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post #1 of 3 Old 09-12-2015, 11:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Question Buying TV With Neighbors Ears In Mind

I am buying a flat screen TV and possibly some kind of speaker set. My goal is to have a system that won't disturb my touchy neighbors. My Living room is about a 14x14 square carpeted room with only 2 walls that can potentially be used to hold an entertainment system. One wall is shared with, effectively, my neighbors bedroom and is a poor sound buffer. The other is against my bedroom and is opposite the shared wall.

What is the best way to isolate the noise from my neighbor? So far, the only concrete thing I've read from these forums on this topic is that it is bad to mount anything that produces sound on shared walls.

Here are my thoughts on potential setups. Due to the layout of my place, it would probably look best if the TV was mounted on the shared wall with the couch against the non-shared wall.
  1. TV on stand against shared wall; sound from tv speakers only.
  2. TV mounted against shared wall; soundbar on thin stand just off wall.
  3. TV mounted on shared wall, speakers on end tables near non-shared wall. Is this even possible without completely ruining sound quality? Can you "ceiling mount" speakers above to point down?
  4. TV mounted on non-shared wall; tv speakers.
  5. TV mounted on non-shared wall; soundbar off wall. Given that I'm really just trying to reduce noise pollution, I'm guessing this wouldn't be any better than the previous setup in the list.

This thread had some thought on it but really just conjecture and no results.

Previously, I asked the question here and got a couple of good responses, but this was before I had the option of going on either side of the room. As well, I hadn't thought of putting the speakers on the opposite side of the room as the TV, again, as long as that won't completely ruin the sound.

The big question here is, is it better for speakers to be on the non-shared wall and directing sound toward the shared wall or near the shared wall directing sound toward the non-shared wall? Keep in mind that neither I nor my regular visitors need to watch anything super loud or bassy.

Last edited by ChadwickVM; 09-12-2015 at 11:44 PM.
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post #2 of 3 Old 09-15-2015, 08:27 AM
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I would think you would want speakers on a wall as far away from the shared wall as possible. Think about it, sound is going to be louder the closer you are to the speaker itself. A sound bar is probably your best bet and I would not even consider a subwoofer.
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post #3 of 3 Old 09-15-2015, 11:44 AM
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There's a common misconception that the sound we hear from adjacent wall neighbors is conducted through the speakers' physical coupling to room surfaces such that mounting the speakers on a rubber/soft silicone base might help. This is primarily incorrect. It is the sound waves in their room striking the common wall surface we share with them which vibrates as any diaphragm does. The goal is to minimize the sound that strikes that surface by:

A) adding distance
B) not aiming your speakers' strongest output side, the front, directly at that surface but instead away from that surface.*
C) making the wall surface heavy and sound absorbing, say by hanging a heavy rug on it or filling the wall with a dense, heavy material.

*Unfortunately the sound which most easily migrates from one room to the next, through walls, is largely the bass and the output of most speakers is almost uniform in all directions regarding the bass; it is mostly the highs which you redirect when aiming a speaker, not the lows.

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there IS no concept of "accounting for personal taste/preference". As art consumers we don't "pick" the level of bass, nor the tint/brightness of a scene's sky, any more than we pick the ending of a novel or Mona Lisa's type of smile. "High fidelity" means "high truthfulness", faithful to the original artist's intent: an unmodified, neutral, accurate copy of the original master, ideally being exact and with no discernable alterations, aka "transparency".

Last edited by m. zillch; 09-15-2015 at 11:48 AM.
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