Apt Neighbor Blares TV-- I need sleep!
January 2, 2006 6:51 AM   Subscribe

My neighbor in the highrise I live in loves to watch TV very loudly and all night! Is there something I can hang on the walls to help cut down on the noise? I have a white noise machine, ear plugs-- but I just want silence really!
posted by psususe to Home & Garden (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Did you slip them a note or anything?
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 6:56 AM on January 2, 2006

Yeah, you could complain. Most people will adjust their behavior if they're annoying a neighbor. Of course, all my experience with this has been in Iowa.
posted by delmoi at 7:01 AM on January 2, 2006

There's stuff you can buy (try Googling for "noise control" apartment), but it would be cheaper to ask them nicely to turn it down. I'm sure you have your reasons for not wanting to do so -- most likely you don't want your neighbors to think you're one of "Those People" who complain all the time -- but you really ought to try that route first. What's the worst that could happen?

I wonder, as a side note, are your neighbors elderly and/or hearing impaired, or are they just inconsiderate?
posted by Gator at 7:07 AM on January 2, 2006

They are not elderly, based on the genre of music that is also blared from time to time.

I have yet to slip them a note....like one of the poster's said, I do not want to be "one of those people."
posted by psususe at 7:10 AM on January 2, 2006

Can I assume there is some sort of superintendent on site? Complain to him and let him take care of it. You shouldn't have to go to extra expense because your neighbor is thoughtless.
Barring that, try some creative decorating. Hang a some good, heavy oriental rugs on the wall. That will help muffle the noise to some degree.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:47 AM on January 2, 2006

Seriously, slip them a note. They may not even be aware the sound is bothering you. Someone slipped me a note once. Turned out the walls between apartments here are thinner than those between apartments and the hallway, so what was inaudible in the hallway was audible in the next apartment, and I turned my shit down.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 7:52 AM on January 2, 2006

don't slip him a note. Go and talk to him. Be friendly. Slipping a note will make you seem more like "one of those people".
posted by lemur at 7:55 AM on January 2, 2006

Also, be sure to tell your neighbor of your efforts to decrease noise (earplugs, white noise, etc). Perhaps too, you could work out the volume level together.
I also agree that face to face is the way to go. I am terrible at those kinds of things but always seem to regret it when I choose something other than face to face. Just think of what you want to say and be polite no matter what their reaction. Hopefully they will be nice back!
Good Luck!
posted by TheLibrarian at 8:11 AM on January 2, 2006

Just go talk to the neighbor. He/She will probably be understanding. The worst thing you could do is to bang on the shared wall loudly with a broom handle (or similiar). I had a neighbor do that for two weeks or so, starting at 8PM, and then try to take issue up with me via note. I was much less inclinded to be civil at that point. I still moved my speakers around (and off the floor) so they weren't such a bother. But I didn't *want* to.
Another neighbor was taking care of her just home from hospital mother for a few weeks and she came around and talked to all the neighbors a few days ahead of her mother's release date. I've never heard the building quiet becfore or since as it was during those weeks.
posted by smash at 8:24 AM on January 2, 2006

Slip a note, but be 100% sure of which apt it is.
When I first moved to my new apt, I had to deal with noise issues right from the start - the guy above me was blasting music and TV with mucho explosions until all hours of the night. I wrote a semi-snotty note and put it under his door. Turned out the guy above me was the 70ish head of the board and goes to bed at 9 p.m. The noise, it turns out, was coming from below, though I could have sworn....
Anyhow, one more semi-snotty note later, all my sound problems went away. I can still hear her TV sometimes but never after 11ish. In return, I tiptoe around and always take my shoes off.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:35 AM on January 2, 2006

As mentioned by Gator above, check out places like SilentSource. Many of these items are intended to be used during construction (ie., not post-occupancy), but many can be adapted to post-occupancy use.

For example, the various fabric-covered panels and wall fabrics.

Note: I make no representation regarding the quality or price of SilentSource products. There are dozens of similar manufacturers.

One more thing: "home theater" people are exceedingly likely to get ripped off, price-wise. So shop around and (IMHO) stay away from places that really push their home theater products. A corollary to this is: ugly products will be cheaper than "fashion" products. Eggcrate surfaces cost less than designer color flat fabric surfaces. This may or may not be a tradeoff you're willing to make.
posted by aramaic at 9:05 AM on January 2, 2006

Definitely go talk to them- they probably don't realize how loud it is. Who knows, it might be a matter of them moving their tv to a different wall (I would do this in a heartbeat if it was bothering a neighbor).
posted by elisabeth r at 9:19 AM on January 2, 2006

Go visit, be really cooperative, and assume that they will be cooperative. Since you're planning to spend some money, buy a pair of pretty affordable headphones and a headpphone extension cord. It's not your responsibility to pay for it, but if you feel shy about enforcing your rigt to quiet in your home, that might make it easier.
posted by theora55 at 10:16 AM on January 2, 2006

The problem is that the soundproofing should be on your neighbor's side of the wall, not yours. You might offer to install it at your expense, which would both make your room quieter and embarrass him into turning the sound lower.

There are companies that install second walls, on your side, which of course decrease the space in your apartment.

Be sure to block air ducts, which funnel sound through.

Here are a few links:
Acoustical Source
Silent Source
Noise and Vibration Control
Apple Windows
posted by KRS at 2:39 PM on January 2, 2006

Better to go in person than slip a note. I once had to do it, and not merely did the neighbour immediately fix the problem, we became quite good friends.
posted by scruss at 4:17 PM on January 2, 2006

If you're going to slip a note, attach it to a plate of cookies. ;-) you're less likely to be "one of those people"
posted by thinds66 at 8:40 PM on January 2, 2006

Here are two more links to excellent NY Times stories. There's a free registration (or go to bugmenot), and the stories are in their free archive.

Times #1

Times #2
posted by KRS at 11:48 AM on January 3, 2006

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