Jill Chodorov Kaminsky, a licensed real estate agent writing for The Washington Post, looks at the “noise-v.-walkability trade-off.” Kaminsky states that while “[w]aking up in a city that never sleeps is an exhilarating and romantic notion,” the reality–screaming sirens and honking horns at night, deafening construction noises all day–leaves something to be desired. But despite all the noise that comes with the urban experience, living in a city has never been more popular. Why? Walkability is the main reason that millennials give for preferring city living, but older Americans who are downsizing are also leaving the suburbs for city centers.
What can you do if you want to live in the big city? Kaminstky offers this word of advice: “[d]on’t think that you are going to move to the city and then win the fight against noise.” So what does she suggest? Her number one suggestion is this: look up. Whether buying or renting, higher floors are quieter. To see all of Kaminsky’s suggestions, click the link above.
Nine sources of noise that will damage your house’s value. Emmie Martin, Business Insider, writes about a recent study by Realtor.com that “calculated the price difference between homes within a certain radius of nine major noise factors — including airports, highways, and emergency rooms — and the median price of homes in the rest of that ZIP code.” Click the link to see how noise effects house prices. There isn’t much prose, but the slider makes it clear that noise matters when you are buying or selling your home.
The Best White Noise Apps & Sites. Lisa Poisso, Techlicious, reviews websites and apps offering pink noise generators for better sleep as well as options to enhance concentration and focus when you are adrift in a sea of noise.
Of course, one would hope that governments would think about how best to limit noise after reading that frightening study. The medical costs alone should be enough to motivate even the most dispassionate bean counter. But until they do, we really must take matters into our own hands and try to make our homes as peaceful and noise free as possible.
Because there isn’t enough noise in the world. Goldstein, a “music and sound consultancy with an outstanding track record in film, advertising, experiential marketing and sound branding,” writes about sound branding. What is sound branding, you ask? Goldstein explains:
There is a common misconception that the term Sound Branding refers only to the creation of ‘sonic logos’ or ‘sound signatures’. While these elements undoubtedly played a significant part in developing the field, it has expanded into something much richer and more valuable than a synonym for jingle-making. In its totality, it’s about the strategic curation of anything that can be usefully heard by a target audience – this could be a bespoke composition for an interactive product, the playlisting for a chain of hotels, or even an installation of generative sound art for a department store.
We would suggest a simpler–and more accurate–definition: the purposeful intrusion into an individual’s’ personal soundscape by someone trying to sell them something. Adding that the idea of companies competing by employing sound branding could quickly spiral into hell on earth in public spaces.
you could have hidden hearing loss (and not know it). WMAR Baltimore reports on hidden hearing loss, a relatively recently discovered hearing breakthrough that explains how people who pass hearing tests have problems hearing in noisy environments. WMAR interviewed audiologists about this breakthrough, who said that “why patients can’t decipher speech in noisy situations has been unexplained, but a new breakthrough is changing that.” The researchers who made the hidden hearing loss breakthrough studied young adults who were regularly overexposed to loud sounds, and found that “hidden hearing loss is associated with a deep disorder in the auditory system.”
It’s never too late to protect the hearing you have. Exposure to loud sounds damages hearing. Period.
Orosound’s ‘noise-managing’ earphones hush unwanted sounds. While we appreciate tech startups that focus how we can manage noisy environments, we can’t help but to point out the obvious: Instead of developing gadgets that allow people to limit the noise invading their personal soundscape, why not limit the noise at its source? Just a thought.
Until that happens–in our lifetimes, one hopes–we will report on the products and services you can use to keep unwanted sound at bay and control the soundscape of your slice of the world.