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New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:14 pm
by Gardener
So, I'm day two in an apartment in a small city. It's an apartment complex in a nice, up scale shopping center. Previously, I lived in the country in a home.

The apartment is outstanding, location is fantastic. But, I work from home once a week and still getting used to some of the city noises. Horns, car alarms from people presumably hitting the wrong button on their key set, trucks backing up (beep! beep!). It aggravates me, and breaks my concentration and peace.

I'm definitely more sensitive to noise anyway, but probably even more so now that I've moved to the city from a country house.

This is a bit of a ramble. But, to make it actionable, has anyone experienced this and did they get used to the more urban noises? Or did they have to move out of the city?

I fully acknowledge a lot of this is my disposition is not being use to and having a low tolerance to noise.

Re: New Apartment- Moved from the city to country

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:17 pm
by dm200
Gardener wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:14 pm
So, I'd day two in an apartment in a small city. It's an apartment complex in a nice, up scale shopping center. Previously, I lived in the country.
The apartment is outstanding, location is fantastic. But, I work from home once a week and still getting used to some of the city noises. Horns, car alarms from people presumably hitting the wrong button on their key set, trucks backing up (beep! beep!). It aggravates me, and breaks my concentration and peace.
I'm definitely more sensitive to noise anyway, but probably even more so now that I've moved to the city from a country house.
This is a bit of a ramble. But, to make it actionable, has anyone experienced this and did they get used to the more urban noises? Or did they have to move out of the city?
I fully acknowledge a lot of this is my disposition is not being use to and having a low tolerance to noise.
I grew up on a family farm in the country - so, very, very quiet at night.

Then - in college - heard every traffic noise - etc.

In my case, I got used to it and now zero issues.

Re: New Apartment- Moved from the city to country

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:19 pm
by Dantes
Most people get used to the noise and stop noticing it after awhile; I did anyway. Do you care for having music playing in the background?

Except maybe car alarms; ironic because - since they are so common - no on actually ever does anything about them. I can't imagine anyone, hearing a car alarm, think "I've got to go check that out. Maybe someone is stealing a car!".

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:26 pm
by unclescrooge
Give it a couple of weeks.
Wear Mac's wax ear plugs at night.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:34 pm
by dual
I am also sensitive to noise and that is a problem in apartments or houses depending on the neighborhood. I have never gotten used to it. I just arrange my lifestyle to minimize noise. I live in a house in quiet neighborhood.

Since this is an apartment, you may have to wait it out until your lease is up and then move somewhere else. BTW, how are your neighbors re noise? That has been the main problem for me in apartments.

In the meantime you probably have thought about masking the noise. I prefer white/pink noise but music could be your thing. You will not be able to block the noise but it may lessen the impact. Earplugs do not work for me because the quiet just raises my acuity level.

In the future it makes sense to spend some time at potential locations and listen for the background.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:35 pm
by delamer
Consider a white noise machine if your tolerance doesn’t increase.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:36 pm
by livesoft
You got your obvious choices:

1. Ear plugs.

2. White noise machines (fans, earbuds).

3. Sound proofing of windows and doors which will be the least satisfying.

4. Move.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:39 pm
by JoeRetire
Gardener wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:14 pm
I work from home once a week and still getting used to some of the city noises. Horns, car alarms from people presumably hitting the wrong button on their key set, trucks backing up (beep! beep!). It aggravates me, and breaks my concentration and peace.
Wear headphones. Just like you would in a noisy office.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:45 pm
by jabberwockOG
Grew up in-town in a very large urban setting...constant noise, trucks, sirens, horns, etc. and hated it. Went away to college in a much smaller town and grew to love the peace and quiet.

Having learned that I needed quiet setting to feel my best, but needing to work near large city to earn a living given my industry, I always lived in quiet suburban neighborhoods that were with easy commuting distance of large urban centers for work/travel needs.

In retirement we immediately moved to a small town in a very quiet neighborhood (golf course community) and love it.

I'd say find a new place that is quiet and move there asap. I think most folks, if they pay attention, find out pretty early in life how much peace and quiet they need to be happy and healthy. Maybe some do get used to a high noise environment but they may be fooling themselves. Sadly humans can get used to anything regardless of how bad it is for them.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:47 pm
by weltschmerz
I live in a condo, in a city, right next to a school, where I hear the loud school bell ringing every 45 minutes from 7:30 am until 3:00 pm every weekday. I also hear my neighbors slamming doors and their barking dogs. Initially I questioned whether I could stand it, but now I create my own peaceful space using 2 things:

1) Bose noise cancelling headphones. I had an old pair of these (QC2) from 2006, and I thought they did a good job until I recently bought a new pair of QC25. They are an amazing upgrade from my old pair. They block out almost all noise, plus you can plug into your phone to listen to music or make phone calls. I plug mine into my Roku Ultra remote control when I watch TV as well. Bose also makes the QC35, which is a wireless version.

2) Foam Earplugs. Macks is the brand I use. I sleep with these every night. The skin colored ones are normal sized, but if you have small ear canals, they also make purple ones which are "Slim Fit".

If things get really bad, I put in the earplugs, then put the Bose headphones over the top. At that point, I hear nothing.

I dream of owning hundreds of acres of land someday, with my house right in the middle, a forest surrounding me on all sides, and no neighbors within miles. But that day may never come, so I try to make my current existence tolerable.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:50 pm
by KlingKlang
Noise cancelling headphones or earbuds might be worth a try.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:14 pm
by dknightd
I'd give it a couple more days. You might learn to ignore the noise. If not try noise cancelling headphones, or similar. Background music works for me. I've never liked adding white noise but hear it works for some people.
I like to be aware of my surroundings. So don't think I want to cancel all sound. Well maybe sometimes . . .

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:16 pm
by wabbajack
I'm a city guy, and I sympathize with the noise - but why is it better in the country? On the occasions I have been out hiking/camping, I hear bugs humming - which can get really loud to the point that it interferes with sleep. I recommend fans or soft classical music in the background. Give it a week or two and you'll adapt.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:18 pm
by alpenglow
There was a train track behind my house when I was little. My parents said it annoyed them the first month they were there and the last month before they moved 7 or so years later. I'd give it some time.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:32 pm
by investingdad
I didn't adapt after building our first house backed up to a busy country road.

First night there I knew it was a mistake.

Eight years later we moved into our next home for one reason...get away from the noise.

Sleeping was awful, I sympathize.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:27 pm
by Stonebr
I moved from rural Maine to the suburbs of Boston and then a decade later to downtown Boston -- about a block from a fire station. After about a week I slept pretty well. I got used to it. What bugged me most was the cats out back yowling on top of a dumpster.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:43 pm
by buhlaxtus
I grew up in the country where it was VERY quiet and I was very used to that. For the last 15 years or so I have lived in the city. I quickly got used to train horns across the street, drunk people staggering home, the dumpster getting emptied, car alarms, sirens... all at midnight, 2 am, 4 am. And I sleep with the windows open. Guessing that most likely you'll be fine :)

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:48 pm
by Alexa9
I suggest Spotify and some nice speakers or headphones to drown out the noise. Maybe a fan at night.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:02 pm
by Calygos
Gardener wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:14 pm
So, I'm day two in an apartment in a small city. It's an apartment complex in a nice, up scale shopping center. Previously, I lived in the country in a home.

The apartment is outstanding, location is fantastic. But, I work from home once a week and still getting used to some of the city noises. Horns, car alarms from people presumably hitting the wrong button on their key set, trucks backing up (beep! beep!). It aggravates me, and breaks my concentration and peace.

I'm definitely more sensitive to noise anyway, but probably even more so now that I've moved to the city from a country house.

This is a bit of a ramble. But, to make it actionable, has anyone experienced this and did they get used to the more urban noises? Or did they have to move out of the city?

I fully acknowledge a lot of this is my disposition is not being use to and having a low tolerance to noise.
I am in a very similar situation as you. Exactly a month ago today, I moved from a quieter neighborhood in a garden-style apartment to the downtown part of a (medium-sized?) city about 10-15 minutes away. I like my new apartment a lot (the building leaves a bit to be desired) though it's situated right at the intersection of to main streets, literally adjacent to the big city park, mall, and another retail/apartment/condo high-rise, and right above a good grocery store. The walkability of the area is fantastic, including to my office building literally 2 blocks away (I don't really have to drive any more, posted recently about considering selling my car in a few months), but I've never lived in an area like this and the noise is definitely frustrating, despite knowing what I was getting myself into. I'm also seriously concerned about Christmas because one of the main streets I'm on, in front of the mall, does a big Winter Wonderland thing every December for like a week or so, IIRC.

So, I can definitely sympathize. Good luck to us both! :sharebeer

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:12 pm
by squirm
I disagree with the others that you get use to it. No you don't. Wife and I never did. We have a house in the city, it's noisy with cars, sirens, alarms, neighbors, etc. We live in the country now, a lot less noise. We never got use to the noise in the city, in fact we hated it more and more. The noise never stops and realizing there's nothing you can really do, just makes it that much worse. In the country we love the sound of crickets and seeing nothing but a big dark forest at night. Sometimes of the neighbors shot off their guns, so you can't always get away from the noise.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:13 pm
by anonenigma
We live 3 blocks from a fire station, and the street 50 yards to the south is a primary path to a Level 1 trauma center two miles away. We hear sirens in the distance all the time, but it's reassuring in a way to hear emergency vehicles in the distance.

We're also close to museums, cinemas, restaurants, coffee shops and stores - why people live in cities.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:23 pm
by Calygos
anonenigma wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:13 pm
We live 3 blocks from a fire station, and the street 50 yards to the south is a primary path to a Level 1 trauma center two miles away. We hear sirens in the distance all the time, but it's reassuring in a way to hear emergency vehicles in the distance.
God, the sirens around here. And motorcycles. And honking horns. Echoing off the buildings. :shock: :shock:
We're also close to museums, cinemas, restaurants, coffee shops and stores - why people live in cities.
Yep, tons of that in easy walking distance now!

None of which I use or care for, except for the grocery store and mall. And work.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:51 am
by Call_Me_Op
Gardener wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:14 pm
So, I'm day two in an apartment in a small city. It's an apartment complex in a nice, up scale shopping center. Previously, I lived in the country in a home.

The apartment is outstanding, location is fantastic. But, I work from home once a week and still getting used to some of the city noises. Horns, car alarms from people presumably hitting the wrong button on their key set, trucks backing up (beep! beep!). It aggravates me, and breaks my concentration and peace.

I'm definitely more sensitive to noise anyway, but probably even more so now that I've moved to the city from a country house.

This is a bit of a ramble. But, to make it actionable, has anyone experienced this and did they get used to the more urban noises? Or did they have to move out of the city?

I fully acknowledge a lot of this is my disposition is not being use to and having a low tolerance to noise.
My guess is you are having a problem with this because it is new. Most people habituate to noise like that over time. If you have a problem 1 year from now, we would have a different discussion.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:02 am
by lthenderson
Another farm boy who moved to the city for a period of time with train tracks and all kinds of other noise to contend with. After a couple weeks, I did get used to it and eventually it would be brought to my attention when visitors would point out the noise and I hadn't noticed.

Eventually I moved back out to the country and the same thing happened. The silence was deafening and uncomfortable for a week or so until I got used to it again.

The brain is a wonderful thing.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:12 am
by sbaywriter
Agree that you may or may not get used to it - give it some time, maybe even months.

I moved into a house 3-4 miles from a small airport not knowing that the plane traffic pattern was overhead the neighborhood. I found the noise of planes taking off/landing annoying. It wasn't all day long, mostly morning and evening. I put up with it. About 8 months later I realized I wasn't noticing it anymore - or when I did notice it - no longer felt annoyed.

Good luck.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:12 am
by mmmodem
I grew up in a home next to train tracks, cats meowing, dogs barking and next to the highway. I am very tolerant of noise. I often slept with toilet paper in my ear or with the TV on sleep mode to white noise me to sleep.

In college, I moved into a bedroom next to the neighbor's driveway. They had an alarm that uses the horn to arm and disarm. Every single time they went anywhere I would be shocked with a honk. I never got used to it. The walls were thin enough so that I could hear their shuffling as they walked to the car so that I could prepare for the honk and still I get shocked. I moved out of there as soon as I could.

Re: New Apartment- Moved from the city to country

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:22 am
by oxothuk
Dantes wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:19 pm
I can't imagine anyone, hearing a car alarm, think "I've got to go check that out. Maybe someone is stealing a car!".
I would pay extra for NOT having a panic alarm on my car. I find the alarm very easy to set off by mistake just having the keys in my pocket. And as you noted they are useless for their intended application.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:51 am
by barnaclebob
It depends on the noise really. Our apartment was next to a grocery store loading docks so there was always beeping from trucks early in the morning. We never got used to that but thankfully were only there 3 months. I never got used to the beeping from the trash truck at our college apartment either. Our old house was close enough to a major non interstate highway to hear it at rush hour and at night with the windows open. It wasn't too bad but was undesirable. The new house is in a quiet neighborhood aside from the train tracks which are about 300ft from my house, nearly all homes that are near the Puget sound waterfront north of Seattle have to deal with this. The trains don't blow their horns near our house and most of them aren't very loud because they aren't going fast so I don't mind it. They don't wake us up at night even with the windows open and the gentle shaking of the house is actually kind of nice at night. I swear I'm not delusional about it.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:44 pm
by 2015
Here's the obvious question: Why did you leave the country (where you were obviously happy) to go to a noisy city? I've yet to be in a large American city that I found to have sufficient amounts of peace and quiet for my taste. OTOH, cities can be places of exceptional opportunity appropriate for a particular time in life. If you came to the city for opportunity, that was probably a very smart thing to do. I would echo the old saying to make hay while the sun shines for as long as you are there.

I remained in a deafeningly loud city long after I became quite unhappy there because I knew it would be very hard to replicate the opportunities I had. I also very early on made a long term plan to leave that city. I have just recently made that dream come true and am now happily retired in paradise.

Do what you must for as long as you must. Believe me, you'll thank yourself.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:36 pm
by RickBoglehead
This is why I'll never live in a downtown.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:21 pm
by Nissanzx1
Box fans will help. Some light music may as well.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:48 pm
by finite_difference
A new apartment should be reasonably well sound proofed.

Check that your windows are actually all closed — cracked open can make a big difference.

Sleeping with earplugs in does not seem very safe.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:42 am
by likegarden
When you get older and need a hearing aid : simply do not wear your hearing aids and you have peace.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:48 am
by theplayer11
wabbajack wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:16 pm
I'm a city guy, and I sympathize with the noise - but why is it better in the country? On the occasions I have been out hiking/camping, I hear bugs humming - which can get really loud to the point that it interferes with sleep. I recommend fans or soft classical music in the background. Give it a week or two and you'll adapt.
I know you didn't mean this to be funny, but reminded me of Pesci in My Cousin Vinny.
I'll take the outdoor nature sounds over car alarms every time.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:16 am
by knightrider
White noise or a simple fan blowing should drown out most of the sounds.

There is also "brown noise" if you want to drown out somoene's subwoofer!

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:24 am
by mouses
weltschmerz wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:47 pm
1) Bose noise cancelling headphones. I had an old pair of these (QC2) from 2006, and I thought they did a good job until I recently bought a new pair of QC25. They are an amazing upgrade from my old pair. They block out almost all noise, plus you can plug into your phone to listen to music or make phone calls. I plug mine into my Roku Ultra remote control when I watch TV as well. Bose also makes the QC35, which is a wireless version.
I have Bose QC25s and they saved my sanity when very noisy new neighbors moved in. I just use them to cancel noise, not with music. They cost about $300 and worth every dime. If they seem not to be working, be sure the tiny light is showing red not green (it is controlled by a tiny power on push thing) and that you have the R marked head phone on your right ear, etc.

The sign the batteries need replacing with mine is I start hearing static.

UPDATE: to work properly the light has to be green and the R headphone on the right ear, L on left ear.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:18 am
by wabbajack
theplayer11 wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:48 am
wabbajack wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:16 pm
I'm a city guy, and I sympathize with the noise - but why is it better in the country? On the occasions I have been out hiking/camping, I hear bugs humming - which can get really loud to the point that it interferes with sleep. I recommend fans or soft classical music in the background. Give it a week or two and you'll adapt.
I know you didn't mean this to be funny, but reminded me of Pesci in My Cousin Vinny.
I'll take the outdoor nature sounds over car alarms every time.
There is a cricket in my garage. I can hear him at night from my bed. I have gassed the garage to no avail.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:26 am
by kramer
mouses wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:24 am
weltschmerz wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:47 pm
1) Bose noise cancelling headphones. I had an old pair of these (QC2) from 2006, and I thought they did a good job until I recently bought a new pair of QC25. They are an amazing upgrade from my old pair. They block out almost all noise, plus you can plug into your phone to listen to music or make phone calls. I plug mine into my Roku Ultra remote control when I watch TV as well. Bose also makes the QC35, which is a wireless version.
I have Bose QC25s and they saved my sanity when very noisy new neighbors moved in. I just use them to cancel noise, not with music. They cost about $300 and worth every dime. If they seem not to be working, be sure the tiny light is showing red not green (it is controlled by a tiny power on push thing) and that you have the R marked head phone on your right ear, etc
Just curious, are you guys sleeping with these headphones on, as well? Or is this just to mitigate daytime noises?

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:52 am
by gotester2000
I have stayed in cities most of my life and used to many types of noise. They dont bother me nor the people.
I like country life once a while on vacation.
I find it difficult to live in absolute quiet and with no people around.
If you pay attention to it, it will bother you more.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:59 am
by tennisplyr
My guess is you'll get used to it. If everything else works for you, why not stay. Maybe get a sound machine?

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:16 pm
by Duckie
wabbajack wrote:There is a cricket in my garage. I can hear him at night from my bed. I have gassed the garage to no avail.
Are you sure it's a cricket? Do you have a smoke alarm in your garage? When their batteries begin to die they can chirp occasionally for ages.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:17 pm
by Sandtrap
Bose noise cancellation headphones.
I used to travel and had to sleep in very noisy places.
Works great

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:58 pm
by mouses
kramer wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:26 am
mouses wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:24 am
weltschmerz wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:47 pm
1) Bose noise cancelling headphones. I had an old pair of these (QC2) from 2006, and I thought they did a good job until I recently bought a new pair of QC25. They are an amazing upgrade from my old pair. They block out almost all noise, plus you can plug into your phone to listen to music or make phone calls. I plug mine into my Roku Ultra remote control when I watch TV as well. Bose also makes the QC35, which is a wireless version.
I have Bose QC25s and they saved my sanity when very noisy new neighbors moved in. I just use them to cancel noise, not with music. They cost about $300 and worth every dime. If they seem not to be working, be sure the tiny light is showing red not green (it is controlled by a tiny power on push thing) and that you have the R marked head phone on your right ear, etc
Just curious, are you guys sleeping with these headphones on, as well? Or is this just to mitigate daytime noises?
i can sleep with them on if I position the headband or whatever it's called so it doesn't bother me. Sometimes the neighbors have parties until the wee hours.

Re: New Apartment, city noise

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:48 pm
by Gardener
Op here.

Apologies for the delayed response. I am appreciative of all of the comments and suggestions.

I've found myself getting more use to the noise. I love the apartment compex itself, the amenities, the people, the location.

One thing I did purchase was a white noise machine, which now I haven't really used now that I've gotten use to the noise.

Thanks again.