Quiet Enjoyment: right of audiophiles neighbors to NOT be annoyed


Quiet enjoyment: "A landlord must ensure the tenants’ rights to peacefully use and enjoy the rental property. "Quiet enjoyment" The right to not be annoyed by music being played loudly. A problem for folks who may be neighbors of audiophiles and other folks who play loud music. Run table saws and loud lawn mowers at 5AM. etc...
So for audiophiles, this raises some folks hackles.. They believe their right to blast music as loud as they want over-rules a neighbors right to peace and quiet. What say you?
Naturally this does not apply to folks out in the wilds, who can only annoy the bears and deer.
For me, the fact I live in an ’Over 55" (age 55 and up, mainly like 75 and up) complex, means lots of old ladies ready to pounce on any tiny problem so they can gossip over it endlessly, and stir up as much trouble as possible, since they have nothing else to do, so I have to be cautious about playing my stereo too loud.Now back in my youth, my Mother yelling TURN THAT $&#*@$ MUSIC DOWN!! over and over... Then later, say the 1980’s.. I still played music at Rock concert levels.. In a building full of young people, no one cared... I lived directly below the manager, whom I once awoke, and she thought a truck had hit he building.. THAT LOUD.. We laughed about it. All good. As I ’grew up" I started to stop being a jerk about blasting music. And now can say even the manager here, after my being here over eleven years, when asked, has said he never heard any music from my apartment, nor any complaints. Even though I play music all day every day.
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So for folks in multiple unit dwellings.. Apartments, condos.. even close together homes..Even family..Do you think you can annoy others to have an enjoyable listening session?
elizabeth
No, regardless of the law, it's just plain rude.
"Annoy" is a flexible term.  To some, if they hear anything at all, they are annoyed. People love to play the victim because it puts them in a position of moral authority.  A friend of mine once walked in front of someone on line in the supermarket and he got very upset.  I apologized and asked him to go, but he didn't want to because he lost his victimhood.  He didn't want the result, he wanted to hold onto the slight.  In any case, I think we all need to try to be good neighbors and to allow others to make a little noise if it's not too often and too loud.  OTOH, as an audiophile, I built up a collection of stuff to listen to in the evenings without loud bass and drums and I've never had a complaint.  
Common sense, courtesy, and judicious use of headphones seems reasonable to me.  Above all, protect your hearing.
Good point, when you’re young, respect is something often overlooked. The laws had to kick in so many would realize their actions can be annoying if not kept in check.
I live in the country and can get away with upping the volume, but sound carries. There is a sound curfew out here too. I know, first hand. Yes sir, no sir, yes sir, no problem, consider the music turned down very low the rest of the night...*laffs
Hard to comment in my area as I have no neighbors and can bow the windows with spl if I choose too.
But....
I travel a lot for work and spend half my year in hotel rooms. Now these are all upmarket hotels like $125 a night plus so,no excuse really as to the clientele ( yes that sounds bad but I am sure you know what I am getting at).
You would not believe the lack of respect for fellow guests I encounter on a regular basis. Either from tv's or loud group conversations or both!
I give them to 10pm then call the front desk. After that it will be personal intervention at their door.
Once in Wisconsin the police ended up being called and I refused to pay for my room for that night either.

So yes common courtesy and common sense should be the norm but sadly today they are far from common!
Yeah, blast all the neighbors to hell, they might even enjoy it, eventually.
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Ah Rorschach....
Now going to have to drag out The Watchmen and watch it again.
Thank you!
I'll think of something, Elizabeth. One approach is to divert their attention to them. Where I live probably half of people are not quite legal migrants. In fact, they will not call the police on me, they understand the Newtonian truism. What they might do, theoretically, is to complain to the management, still unlikely unless I get totally out of control. I don't play loud music at night, and even in the daytime or in the evening if I do it is for an hour or so, no longer. So, it is also a question of how much, for how long. One of my neighbor sometimes does it in the middle of the night, but very rarely, perhaps ones every two months. I pay no attention, no complains from me. It also kind of gives me rights to do the same, which I don't.
The basic issue condo's is apartments etc here is that they are made of crappy 4 x 2 timber, no sound insulation, so if somebody lets of wind three apartments down, you hear it. My buddy lives in an apartment and he gets cigarettes smells through the vents from the people upstairs apartment, not sure how the apartment block were designed, probably by a babboon. My garage is made out of sinder block and the house out of wood. My neighour on the other side of the street in the summer plays loud mariachi type music for about 30 minutes each day in his garage with the doors open. This year the tide will be turned, my Klipschorns will be placed on the edge of my property and he will be blasted out. Now, only if i were not respectful of my other neighbours. lol 
Interesting question. Easy answer. Be polite. Don't bother other people. As my parents always told me "Its not about you".

But this brings up another interesting issue. We often tell people to ditch their spouse who doesn't like giant speakers and sound deadening panels on the walls of their shared home....if they really want to hear all that pent up SQ just waiting to get out if the room and domestic situation can be rectified.

Maybe the advice to apartment/condo dwellers would be to sell the $50,000 hi-fi system than can't be unleashed in that environment, buy a house and a $10,000 system you can actually listen to.

All of this in jest..............right?
+1 Gawdbless my daughter lives in a secured apartment complex with her 5 year old and it never ceases to amaze me how cheaply built and poorly insulated these buildings are and for what she pays!!!

She has lived in her apartment for 4 years and had a new neighbor move in under her and the very day he moved in came up and knocked on her door and complained about noise. She has trained herself and her son to be courteous and above all quiet.

When living around other people you have to exercise some tolerance and realize if you want to live in a morgue buy some F&*^# acreage.
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Well, you don't exactly have to live in the country to enjoy your music plenty loud. I live on a quiet shady street in a small city. Houses are old and probably no more than 15-20 feet apart. I've cranked my stereo up past the point that I would normally listen to it and it is not enough to bother anyone outside the house and could not be heard inside the neighbors house at all.

But I also have a country place. Nearest neighbor is over a mile away. When I have a project around the cabin I'll put my speakers on the porch and blast away.
The place I live at is also a senior citizens facility; you have to be at least 62 to live here. The units are all single level so there's nobody above anyone else. Mine is an end unit so I only have one neighbor and on the infrequent occasions I talk with her I almost always have to repeat myself so she must be hard of hearing, which suits me fine. Never had any complaints to date and I generally play with volume at 11 o clock or a little less if using disc player. Sometimes I will go to 1 o clock when the spirit(s) move me that way. I play stuff like classic rock, jazz like Art Pepper or Miles Davis, and vocalists like Lyn Stanley and Rickie Lee Jones. The 1 o clock stuff is for George Thorogood and the Destroyers. 
I live in an older condo end-unit, ground floor that has a 2 ft thick outside wall
and a three feet concrete floor in living room where my system is . There is a 16x 20 bedroom plaster wall between my
next neighbor and me . I can, and do, play a loud symphony at 3am if I can’t sleep.

No accident, took me 6 months of looking at every condo in Twin Cities to find it .
I lived in the "country" for 34 years before recently retiring to a condo. I used to blast my system whenever I wanted, day or night. Thought moving to a condo was going to be a problem, but I adjusted nicely. Between aging and jazz entering my music collection about 5 years ago, I don't have a desire to play that loud much anymore. When I do get the urge I'll crank it in the middle of the day when my neighbors are at work. Loving life.
Elizabeth, I thought that, with most of the residents over 75 they would be appealingly hearing impaired to begin with. If not, a judicious wad of chewing gum inserted into the throat of their ear trumpets should do the trick.

After all, those are the times that headphones hold a special appeal. You can blast away without bothering anyone.

Novel concept, respect for our neighbors in this self centered society. Seems like civility is nothing more than a word these days.
My deer seem unperturbed by loud music.  They just sit there chewing their cud and look at the funny people in the house rocking out.
I am moving to a 55+ community where the houses are about 8-10 ft apart. I set up my system, cranked it up to 10 and went outside. I could hear it but if you were in the house next door I am sure they could not.

i think I am safe. 😊
I agree with being respectful of one's neighbors, but the culture of complaint and victimhood is badly out of control.  Which is one reason I no longer live in a co-op; I was just tired of hearing neighbors complains about my dogs barking, music and even my wife and I sitting in the kitchen having a drink with friends...


Nice to review the above posts, and note that, for the most part, civility is not dead.
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Living in an urban setting, there is the law to contend with.  The law simply states that if music/TV can be heard at the sidewalk, it's too loud.  First offense is a $250.00 fine, though a warning is typically given the first time.  Second offense the offending equipment (or a part thereof) can be seized and released back only upon order of a judge.


My neighbors both know me and have my number, if sound levels become an issue they know to call me, though it's never happened.
Just be respectful period. I would always make sure I spoke to my neighbors that yeah I like to listen to music sometimes. A few beers in on a work night and I might play music for an hour. Usually off before 7:00. I always try to be concious past 10:00 PM and not until after noon on the weekend. Most hours in between I may play music a bit loud, 20 minutes tops. I ask them to just let me know if it’s too loud as I will let them know of their loud asses with a bump bump on the wall or knocking on my door. Better to communicate with them if they are creatures capable of communicating. Sometime you live near the morlocks and their is no communicating.
This is one of the main reasons I'm staying in my house as long as I can. My system is in my basement (man cave) and I get to listen to music at all levels without being nervous about the neighbors. When the time comes  I guess I will invest in a very good headphone setup, although I don't prefer headphones so it will take some getting used to. 
That's why god invented headphones.
I have lived in every configuration there is over my diverse life.  I am fortunate to have a single family home where volume is not an issue.

But in my times in apartments, condos, shared walls, etc., I moderated the volume out of respect for my neighbors.  

Occasionally in my current home I get to concert levels for Allman Bros Band, but my ears cannot take it long anymore (I am 70), but every now and then I need to remember the glory years.

Life is a series of adjustments IMHO.
"...does not apply to folks out in the wilds, who can only annoy the bears and deer."
I'd be more concerned with annoying bears than neighbors way past their teenage years.

In some places, the question may be "can your system play louder than the noise from outside".
Elizabeth,

Yes surely they can. It happens every day. 
If the eviction lifestyle is your thing, play away.
Or consider buying a home. You may not be a
"condo" person. 
Elizabeth, your listening history parallels mine. I'm glad my neighbors are not close. I have too turn up my music to hear over my tinnitus.
Elizabeth, I am fully aware of your issue, I have lived in apartment complexes for over twenty years. My number one rule is...after they complain be nice apologize for the loudness then after they leave, I turn it up a little bit more. Now I’m not talking about 11pm to 11am (thats a aweful time for a loud session) I am talking about these people that live in apartments, complain during normal hours (12pm to 10pm) and expect things to be super quiet around them! One thing always happens when I do this strategy, one of us moves out (and its not me)! To bad so sad.....i’m playing my stereo. If you want peace dont move to a Condo or Apartment or Townhome and expect us audiophiles to care, we dont. I didnt invest in a big amp and badass speakers to play them at "grandma" volume! Or have to be restricted to headphones. Honestly one time back in the 90’s as I was moving away from California to Texas the girl across from my unit said to me "I really enjoyed your Crosby Stills and Nash"! I had a 300wpc Mac amp feeding a pair of Mirage M3’s, wow that was a hell of a system...Hey that’s apartment living for ya. And good luck on getting evicted for loud music as long as its between the hours I mentioned. 

P.S. Why do they call them apartments when there all "stuck together" ?



Matt M
@mattmiller 
The way it oughta be!   Rock on!
1979 corner apartment in SE LA.  Just back from West-Pac cruise.  Navy deployment. Spent a few shekels at the Yokosuka Japan Naval Exchange.  That place was a Japanese Electronics Show!  Set the system up in the girlfriend  apartment when I got back.  Fire it up.  2 hrs later I hear someone pounding on the wall over the Styx album being played.  Answer the door. Very angry landlord lady screaming. Cannot hear her over music.  Wow I was pretty inconsiderate  at that age looking back. But I still strive for good tunes presented by good gear.
Having just started sharing walls again, this is a current consideration for me, and why I picked high sensitivity speakers, so I can hear detail at low volumes without bothering my neighbors, especially during “quiet hours”
I live in my own home, so don’t have to worry about the neighbors, at least I doubt it.

But, after reading some of the above, I have to wonder why we want to crank up the volume beyond what would be normal if you were listening in a ‘real world’ experience.

I listen to mostly classical and jazz, but also a fair amount of various ‘rock’ music at times. I am also guilty of playing my music very loud, but then started thinking about this ‘habit’ as too many times it just seemed unnatural, and in reality, too loud. So, I have taught myself to turn the volume up to where it would be natural for the music I listen to. Imagine myself in a concert hall, or a small club, or imagine if the band, musician, or orchestra, etc. were playing just for me on my couch in my living room. I then adjust the volume to where it would be most natural in a real live setting as a listener. And that’s were I Ieave it. I would say in most all cases, since I have been doing this, the volume is lower than what I may have used in the past. Sometimes by quite a bit. And I also realized all too often I’ve listened to my music at ‘unnaturally’ high volume levels. ‘Turn it to 11 !!’ ;-)

I also have large full range speakers, and a fairly small living space, so getting to the ‘realistic’ volume isn’t too hard to do, and still achieve good volume and full dynamic range. Or maybe I’m just getting old.

I’ve thought what it may be like if I moved into a condo/apartment when I get to the age of not being able, or wanting to, maintain a house, or able to climb the stairs, etc. But, I’m not going to worry about that right now. One thing I know, although I have fairly decent headphones, I really never use them as I feel you lose so much of the music expriance vs speakers which allow sound to fill a room. I do hope I’m not relegated to that in the future.


Elizabeth, your life listening experience certainly parallels mine. I surrendered my auditory future to Marshall amp stacks in the 60's and 70's. I'm glad my neighbors are not close by.  I have to turn up the volume to hear over my tinnitus. Was it worth it? Yes.
"I live in the country and can get away with upping the volume, but sound carries. There is a sound curfew out here too. I know, first hand. Yes sir, no sir, yes sir, no problem, consider the music turned down very low the rest of the night...*laffs"

I too live in the country. Neighbors about a quarter mile away are an extended family (parents, at least one adult child and spouse) in a huge house (about 7500 SF). Regularly anytime after 6 am until.... my home thumps from the bass. Not that I like calling law enforcement, but as the parents and adult son are ALL members of the local small city sheriff’s department I don’t even bother trying!
1st: why would a person that liked loud music put them in this situation? For the past 30 years at least, I built each new house or bought each new existing house with my dedicated audio room in mind. 
I always kept the dedicated audio room away from the master bedroom so if I wanted to play loud music at 3am, my wife couldn’t hear it.
Also, the audio room had to be away from any neighbors. We just had a house built in a 55+ community and we picked the lot that had 75’ separating our houses on the side with my audio room. 
I think the problem can be stated as party walls and ceilings bad, separate walls good. The only sure cure for the first is headphones. I lived in a duplex house for my first 17 years and our neighbor even complained if my mother ran the vacuum cleaner after 12 PM. So neighbor tolerance is a huge factor too. So my brother played jazz on his little music center at conversational volumes. The speakers may as well have been headphones.
@mattmiller :

"My number one rule is...after they complain be nice apologize for the loudness then after they leave, I turn it up a little bit more. "

Nice. Glad I'm not your neighbor.

I guess I'm lucky, I live in the boonies outside a small city.  Closest house to me is more than a quarter mile away.  Sounds do carry though, they can hear me play guitar and hear the bass from the sub in the TV room.  I try not to disturb them after dark.  By nice to your neighbor, you never know when you might need their help.  When there is no noise is nice for awhile, then you kind of miss the sounds of city.  Road noise, gun shot echos, trains, the occasional drag race. 
Let me check the local laws regarding audiophiles and get back to you on this. 

In the meantime the usual common sense will have to suffice. 
I don't know our local laws except that music played out doors that is loud enough for the neighbors to hear inside has to be off by 10:00 pm. My wife is on the board of a facility used for events/weddings and this has been an issue for them before.

On the other hand, the city holds outdoor concerts that play after 10 that I can hear from 1/2 a mile away. I guess the law does not apply to the law makers.

There does not seem to be any law against leaf blowers on Sunday mornings or loud piped motorcycles which rattle the windows at 2 am.

One spring Sunday morning at precisely 7 am we were asleep, windows open and I heard a commercial wood chipper crank up. It was a tree service doing routine tree removal across the street. I called the police to ask what the ordinance was and they said after 7 am it was fine.

All of this is to say that there are serious double standards and inconcistencies in the laws and ordinances that seem to favor against people listening to music.

Regardless, it is my opinion that if what I am doing is bothering my neighbor I need to stop or do something different. I'm no saint, but in this current world where the 'self' is supreme I try to buck that trend when I can.
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I have to play my music loud to mask the police sirens as they (always) drive past my place, followed by the Fire brigade and Abulances. Its a war zone near me......not forgetting the occasional gun shot......Another reason why wooden houses/apartments/condo's are a POS. 
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I built the house on undeveloped land at the end of a dirt road in 1995.  Friends question me to this day why I live so remotely.  One of my answers "so I can play my stereo as loud as I friggin want to".  The other response is so I could target shoot off the front porch.  I still do both, the stereo nightly. Target shooting not so much.
Apartment living seems counter to HEA.  To each his own.