How Many Decibels Is Too Loud For Neighbors?

By PropertyClub Team
Apr 24th 2024
As annoying as it can be, it’s critical to monitor your volume when you have neighbors. They deserve a quiet home just as much as you do. Whether you’re the source of the noise or facing an obnoxious neighbor, you might wonder - how many decibels is too loud for neighbors?

Read on to learn more about the ideal number of decibels a neighbor should keep their noise level below.

hash-markHow Many Decibels Is Considered Too Loud For Neighbors? 

Acceptible decibel levels for residential properties are usually up to 60dB during the day. This number may go down late at night and early in the morning during quiet hours. 

Decibels are the unit used to measure sound, and the lowest a human can hear is 0 dB. A level of 20 dB is considered 100 times louder than the base volume of 0 dB. Most professionals note any level above 85 dB as damaging to human hearing.

Of course, neighbors don’t want to deal with neighbors playing music at a volume that harms hearing. Limits are normally around 60 dB, though some locations permit volume at 70 dB. People will rarely stand noise of this decibel level. 

Walls in some apartments might do a better job of keeping out noise than others. Ensure you check ordinances around you to see what the requirements are in your area, as they can differ by town and building.

hash-markHow Many Decibels Can Neighbors Start To Hear? 

Neighbors will often be able to hear noise around 40 to 50 decibels. However, it depends on how close they live to you and how your home is constructed. Different apartments have different flows of noise. You could have paper-thin walls, which will make the dB louder. You could have thicker walls, which will damper the sound even more. In most cases, any noise above 70 dB in an apartment will be bothersome to your neighbors. 

If you’re not sitting right in the middle of the noise, you won’t hear it at its maximum volume. If you’re twice the distance away from the sound, you can anticipate a lower volume by about 6 dB. The further you get away, the quieter it will become to your ears.

It’s vital to consider that the dB lowers with distance. So even if your neighbors blast music, it might not be a violation depending on your distance from them.

hash-markHow To Handle Excessive Noise 

  1. Keep Your Cool
  2. Have a Chat
  3. Contact Your Landlord
  4. Call the Cops

1. Keep Your Cool 

The first thing you need to do is relax. Chances are that your neighbors are not out to get you. They might be hard of hearing or enjoy movies at a louder volume.

Relax by taking a moment for yourself. Cooldown before you approach your neighbor in any way.

2. Have a Chat 

Next, it’s time to have a chat with your neighbor. Bring a gift and knock on their door. You can gently explain the situation and hear them out.

Some neighbors will agree to turn things down. However, some might not be as compliant, and further action might be necessary.

3. Contact Your Landlord 

If you have a landlord, contact them as soon as you can. They can communicate with your neighbor in a way you might not have the ability to as a neighbor. 

Sometimes, this action still might not work. This might require a final step.

4. Call the Cops 

You should only call the cops if all other measures fail. If nothing else works, contact the local authorities and report a noise complaint. They can help you deal with the issue.

Of course, you will need evidence to prove the noise. We’ll discuss what you need next for the best results.

hash-markHow To Provide Legal Evidence of Noise 

1. Know What You Need To Prove 

You will need to prove several things to get police action on the case. They will need to understand how this affects your life, the name of the person doing this to you, and evidence of the noise. All three of these items prove the irritation. 

2. Collect Evidence of Loud Noise

Collect evidence of the noise, written communication with neighbors, and the decibel level. Anything you can get your hands on will further your case to the local police. Keep track of police reports as well for the best results.

hash-markHow to Measure Decibel Level of Neighbor 

There are plenty of apps you can download on your phone that will help you monitor the decibel level of your neighbor. Most are available on iOS and Android. Some of the best include Decibel X and Decibel Pro.

To measure the decibel level of your neighbor, you should:

  • Download the app
  • Put it closest to the wall the noise comes from, ensuring it’s in the best place to hear
  • Utilize the feature to monitor the noise from inside

Ensure you jot down the result as soon as it appears.

Monitor several days’ worth of noise for the best results. You can look at local ordinances to determine what’s legal and not in your area. The work will be worth the peace of mind!