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neighbors below not liking my subwoofer

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Posts

  • FightTestFightTest Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Just buy a decent set of headphones and stop looking for ways to go from a bad neighbor to a slightly less bad neighbor.

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  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    FightTest wrote: »
    Just buy a decent set of headphones and stop looking for ways to go from a bad neighbor to a slightly less bad neighbor.

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  • HeraldSHeraldS Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Acoustiblok is the way to go. What I'd recommend is to find a dealer in your area and request a sample. The ones my old job gave out were about the size of a piece of paper. Two of those under my sub took care of noise complaints unless I was really blasting my music. Give it a shot.

  • emp123emp123 Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    You may be able to get a rubber pad and put it under the sub.

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  • SevorakSevorak Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Honestly, whatever solution you come up with to reduce your sub noise so your downstairs neighbors can't hear/feel it will also reduce the effect to you enough that you may as well not have a sub at all.

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  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    EggyToast wrote: »
    Yes, you can suspend them. But the far cheaper way is to simply get speaker spikes, or make your own sort of spike.

    The subwoofer is sending soundwaves out and while they do hit the air, a large part of the problem for neighbors is not the soundwaves in the air, but the physical vibration in the subwoofer itself. This is why a lot of them are sold on stands, as that does help minimize them.

    Speaker spikes essentially eliminate it, giving the speaker a very small contact point with the floor. As such, the subwoofer is essentially "hanging" in the air, unable to transfer sound directly to the floor.

    Other methods such as cardboard, wood platforms, etc., still allow the sub to transfer the vibrations to other surfaces because they sit flush against it. Sand would work but you're essentially just dampening it the same way that you'd do if you turn it down. It's like, if you're emiting a wave, and them damping that wave, why not just make the initial wave smaller?

    If you can't afford spikes or are leery about physically modifying the base of your bass, any cone-shaped support should function very similarly (for obvious reasons).

    I don't know man, those low frequencies have a way of travelling in an incredibly annoying manner. I would feel my floorboards shake from my neighbor using his sub downstairs

    now granted, I lived in a shithole student stable...but I think his neighbors will still bitch.

  • blakfeldblakfeld Registered User
    edited March 2010
    I've always just put a phonebook under it, and have never really had any complaints. But I'm also not a fan of booming bass so...

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    On top of what everyone else has suggested, ask your neighbors if there are a couple hours during the day, or maybe just on the weekends, that they would be okay with you turning it a bit louder. I'd be shocked if they said "haha no fuck you goose, we want it to never happen". But if they do you should still respect that.

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  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Sam wrote: »
    I don't know man, those low frequencies have a way of travelling in an incredibly annoying manner. I would feel my floorboards shake from my neighbor using his sub downstairs

    now granted, I lived in a shithole student stable...but I think his neighbors will still bitch.

    Oh, it's possible -- the neighbors might actually just be really sensitive. Although it sounds like in your situation, your downstairs neighbors just cranked the bass as loud as they could stand ;D

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  • NostregarNostregar Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Just to jump on here as well, the best things you can do to dampen the vibration from the subwoofer are:

    1.) make sure it isn't touching any walls/furniture

    2.) insulate it from the floor.

    The sand idea was good, but I've always found that a few inches of styrofoam works really well and is much easier to deal with.

    You basically want something which has as low a density as possible. Styrofoam works very well for that.

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  • Namel3ssNamel3ss Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Nostregar wrote: »
    Just to jump on here as well, the best things you can do to dampen the vibration from the subwoofer are:

    1.) make sure it isn't touching any walls/furniture

    2.) insulate it from the floor.

    The sand idea was good, but I've always found that a few inches of styrofoam works really well and is much easier to deal with.

    You basically want something which has as low a density as possible. Styrofoam works very well for that.

    There are exceptions, but as a general rule of thumb is the more mass you have between you and your neighbors ears will cause more sound dissipation.

    I'd recommend something like this: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/619668-REG/Auralex_SUBDUDEHD_SubDude_HD_Subwoofer.html

    It will give you more acoustic clarity as well by decoupling the sound from your floor. However, bass is omni-directional (distance does matter though) and it won't solve all your problems.

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  • NostregarNostregar Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Namel3ss wrote: »
    Nostregar wrote: »
    Just to jump on here as well, the best things you can do to dampen the vibration from the subwoofer are:

    1.) make sure it isn't touching any walls/furniture

    2.) insulate it from the floor.

    The sand idea was good, but I've always found that a few inches of styrofoam works really well and is much easier to deal with.

    You basically want something which has as low a density as possible. Styrofoam works very well for that.

    There are exceptions, but as a general rule of thumb is the more mass you have between you and your neighbors ears will cause more sound dissipation.

    I'd recommend something like this: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/619668-REG/Auralex_SUBDUDEHD_SubDude_HD_Subwoofer.html

    It will give you more acoustic clarity as well by decoupling the sound from your floor. However, bass is omni-directional (distance does matter though) and it won't solve all your problems.

    ?

    Low frequency vibration travels through dense material better than low-density material.

    This is why people use sound-proofing foam in studios and other applications.

    Spoiler:
  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Namel3ss wrote: »
    Nostregar wrote: »
    Just to jump on here as well, the best things you can do to dampen the vibration from the subwoofer are:

    1.) make sure it isn't touching any walls/furniture

    2.) insulate it from the floor.

    The sand idea was good, but I've always found that a few inches of styrofoam works really well and is much easier to deal with.

    You basically want something which has as low a density as possible. Styrofoam works very well for that.

    There are exceptions, but as a general rule of thumb is the more mass you have between you and your neighbors ears will cause more sound dissipation.

    I'd recommend something like this: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/619668-REG/Auralex_SUBDUDEHD_SubDude_HD_Subwoofer.html

    It will give you more acoustic clarity as well by decoupling the sound from your floor. However, bass is omni-directional (distance does matter though) and it won't solve all your problems.

    That's a $60 board with some foam feet on it.

    You could make your own with stuff from Home Depot for $10.

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  • Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread King of the Forest Camphor TreeRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Nostregar wrote: »
    ?

    Low frequency vibration travels through dense material better than low-density material.

    This is why people use sound-proofing foam in studios and other applications.
    And soundproofing foam is a lot denser than standard foam rubber.

  • NostregarNostregar Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Makershot wrote: »
    Nostregar wrote: »
    ?

    Low frequency vibration travels through dense material better than low-density material.

    This is why people use sound-proofing foam in studios and other applications.
    And soundproofing foam is a lot denser than standard foam rubber.

    I think we're talking about different things. I wasn't talking about using standard foam rubber.

    Either way, foam is less dense than most other materials so my point still stands.

    In any case, I said what I had to say. Disagree if you'd like, doesn't much matter to me.

    However, let me make my statement more general to put this to rest and say just put the sub on a block of something that doesn't transmit vibration well.

    I've had good luck with styrofoam.



    Edit: I'm a retard. I meant to say elasticity, not density.

    Styrofoam should still work well.

    Spoiler:
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Sevorak wrote: »
    Honestly, whatever solution you come up with to reduce your sub noise so your downstairs neighbors can't hear/feel it will also reduce the effect to you enough that you may as well not have a sub at all.

    Untrue. Again, there is tremendous energy loss at the air/floor (or air/wall) interface, so if you can decouple the vibration of the sub from your floor/walls (by using some sort of insulating foam) you can manage to get much higher perceived levels of bass in your room while vastly reducing the amount your neighbors have to deal with. It's entirely possible to achieve a balance such that it's still worth having the sub but the neighbors aren't disturbed (or are minimally disturbed).


    Also, I don't get this "just get headphones" attitude. Yeah, don't be a dickbag and crank the bass all day and night long. But there are two sides to the whole noise in apartments thing: one, yeah you're expected to try and minimize the amount of noise you force upon your neighbors. But two, you ALSO have to accept that SOME noise will still be present from time to time...don't like it, buy a house.

    This reminds me (somewhat) of that thread a while back with the crazy downstairs neighbor who would flip out if a cat walked across the floor. Man, you just have to realize you're going to have to deal with some noise.

    As such, I figure your only real responsibilities are A) to ensure that you've minimized the transmitted sound as much as is reasonable and B) ensure that you aren't using your subwoofer during hours when your neighbor(s) are asleep or trying to get to sleep. Aside from that the occasional use of the subwoofer is perfectly reasonable.

  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    But there are two sides to the whole noise in apartments thing: one, yeah you're expected to try and minimize the amount of noise you force upon your neighbors. But two, you ALSO have to accept that SOME noise will still be present from time to time...don't like it, buy a house.

    the third side is your neighbors can have the cops visit you repeatedly and have you deal with fines and court dates. Which will be especially difficult to deal with if the complaint involves a subwoofer.

  • BeltaineBeltaine The End of TimeRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Get a Buttkicker for your computer chair.

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  • exmelloexmello Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I have mine on a thick foam pad. I still got a complaint one night while watching an action movie very loud one night, but the sub volume was set to high. I turned it down almost all the way and haven't heard a complaint since.

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  • dwwatermelondwwatermelon Registered User
    edited March 2010
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Sevorak wrote: »
    Honestly, whatever solution you come up with to reduce your sub noise so your downstairs neighbors can't hear/feel it will also reduce the effect to you enough that you may as well not have a sub at all.

    Untrue. Again, there is tremendous energy loss at the air/floor (or air/wall) interface, so if you can decouple the vibration of the sub from your floor/walls (by using some sort of insulating foam) you can manage to get much higher perceived levels of bass in your room while vastly reducing the amount your neighbors have to deal with. It's entirely possible to achieve a balance such that it's still worth having the sub but the neighbors aren't disturbed (or are minimally disturbed).


    Also, I don't get this "just get headphones" attitude. Yeah, don't be a dickbag and crank the bass all day and night long. But there are two sides to the whole noise in apartments thing: one, yeah you're expected to try and minimize the amount of noise you force upon your neighbors. But two, you ALSO have to accept that SOME noise will still be present from time to time...don't like it, buy a house.

    This reminds me (somewhat) of that thread a while back with the crazy downstairs neighbor who would flip out if a cat walked across the floor. Man, you just have to realize you're going to have to deal with some noise.

    As such, I figure your only real responsibilities are A) to ensure that you've minimized the transmitted sound as much as is reasonable and B) ensure that you aren't using your subwoofer during hours when your neighbor(s) are asleep or trying to get to sleep. Aside from that the occasional use of the subwoofer is perfectly reasonable.

    I'm not a huge fan of the "Don't like my annoying bullshit? Then GTFO." argument. The fact that the OP is worrying about this is reason to conclude that he would like to stop annoying his neighbors. The fact is, a nice set of comfy headphones will sound better than a speaker/woofer setup and will reduce the neighbor annoyance level by 100%. Want a kickass sound system? Wait until you buy a house.

  • SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Sound system =/ cat walking across the floor.

    And one is definitely more annoying than the other. Walking is sorta required for living.

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  • Steel AngelSteel Angel Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    The fact is, a nice set of comfy headphones will sound better than a speaker/woofer setup and will reduce the neighbor annoyance level by 100%. Want a kickass sound system? Wait until you buy a house.

    I'm genuinely curious for examples of "comfy" headphones. I've used some nice headphones over the years but they have never failed to give me a minor headache after a few hours of wear. I'm not sure if it's because I wear thin framed glasses or it's just the shape of my head, but I've basically spent hundreds of dollars since college for devices that eventually just hurt me.

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  • SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    The fact is, a nice set of comfy headphones will sound better than a speaker/woofer setup and will reduce the neighbor annoyance level by 100%. Want a kickass sound system? Wait until you buy a house.

    I'm genuinely curious for examples of "comfy" headphones. I've used some nice headphones over the years but they have never failed to give me a minor headache after a few hours of wear. I'm not sure if it's because I wear thin framed glasses or it's just the shape of my head, but I've basically spent hundreds of dollars since college for devices that eventually just hurt me.

    Speaking as someone who got glasses a couple years ago...it was the glasses.

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  • samsam7samsam7 Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    http://www.amazon.com/Auralex-Subwoofer-Isolation-15x15x2-inch-Charcoal/dp/B001140OZ0/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=musical-instruments&qid=1268706830&sr=8-3

    or what I own (larger size for guitar amps, but I use it for my sub)

    http://www.amazon.com/Auralex-GRAMMA-Monitor-Isolation-Charcoal/dp/B0002D0B4U/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=musical-instruments&qid=1268706830&sr=8-6

    Now I know people will say, "Wtf you just spent 50 bucks on a piece of foam that supposedly is somehow better than regular foam!" but when I got mine, it definitely helped to bring down wall vibrations, and yes, the bass sounded a lot better. It's definitely not styrofoam type foam (don't know how effective styrofoam would be), but it was made for the job of decoupling from the floor and it does that job well.

    It's also not a box of sand in your living room (though its an awesome idea actually) if you are looking for better aesthetics.

    Edit: Namel3ss beat me to the recommendation.

    Where is your subwoofer located in your living room and could you give some sort of description the floor plan? Maybe you could get it as close to the sitting area as possible (new side table?) while avoiding proximity to walls and set up hours with your neighbors on when it's ok to play it.

  • psycojesterpsycojester Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    SkyGheNe wrote: »
    Sound system =/ cat walking across the floor.

    And one is definitely more annoying than the other. Walking is sorta required for living.

    Have you considered putting the cat up on foam blocks or suspending it from the roof with string? Add me to the "just buy some headphones" camp. There's nothing more annoying than having to listen to somebody else play a game/watch a movie.

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  • fightinfilipinofightinfilipino legally competent Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    wow, i didn't expect to start up a bit of a debate here.



    backstory is, i used to live in a single bed apartment with only one neighbor to one side. my computer system, and the sound system connected to it, was on the opposite side. i had no worries whatsoever playing movies and games on my PC at normal sound levels, and i never blasted the thing. never felt the need to.

    i then moved in with a roommate to a new place which had carpeting. as the sound system was sorta pricey and fairly decent, and because i thought the carpeting would mitigate the sound, i kept the sound system. oddly enough, my roommate is never bothered by the system even though his room is only a few feet away. i close my door if it gets a bit loud, and no sound issue at all.

    i'm definitely not blaring my system 24/7, if that's what some of you are thinking. i was just wondering if i could isolate the thing when i play games during reasonable hours.

    anyways, keep the suggestions coming, i'm curious about stuff like the Auralex...but $50 - $60 is a bit steep...

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  • ArminasArminas Student of Life Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    anyways, keep the suggestions coming, i'm curious about stuff like the Auralex...but $50 - $60 is a bit steep...

    Take a look at McMaster-Carr - you have a pretty wide selection of sound barriers/absorbers.

  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    oddly enough, my roommate is never bothered by the system even though his room is only a few feet away. i close my door if it gets a bit loud, and no sound issue at all.

    yeah it sounds exactly like the shithole stable i used to live in. serviceable soundproofing laterally- you don't hear much through the walls. but you may as well be hanging out with the people above and below you 24/7.

    I would hear my neighbor listening to NPR and coughing his lungs out upstairs, and dogs from downstairs in addition to the pounding basslines of 90s alt rock whenever the downstairs dude played music.

  • HyperAquaBlastHyperAquaBlast Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Well I ordered that Auralex that was linked to.

    I live in an apartment and I have a pretty nice surround system that I use freely during the day and early evening. I don't think about it much but when I can hear other minor noises from the rooms around me I feel a little bad. Cause if I can hear a guy mumbling or another dude cussing out something then they can hear the explosions going off in my living room.

    But yeah when I move in a year I'm so looking for something not so attached to other people. Maybe go as far out and totally foam up an entire room if I got the cash to burn.

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  • NargorothRiPNargorothRiP Registered User
    edited March 2010
    another thing you can try is to buy a plexiglass tub sit the woofer in it. then make an extremely large batch of jello and then dump it into the tub encapsulating the woofer. Also add marshmallows and bits of fruit. Now you have sound dampening and dessert.

  • fightinfilipinofightinfilipino legally competent Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    another thing you can try is to buy a plexiglass tub sit the woofer in it. then make an extremely large batch of jello and then dump it into the tub encapsulating the woofer. Also add marshmallows and bits of fruit. Now you have sound dampening and dessert.

    and then later, i can perform biology experiments on the new forms of bacterial life i'll grow, right inside my subwoofer.

    brilliant.

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  • CaswynbenCaswynben Registered User
    edited March 2010
    It was the bane of my existance that I went to college at the same time those cheap 2.1 speaker setups were coming out, because EVERYBODY had one. You could walk into my neighbor's room and they couldn't even tell the bass was ON, but I go in my room and all I hear is BUM. BA BUM. BA BUM. BA BUM BUM.

  • corcorigancorcorigan Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Some higher end speakers will mix the sound in such a way that you will interpret it as bass, despite there not being any. Humans are easy to trick with sound.

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  • Brodo FagginsBrodo Faggins Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I put a textbook under my subwoofer, haven't had any complaints since.

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  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    anyways, keep the suggestions coming, i'm curious about stuff like the Auralex...but $50 - $60 is a bit steep...

    Well keep in mind, it's super fancy foam.

    Try just buying a piece of regular foam and dropping it underneath and see how it goes.

    The other important thing is to open up a dialouge with your neighbors.

    Drop some foam underneath it turn it on and go downstairs and have a chat to them.

    Ask if you can hear it, at that stage turning it down a tiny bit may just be enough, or you may have to do something else.

    If you explain to them that you are actively trying to reduce noise they will probably be pretty receptive.

  • HyperAquaBlastHyperAquaBlast Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Well my Auralex Subdude came in and I tried it out instantly with Bad Company 2 with war tapes on. Which for the non players means extremely whoompy bass.

    If anything my sound came out fuller if I could describe it. I tried some music with some bass and it sounded cleaner but that could also be a placebo effect. Can't tell if it subdued the bass effect around the place.

    I have never had a complaints though on sound in this apartment but I can hear other people easily if any raise the volume so the should be able to hear me likewise. I have never had a complaint from the dude below and I am not about to ask now if I have been a shitty neighbor for the past almost 2 years.

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