Is there anything I can do to my floorspeakers to be courteous to my downstairs neighbor?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Matt Kessler, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. Matt Kessler

    Matt Kessler Active Member Thread Starter

    Los Angeles
    I'm happy with my Fluance Signature Series Hi-Fi Three-Way Floorstanding Speakers, sonically. I just moved to an apartment where I have a neighbor directly below me who wakes up at 4:30 AM every day and has told me that if I'm playing music past like, 9pm, it can be troublesome and keep her up. I don't BLAST the speakers, so I'm not sure if it's the bass/vibrations or the sound itself... but is there anything I can do/buy to reduce any of the issue?
  2. manxman

    manxman Forum Resident

    Isle of Man
    Putting thick underlay under your carpets (if you don't have it already), could be of some use.
  3. noway

    noway Forum Resident

    Ontario, Canada
    I would try removing any spikes on the bottom of the speakers and then putting the speakers on Subdudes. Maybe buy them from somewhere you can return them if they don't help. Also move the speakers further away from the walls/corners if you can.
    The Pinhead likes this.
  4. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Idaho, USA
    You live in an apartment stacked with common walls. Common courtesy would tell you to use headphones and not be a lousy neighbor.
  5. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Vallejo, CA
    There a few things you could do that would have a >0 improvement on the situation, but nothing that will significantly change the equation. Look into lifestyle changes, not stuff to buy (unless its headphones).
    Agitater, tmtomh, head_unit and 2 others like this.
  6. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Seattle, WA
    If the problem is primarily bass conduction through the floor, then you might find that putting your speakers on some soft isolating feet of some variety (like sorbothane) might help a bit. I dealt with a similar situation with the TV speakers in our family room conducting too much bass into the basement. My solution was to "float" their speaker stands on thick sheets of foam rubber. This has helped to significantly lower how much bass is/was directly conducted through the floor/ceiling into our basement. But it does nothing to help with sound which travels through the air.

    Otherwise, either move, or become a headfi user.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
    tmtomh, CDFanatic and grbluen like this.
  7. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Central PA
    One thing you can do, once you get your relationship "settled". Invite her upstairs for some tea or knosh; just find an excuse to give her the experience of what it is that gives you so much joy. Invite her to bring some of her favorite music, or seek some out for her.

    Tell her you don't want to impose on her life just because you live one floor above her, and you most certainly don't intend on making extra noise an issue for her. But, what you have assembled for yourself is pretty special, and it would be a shame if she didn't have at least the opportunity to enjoy it, at her convenience.

    If she takes you up on it, you could show her various levels of loudness you find comfortable for yourself when you understand she is at home and deserving of solitude. Show her firsthand, just how nice and detailed the music can be at a reasonable level, even as you're trying to reduce her own discomfort downstairs. Tell her, you can't promise she won't be unaware of you being there 24/7, but you truly respect her right to her comfort in her own home; and you appreciate her patience while you work together to reach a happy medium.

    Show her all the things you've already done to accommodate her, and, now that she's heard how hard you work on this hobby of yours up close, she's welcome to go downstairs while you keep the volume at that level, so she may see for herself how effective your precautions have been, and how seriously you take her comfort level. Enjoy the listening, ask her about her own music tastes, don't take up her evening, and let her know she's welcome anytime she needs a favor within reason, glad ta know ya.

    And then, f'godsakes...DO NOT under any circumstances, take up home bowling practice in your bedroom hallway...:hide:
    steviej, cnolanh, MC Rag and 5 others like this.
  8. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Residue

    Buffalo, NY
  9. dadbar

    dadbar Forum Resident

    I would suggest a validation exercise. Play typical music on your system at a comfortable level and go down to her apartment to see how disruptive it really is. If it's barely audible then move on. At some point, the onus would be on her to provide some deadening to her bedroom as well.
    tmtomh, Satrus, The Pinhead and 4 others like this.
  10. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    It’s a tough spot (and just an inherent part of apartment living), but I might take this as an opportunity to make any listening after 9 p.m. headphone time. It’s a pretty good justification for investing in nice headphones and a headphone amp.
  11. mmhifi

    mmhifi Forum Resident

    Primacoustic Recoil Stabilizers = no sound leaking through the floor. I use them at home. Better sound as well..
    Fishoutofwater likes this.
  12. Matt Kessler

    Matt Kessler Active Member Thread Starter

    Los Angeles
    Wood floors..

    This is a great idea, in theory. Apparently she's not often here and usually staying at her boyfriends. I left a note (her roommate is the one who mentioned the noise thing) and she and I have communicated via text. She appreciates me being thoughtful and I told her if it's EVER bothersome to text me and I'll turn it down. The problem is, I don't know if and when it's bothersome and when she's home or not -_-

    The fact that the site says "request a quote" scares me.
    tmtomh likes this.
  13. wolfyboy3

    wolfyboy3 Now I'm Prune Tracey

    I think headphones are the best idea so far....
    bluesky, Macman and bluemooze like this.
  14. Matt Kessler

    Matt Kessler Active Member Thread Starter

    Los Angeles
    They're fine for when I'm sitting at the computer since it's next to my audio stack, but if I'm moving around the room or lying in bed, it's impractical. Plus my new receiver is going to be the Marantz PM7000N which has a decent headphone amp but playing it through speakers would be leaps and bounds better.
    mmhifi likes this.
  15. Audiowannabee

    Audiowannabee Forum Resident

    Move into a house or get a downstairs 1sr floor apartment...corner spot

    Good luck
    bluemooze likes this.
  16. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Idaho, USA
    So you will be an annoying neighbor. OK.
    Markym and bluemooze like this.
  17. BrilliantBob

    BrilliantBob Select, process, CTRL+c, CTRL+z, ALT+v

    The seismic isolation podium for speakers is the best solution if your neighbor from below will hit his ceiling with the tail of the broom or the hammer to make you stop the music.

    SeeDeeFirth and black sheriff like this.
  18. Not Insane

    Not Insane You talkin' to me?!

    I'm 65 and have only lived in an apartment for a year of that time. And then it was after getting kicked out of my house, pending divorce.

    And during that year, the word of the day was "headphones".


    I got these at Newark:

    At the time they were on sale so I got five pairs. I use one pair at work, one at my computer work station, one for the main stereo, and two spares. I bought five because they were on sale for $18 and they are the best under $200 headphones I've ever heard. The first time I tried them I honestly thought I had left my subwoofer on. I hadn't. The bass is that deep, tight and smooth.

    And bass is what kills floor standers for an apartment.

    Hey!!! They are on sale right now!!!
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  19. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Forum Resident

    You can make a major difference, as most of the noise that's being heard below will be transmitted from the speakers to the floor, which will not stop those bass notes.

    The isolation devices already mentioned will help a lot, the current GAIA thread is worth a visit, too enhance the effect I recommend Mass loaded vinyl,
    I'm using this and a 4mm thickness reduces energy transfer by -32db, so you could have a sheet(s) under the isolater.
  20. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    So, problem solved? This seems like a reasonable arrangement.
  21. Matt Kessler

    Matt Kessler Active Member Thread Starter

    Los Angeles
    Problem solved theoretically. I gave her a direct line to me but I'd hate for her to just feel awkward texting me to turn it down and just being miserable instead. Maybe I'm overthinking it. I still just wanted to make this thread to see if there was anything else I could do on my end.

    To the people saying I'm gonna be an annoying neighbor, please get off your high horses. I'm doing literally everything I can to not compromise my quality of life while also thinking about those around me.
  22. 360-12

    360-12 Forum Resident

    Turn down the bass.
  23. Matt Kessler

    Matt Kessler Active Member Thread Starter

    Los Angeles
    I have a pair of Sennheiser HD 598 Cs
    Are these gonna be even better? I'd be shocked if so.

    I'm open to upgrading my headphones, but as I mentioned, my new Marantz PM7000N's only thing it may be lacking in is a super powerful headphone amp. I don't know a lot about ways to improve that, so if anyone can educate me, that'd be great.

    Also if anyone has headphone recommendations, I have a F&F discount with Polk, Definitive Technology, Denon, Marantz and Boston Acoustic so if anyone has a good pair to recommend, I'm all ears.
  24. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos.

    San Diego
    I remember having the same problem many years ago. A little EQ (turn down the bass!) at night was what I did. And get some headphones for after 9pm. I would also see if there's some good times with your neighbor for cranking it up..maybe weekends and such...find some common ground if it's only one neighbor!
    Aftermath likes this.
  25. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Well, some isolation in conjunction with her having your number may be a good approach.

    I’ve been the downstairs neighbor in this type of situation before. That guy played the same three albums, which thankfully were music I like, as we could hear them very clearly. It was kind of a source of amusement for us, and wasn’t actually as disruptive as the young lady who moved in after him, who replaced music with bedroom activities and relationship drama, all of which were very audible from our apartment... in both cases, they were not nearly as considerate or concerned as you seem to be.

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