Another problem is that with a cheaper flat came generally noisier neighbors, i.e. frequently throwing out late-night parties, denying anyone around the luxury of sleep.
Then there are dogs whose owners don't seem to realize that dogs need to be walked and otherwise they will bark without end. This happens most often in the mornings and can go on for 2 hours easily and sets the tone for the day just right... It seems dog owners develop a special indifference to noise and their dogs.
All of that made me miserable. There were actually moments when this situation triggered suicidal thoughts.
I don't have a problem with cars passing by on the nearby high-speed road. If anything, the sound they make (very different from the sound of cars in traffic) is calming during the night.
I've recently got a new job which pays a lot better than the previous one, so in a couple of months I plan to move to a quieter neighborhood.
The part of the article that resonated with me most was the feeling of helplessness, of impotence, of being assaulted and being unable to do anything to defend yourself.
I decided to sell the house when I started hating the dogs themselves. It wasn’t their fault, it was their awful owner, but after months of rough sleep in my guest bedroom (further away than the master) with earplugs in, I hated it all equally.
 - https://gazette.com/news/colorado-springs-woman-pleads-guilt...
I live in a picturesque area, so it's usually assholes in cars coming to enjoy the views with extra bass, and while noise complaints to the police has remedied the situation quite a bit, it still randomly occurs. I've learned to really welcome bad weather, because that most often means a peaceful evening without the impotent rage.
Everyone wants to get a dog when it’s cute and adorable as a puppy then they move on in life and have kids and other responsibilities and the dog just becomes a burden. There are definitely good dog owners, but there’s a ton of people who just have them and don’t really do anything with them besides feed them - dogs need exercise.
I’ll admit I surrendered the only dog I ever had after having her 6 years from when I was a college student until about 3 years after graduation. People usually think this is something to be ashamed of, but I knew the lifestyle I was living at the time was not good for an active dog (golden retriever). At that point in my life I was spending full days in an office and working out at the gym 1-2 hours per day, on top of sitting in traffic an hour or two, and I was moving into a one bedroom apartment after living in houses for most of the time I had a dog. I knew I would be subjecting the dog to a life of boredom and sleeping on the couch if I kept her.
Fortunately, for dogs like Goldens it is quite easy to find great homes through breed specific rescue societies, especially here in Austin (many thanks to Gold Ribbon Rescue).
If there has been peace for a while and it barks, I can feel my entire body change "mode" to stressed. It is uncanny. Even if mentally it hasn't bothered me, my body still goes into battle mode.
For me, it wasn't when the kids started crying that was the most stressful, but when they wouldn't stop. You check their diapers, you check if they're hungry, you rock them gently, and even then sometimes they just wouldn't stop crying. After a while the noise would be so bad that I had to hand them off to my wife, and she did the same when she became too frustrated.
Funnily enough, it made me immune to other kids crying. Before I had kids I would get very irritated at noisy kids or crying infants in the subway. Now, I'm just happy it's not my kids and that it's someone else's problem!
of course you can, this is how the law already works in most relatively dense places!
your original post seemed to imply that you weren't aware of noise ordinances outside of HOA bylaws, apologies if I misunderstood.
I've been on an HOA board for a couple of years.
Here are some of the things I have learned.
Some people (about 5%) are cranks. We have received legal threats because another owner parked in "their" unreserved parking space. Another owner disputed the cost of a roof repair: they had calculated the size of the roof over their condo and that's all they were willing to pay. It's easy to resolve a disagreement when both parties are reasonable but challenging when one of them isn't.
Some people don't read or listen. Some of the same people ask the same questions every month. You can send emails and place flyers but you will never reach everyone.
Some people are special snowflakes. Any HOA board receives regular requests to bend the rules for individuals.
Our rules have changed several times since I joined the board. None of these changes were done on a whim - each time it was in response to an issue or a liability to the association. Owners don't see the many emails and discussions behind a rule change.
Serving on an HOA board is a thankless job and can be a substantial time commitment. I joined the board because most of the other owners had already served and someone had to do it. I ran again last year because we are in the middle of a major construction project and I didn't want to leave the other board members hanging.
TLDR - HOAs are an exercise in politics on a small scale.
If people were more aware that managing a community is work, they migh better appreciate it, and if they know it costs them money to send their idiotic requests, they would stop sending them. (And if not the members of the HOA will make money eventually the misbehaving member paying a heavy premium for its stubbornness.)
If the federal government is too big to be effective, an HOA is too small to be effective. They generally don't have the resources to make decisions carefully or fairly -- or if they do it's because you spent the time yourself and then the problem is they're consuming your life. But the decisions they make are nonetheless consequential to the people subject to them, so they can easily make your life hell by forcing you to choose between stupid nonsense and spending many hours of your life fighting to prevent stupid nonsense.
In a place I used to live, there was a rooster that would constantly crow. Someone killed it. I wasn't involved but I'm certainly glad it happened. That rooster was driving the neighborhood insane. The police were useless in that situation. They never cared about noise complaints.
Basically if the state doesn't take care of these problems, people will. And when they do, it's not pretty.
The police shouldn't be, and aren't, tasked with, those things.
This was both to not have to hear them when I'm trying to sleep, and to not have to worry about me being the obnoxious noisy neighbor for them when they were sleeping because I was often quite the night owl and would have liked to be able to watch a movie or listen to music at 3 AM.
Here's an aerial view centered on my house . To give an idea of scale, from the center of my house to the center of the house to the left is 130 ft.
Being able to watch/listen whenever I want as loud as I want, and have quiet mostly whenever I want  has definitely resulted in a calmer, happier, less stressful life.
 During spring and summer, there is a bit of lawn mower noise.
Double/triple pane windows make a huge difference (as does offset studs drywall standoffs)
In Silicon Valley, sure, most of the housing stock was built rather a long time ago, yes, but it was also built to the expectations of people who didn't make a lot of money. The newer stuff around here is built for people who are in the top 5% or better of incomes, so it's likely they use more expensive construction techniques, too.
It sucks that this kind of housing just isn't getting built anymore, even in my almost entirely suburban town. Buyers who want this kind of housing and lifestyle need to settle for older and older homes. When was the last time a single family home was built that's not the same footprint as the lot size? 1990? All that's going up around me are those so-called "luxury" 3-story condos, stacked up and mashed together on tiny lots. That's probably what is most profitable for developers, so who can blame them? There just don't seem to be enough of us in the market for peace and quiet.
I started using a bark control collar with one of my dogs, after a neighbour complained when my dog barked too much one afternoon when it was left alone at home.
So, now, as soon as it's on, she never barks (as she learned how it works), which is helpful when I need to go several hours leaving her alone. Never had another complaint.
I haven't tried the ultrasonic ones, as the other dog never barks, so I thought it would have been unfair to have both "punished" because of one.
But I guess in your case it would have been really useful.
Of course if every dog owner was perfect then we wouldn't have problems with dogs, but you will never get everyone to be perfect, it's a losing battle, wether they be gun or dog owners.
I'm willing to bet that 99% of dog owners around me are responsible, but whetever percentage of dog owners are not responsible are the cause of all the shit that coats the pavements of my town.
It’s unsightly though. The kinds that are actually nice to look at as wall decoration are super expensive.
It's usually possible to make a positive difference, but if it's a serious problem a workable fix - better, but not perfect - will eat up a lot of room space.
The real problem is that most apartments and houses are built cheaply and building codes for acoustic isolation aren't nearly aggressive enough. They seem to stop at the level which makes conversations hard to hear, which isn't much help when people have TVs and/or subwoofers.
I think most of the sound was actually echoing through the ductwork and leaking past gaps in the doors rather than going through party walls so if it was actually possible I’d try to get in there.
Ideally though, the soundproofing needs to happen in the room where the sound is happening rather than in your space. The building I’m in now reserves the right to require you to put rugs down if your neighbors complain. When I got a dog I put a bunch down so the downstairs neighbors didn’t have to deal with the constant patter of his feet.
Fanning these waves of uplift and deterioration at the right frequency is what brings home the bacon.
You feel the sharp slamming of the doors, stairway exits and other household "noise" - as the tremors travel along the length and breadth of the structure - all the way in your living quarters.
With audible noise you can atleast wear earplugs / use noise cancelling devices. With those tremors theres no escaping them. You feel your walls and floors tremble and its a great nuisance.
I can't believe there are no laws on the books that require builders to use vibration-dampening, sound-proofing materials / buffers for even newly constructed apartment buildings !!
I mean none of this is exactly new. Noisome and insensitive neighbors are dime a dozen.
For the love of Flying Spaghetti Monster so much this. So far as I can tell, my neighbors barely make an audible sound. But the continual slamming doors, closing drawers, heavy walking, rolling of chairs, clomping up and down the building stairs...all of it comes straight into my unit and reverberates like the lowest string of a bass guitar and sets me on edge.
I'm slowly getting used to it--mostly by telling myself that they can't hear what they're doing, they're not doing it intentionally, and I'm sure I make the same sounds--but it's super hard because it's very distracting to me.
Unfortunately they're heavy, woefully inefficient, and quite expensive to run.
I later moved into a newly built "luxury" apartment where the neighbors garage was directly under my bedroom. I figured as long as I got a decent neighbor it wouldn't be too bad. Struck out and got someone underemployed driving a 2 fast 2 furious civic with custom exhaust. Shook the entire building every night between 12 and 4 AM. No way to mask that. Lesson learned.
Top floor always, corner if you can, never directly above or next to a garage. Only exception is if the building is made out of concrete, which is exceptionally rare and will cost more. More expensive place the better -- you have a (slightly) higher chance of getting next to working professionals and quiet families.
So I bought a bluetooth speaker that can play files off a SD card, and loaded it up with a 1 hour rain sounds file and play that in a loop as white noise when I sleep.
Feels better as my brain can focus on the soothing sounds of the rain instead of the thoughts that sometimes creep up in the silence of the earplugs.
I just put the phone in the charger in my bedroom and turn up the volume a bit, though I am considering getting speakers since the rain sound doesn't sound 100% perfect through the phone speakers.
I use a mix of storm@100%, rain @90%, and wind+fire at 70-80%.
I don't have an issue with loud neighbours, but it helps to fall asleep and makes a daily routine which also helps with falling asleep fast.
Ditto for $2 aliexpress chargers and their gaggle of $20 whitelabeled progeny on amazon.
Are you talking about the low-frequency burbling? I have windows that face the street and used to have a sleep disorder that made me more sensitive to noise, and when I'd occasionally sleep in the living room I'd get woken up in the morning by this emanating from my neighbor's apt.
> All of that made me miserable. There were actually moments when this situation triggered suicidal thoughts.
I feel you 100%,its really hard to describe how life-destroying consistent lack of sleep is. Earplugs worked wonders for me (along with the longer term solution of fixing my disorder, but that's not relevant here).
And then there's the ads at a higher volume.
FWIW, the problem is not always a lack of walking. One of my dogs developed separation anxiety after I left for two weeks, and began howling in his crate. (We train dogs and are fixing the underlying anxiety with training. Bark collars can be effective at fixing the symptom.)
> Thallikar took his campaign to his homeowners’ association and to his neighbors. The response was tepid, though he did persuade one person to email the city.
Which makes it seem like it's just the personal bugaboo of one person rather than a serious problem, and having read far too many words already I just want to give up.
Where were the editors for this piece?
you know who I am now, who are you?
> No barking from the dogs, no smog, and mama cooked the breakfast with no hogs
In general, for me, articles where the first sentence talks about a particular person (meaning that they are going to tell a personal story to exemplify whatever issue they're talking about) are a red flag. They all feel samey and they are a waste of time to read. I wonder why that writing style is so common nowadays.
I did skim this one because I was particularly bored...
Google sends more traffic to articles that capture the user attention.
> Which makes it seem like it's just the personal bugaboo of one person rather than a serious problem, and having read far too many words already I just want to give up.
Later on it tells that other people complained too, an organisation gets set up, the company replies, etc.
But yeah, I agree, too much narrative. Some is good, but this is too much.
I'm sorry you didn't like it but it doesn't take that long to read anyway. Maybe a Medium style "time to read" notice would have helped, but I just think people don't give long form content the respect it deserves.
I usually really like long form journalism and am glad when I see it these days, but the payoff felt much lower than typical long form for me. There's so much good content these days that even though I wanted to learn about this topic, after several thousand words I didn't feel like there was enough signal to justify the noise. (Excuse the pun)
This is a difficult topic to report on, because some people will not understand at all, and some people will not understand how others cannot understand. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground on this issue.
The real mystery is why they didn't use multimedia, which would be the perfect vehicle for this. Instead of (or in addition to) writing some poetry about noise, play some noise! Instead of describing the mathematical foundation of white noise, when you're at that part of the article, play some white noise! Alternate with sections of silence, which everyone will then be able to appreciate.
When you care about communicating a message, you've got to match the medium to the message. Otherwise you're not a reporter with an exposé. You're just a writer who wants to show off your clever writing.
> In other words, it’s a data center—a columbarium for thousands of servers that store data for access and processing from virtually anywhere in the world.
I didn't know the word columbarium so I looked it up . I don't think it's an appropriate word for this context and not good journalism. You could possibly stretch its meaning to describe a data centre in a poem or novel, but that's a different domain to journalism.
If you are going to make such a concerted effort to fix something, at least get some objective data or else you risk looking like someone with a mental illness or like someone who is "allergic" to WiFi.
- try to always rent the flat on the top floor - the noises coming through the celing are by far the worst. The roofs in my country are usually poorly insulated, which means hot apartment in the summer. It's still better than the noise - heat can be dealt with by installing AC, while you can't do anything about the neighbors.
- try to live in a building with as few apartments as possible. Noise travels well through construction materials, and if you live in say 200-meter long building, chances are there will often be someone currently renovating his flat with a jackhammer etc. and that noise will be infuriatingly loud in your apartment.
- no windows coming out to the street that's a transit street (i.e. used regularly by anyone else than the people who live on the street and around). Double no if public transit goes there. Also, it's worse to have a window near a crossroad with lights or near a turn (people slow down and/or stop there, and then accelerating generates a lot of noise). Ideally, no windows coming on a street at all, but for example cull-de-sac road is ok, because it's guaranteed to be used by locals only.
Apart from that, I'm always insiting on seeing some landscape, or at least a big patch of the sky, out of my window. Nothing more depressing than 100% of your view being just a wall of the opposing building.
The sounds don’t necessarily get louder at night - there are just fewer competing sounds to mask them.
Earplugs and other sound barriers make it worse by filtering out higher frequency sounds, making the remaining VLF sounds seem louder.
VLFs also penetrate earth, stone, concrete, etc. And because of their long periods, especially when accidentally synced with parallel walls, some locations in your house can behave like an amplifier.
There’s no real solution other than moving, and there’s no guarantee that human progress will not catch up with you in your next location.
Structure-borne noise is a real problem in many buildings, but I'm aware of very few instances of neighbourhood-wide noise problems at very low frequencies.
The sensation is stronger on one side/ear, and it feels like the pressure you feel if someone goes “puh” softly in your ear in a quiet room... except that it happens over and over at a low frequency.
I have experienced it in several different places. One place was at college on the cliffs overlooking the Mississippi river, and I suspect it was from the boats that push barges (cargo) down the river.
Other places have been near heavy freight train routes, particularly when a train is idling somewhere within perhaps a mile.
It’s like if a big truck is idling a few houses down the street in a quiet neighborhood.
In one location in the mountains of Colorado, the sound could be heard a many locations throughout the valley. I know this because i drove around in the quiet and remote regions, stopping periodically to listen. Some spots were impressively loud, and others were not audible. In that environment I suspect it was due to wind over the mountain ridge (sharp edged on one side, and the wind would cause a pressure differential to build until it would break and the air would take a chaotic path briefly). This is similar to what you see and hear with a fireplace where the fire is burning mostly on one side of a log, but the air flows in a way that creates a pressure differential... and it may cause a puff puff puff pattern that is both audible and visible (flame leaping around the other side of the log exactly at the moment you hear the puff).
I have no idea if this anecdote relates to your experience:
My SO was hearing a rhythmic noise. More so at night. Very disturbing. Much drama.
An audiologist (?) determined some of the tiny hairs inside one of the ears were flopping around. The supporting membrane got slack with age. A form of tinnitus.
These tiny hairs are sensitive to motion, so even heartbeats and breathing will create the sensation of sound.
If you’ve ever played with a good subwoofer, you know that where you stand relative to the speaker and the frequency it is generating greatly impacts your ability to hear it. You can be in a dead zone and hear almost nothing, but a few steps back or forward and suddenly your eyeballs are vibrating. Same thing with these environmental hum situations, but much more subtle.
FWIW, my SO's perceptions varied with location as well.
At the very least, an audiologist (?) would help you rule out factors. Or in our case, becoming more aware of the current best available science.
Think of it as a physical. I certainly wish I had my hearing periodically thoroughly assessed. Like I already do for my pulmonary function, eyesight, BMI, etc.
Also FWIW, even though my SO's condition is untreatable, awareness helped her better manage it.
I hope you find some relief. Keep looking. Someone, somewhere has the answers you need.
Fortunately it's rare that I'm in a location that's so bad for me that I can't handle it. The low-speed air purifier (fan) solution is usually good enough when necessary.
My SO got obsessed with our local version of The Hum. Attending meetups, talking to strangers on nextdoor, letter writing, and so forth.
While I have no doubt there are noises and other phenomenon that most people can't perceive, eg some animals seem to anticipate earth quakes, I prefer Occam's Razor more.
As trained sound engineer on HN, you sould use units which mean something, now you essentally just said '60 times more' so people will ask you 'more than what?' :)
Whether it's accepted or not as "a thing", the book "The Highly Sensitive Person" did mostly describe me. I read the book only recently, so I didn't develop the sensitivities as a result of reading about them :).
The effect of being unable to follow a conversation in a noisy environment however, IS a solid indicator of the processes I describe (you might want to look up "hidden hearing loss" - Kujawa & Libermann have published on this phenomenon).
What causes “low frequency sound” for you?
And why do you think other people can’t hear it? At low frequencies tones degrade into individual pulses but can still be heard/felt.
Noise-cancelling headphones actually work best with low frequencies like train and plane noise... do those help you?
Googling “VLF” only gives results about radio waves, none I can find referring to sound waves...
My boyfriend never heard it. Ever. He’d sleep right next to me. His ears just didn’t go down that low, I guess. Or maybe my skull resonated with this noise better than his did, I dunno.
I have no idea what caused it. It went down over time, but I’d still hear it pretty much every night I slept in my apartment. Sleep elsewhere and it was gone.
I moved to another city. It didn’t follow me. I’ve mostly forgotten how glad I am to not have that low frequency hum be a constant presence in my life. Thanks for reminding me how grateful I should be for it being gone! ️
The only solution I found was to turn on an air purifier to generate soft, low pitched white noise. With just a little increase of noise across more frequencies, my brain would relax. I suppose it’s like water drop torture compared to a soft shower.
The main thing I could think of that those places had, was most were in built up areas. Inner suburbs of major cities, apartment living, etc.
It was like a very very low frequency hum in the back of my skull, at the absolute bottom limit of being audible but definitely a distinct sound.
I'm now extremely curious -- what do noise-cancelling headphones do for you? You can see here  that Bose's QC35's reduce the lowest frequencies (down to 20 Hz) by between 10 and 30 dB -- and the Wikipedia link suggests that the Hum is in the range of 32-80 Hz, so is certainly covered.
If they make a difference, that could indicate that you truly do have a kind of extreme sensitivity there, while if they don't, it could be another (real but non-auditory) phenomenon that your ear/brain is interpreting as sound, e.g. tinnitus.
Also, when I tried the new big Sony noise canceling headphones (very highly rated), I found the sensation somewhat unsettling. They did indeed shut out practically every external sound (in a big store, not at home in bed), but I perceived some kind of constant subtle positive air pressure in my head similar to what you feel about half a meter under water.
My solution now in the rare case where I'm in a location that bothers me is to use some low speed fan to create lower frequency white noise. Also, either I've been luckier the last few years where I've lived or I'm becoming less sensitive to it, because I don't get bothered as often.
Very quickly and totally from the top of my head: Traffic noise is in many cases dominated by low frequencies, with the whole spectrum somewhat similar to a distorted 1/f function, with a few tonal peaks for exhaust noise and tyre/tread sounds. Now add the structure you are living in: "excellent sound insulation" in the EU is (still) dB(A)-focused, meaning architects and planners are aiming for a "wow" effect in noise reduction by eliminating that what's easy to eliminate - high and mid frequencies, ignoring mostly the low (and energy-rich) frequencies, which are incidentally the ones the A-weighing of noise is (historically) ignoring as well. As a result, you are basically living in what's known as a low-pass filter, one that is also "drawing" tonal peaks (resonances, room nodes) out of that low-frequency noise mixture. At first, your cochlea's short-term adaption mechanisms will do their job well and tone down signals that are not meaningful (MOC reflex).
Over time however, the presence of low-level tonal, continuous sounds can damage ("wear out") a specific sensor type necessary for this reflex to work. As a result, even inaudible LFN noise can, over time, lead to a distal sensitization effect. In many cases the culprit is actually not the traffic noise itself, but HVAC installations like heat pumps, A/Cs and gas turbines. The effect of "I can hear too much" (being aware of noises) as a result of sub-threshold LFN-exposure is known in the medical literature as a symptom of VAD stage I / II and in fact quite common in the urban population. Certain medications (Gentamycine, cis-platines) as well as organic solvents (acetone) and some disinfectants can speed up this process, which is non-reversible and poses a risk factor for suffering atypical (early onset) hearing loss later on... The "I hear too much" effect has been quite a solid indicator of long-term, low-level IS/LFN noise pollution.
To be on the safe side and to rule out a sub-threshold LFN-problem, you should an have an acoustician do a "LCeq-LAeq" (should not be more than 3-4dB) and an unweighted (FFT) spectrogram to see if there is a constant tonal peak below, say, 50Hz. Also, try to wear good earplugs like UVEX Whisper or UVEX Whisper Plus at night until you can rule out any constant / nocturnal IS/LFN immissions into your place.
I do wonder, however, that since our brains interpret sensory signals, could one train the brain to disregard annoying ones?
Restaurants here are regularly 70-90 decibels. Equivalent to the noise of a blender next to you. Everything in the restaurant reflects sound and its not unusual to be sitting about 2 feet from the person at the table next to you.
I’m genuinely worried for my long-term hearing living here. Noise-cancelling headphones and even ear plugs are a must.
I enjoyed this article, albeit it’s from 2012: “Working or Playing Indoors, New Yorkers Face an Unabated Roar” (https://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/20/nyregion/in-new-york-city...)
For more reading, there are articles for various cities linked at the bottom of this NIH page:
I’m the cofounder of an app that crowd sources noise levels at bars and restaurants. You may find it useful.
It’s called SoundPrint.
A few years ago I spent a week out in the middle of the Costa Rican jungle — miles from anyone. One thing that stuck with me was how loud the jungle was, especially at night. The bugs would start buzzing around dusk, the frogs would add to the chorus around midnight with loud croaking, and then in the wee hours of the morning we’d be treated to the piercing shrieks of monkeys.
Not exactly an ideal soundscape for a peaceful night’s sleep or quiet reflection.
I never want microwaves, dishwashers, laundry machines, etc. to make any noise. Even worse is how many of them continue making noise until you unload them. I'd like to one day be able to run a load of laundry or dishes overnight without being constantly woken up.
Is it generally safe to assume that cutting a noisemaker (or LED?) off wont break the rest of the product?
I own a couple of devices I would like to do that to, but I can't access the electronics without cutting the entire plastic casing.
It beeps at the end of the wash, as if expecting you to unload it.
It also has a heat sensor tied to the door lock, where it won't let you unlock the door if it's too hot. It also takes 5-10 minutes after a wash to reach a level where it'll let you open the door.
It didn't cost us any extra, but I would've paid double for that now that I've had it for six months. I can start it immediately before going to bed and when I wake up it's finished.
If it doesn't, you're out of luck
Poor product design often entails poor user experience like environmental pollution of light and sound.
 --- Exclude high-income and nominal high-cost metropolises like New York or Bay Area.
I submitted this to Hacker News some months ago, and seems relevant here...
Tell HN: Steal idea for product to automate reporting of barking dogs complaints
(although I was thinking of dog barking when I wrote it, it's actually applicable for any kind of noise pollution)
If everyday noise is debilitating or anxiety-inducing for and it doesn't seem like others are affected to the degree you are, it wouldn't hurt to speak to a hearing specialist. The causes and treatments of this (spectrum?) condition aren't entirely agreed upon, but tinnitus retraining therapy or other adaptation techniques might improve your life.
I'm not sure why it never occurred to me that mine could be a medical condition, and all this time I have been quietly hating myself for being extremely intolerant of others while the condition gets worse.
What gets me are the people that have car alarms. I've never seen one do anything useful and people still get them. One in particular goes off weekly to the point I'm amazed it hasn't gone off due to someone putting a crowbar through the windshield. I just can't imagine having one of these go off weekly and 1) not disable it after the third time 2) not have "this must drive everyone bonkers" come across my mind.
In Europe I never ever hear cars beep when locked/unlocked, just the mechanical sound of the central locking and flashing the hazard lights once when unlocked, double when locked successful and tripple when lock failed(door not closed properly).
Having your car make a loud sound for lock/unlock just creates more noise in the neighborhood.
I'm sure those are the same people who, if or when they are pedestrians, stand at the corner and repeatedly slam the crosswalk request button.
I simply removed the horn fuse. Which is a horrid solution because the horn is legally required to function in NZ (so I might not be insured).
I guess I could wire the horn to the +12V bus that's only live when the vehicle is running, but that takes extra work.
To those of us with especially poorly-placed apartments, this gratuitous honking throughout the early morning, day, and night is always annoying, often jolting, and sometimes awakening.
I understand that this can be disabled by the user, if they realize it's a noise pollution problem, and know that they can disable theirs, and how.
One thing I don't understand is why the automakers would ever think this was a good idea.
Another thing I don't understand is why safety regulatory authorities would permit car horns (i.e., urgent emergency signaling devices) to be misused in this new manner.
The beep is unnecessary since the lights also flash when locking/unlocking.
They test these devices to get through doors that are basically chainsaws every day at random times.
I once asked a fireman why they test them daily. He said, "It would be a shame to find out it didn't work when we got there."
I asked innocently, "When you test it, you know it works, but as soon as you stop it, you don't know if it works any more. That test might have been its last working. How do you know daily is the right amount?"
He said, "It would be a shame to find out it didn't work when we got there."
I took away that there was no reason for daily. They just did it that way.
If anyone out there knows a proper testing frequency for chainsaws, I'd love to find out, especially if it's well documented and less often than daily.
So "testing the chainsaw again" might end up being done a lot. Since it's a thing you can do.
The beeping of cars when the doors are open.
The short blaring of car alarms, when they are closed remotely via key fob, just to make sure they work!
The beeping of bus and train doors when they are closing.
The banging hissing vents of overpressure in the pneumatic tanks of busses and trucks.
The humming and hissing of HVAC for the refrigeration of supermarkets.
The blaring of music in supermarkets (special case: Kylie Minogue with 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head' which somehow seems to be in the eternal Top 20ies of supermarket music.
La la la, lall lall, la la la lall lall....), the penetrant marketing displays activating from some endless loop when anything comes near them.
The stupid video walls in stations, blaring uninteresting shortnews, weather, and adverstisements while almost everybody is sunken into their smartphones. Talk about wasted effort!
The same goes for so called information displays in Trains, Subways, Metros, Buses installed every 2nd to 3rd row of seats.
I could, and sometimes do counter that with something playing over my earphones, but i don't like to, because it messes with my situational awareness.
Since these are 31db ear muffs, they're heavier than something with less protection. These are over the head model and I may get the X5B behind the neck model. Harder to get though. Not on Amazon.
I tried noise cancelling headphones. When they work, they're great. But anything unusual and I'd get feedback. Dumb ear muffs work all the time plus they're super ugly and so people leave you alone.
I don't understand why noise cancelling doesn't recognize it's in feedback.
The loudness of cafes is necessary, at least to the business owner. Across the world, even in countries where cafes used to be peaceful places for reading and long conversations, owners have increasingly preferred to blast loud music and remove sound-dampening. The constant din has a subconscious effect on customers, leading them to leave the establishment after they finish their drink. So, they quickly free up the table for the next customers. People occupying a table for hours on just one or two purchases is one of cafe owners’ most frequent complaints.
I can sympathize with your sensitivity to noise – I pack earplugs for working in cafes – but if you are wearing blatant ear muffs you may well be pissing the proprietor off.
Establishments also do the following to encourage turnover:
- Buy uncomfortable tables/chairs
- Set higher prices for sitting down at a table vs standing at the bar (or eating in vs takeaway)
- Not bring you the dessert menu, hoping you'll get up and leave
Loud music is cheap, easy and proven, so I can see why it's popular
Otherwise McMaster-Carr is a mail/online-order industrial supply house, their online ordering is just a bit old-fashioned and they do more 'white-box' than name brand.
An alternative is the Peltor Optime 105 Behind-the-Head Earmuff which is 28 dB (vs 31 dB) and readily available at $23.99 from Amazon delivered. It also weighs slightly less, 11.4 oz vs 12.6 oz.
zoro.com has the X5B for $40.83.
* bells from catholic churches (when they play early Sunday morning they just invite you to blaspheme)
* muezzin shouting from the mosque (aggravated from the fact that they talk Arabic, were in many countries, e.g. Turkey, nobody talks arabic, so nobody understand!)
and the worst of the worst is that in both cases sound comes from tapes (no live at all, and very bad taped).
Any national new legislation must face this issue: as to say it will be very hard deal with, without touching religions' susceptibility.
My parents live a half kilometer from the nearest temple and during festival seasons (which is 1/4 the year), they are woken up at 5am by loud religious music played at the temple at 100+ dB.
And this isn't some ancient religious hymn, it's religious lyrics set to pop music / bollywood tunes mixed by some 2nd tier recording artist.
The huge bronze bells in Germany are another thing entirely. They sound wonderful (dare I say heavenly?).
But the cheap electric klaxons used in American churches are horrible.
The onus is on the noisemaker to make less noise, not everyone else to avoid the area. If they didn't move there, someone else with less money would have.
> The tech industry is producing a rising din. Our bodies can’t adapt.
This is a great article, but did I miss something or is this subtitle more or less irrelevant? The only source of noise mentioned related to the tech industry is the lead-in story's data center cooling system, and 95% of the article has nothing to do with it.
This is interesting to me in and of itself: it's another unfortunate example of The Atlantic's long-established internal struggle between quality journalism and clickbait, but it's also another fascinating data point for how the term "tech industry" has become a universal-purpose scapegoat for the kinds of simpletons looking for simple, singular explanations for all of the world's ills.
So a weird tip a lot of people don't know is you get different rooms depending on how you book (this is also true for seats on airplanes). If you use Expedia or something similar you are buying from a different pool of rooms (even if the price is the same). So if you book directly with the hotel/airline you will likely get a better room/seat.