How Late Can You Play Loud Music? Noise Control Act in the U.S. & U.K

How late can you play loud music? That’s a common question almost everyone living in a noisy neighborhood often asks me. To be specific, some users ask, is it illegal to play loud music after 11 pm?

Well, my answer has always been; it depends on the laws in your area. But in most cases, there are strict laws that dictate how loud you can be between 11 pm and 7 am.

In most countries, U.S & U.K, there are set rules that regulate the noise levels that shouldn’t be exceeded.

The Noise Act 1996 and the Common Law of Nuisance are a few of the guidelines set by the United Kingdom government to protect its citizens against “loud” neighbors. In the U.S., it falls under the Noise Control Act.

How Loud is Too Loud?

If you lack the tools to determine how loud is too loud, I will show you a common-sense approach in this case.

Step outside your house when your stereo is on and listen. If you can hear your radio from outside, then the chances are that you’re wreaking havoc to your neighbors with your loud stereo.

Sound is measured in decibels. A 10dB increase is the same as doubling the volume level. But how will you know if the noises from your stereo are above the set laws?

How Late Can You Play Loud Music

Below is a simple experiment:

Stand approximately 3 feet away from your friend and do the following:

  • For noises less than 70 decibels, you can hold a normal conversation without raising your volume.
  • For 70-90 decibels, you’ll only be able to talk with your friend with voices raised
  • 90-100 decibels you’ll only be able to communicate with your friend by shouting loudly
  • Above 105 dB it’ll be impossible to communicate with your friend

How does Loud Music/Noise Impact the Body and Soul?

Hearing loss is irreversible. Not only will loud noises affect your hearing capability.

Science has shown that unwanted noise can cause the secretion of stress hormones, which results in increased blood pressure.

As a result, the affected person will be aggressive when interacting with people. It’ll also increase the risks of stroke, heart attack, and tinnitus.

How Late Can You Play Loud Music? What to Do When a Neighbor Is Playing Loud Music?

Nothing is irritating like a noisy neighbor playing loud music when it’s for bed. (After 11 pm).

Not only does it affect your sleep, but also likely disrupts your next day’s schedule and affect your health negatively. (Source)

Below are different techniques to deal with a noisy neighbor:

1. Talk to your neighbor

How Late Can You Play Loud Music

The first important step before doing anything else is to talk to your neighbors. In my article on how to annoy upstairs neighbors, I elaborate on the factors to consider before approaching your neighbor and how to talk approach them.

Knock at their doors at the appropriate time and let them know that they’re noisy.

An understanding and the caring neighbor will gladly accept his mistake, apologize, and keep the noise down.

If the neighbor doesn’t comply, below are more techniques on how to deal with the noise problem.

2. Call the Cops

If the situation gets out of hand or you spot that your neighbors could be aggressive and may result in a physical altercation, it’s time to call the cops.

The cops will be more than happy to issue a word of warning to your neighbors and probably get noise levels down.

It’s important to note that while the cops will ask your noisy neighbors to turn the music down, the police don’t have prosecution powers for noise offenses. And some neighbors may choose to ignore them.

However, the cops based in cities have the power to take action on certain days when the noise is a nuisance, such as Friday and Saturday nights. Check out with your local police website to see if they have powers to prosecute when it comes to loud music.

How Late Can You Play Loud Music

3. Ear protection

If you have no interest in reporting your neighbors and don’t want to speak to them about the noise problem, you should get some hear protection to protect you against hearing loss.

Sleeping earmuffs will protect you from loud noises and allow you to have a good night’s sleep without unnecessary interruptions.

4.  Soundproof your House

DIY soundproofing is a simple technique to prevent sound from leaving or entering your house. It works either through sound absorption or sound blocking. Below are the different ways on how you can soundproof your home.

·  Soundproof the doors and windows

Soundproofing curtains and acoustic blankets are the most effective and simple to achieve window and door soundproofing materials.

The basic principle in soundproofing is that- the more the mass, the better. Noise-canceling curtains and blankets are made of heavy, dense fabric that helps in sound absorption.

An excellent example of soundproofing curtains and blankets for windows and doors are NICETOWN 3 Pass Microfiber Noise Reducing curtains and Audimute Sound Absorption Sheet Sound – Dampening Blanket.

Because noise can be travel through air (airborne noise), you should also seal all the gaps and cracks on the windows and doors.

Use a soundproofing weatherstrip to seal the gaps between the window and the window frame. In addition, use a good door sweeper to seal the gap between the door and the floor.

Green glue sealant is also an excellent option to seal cracks on the door and the walls of your house. It works by converting sound energy into heat energy.

Don’t be scared because the heat energy is negligible and won’t burn down your house.

·  Soundproof the walls

Use acoustic foam panels to soundproof the room. These panels are mainly used for music studios and will absorb both impact and airborne noise.

If you’re worried that sound from your home theater will cause unwanted disturbances to your neighbors, better attach some foam panels to the walls.

Some of the most recommended acoustic foam panels include Foamily 12 Pack and Mybecca 12 PACK Acoustic Foam Wedge Soundproofing Wall Tiles.

Final Thoughts on How Late Can You Play Loud Music

Living in a noisy neighborhood can be a nuisance. Fortunately, there are practical ways on how you can deal with noise problems from your neighbors.

However, I would advise you to talk to them in person before you take any other measures. You may be surprised you’ve been a noisy neighbor as well.

Your early morning blending could be the reason they are unleashing “revenge” on you. In most cases, they may never be aware they’re too loud.