Silencity

The Truth About Noise

Latest Posts

A fascinating look at “sound hunters”:

London, as You’ve Never Heard It Before.

And a question to readers: would you be interested in sound surveys of New York City?  In an effort to broaden the scope of Silencity, we hope to offer a few sound surveys of our own in the coming months.  We will keep you posted.

Technology harnessed to combat noisy neighbors in Northern Ireland:

New app targets noisy neighbours, “permits anyone with a smartphone to record and upload a snapshot of the actual noise nuisance that they are experiencing.”  While there is the possibility of the app being used as a tool of harassment, the Belfast Telegraph reports that “there are inbuilt safeguards within the technology that will provide verification to the council’s investigating officer of the recording’s authenticity and a facility to ‘block’ those who have used the app maliciously.”

Maybe U.S. cities should consider employing technology to help them monitor and respond to noise complaints.  If nothing else, it could help address the frustration suffered by those trying to lodge complaints, as a visit by the police or other authority often comes after the offensive noise has stopped.

Need some white noise to help you sleep? You’re in luck:

White Noise 7 is out, and wants to be like Instagram for restful sounds.

When the White Noise app first went live in 2008, it went from being one of the first mobile apps to go live in the Apple store to the number one app in the fitness and health category.  Eight years later and the White Noise app remains popular and now allows users to upload sounds from around the world.  White Noise 7 is ad-supported, so no cost to download.

Location ‘no longer top priority’ for Brisbane’s first home buyers.

So what is the most important factor for first home buyers looking at apartments?  Noise.

Members of the military are at higher risk of hearing injury, so this is welcome news:

U.S. Air Force to study effects of noise exposure on health.

The initial study is for a two-week period during which the Air Force “will measure all forms of noise that the soldiers are exposed to throughout their day, including sources outside of work,” but study results “will pave the way for further research to prevent hearing loss in soldiers.”

Protect your ears! Noise causes hearing loss and more:

New study finds that nearly 10% of U.S. adults experience tinnitus.

Dr. Harrison Lin, a researcher at the University of California, Irvine, notes that “the new study as well as a number of previous studies have point to noise exposure as the probable contributor to the issue.”  Think that tinnitus is just a little ringing in your ears that will go away?  Wrong.  The study reported that “[m]ore than 33 per cent of respondents reported almost constant symptoms,” and those symptoms could interfere with “thinking, emotions, hearing, sleep and concentration.”

Click the link for the full story.

Man calls police to investigate loud noise, and

it turns out to be hedgehogs having sex.  So how just how loud were these hedgehogs?  According to Metro, “[t]heir lovemaking was so passionate – and noisy – that the homeowner called police to report the mysterious ‘loud panting’ noise.”  The police quickly found the pair in flagrante delicto and the (obviously frustrated) hedgehogs scampered away upon discovery.

Amazon addresses the glaring weakness of noise-canceling headphones:

How to balance the benefit of noise cancellation with the danger of not hearing potential warning signs?

And the answer can be found in a new patent that Amazon received this month for “noise-canceling headphones that will allow critical, hand-picked words to be heard by the headphone-wearer.”  While not perfect solution, it’s a start.  Of course, the alternative solution is for government to regulate noise so that noise cancellation headphones are unnecessary, but that is sadly unlikely in our current political environment.

Not sure if this is an interesting or misguided approach to noise complaints:

Danbury debuts the “Noise Buster” to crack down on disorderly sound.

On the one hand, it will be hard to miss the “Noise Buster,” so people will be put on notice that the city intends to enforce its new noise ordinance.  On the other hand, we wonder whether the city’s new noise ordinance would survive the first law suit, given the standard the city has adopted for noise violation detection.  Namely:

Under the novel ordinance, the first of its kind in Connecticut, noise control officers and city police are authorized to use their trained ears to detect a noise violation – a technique called the plainly audible standard.

While the city wants to show that it takes noise complaints seriously, it obviously intends to encourage compliance rather than issue a spate of citations.  Among other things, fines start at $25 but only after a warning is given.  So you’ve been warned Danbury party thrower.  Keep the noise in check.