as him dialing back the treble response on his amp, or checking the crossover network to make sure he's not pumping 1000 watts through the tweeters while the rest is moderate.

Before you go to the trouble of an oscilloscope or sound technician, get one of the neighborhood kids under 15 or so to come by when you feel it and see if they can hear anything. If they hear the mosquito, go forward from there.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 4:58 AM on May 29, 2012 [3 favorites]

Why do you believe this is coming from the neighbor rather than being an intermittent noise generated in your own home?

Some CRT monitors for example used to produce hf noise on occasion. Ditto fluorescent lighting fixtures.

What is your evidence that your neighbor is involved other than you not liking him?
posted by rr at 7:41 AM on May 29, 2012 [3 favorites]

Go get a carbon monoxide detector. Seriously. Nausea and ringing in the ears are symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and you are possibly at risk of fatal complications.
posted by 0xFCAF at 8:15 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

First... this sounds too crazy to be true, and carbon monoxide poisoning sounds a lot more plausible than ultrasonic attacks from your neighbor. Look into that.

But second, assuming that what you're saying is true... this isn't really a job for the cops, it's a job for the civil legal system. Just because the cops don't have enough evidence to turn the case over to the DA for prosecution--and it really doesn't look like they do--doesn't mean that you can't file a lawsuit in civil court seeking both damages and an injunction, i.e., an order not to do whatever it is he's doing.

Sound waves are a recognized form of trespass and grounds for nuisance and/or harassment lawsuits in many states. If he was simply playing his stereo very loudly at all hours of the day and night you could sue him to get him to stop. The fact that he's apparently using ultrasonic sound rather than audible sound doesn't really change the analysis much as long as you can prove that he's actually doing it. To do that you're going to need to look into the technical solutions discussed above. I'd recommend doing that before you consult an attorney, because the facts you present are just so crazy that you may find it difficult to get one to take your case without evidence.

Understand that this may cost you. Normally, personal injury lawsuits like this are taken on contingency, but given the bizarre set of facts and the likelihood that this guy's got no money to speak of, you may find some hesitation there. But I definitely think that a lawsuit, which will enable you to file a subpoena on the guy and possibly conduct an inspection of his home, is going to be easier and quicker than trying to convince the cops that you aren't crazy.
posted by valkyryn at 8:24 AM on May 29, 2012 [5 favorites]

sounds too crazy to be true

Not to me -- but then, I've read Inspector Imanishi Investigates, which features someone installing a similar device at their front door, to discourage visitors -- and that novel was written in 1961!
posted by Rash at 8:49 AM on May 29, 2012

That amount of UF energy would require visible outside speakers pointed at your house. Can you see them?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:42 AM on May 29, 2012 [4 favorites]

My first thought is just move. Should you manage to document it or even stop it, you are only going to infuriate someone who probably feels very powerless and desperate to exert any influence on others that he can. Things could escalate to a point where your safety or well-being are even further disrupted, and it's just not worth it.

My other suggestion would be, bad blood or not, if moving is not an option - mend the rift, apologize profusely. Be the bigger person, as you are the one who has the benefit of being mentally and emotionally stable. Bring him a token of goodwill and verbally apologize. Do something thoughtful that won't be interpreted in his warped logic as an act of aggression. Presume that everything will be looked upon with suspicion and do what you can to assuage those thoughts. If things don't improve or get better over the course of six months or so, then move.
posted by SassHat at 9:48 AM on May 29, 2012

as a pro sound guy:
some extra color here regarding physics and the nature of sound. if you are behind nearly any solid surface you can defeat high energy high frequency weapons. heck even the ones tested on reporters (sorry don't have youtube at the moment but the clips are easy enough to find just google "LRAD" and "defeat" for some BBC content) were"defeated" with a piece of plexiglass, a motorcycle helmet and some foam. So if you are feeling this in your house i have grave concerns about some other cause.

please, please go buy a carbon monoxide detector. they are like $12.

as for the tinfoil hat theory here is my two cents:
1. you are NOT crazy. something is surely affecting you. its just that..
2. having an extensive professional training in acoustics, sound, audio engineering etc i can tell you that unless this guy has got some serious space alien technology its not a high frequency device. you would need to be LINE OF SIGHT of some scary looking flat front speakers.

i hope you solve this, i hope its not your crazy neighbor, i hope you are ok, and i hope you update us.
posted by chasles at 9:48 AM on May 29, 2012 [37 favorites]

To everyone who is suggesting that the OP move, have you considered the fact that not many people will want to buy a house that has crazy sounds coming from who-knows-where? OP said that the neighbor turns on this device whenever they see that they have people over and visitors have noticed it. Couldn't the OP technically get sued for selling their house without disclosing these issues? That's assuming that buyers and the real estate agent don't get sick to begin with when coming in for an initial viewing or open house.
posted by lovelygirl at 10:09 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you go the route of having an engineer over to characterize the sound, it'll probably pay to have this engineer arrive in his own car rather than his company van. He'll probably want to move any equipment in under cover of darkness or something.

If I were using a high-frequency sound annoyance device against my neighbors, I imagine I'd turn it off while the "Bob's Acoustic Testing Company" van was in the driveway.
posted by chazlarson at 10:35 AM on May 29, 2012 [8 favorites]

It never happens when the neighbor is gone for an extended period of time. It never happens when he is even just gone for the day (when his car is gone).

If I were a crazy guy doing this I would be doing just the opposite, blasting the noise while I was gone and turning it off while I was home. If it is a malicious attack it doesn’t make much sense the other way, since he would be suffering much more than you. Maybe it’s the by product of something else.

As others have said, I don’t know how he would be getting high frequencies into your home, they are easily blocked. Just think about how you hear loud music from somewhere else, even the other room. It’s all low frequencies until you open the door and are directly exposed to it.

It’s also very easy to record this if it’s happening. There is no point in guessing when it’s so easy to test and that would give you a definite answer.
posted by bongo_x at 10:59 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's worth seriously pursuing the carbon monoxide theory. Nausea and high-pitched sounds in the ears are symptoms of repeated, low-level exposure.

Please, get a detector. He could unknowingly be turning on something in his home that is exhausting into yours. Check your vents and get a detector ASAP!
posted by vivzan at 11:29 AM on May 29, 2012 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: I am very confused about the carbon monoxide thing. How could it be the result of prolonged exposure to a gas if the effect goes on/off instantaneously? Its very noticeable when the switch occurs. Its not "oh, hey I realized I haven't noticed the feeling/sound for a while, when did that happen?", its more like "oh, it definitely just turned off/on." Furthermore, this happens to people that come over briefly and rarely, who have not had the chance to be exposed for extended periods of time. It has happened to people that have never been to our property before that simply stand, outside in the open air, on the side of our yard that borders the neighbor. I do not understand how it could be a gas. Nonetheless, I will look into getting a CO detector since you have suggested they are pretty cheap.

By the way, we are moving, largely because of this neighbor's behavior (as I said before, there have been many other incidents of unprovoked harassment that have nothing to do with the alleged sound issue).

The police have actually been attempting more surveillance on our behalf, and they acknowledge that there is a serious problem. I was hoping to find some technology or evidence that would aid them, and the suggestions here so far have been very good. I'm not sure how long askme threads stay open, but if there are any developments I will try to give updates when they happen. Thanks everyone.
posted by captain cosine at 11:32 AM on May 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Might he be coming home and turning something on that's venting carbon monoxide, like through a wall mounted exhaust adjacent to an intake of your own ventilation system? A heater of some kind?
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:48 AM on May 29, 2012 [7 favorites]

Omygosh snuffleupagus you are brilliant. That's a great alternative CO theory. He turns on his gas fireplace/vented oven/hot water tank kicks in for radiant heat/stove//hot tub heater/etc which vents right into captain_cosine's house!! I like it.
posted by chasles at 3:38 PM on May 29, 2012

The best reason you want to install a good carbon monoxide detector ASAP is that should you pursue a legal/civil case against this guy, the FIRST response from his lawyer and other authorities will be "Pshaw, all of your symptoms can be explained by much-more-plausible carbon monoxide poisoning! Case dismissed!" You need to be able to rebut (and/or take to the authorities in the first place) with "Here are the readings from the reputable carbon monoxide detector(s) I installed on such-and-such date." Maybe there's a CM reader that records levels over time, or you can take a picture of its display every time you feel the irritating sensations. You will need this proof that you aren't randomly convinced "my neighbor is trying to kill me with soundwaves!!" (FYI, IANAL, TINLA)

Also you want a CM detector anyway because it's such a common and nasty cause of death that's so easily preventable.

Also also, have you tried earplugs and white noise machines?
posted by nicebookrack at 6:34 PM on May 29, 2012 [5 favorites]

Seconding that a carbon monoxide detector is something everyone should have anyway - they're cheap and can save your life. Being sure you have one should be as basic and automatic as being sure you have a smoke detector.

AskMe threads stay open for a year. I very much hope you're able to get some more clarity on this problem, and it sounds like you're very smart to be moving away from this guy.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:07 PM on May 29, 2012

Yeah, make sure you can get a carbon monoxide detector that shows the PPM readout. Mine displays a number and you can press a button showing the peak it has reached (25 every so often isn't a big deal... 100 constantly, yeah that's harmful)
posted by daninnj at 7:53 PM on May 29, 2012

Even if you can't stop the stimulus, there may be a way of allowing your body to deal with this stimulus. Tell a doctor everything you've told us and they might be able to help with the symptoms you're experiencing.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:07 AM on May 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

Just as a side note, I'm 28 and can still hear those high frequency noise machines that they put out in front of malls to keep teenagers from hanging out. Still hurts my ears/ makes me slightly sick to my stomach.
posted by littlesq at 2:33 PM on May 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

Could be something like the Mosquito. If you Google it you'll see what it looks like; have the cops take a nice long walk around his house and see if he's got one tacked up somewhere.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:12 PM on May 30, 2012

A guy on the Capital Crescent Trail in Washington, DC had a high-frequency generator to keep away deer. It also worked well on small children, and on me. I can hear CRTs without any problem, and they drive me up a wall.

That said, you really shouldn't be able to hear high frequencies through walls; that's a bit crazy. Is it *much* louder outside than inside?
posted by talldean at 9:02 AM on June 1, 2012

And to the person who suggested "ask a doctor how to deal with this stimulus", I can say that I haven't found anything in twenty years of trying, besides earplugs. Old television sets drive me out of a room.

That said, I'd try earplugs, and see if that helps or not.
posted by talldean at 9:04 AM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

The good thing about high frequencies is that the cheaper the earplugs, the better they're blocked. It's hard to design earplugs with a flat frequency response.
posted by flabdablet at 8:34 AM on June 4, 2012

Any follow-up? We're all pretty curious here...
posted by 0xFCAF at 3:39 PM on June 6, 2012 [18 favorites]

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