Can You Use a Subwoofer in an Apartment?

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Being an audiophile and renting an apartment at the same time is quite difficult. Loud sound can be a problem in and of itself when it comes to apartment living.

I’ve seen neighbors become irritated when they learn that their new neighbor is a music enthusiast.

Imagine how loud a subwoofer can be; your neighbors will probably complain to the police, who will then probably come to your door every day for loud noise complaints.

But let’s be honest for a second, a subwoofer can produce some really powerful impact; the rumbling it produces makes it sound like an earthquake, and the bass frequencies can really transmit some serious sound waves.

Is it impolite and disliked to install a subwoofer in your apartment? Probably yes. Is it possible to make a subwoofer operate in an environment where you and your neighbors are both happy? Probably, yes as well.

We will go into more detail about whether you can use a subwoofer in your apartment in today’s article. So make sure you read all the way to the conclusion.


Setting Up The Subwoofer In Your Apartment Building

While doing so is highly discouraged, I will try my best to allow you to conceal your subwoofer in your apartment.

Engage Your Neighbor through Friendly Conversation

I always tell people to put themselves in other people’s situations. For example, consider how frustrating it would be if you weren’t a musician yourself and your neighbor was playing loud music right next to you.

We can’t really blame them, so I would strongly propose talking to your neighbor about how they would feel about the noise before you start looking for a way to “cheat” your way with your subwoofer.

You never know; your next-door neighbor might genuinely enjoy hearing your loud sound, or perhaps they rarely live close to you and drop in just from time to time.

The worst situation is having a neighbor who is intolerant of everything. However, if you speak to him before turning on your subwoofer, you might be able to calm him down enough that he won’t at the very least contact the police.

Those individuals, oh my gosh, they never change and are difficult to satisfy.

Anyhow, the best way to begin your path of installing your subwoofer in your apartment would be to reach an understanding with your neighbor.


The Most Ground-Level Apartment

If you are lucky enough to get an apartment on the lowest floor which I hardly doubt, you will avoid all the conflicts possible with your neighbor.

However, keep in mind that, depending on the condition of the walls and the positioning of your setup, subwoofers can very easily annoy individuals next to you.
The majority of noise complaints will come from the person below you. It’s better to bother one neighbor than the entire building, right?

If no one is nearby, you may try positioning your sound system in a corner; however, avoid doing so in the center because you’ll frighten the living crap out of the neighbor below you; some subwoofers can get really loud and the rumble effect is a bit terrifying to hear in the middle of the night.


You Can Decouple The Subwoofer From The Ground

Since the apartment on the ground floor also didn’t work, you are stuck living with a neighbor below you.

No worries, I got just the solution for that too; getting a decouple.

Simply explained, decoupling is a technique that will cut your subwoofer’s connection to the ground, causing it to stop rumbling.

Decouple is a tool that you can purchase and it comes in many types, but still, it does the same thing. It will increase the distance to provide less space for vibrations.
This might not give you the bass shakes you always wanted from your subwoofer but at least it will stop the cops from knocking at your door.

The rubber feet decouple is the most favorable one, but other types will do the job just fine too.


Soundproofing and Brick or Concrete Walls

Old flats appeal to me not just for their classic appearance but also for their quality of construction.

If you are fortunate enough to live in an apartment with brick and concrete walls, you have some degree of soundproofing and can play your subwoofer loudly.

You should be aware that those apartments typically cost more, though.

On the other hand, the newer ones are constructed so flimsily that you can even hear your neighbors’ darkest secrets, let alone them hear your subwoofer rumbling.

For the same reason, you might also think about installing bass traps in the room’s corners if you have the money.
The audio quality will deteriorate if the bass is acoustically “trapped” in corners and improperly boosted by the flooring. You will still hear a sub bass sound without it shaking the apartment.

So yes, bass traps are something to think about.


Isolation Pads

As I mentioned above, soundproofing your ceiling is also a way, but it can cost some money, so we would rather go with what I think is the best solution so far, and that’s putting in pads.

You place isolation pads below the subwoofer, and as their name indicates, they will greatly reduce the vibration and absorb stray bass waves that go through the floor and to your neighbor.

Just note that they will also vary based on your apartment structure and the quality of the isolation pads. Yes, they come in different sizes and shapes. Make sure you get the best ones.


Lower The Volume

Well, I might get hated for this or someone might say, duh, but yeah, you can simply lower the volume of your subwoofer.

By placing your subwoofer correctly and keeping it at a balanced sound, you will be able to enjoy your subwoofer while your neighbor won’t be bothered. I am well aware that you won’t get the same experience of it being as loud as possible, but still, it’s better than not having it at all, right?


Final Words

So this pretty much concludes everything. I tried my very best to share what I know about how to get your subwoofer working in your apartment.

But as my parting words to you, please always be a good neighbor.

I am not talking only about subwoofers but even other things in general. Finding a middle ground with your neighbors will result in a much more enjoyable life in your apartment. Life is too short to be on bad terms with your neighbors and give each other the cold shoulder.

Hopefully, this article on Can You Use a Subwoofer in an Apartment provided you with useful information; until next time, take care.


Further Reading

As this article included subwoofers, let me guys mention for you some other things that you should know! In case you own a Yamaha RXV683 subwoofer, you can find out why it isn’t working, or, if there is a popping noise, you can find out where it comes from.

As I mentioned volume above, you are probably wondering whether loud music can damage any speaker, right? I bet so! However, you may know that speakers, in general, have magnets, what do magnets do on a subwoofer? Check them out!

Melissa Peterkin
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