We personally never had any issues with neighbors because our house is pretty well distanced from our „first co-house”, but we have heard a bunch of horror stories from people who need help with sound isolation.
Some of the situations were solved by communication, while most of them had to be solved with our advice (spoiler alert: the people had to put up sound isolation). We’re not sure why people don’t keep in mind that they have neighbors and that some things they do cannot be done at 2 AM.
Some people like to party. That’s fine, but you can’t get a DJ to play loud beat drops at 2 AM. Others have loud animals and kids. The worst kind of noise is the noise a „beginner musician makes”. Violin is the worst one, we’ve heard.
Either way, even if you get your neighbor to reduce bass noise, there is this thing called „bass noise” that will probably still be heard/felt. Let’s talk a bit about science first.
The physics of bass sound
The sound is a mechanical wave. This means that it’s a wave that travels through a medium (it cannot travel in space, for instance). Waves are just a bunch of air (any medium) oscillations that are spreading energy.
If you know anything about oscillation, you probably know that each can be described with a certain frequency. The lower the frequency, the more you hear the sound with your tummy rather than your ears. You know what we’re talking about, right?
Bass noises have low frequencies and they can be annoying because they sound like something is buzzing all of the time. If the bass is loud enough, it can seem like something in your head is banging on your ears, and you can even feel discomfort in your stomach after a long period of listening to the bass.
Waves travel through a medium, as previously mentioned, and they „bring along” energy. Energy, however, is reduced in solid materials because the molecules cannot buzz since they are more stationary than „liquid” or „gas” molecules.
What we want to do is use obstacles of larges mass and density to stop the bass. Now that we know what we need to do, let’s check out some options on how to actually do it, right?
We’ll show you our favorite tips, explain each one and give you an example of a product you can use in order to solve this issue.
How to reduce bass noise coming from the outside?
Use Bass Traps
Bass traps are usually used by people who have to do with professional audio work. Studios, ASMRtists, people that overall need a quiet space to work in. They are usually put in corners and they do a good job, but, keep in mind, you can never get rid of all low-frequency sounds.
You can check out this 8 pack of soundproofing corner bass traps on Amazon. They are dark, so they won’t be too annoying to the eye, and they help with fire if there is any to occur because they are built of flame retardants.
Buy some soundproofing curtains
The next thing to check out is soundproofing curtains. More about this can be found on our page and we’ll talk in-depth about all kinds of soundproofing curtains and will find the perfect ones for you. For now, however, we will give you the basics.
Most of the bass noise you are hearing in your apartment/house is actually entering through your windows. Glass is pretty dense (can be compared to concrete), but it is very thin compared to other materials and that’s why it lets sound through easily.
You should go for thick and dense curtains in order to get the best results, and we’ll show you a few examples.
The most popular material to go for is surely velvet. It’s heavy and has great sound isolation properties. The curtains aren’t even any more expensive from regular ones and you can get them whether you need isolation or not. It will be a bonus if anything.
Make your walls soundproof
We have already talked about this topic in other articles, but we’ll repeat ourselves because we think it’s important for you to know these things and make your life easier.
There are different types of walls and that’s something you need to know because different walls require different isolation techniques. The one people usually go for are acoustic foam pads that you can get from Amazon.
If you have the „American walls“ which are made of wood-like materials, you may need more than one layer. Those who have the „European walls“ won’t require more than one layer, probably. You can get these pads in different colors to match the aesthetics of the room.
Also, you will have to put them on the walls, right? We recommend getting AcoustiGum, a type of glue made especially for acoustic projects. You can get it from Amazon by clicking here.
Keep in mind that you’ll maybe need a hand and that there are usually hidden costs with stuff like these because you may need more than one pack and so on…
Make sure no air is going through your door and window gaps
Little did you know that there are usually small gaps of air around your doors and windows. It’s just a result of the fact that no doors usually fit perfectly in their frame, the windows wear out through years and so on…
We think you should focus on checking the door first, since they are a bigger issue, and then continue on with the windows if the problem still hasn’t been solved.
It’s really cheap to get rid of this air and you can do it by purchasing a door soundproof adhesive from Amazon. This is a customer’s choice and you’ll surely notice why after you put it up. The thing is, you need to eliminate air gaps since mechanical waves travel much faster and in greater intensity through the air. Denser mediums don’t allow the maximum amount of intensity to go through.
You may be wondering: well, it’s a small gap and the windows/doors are big, how is that going to make a significant change? Well, my friends, physics. Waves can also do this thing called diffraction where they spread like a peacock’s tail after they enter through a tiny hole. It’s called the Huygens principle. Google it and you’ll realize the „fan effect” immediately.
Play white noise
Sadly, this is not that much of a fix. It’s just a little thing that will distract you from the bass. White noise can be played by a white noise machine, by phone, and by a computer. It has been scientifically proven that white noise helps you relax and it’s a great thing for those who enjoy meditation as well.
You may want to invest in a white noise machine like this one since you can personalize the experience as much as you want, which probably depends on the amount of noise coming to your house from the outside.
You can also try with soundproof earmuffs if you want to sleep tight.
Bass noise is hard to get rid off. It’s a low-frequency noise that can be annoying, especially to those who have issues with headaches and their stomach, since you feel the vibration in your whole body, rather than in your ears.
You will have to start with the regular soundproofing routine: soundproofing the doors, the walls, maybe even the floors and the ceilings. However, we would advise you to start from the cheapest options (the adhesive for the doors and windows, then the curtains, then the rest) since the problem may be located in something pretty banal.
If there is nothing that helps because walls are paper-thin, you may want to get a white noise machine or play music. This is not a permanent solution, though.