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Have to move to an apartment ;(( Need help!!!

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by F1fletch, May 27, 2021.

  1. F1fletch

    F1fletch Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Pacifica, CA
    I am so sad, but reality dictates I have to move to an apartment while my wife goes to England to care for her folks and their estate.

    My question is simple (I think). What in blazes can I do to somewhat sound proof my late Ong room so I can actually listen at decent volumes without getting a call from the manager every night.

    I truly appreciate any experience and helpful tips. Please don’t bother telling me I’m screwed because I can’t buy that. I will buy rugs, sound proofing etc etc and hang it on the wall.

    I “hope” to find a small home or townhouse but it’s looking slim and I have to move in 7/1/21.

    thanks guys
    PhxJohn likes this.

    TEA FOR ONE Listening to the world one note at a time

    An end unit would probably help a little. While you can acoustically treat a room,I don't think you can sound proof without cutting into the walls. One thing that might help is putting subs on a "subdude" platform. Or just go headphones for nighttime listening. Best of luck! Also,sorry to hear about your in laws.
    Dave, Tim 2 and jesterthejedi like this.
  3. big_pink_floyd_toole

    big_pink_floyd_toole I am not a bat

    Try to find a newer apartment complex build. Also end unit, top floor, etc. Modern apartments will be built with the latest code requirements for firewalls, etc which should help sound proofing. And then there’s also the build with sound proofing in mind.
    Manimal, fretter and Jacob29 like this.
  4. F1fletch

    F1fletch Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Pacifica, CA
    Thank you sir! No sub/s but my Klipsch RP-8000M can take me “live” pretty quick. That’s a good idea about an end unit. I am going to check with them.
    Your kind words are appreciated ;)
    I also thought of headphones but I can’t live without playing through my speakers hahahaha!
    The Pinhead and TEA FOR ONE like this.
  5. Jacob29

    Jacob29 Forum Resident

    Kansas City
    There's nothing easy you can do after the fact.
    Couple things to keep in mind though

    I'm not familiar with Great Britain code but in America new apartments built 2015 on have better sound attenuation you're better to buy a recently built place.

    Use a speaker that images at low volume.

    Carpet over hardwood or tile

    Anti-vibration speaker feet

    Door seals

    Keep the noise centrally located in the apartment ie don't have your speakers right next to their bedroom
    TEA FOR ONE likes this.
  6. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Take a moment to fill out your profile. It’s difficult to discuss any solutions unless we know what components and speakers you’ve got.

    I’ve got a variety of buildings of different construction - wood frame with posts and beams and joisted floors, steel post & beam with concrete slab floors, reinforced concrete columns and slabs. The only way to fully isolate an individual apartment is to create an air gap on all adjoining walls, ceilings and floors, and then install new surfaces using an inner layer of acoustic barrier. A box within a box. Without the air gap, it’s all waste of time and money.

    I’ve had many well-meaning, well-intentioned tenants who spent thousands on carpeting and heavy underlay/padding, allegedly acoustic/sound absorbing barriers and panels, all of whom were unsuccessful because, a) they insisted on listening to music at 85+dB at a listening position about 6’-7” from their speakers, and b) because they never first thought to try and understand just how enormously thick a bass frequency barrier has to be in order for it to prevent low frequencies from penetrating into adjoining apartments. It doesn’t matter how someone applies what they believe is ‘intuitive’ thinking about the problem. All that rugs and padding and acoustic absorbers will do is clutter up the place, suck up a lot of money, and do nothing to prevent the neighbours from complaining (as they should when another tenant is imposing his music on them).

    Living in an apartment requires concessions on the part of tenants. Of course you’re entitled to listen to your music, but when doing so you’re most definitely not entitled to impose it on your neighbours. No exceptions.

    Either turn down the volume to the point at which it doesn’t disturb your neighbours at all, or invest in a really great headphone amp and a great pair of headphones. That last bit can be an immensely satisfying solution. All those hundreds of thousands of audiophiles throughout the U.S. and Canada who are thoroughly enjoying primary systems that are headphone-based aren’t wrong. Besides that, investing in a headphone-based system is invariably a lot less expensive than useless expenditures on apartment sound insulation attempts that never - and I mean never - work.
    Jim Hodgson, Dave, Encore and 15 others like this.
  7. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile

    Some apartments are all concrete on floors, ceilings and perimeter walls. They are very quiet and do not pass much sound.
  8. I’d go for a first floor corner/end unit if at all possible. If you have a sub woofer at least there wouldn’t be anyone directly below you.
    F1fletch likes this.
  9. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Idaho, USA
    I doubt you can do a thing other than play at very low volume. Living in apartments sucks and when it comes to noise, the neighbors are the boss of you. You have no rights to disturb their quiet enjoyment of their space. Why can't you rent a house instead? Why do you have to move into an apartment just because your wife needs to be gone for awhile. What's changed?
  10. Limelakephoto

    Limelakephoto Forum Resident

    Oshawa Ont. Canada
    I would think about getting some speakers you can listen to in near field. If you are closer to them you can keep the volume down, as well when listening near field ensure they are front ported if ported speakers are your fancy.
    WapatoWolf, Encore, BruceS and 3 others like this.
  11. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Not exactly. Reinforced concrete highrise construction can create relatively quiet units as long as nobody couples any noisemaker to a floor or wall. When something is coupled, reinforced concrete slab floors, sheer walls and ceilings ring like bells and transmit sound throughout the building. It can be awful.
    Jim Hodgson and Dave like this.
  12. Hershey

    Hershey I'm gonna meet you on the astral plane

    Squamish BC Canada
    Firstly nobody is 'the boss of you'....you have every right to enjoy your space too. Obviously blasting it at 3am is a bit much but they chose to live in an apartment too and apartment complexes are noisy...
    not just your music but couples having domestics...doors being slammed, babies crying...etc... I lived in one where the woman next to me was a hooker and all night long guys banging on her door and her bed banging against the dividing wall .... but you know what..it was live and let live.. But you are dead right on renting a house instead, any run down, bad neighborhood house is better than an apartment.
    Just don't let others dictate to you what you can do.
  13. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile

    Well, I live in a concrete apartment and cannot even hear the dog barking next door. unless I go out on the balcony. Next door cannot hear my stereo turned up either. So, I do not get your statement. I doubt anything would ring like a bell. Concrete does not vibrate or move like wood and drywall.
    Encore likes this.
  14. farfetched

    farfetched Well-Known Member

    The above is the simple truth. If there is a shared wall, foundation, air, bass frequencies 80+db's = they hear you. They hear you half a block if it is a quiet area. Why this is hard to grasp -- and that people automatically think "but surely I can solve this problem" baffles me. Why, no one has ever took the time, by gosh! Come on man. There is a reason this is a problem. Because it is unfixable except by space and earth. I get such a lock in my system, I purposely live in a house with a gravel driveway b/c a paved one would couple me to the street, and there goes my good terms with the neighbors down the way.

    TL;DR Your only speaker-based solution is to alter what you think listening to music is. Temporarily. Until the estate gets settled. Near-field, small monitor listening is very satisfying. This is only temporary. You do not need 40hz. Try something that works temporarily.

    Shawn and F1fletch like this.
  15. Tone?

    Tone? Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    Welcome to the Bay Area my friend where an apt costs as much as a mansion.

    yeah there is no soundproofing that’s gonna work. Just won’t happen.

    I have a simple solution so to speak.
    Don’t know why others have said top floor. Makes no sense.

    1st floor and no one beneath you. Sounds is gonna travel more to the downstairs person right below your speakers than anything.

    I live in a condo and have the same issue except my neighbor downstairs is an angel and doesn’t mind. If you listen below 80dbs you should be fine.

    besides that any louder and get headphones. But careful of your hearing.
  16. F1fletch

    F1fletch Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Pacifica, CA
    It’s strictly a budget constraint, I won’t have my wife’s income for the foreseeable future and so a small house is out of my financial picture. I can’t afford the rent here on the Pacific Coast on my own (I don’t make 200k). It is what it is.
    farfetched likes this.
  17. dadbar

    dadbar Forum Resident

    Portland OR
    We live in a concrete high rise built in 2007. I play my stereo and no one complains. I can't hear anyone else either.

    Alternatively, a good set of headphones after 10pm may be your new best friend
    layman and F1fletch like this.
  18. F1fletch

    F1fletch Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Pacifica, CA
    I appreciate the suggestions, I understand the realities. I was not expecting “soundproof” but any reasonable aids would be considered. Perhaps they won’t help. I am not expecting to crank the stereo 80db would probably be pretty satisfying at 10ft ;). The Klipsch sound very nice at low volume so I will just have to adjust and move on.
    Stone Turntable, timind and Agitater like this.
  19. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Concrete is very flexible, especially reinforced concrete. That movement and its load-bearing properties are two of the most important reasons that concrete is so useful in the first place. Do some reading on the subject before commenting any further. I have built apartment blocks, I own and manage apartment blocks, and I am currently involved in the development (construction is fully underway) of a 48 storey condo tower in Toronto. As a result, I am very familiar with concrete's limitations too. Do you really want to insist that reinforced concrete doesn't ring like a bell when a noise source is coupled to it or mechanically interacts with it? Get your volume up high enough, and bad things happen. Couple speakers or a subwoofer to a concrete floor and bad things happen.

    There's no question that, below a certain threshold, a self-contained apartment or condo unit built of reinforced concrete to current standards can typically be a quiet place (and building) in which to live. The problems arise when someone steps over the threshold. Your place is quiet and your neighbours don't complain because you keep the volume down and your neighbours are quiet as well. Everybody is operating below the threshold. Again though, couple anything to a reinforced concrete floor slab or sheer wall and the noise will transmit throughout a building so completely that the direction of the source is often impossible to identify unless you walk the halls until you find the unit the noise is coming from.
    schwaggy and RubenH like this.
  20. btstu

    btstu Active Member

    New York, NY
    I live in an apartment. In many cities it is not a choice but a reality, especially given a budget. It's not as bad as you think!

    Being on the first floor may help, but that comes with its own issues; you're more likely to have pests, people walking by your door who might complain, and depending on building, position, and neighborhood, you've got a potential increased risk of burglary.

    Rugs are good but will only help so much. The best thing you can do is to think about how and when you use your speakers and where best to put them.

    As others have said, remember that the further you are from your speakers, the louder you will need to play them. Same goes for room size—bigger rooms will require more volume. Also consider what walls are directly behind you and behind your speakers. If you can set them up so they're not facing or against a neighbor's walls, you may cut down on what they hear.

    If it's possible in your shared space, acoustic treatment can also help. Even just EQ; a lot of times we turn up the volume when we are missing certain parts of the sound (bass, highs, etc) because room nodes and reflection points are obscuring/swallowing them up.

    This didn't work in my experience. I had an Auralex Subdude II and it was great for tightening up the sound of the bass, but... low frequencies could still be clearly heard in the room below, even at moderate volumes (and really badly at high volumes). Ended up just having to ditch the subwoofer altogether. I missed it at first but got used to it—as much as I love earth-shaking bass it's usually not necessary, especially if you have the right speakers.

    On that point—make sure your speakers A) still sound good at lower levels, and B) function well without a sub. You'll notice a lot of reviews for certain standmounts (especially with smaller drivers) will say something like "just add a sub and you'll be golden!" Ideal apartment speakers should have good enough bass that you don't really need one. It also doesn't hurt to have speakers that are more flexible with placement, especially if we're talking smaller apartments.

    And finally... headphones are great. If you're used to buying stereo components you'll probably be surprised how much headphone you can get for the money!
    wellers73 likes this.
  21. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile

    Concrete is not very flexible, unless one specifically designs it that way. Flexible concrete is not used in standard construction. This from the internet:

    'Typical concrete comprises cement, water, gravel and sand. While this mixture makes concrete hard and strong, it does not promote flexibility. Thus concrete is brittle and prone to cracks if too much weight is applied'.

    What more do you need to dismiss your erroneous statement? There is another post that states how quiet a concrete apartment performs just like my concrete apartment.
    jesterthejedi likes this.
  22. Roland Stone

    Roland Stone Offending Member

    Just go to the apartments and try to gauge how easily sound is transmitted.

    I lived in one where the neighbors threw an all night New Years Eve party and I didn't know it. It had solid cinderblock between apartments.

    On the other hand, I had a girlfriend with an apartment where I could hear her next door neighbors talking at normal volume. You were eavesdropping whether you wanted too or not. And forget trying to read a book while they were watching television.
    timind likes this.
  23. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile

    T third post stating how quiet concrete apartments are. Perhaps poster could rent a mobile home outside the CA city?
    bluemooze likes this.
  24. Tim 2


    Alberta Canada
    No matter what you'll have to keep the volume down.
    audiomixer likes this.
  25. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Washington, DC
    Could you bring in a boarder to pay rent to you where you are?
    csgreene, audiomixer and timind like this.

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