Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

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Morik
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Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by Morik » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:26 am

Hi all,

I recently moved. One of my neighbors has a massive, massive lawn (they have a big complex with several very large houses, etc).
It turns out they get it mowed with a riding mower at 8 am on some weekdays.

The riding mower is loud enough to wake me up, and loud enough that I cannot get back to sleep while it is going. It generally takes them about 40 minutes, based on this morning.

I usually get up around 9 or 9:15. Losing an hour or so of sleep once or twice a week isn't appealing to me.

In thinking about solutions, my thoughts so far are:
1) Try talking to them--see if they can get their lawn service to come later in the day. (My guess is this will be a no-go.)
2) Try to find some way that I can block out the noise when it happens. E.g., earplugs that work to block a low frequency motor sound.
3) My wife suggested noise canceling headphones, but that would mean I can't sleep on my side; probably would keep me from sleeping.
4) Sound isolation in the bedroom. As in, treat the windows & such somehow to reduce or eliminate the noise. Would be expensive most likely...

Anyone have other thoughts, or recommendations for ear-plugs?

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by Mike Scott » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:29 am

Try a white noise generator for the bedroom.

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buckstar
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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by buckstar » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:32 am

I think that you may be surprised if you ask them to move the time back an hour.

Check with your city as well, our city ordinance prohibits construction work and lawn work before 9am on weekends, your city may have something similar.

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by Theseus » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:36 am

Talking to them might actually work better than anything else. When I hired our lawn service, I had specific condition to not do Friday afternoons and on the weekends or early mornings.

Since your neighbor is not doing it himself/herself it shouldn't be a big deal.

But if that doesn't work, I have used latex based ear plugs (I am not allergic) when I travel internationally or in a noisy location. They work amazingly in blocking out road noise from vehicle. You can find at your local pharmacy.

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by Blueskies123 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:38 am

Check Amazon for earplugs for snoring and get a white noise machine. There are white noise apps
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Morik
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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by Morik » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:40 am

Mike Scott wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:29 am
Try a white noise generator for the bedroom.
We use 2 already (mechanical). The motor of the riding mower is significantly louder than the white noise generated.
buckstar wrote:Check with your city as well, our city ordinance prohibits construction work and lawn work before 9am on weekends, your city may have something similar.
Unfortunately my city noise ordinance is only in effect til 7 am on weekdays, 8 am on weekends.

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Pajamas
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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by Pajamas » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:42 am

I use a combo of white noise from a mechanical fan and a recording of rain intended for that purpose plus foam ear plugs and it takes a lot to disturb my sleep. However, if there is loud noise nearby, you will probably still hear it.

I use the 3M classic E-A-R plugs because they fit my ear canals well, much better than bullet-shaped or flanged plugs, but I think that the custom-fit ones molded to your ear are probably the best.

The fan I use is an industrial model which you can find by searching for "industrial fan" on Amazon.

If you get a mechanical white noise generator like the ones from Marpac, it is just a small fan with an adjustable cover to modulate the noise. An industrial fan is louder.

I got my nature sound recording of plain rain (no thunder, no drops on a metal roof, no animal noises) from Amazon for $0.99 but you could probably find some free. I also use simple surf sounds but find anything like crackling fire or crickets or anything too random more disturbing than helpful for sleep.

If you own your home, replacing the windows in your bedroom or getting a soundproofing second window installed over them would be worthwhile, but probably not for a rental. In that case, just make sure that they are sealed properly and get light- and noise-blocking barrier covers instead.

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by Morik » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:44 am

Pajamas wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:42 am
If you own your home, replacing the windows in your bedroom or getting a soundproofing second window installed over them would be worthwhile, but probably not for a rental. In that case, just make sure that they are sealed properly and get light- and noise-blocking barrier covers instead.
We do own. One complication with that is there is a juliet balcony outside the master bedroom, with a large sliding glass door. Soundproofing that may not be viable.

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by Pajamas » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:49 am

Morik wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:44 am

We do own. One complication with that is there is a juliet balcony outside the master bedroom, with a large sliding glass door. Soundproofing that may not be viable.
Do those sliders have double (insulated) glass? How much air leakage is there around and between them? Anywhere air can go, sound can go. If they are not insulated glass, I would replace them with some that are and that seal well. Energy efficiency should be a rough measure of their efficiency in blocking sound, too.

First get good earplugs and then make sure your white noise is as loud as you and your wife can sleep comfortably with. I live in an apartment and keep the industrial fan going 24/7/365, or at least whenever I am home. It covers up all those stray noises from outside and in the hallway and it also keeps the air moving, which makes a huge difference in my comfort level apart from any effect on noise.

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by azurekep » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:00 am

Pajamas wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:42 am
I use a combo of white noise from a mechanical fan and a recording of rain intended for that purpose plus foam ear plugs and it takes a lot to disturb my sleep. However, if there is loud noise nearby, you will probably still hear it.

I use the 3M classic E-A-R plugs because they fit my ear canals well, much better than bullet-shaped or flanged plugs, but I think that the custom-fit ones molded to your ear are probably the best.
I've used the disposable foam earplugs by AOSafety. These yellow plugs are rated NRR 29dB and work fantastically for blocking out low-frequency noise. And I mean they really really work.

The hardware store then shifted to the 3M earplugs, similarly rated. I've found these orange plugs to be less effective and less comfortable. If the OP can find any of the AOSafety ear plugs, they may want to try those first.

I've found fans, white noise generators, and nature-sound products ineffective at blocking out low-frequency noise. The latter two could work but you'd have to jack up the volume so loud, the noise generated ny the WNG or NSP themselves would be extremely annoying.

I've found fans good, though, for blocking out normal sounds.

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by Whakamole » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:06 am

Unfortunately my city noise ordinance is only in effect til 7 am on weekdays, 8 am on weekends.
Have you considered finding a lawn service that will mow your lawn at 7am on weekdays?

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by nisiprius » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:09 am

I've used various kinds of earplugs and my experience is that anything that actually blocks the ear canal fully is very effective. It is well worth giving them a try, and trying lots of kinds for comfort and ability to stay in. Of course disposable earplugs need to be replaced. Rubber and other kinds of non-disposable earplugs--wax, silly-putty-like stuff, etc.--lose resiliency in time and get both less comfortable and less effective.

I started wearing earplugs to preserve my hearing in my work environment, which was full of minicomputers with fans--the kind of subtle noise that doesn't seem deafening, but requires you to speak loudly in order to be heard.

I started to wear them on my walk to work through the city, and was very impressed. Earplugs did not prevent me from hearing things like big trucks, but I could feel that I was no longer tightening up and getting an emotional reaction to them. The emotional reaction is interesting--you hardly notice it until you start wearing earplugs and notice that it's not happening.
Last edited by nisiprius on Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by Sandtrap » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:10 am

HEAROS Xtreme Protection Series Ear Plugs, Blue, 56 Pair
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00WO ... UTF8&psc=1
I have used these plus ear muffs for extreme hearing protection.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CP ... UTF8&psc=1
You can hear your heartbeat with double hearing protection.
Long ago I had to stay at a downstairs apartment for a long time while a project was being completed. The guy&#** above had an old tv on the floor and had it on 24/7 and refused to move it.' It was a low frequency noise.
I bought the best Bose noise cancellation headphones and slept great.
There is a cheaper brand that works fairly well. I've tried many of them.
Audio Technica ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint Noise-Cancelling Headphones
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007K ... UTF8&psc=1
These (and the Bose) also work great for long flights and noisy environments if one has tinnitus.
Noise pollution is all around and sometimes not so obvious. Over time there's hearing loss.

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Youngblood
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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by Youngblood » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:04 pm

I've used Hearos too. If you put them in right they block out nearly everything.
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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by iamlucky13 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:40 pm

Heavy curtains may help very slightly with noise, too.

The main affect I noticed when my wife insisted we hang heavy blackout curtains in the bedroom is the reduced light in the morning actually did make it easier for me to sleep in.

Not being exposed to the increasing morning light may help keep you slumbering deep enough the noise doesn't wake you.

This really didn't matter to me when my wife first insisted on the curtains, because I'm not nearly as affected by the light as she is. An hour less sleep on the day the garbage truck comes, or whatever else happened to wake me from time-to-time isn't a big deal, but eventually I ended up with an occasionally chaotic work schedule. Coming home at 2 AM a couple times a week makes being able to sleep in when possible a really high priority, and curtains definitely help.

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by Pajamas » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:42 pm

azurekep wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:00 am
I've used the disposable foam earplugs by AOSafety. These yellow plugs are rated NRR 29dB and work fantastically for blocking out low-frequency noise. And I mean they really really work.

The hardware store then shifted to the 3M earplugs, similarly rated. I've found these orange plugs to be less effective and less comfortable. If the OP can find any of the AOSafety ear plugs, they may want to try those first.
3M bought Aearo Technologies in 2007 for $1.2 billion.

http://news.3m.com/press-release/compan ... logies-inc

The yellow ones made of PVC are still available and are the ones I also recommended, they are just called 3M E-A-R Classic earplugs now. You can get a box of 200 pairs for about $25-$26 on Amazon. I'm not sure if the orange ones are practically different because they look the same except for the color and have the same rating.

https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-us/ ... 7497&rt=r3

https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-us/ ... 7497&rt=r3

Definitely try out a pair before committing to a whole box because comfort and effectiveness depends on fit. Lots of people swear by the bullet-shaped ones, but they don't fit my ears. Some of them I can trim to get a decent fit but others just don't make an effective seal.

Also, insertion method is important. I think instructions are on the box. Basically, you roll them and insert them into the ear and hold them in for a few seconds as they expand. They continue to expand and soften for a while.

I am not recommending this store because I have no experience with them, but they do have a good selection to browse through and also offer sample packs and other ideas for better control of noise for sleep.

http://www.earplugstore.com/noname1.html

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by azurekep » Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:31 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:42 pm
azurekep wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:00 am
I've used the disposable foam earplugs by AOSafety. These yellow plugs are rated NRR 29dB and work fantastically for blocking out low-frequency noise. And I mean they really really work.

The hardware store then shifted to the 3M earplugs, similarly rated. I've found these orange plugs to be less effective and less comfortable. If the OP can find any of the AOSafety ear plugs, they may want to try those first.
3M bought Aearo Technologies in 2007 for $1.2 billion.

http://news.3m.com/press-release/compan ... logies-inc

The yellow ones made of PVC are still available and are the ones I also recommended, they are just called 3M E-A-R Classic earplugs now. You can get a box of 200 pairs for about $25-$26 on Amazon. I'm not sure if the orange ones are practically different because they look the same except for the color and have the same rating.
Ah, thanks for the update. I'll have to talk to the hardware store to get the right kind of 3M earplugs, not the sucky ones they have now.

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by daveydoo » Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:44 pm

azurekep wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:31 pm

Ah, thanks for the update. I'll have to talk to the hardware store to get the right kind of 3M earplugs, not the sucky ones they have now.
+1. Stopped at Home Depot on way to a concert a week or two ago and they just have the orange or blue super-soft, super-small bullet-shaped ones. Those are nearly useless. The old yellow cylindrical ones are great.

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by squirm » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:29 am

The problem with talking to them is there's a chance they'll get offended over your request and try to piss you off even more by mowing even earlier.

It's like a neighbor who has barking dogs and you complain... Much off the time they'll let or try to get their dogs to bark even more... Neighbors can be cruel.

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by Longtermgrowth » Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:42 am

Seems any foam earplugs that block noise at the higher decibel number for their category should work, say foam 33db earplugs.
If your wife isn't bothered by this, and otherwise hears things clearly, seems like a decent solution. Otherwise, if I were the only one around, I wouldn't want to dull my hearing to that point. Someone could break in and only start to wake me up by the time it's too late to gain access to a firearm.

I had a neighbor complain about mowing grass no later than 6pm. Considering the noise ordinance isn't in effect from 7am to 11pm, how do you think that went over? They have to live with it while being labeled as one of the most irrational neighbors in the neighborhood.

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by stlutz » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:06 pm

Another alternative is to do nothing--just let your mind get used to the noise. When I visit NYC for work I have trouble sleeping because of all the racket all night. But people who live there manage to sleep just fine.

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by Sandtrap » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:19 pm

squirm wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:29 am
The problem with talking to them is there's a chance they'll get offended over your request and try to piss you off even more by mowing even earlier.

It's like a neighbor who has barking dogs and you complain... Much off the time they'll let or try to get their dogs to bark even more... Neighbors can be cruel.
+1
Then to your "noisy" neighbor, you become the "nosey complaining" neighbor. And, you are both now more familiar with each other. As the old saying goes, "familiarity bleeds contempt".
Perhaps it is possible to mow your lawn at the same time and wave and smile.
Also, a lot of folks wake up at 5:00 a.m., 6:00 a.m., 7:00 a.m., some as routine, normal lifestyle, and some to go to work and mow lawns. :shock:
Good luck in your efforts.
:D

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by letsgobobby » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:29 pm

Morik wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:44 am
Pajamas wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:42 am
If you own your home, replacing the windows in your bedroom or getting a soundproofing second window installed over them would be worthwhile, but probably not for a rental. In that case, just make sure that they are sealed properly and get light- and noise-blocking barrier covers instead.
We do own. One complication with that is there is a juliet balcony outside the master bedroom, with a large sliding glass door. Soundproofing that may not be viable.
soundproofing works poorly for low frequency noise, unless you are prepared to spend massive bucks.

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by jebmke » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:36 pm

I don't understand the physics but my experience has been that not much helps block low frequency sound. I have tinnitus and hearing loss at high frequencies. I can hear low frequency sounds from longer distance than my spouse. Ear plugs do not seem to make any difference for me - maybe the sound vibrates in the skull.

When Aberdeen has explosive testing I can hear them from 50 miles away when my wife doesn't hear a thing. Same with thunder. And that is inside the house.
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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by Sandtrap » Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:14 pm

jebmke wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:36 pm
I don't understand the physics but my experience has been that not much helps block low frequency sound. I have tinnitus and hearing loss at high frequencies. I can hear low frequency sounds from longer distance than my spouse. Ear plugs do not seem to make any difference for me - maybe the sound vibrates in the skull.

When Aberdeen has explosive testing I can hear them from 50 miles away when my wife doesn't hear a thing. Same with thunder. And that is inside the house.
+1
Tinnitus gets worse when operating equipment, long air flights, etc, despite the best double hearing protection. Low frequency sounds also carry farther and longer. IE: elephant communication, explosives, large firearms.

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by letsgobobby » Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:01 pm

jebmke wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:36 pm
I don't understand the physics but my experience has been that not much helps block low frequency sound. I have tinnitus and hearing loss at high frequencies. I can hear low frequency sounds from longer distance than my spouse. Ear plugs do not seem to make any difference for me - maybe the sound vibrates in the skull.

When Aberdeen has explosive testing I can hear them from 50 miles away when my wife doesn't hear a thing. Same with thunder. And that is inside the house.
low frequency sounds move a lot of air so you need one of two things to block them: mass or distance. You can add mass to walls but it's expensive - basically adding another layer of drywall with an insulator in between.

But the windows are tough no matter what you do. And sound will find its way through any weak spot.

The cheapest thing to do first would be to buy/build a 'plug' for the windows. Made of plywood or foam and wrapped in batting, fabric, etc., these can be put up at night in the windows. This is a good solution because it is non-permanent and doesn't require expensive modificiations to the existing walls or windows.

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by hightower » Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:09 pm

Bake your neighbors some cookies and show up on their doorstep and kindly ask them if there's anyway they'd consider asking the mowers to come later. That's BS to have a mowing crew starting up loud motors at 8am on a weekend. That's an a**hole move in my book. But, kindness is usually the best solution.
I use noise cancelling headphones to fall asleep since we live in a noisy city neighborhood. They work wonders, but can't be worn the whole night. They are especially good with low frequency noise (bass rattling cars, etc). They aren't as good with high frequency actually. I usually just keep them on until I'm about to fall asleep then take them off and leave my earplugs in the rest of the night. I use foam earplugs which reduce the noise by about 30 decibels. We also keep a fan running for white noise. Usually works well.

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by Call_Me_Op » Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:16 pm

Even if earplugs completely block the canals, some sound is conducted through the bone.

I personally cannot sleep with earplugs. I would consider talking to the neighbor and perhaps shifting my sleep schedule.
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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by azurekep » Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:20 pm

jebmke wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:36 pm
I don't understand the physics but my experience has been that not much helps block low frequency sound. I have tinnitus and hearing loss at high frequencies. I can hear low frequency sounds from longer distance than my spouse. Ear plugs do not seem to make any difference for me - maybe the sound vibrates in the skull.
It could just be that you tried one of the ineffective types of earplug. The orange bullet-shaped earplugs are virtually useless for blocking out any kind of noise -- low frequency or high frequency. The yellow, cylindrial plugs are effective at blocking out all noise in all frequencies (in my experience), unless you're dealing with extreme situations. At any rate, they're a cheap solution and so a good first step to try. One just has to find a store that carries them.

Edit: In reference to the above post (re: low frequency transmission thru bones), I'm one of the people who feels physically sick when assaulted with too much low frequency sound. Even so, I've found the "good" ear plugs to be highly effective in most situations.

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by just frank » Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:30 pm

All I can say is my neighbor really liked to run a gas powered leaf blower almost every weekend afternoon all fall (somehow I manage to get the same job done in about 4 hours/year). It was loud enough to wake me up from a cherished weekend nap, seems like every time I dozed off (I sleep about 5 hours/night and tend to nap when I can). Ugh.

For me, it got a LOT better when I had my house insulated and airsealed, and got new storm windows. Also reduced traffic noise from the street in front (which is not busy, but has a high speed limit). I did the work on the house for other reasons, but it was a nice side effect.

If your house is older, drafty and has meh insulation....you can kill two birds with one stone.

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by Morik » Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:39 pm

hightower wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:09 pm
That's BS to have a mowing crew starting up loud motors at 8am on a weekend. That's an a**hole move in my book.
Its on week days, not weekends. I'll try the yellow ear plugs, and if that doesn't work I'll go talk to them. (The yellow ear plugs sound like they'd be useful for all sorts of sounds.)

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by Longtermgrowth » Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:05 am

As stated above, windows... I notice a big difference between solid wood frame windows and hollow frame vinyl. Avoid hollow frame vinyl.
R20-30 cellulose insulation makes a big difference in an attic with lower amounts in the first place.
If you ask them to change mowing times, don't threaten to call police for disturbing the peace like my neighbor did :twisted:

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by mouses » Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:39 am

I haven't had time to read all the replies, but my suggestion is also to first politely ask them if the workers can do the work later. Be tactful.

I use Bose QC25 and can sleep on my side with them. You just have to adjust the headband and pillow with one of your arms. It blocks all the noise from my neighbor's lawn people, both the riding mower and their excessive use of leaf blowers (God forbid a leaf should escape.)

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by AAA » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:33 am

Morik wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:26 am
3) My wife suggested noise canceling headphones, but that would mean I can't sleep on my side; probably would keep me from sleeping.
There are soft eye masks that have built-in speakers. This is just the first one that I found as an example, not necessarily a recommendation:
https://www.amazon.com/Comfortable-Canc ... B01M67USSB

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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:57 am

just frank wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:30 pm
All I can say is my neighbor really liked to run a gas powered leaf blower almost every weekend afternoon all fall (somehow I manage to get the same job done in about 4 hours/year). It was loud enough to wake me up from a cherished weekend nap, seems like every time I dozed off (I sleep about 5 hours/night and tend to nap when I can). Ugh.

For me, it got a LOT better when I had my house insulated and airsealed, and got new storm windows. Also reduced traffic noise from the street in front (which is not busy, but has a high speed limit). I did the work on the house for other reasons, but it was a nice side effect.

If your house is older, drafty and has meh insulation....you can kill two birds with one stone.
When I am world dictator, use of gasoline powered leaf blowers will be restricted to between 12 noon and 1 pm on every 4th Sunday of the month, but only in February ;-). We never had them when I was a kid, and we coped (insert grumpy old man icon).

What the Bose guy told me was that sound cancellation headphones work well with constant noise, but can't handle speech because it is irregular.

There are also electronic earplugs that are used in the US forces in the Middle East. When an IED hits a vehicle even if you survive your ears will be damaged, possibly permanently (artillerymen for example are notoriously deaf)*. Soldiers hate wearing earplugs because they lose situational awareness at critical moments. A Norwegian company I believe has developed a solution. I was trying to source these for a friend's daughter who is a professional musician.


* explosives dynamics gets creepy (a relative was an engineer in the military but this one I read in the Atlantic). In Israel they have learned that if a bus window is open, there will be fewer casualties if a bomb is detonated on the bus. The shock wave goes out the window whereas if closed, the window causes a backblast inwards, in the instant before it shatters-- the bomb overpressure is greater. Thus IEDs exploding against heavily armoured vehicles-- the overpressure inside.

Call_Me_Op
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Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

Post by Call_Me_Op » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:17 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:57 am
* explosives dynamics gets creepy (a relative was an engineer in the military but this one I read in the Atlantic). In Israel they have learned that if a bus window is open, there will be fewer casualties if a bomb is detonated on the bus. The shock wave goes out the window whereas if closed, the window causes a backblast inwards, in the instant before it shatters-- the bomb overpressure is greater. Thus IEDs exploding against heavily armoured vehicles-- the overpressure inside.
The opposite (from the organ damage standpoint) seems to be true when airbags activate in a closed car. The over-pressure (when windows are closed) stiffens the middle ear and reduces the sound transferred to the inner ear - reducing hearing damage.
Best regards, -Op | | "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Einstein

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