Constant Hum/Buzz; Is it From Upstairs Neighbor Subwoofer?

BaileyBear

Novice Member
*the questions I have in this post are definitely related to subwoofers and r/audiophile, the context just happens to be neighborly living. I feel this is the appropriate place to post.

Hi all,

I live in a condo building. For the 1st year I didn't hear a peep from the ceiling/upstairs neighbor. A new neighbor moved in 5 months ago and brought along his subwoofer. At first he did play bass through it loudly and it was super irritating. I talked to him and whenever he does play it is at a super faint/reasonable level to me, which I really appreciate and can live with.

However, over the last 3 months I have noticed a hum/buzz sound, originating in the part of the ceiling where the subwoofer also is. The tempo basically sounds like a washing machine. Its not painfully loud but is super distracting and irritating. It is not 24/7, but it is a constant presence, and infinitely more irritating to me more than bass music from a party he's having once every couple of weeks.

It's strange because this humming occurs all throughout the day, late at night, early in the morning, etc. My gut is that my neighbor is not literally using his subwoofer 24/7, so just trying to figure out what the cause is of this sound.

  1. Is it possible for a subwoofer to hum/buzz for hours on end, even when not in use? What would cause this?
  2. Is it possible the buzz/humming weirdly only travels downwards, and my neighbor is not even aware of this buzzing?
  3. I highly suspect this sound is subwoofer related (just putting 2 and 2 together) but I want to be really confident in my hypothesis before communicating with him again. Is it possible the sound is NOT related to the subwoofer and could be related to the heating system, gas meter, etc.?
Thanks!
 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
Subwoofers can buzz/hum when switched on but not in use. On the other hand I'm baffled by your washing machine comment as I've never heard one buzz/hum so it sounds like you may have a different sound in mind.

You know what you need to do here though. Speak with your neighbour but keep an open mind as to what the cause is.
 

BaileyBear

Novice Member
Subwoofers can buzz/hum when switched on but not in use. On the other hand I'm baffled by your washing machine comment as I've never heard one buzz/hum so it sounds like you may have a different sound in mind.

You know what you need to do here though. Speak with your neighbour but keep an open mind as to what the cause is.
thanks for the reply! maybe hum/buzz is the wrong word. I would say disregard that. It really more sounds like a washing machine.

To clarify one of my above questions, would subwoofer owners themselves be able to hear any defective sounds?

I can definitely tell and appreciate that my neighbor does actively keep the subwoofer at a very low level when he is playing music. So I do want to logically assume that if he was hearing this buzzing sound as well, he would be proactively doing something about it.

But I do know bass travels in all sorts of weird ways. So is it possible this sound solely travels downwards, and my neighbor could be unaware of it? Thanks.
 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
Have you considered that your neighbour has a noisy washing machine?

(I doubt the cause is a subwoofer.)
 

fatboy frank

Distinguished Member
Could it be a noisy Air conditioner unit?
 

BaileyBear

Novice Member
@Ultrasonic just curious why you doubt its a subwoofer? The sound would actually be a lot more mentally tolerable to me if it is from a home appliance, HVAC system, rather than human ignorance/ lack of self-awareness.

I will say I'm not sure its a washing machine bc it does occur daily, at both morning and late at night. Not sure why someone would wash their clothes that much.

@fatboy frank yes I have considered it is from an AC/HVAC system. I started hearing this sound around October, which is when alot of people would start really using their heater systems.

One of the reasons I've kept to myself on this particular noise is bc part of me is really hoping it is related to AC/HVAC and come spring it will go away.
 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
@Ultrasonic just curious why you doubt its a subwoofer?
Because of your description of the noise.

As I said in my first post, the only way for you to progress this is to speak with your neighbour, keeping an open mind what the cause may be.
 

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