I live in an apartment that share walls with the apartments of a few neighbours, with whom I'm generally not chatty. I like to listen to music (without earphones) and more importantly sing in the shower, but I don't want to disturb them. How can I determine if I am being too loud without having to constantly run next door to ask "can you hear me now?" In other words, how can I make sure I'm not being heard by my neighbours?


  • I want to do my stuff as loudly as possible while still making sure that my neighbours can't hear me (in order not to bother them and maintain my privacy).
  • When singing or listeing to music, I always close the windows and doors of the room I'm in (and they are in good condition).
  • I never do these loud activities in a room that directly shares walls with a neighbour's apartment.
  • I am not only concerned with neighbours on the sides, but also the ones above and below my apartment too.

Note about edits: This question was heavily edited several times (sorry!) and is very different from when I first worded it. Thanks @RobertCartaino for brilliantly helping me figure out what really was my own question. The answer by @ZeissIkon was posted before all those edits (thank you very much for answering, I'm happy that you received some upvotes).

At first, I thought that my problem was to determine what is the "loudness threshold" of my apartment, i.e., the limit beyond which my neighbours could hear me; knowing that, I could make sure that I always stayed below that limit. Yes, determining that would certainly work for me, but I realized now that this would be an example of the XY problem. In fact, what I need is any clever way to make sure I'm not heard, not necessarily this complicated one that I was thinking of.

  • I assume you don't want to break into their apartments and plant listening devices which you can then use to determine whether they can hear you or not... ;-)
    – Michael
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 19:33

1 Answer 1


Best way I can suggest: ask. Ask the ones on your floor closest to your shower; ask the ones above and below your apartment.

If they don't know offhand, they probably aren't being bothered by it. If they hem and haw, they probably are. If they fetch a shotgun, well -- they probably won't.

Another clue -- if you can hear them, they can hear you. If you hear bedroom noises or bathroom noises from your neighbors, it's a cinch they can hear them from you, so act accordingly.


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