I have a set of logitech speakers that I use for my computer gaming/music. I tend to listen to a lot of dubstep and recently realized I was bothering my neighbors. Is there something I can do in terms of placement, or perhaps some material to put underneath my sub to help prevent the bass from traveling through the walls?
I would prefer not to turn down the bass significantly because that's where a lot of the details in dubstep are (good dub that is... lol).
Control of the sound also largely depends on whether the sound is being conducted via the building structure (e.g. an apartment) or via the air.
I'd assume there have got to be lots of articles on this in various "hi-fi" websites, but here are some ideas.
If the problem is conduction through the structure, you can try things like:
Increase the isolation of the speakers from the structure
Use acoustic dampening material between the speaker(s) and any structural surfaces (normal foam will do little to reduce acoustic noise...multiple folded blankets would do better). This will however affect what you hear AND feel as well but you still may find the resulting "flatter" bass response acceptable
Try angling each speaker output so it is not at direct right angles to structural surfaces especially if the speakers are close to a shared wall/floor/ceiling to the neighbor
Use multiple, smaller, lower-power sub-woofers placed closer to your listening location. Using multiple speakers can help distribute the mechanical impact on directly affected solid surfaces and can reduce any resonance in the structure. However, this may drastically affect the acoustic effect on the listener and considerable work may be required to position the speakers, control time delays (e.g. phasing), etc to provide acceptable performance.
Interesting question Bruce, I don't know crap about sound acoustics but wouldn't it help to build an enclosure made from styrofoam around the subwoofer?...
I'd suggest using acoustic dampening foam or thick layers of cloth/carpeting/carpet backing instead of just plain styrofoam...those worked much better for me, but it wouldn't hurt to try it. I once spent quite a bit of time experimenting at home with various "normal" foam materials (even fairly dense soft and hard foam blocks (like the type you find inside some hard drive boxes)) before and it didn't do very much. I even tried cutting the semi-rigid foam blocks to approximate the shape of acoustic anechoic chamber lining http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anechoic_chamber ...but every little bit might make the difference to the neighbors.
I moved my "office" to my basement and put the sub in the opposite corner of the neighbors.
my Elderly neighbor hasn't called the cops or came knockin on my door. Now if I could get my Wife to agree with my listening levels, Id be golden.
Odds are you are going to either have to shell out a few penny's to really dampen the sound leaving the room, or plain old turn it down. It's hard to control bass when it reverbs so much.
Perhaps talk to them about hours that they might be ok with you enjoying your music?
This situation is the exact reason I could never live in a Apt or Town home. Sharing walls with someone would get me into to much heat.
"Even Satan wouldn't use customer service as a form of punishment." - Lucas http://www.ctrlaltdel-online.com
You didn't supply the details regarding spatial orientation between your living space and your neighbor's. For example, are you living in an apartment unit, town home, single family home, high rise building, trailer, or a boat? Also if your neighbor is sharing a wall / ceiling / floor with your, are they above you, below you, or beside you? Because we don't know those information, all the suggestions are just guesses.
Also for a subwoofer, it will need not just sound proofing, but also vibration proofing. Remember when those punks with huge subwoofers in their car trunks drove pass, you don't hear much of their music, but you can feel the localized seismic activities generated by the bass.
You have the following options:
1. Invest time and money on sound proofing, if it's your own property, that is. I don't think apartments will allow you to change the building structure. Here is a good guide. http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Soundproof_a_Room
3. Generate an anti-sound wave, which will be the same amplitude and frequency as your sound wave, but exactly 180 degrees out of phase. Resulting in a total destructive interference, or in layman's terms: total silence.
4. Use the the cone of silence. Supposedly the force field (i.e. the cone) will encapsulate all your sound to yourself.
5. Buy a set of good quality earphones, max out the volume, and enjoy the music to your heart's content and to the expense of your ear drums. All the while without startling your neighbor.