Archive for the ‘Sound Reduction’ Category

Those Areas Need Soundproofing: Living in Noisy London

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019

Living in London, and even Greater London can be a fairly noisy experience. The city itself never seems to sleep, let alone settle down, and so those living within it are either used to the noise or will have to do so pretty soon. Between the constant sound of traffic, the relentless roadworks and the general cacophony of voices, London is undeniably, and sometimes overwhelmingly loud; so where’s a person to go if they want some peace and quiet?

Here at NNM Soundproofing, we appreciate the need for a quiet space, whether it’s a home or an office, which is why we’ve looked into where noise is hardest to ignore in London. Some reports, such as Barratt Homes’ crowdsourced data and a BBC documentary featuring hearing expert Dr Joe Sollini, has gone far enough to say that some areas (especially those alone Tube lines) would need people to wear noise-cancelling earbuds not to live in discomfort.

These studies go into rather impressive detail for each borough, with various reasons for why such loud noises or surprising silence is prevalent in each area. For those thinking of moving in or to London or whether you just need some stats to justify soundproofing your home, take a look at what our research has revealed and where, within London and Greater London, truly is loudest to live.

NMN Soundproofing London Soundproofing Quietest Areas in London

  1. <55 Decibels

Boroughs This Loud: Sutton, Tower Hamlets

Sound Comparison: A conversation at home.

Why Are They This Loud?: Some may be surprised that Tower Hamlets, being close to London City Airport, train stations and Tube links, rates so low in average decibels, but it’s the word average that’s vital to remember. The average decibels come from the lull and quiet locals experience during the weekend, as most of the noise stems from commuters.

Would it Need Soundproofing?: Probably not, unless the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty behind Sutton is filled with the sound of too many bird calls for your liking.

NMN Soundproofing London Soundproofing 2

  1. 55-60 Decibels

Boroughs This Loud: Bromley, Croydon, Ealing, Kingston upon Thames, Southwark, Waltham Forest

Sound Comparison: The ambience in a fairly busy restaurant.

Why Are They This Loud?: Boroughs such as Bromley and Croydon back on to the North Downs, an area of natural beauty that seldom sees the traffic of busy city centre boroughs. Others, such as Kingston upon Thames, have plenty of calm residential areas and roads compared to louder boroughs too, explaining why they’re placed on the quieter end of the spectrum. This can be explained by how high the bar is for people living there; with homes being more commonly mansions than houses.

Would it Need Soundproofing?: Unless you’re planning on opening a music studio that only records during rush hour, you’re probably safe without soundproofing.

NMN Soundproofing London Soundproofing 3

  1. 60-65 Decibels

Boroughs This Loud: Barnet, Camden, Greenwich, Hackney, Havering, Lewisham, Merton, Wandsworth

Sound Comparison: An incredibly busy office.

Why Are They This Loud?: The east of London is where decibels start to rise and become middle-of-the-road levels of noisy. Not literally, of course, but there are more roads and train stations commonly in these boroughs and they’re more commonly travelled on and through than their southern counterparts. Houses are also cheaper in these areas, which means they’ll be more heavily populated and thus noisier.

Would it Need Soundproofing?: Homes will still be havens of moderate levels of noise but offices and businesses might start to feel a benefit from the likes of resilient bars and soundproofed floors. 

NMN Soundproofing London Soundproofing 4

  1. 65-70 Decibels

Boroughs This Loud: Barking & Dagenham, Brent, City of London, Haringey, Hillingdon, Kensington & Chelsea, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond upon Thames, Westminster 

Sound Comparison: An active vacuum cleaner.

Why Are They This Loud?: The noisier areas of London would naturally include the city of London itself, as well as busy boroughs like Westminster, and the high concentration of apartments and businesses will always result in louder, more frequent noises. These boroughs are also surrounded by equally busy, or busier, boroughs with high populations, which means the noise has nowhere else to go.

Would it Need Soundproofing?: This is when soundproofing will seem more appealing to homes, especially purchased apartments. Soundproofed walls can keep the sounds of London, and her many citizens, at bay and grant some extra tranquillity in the home.

NMN Soundproofing London Soundproofing 5

  1. 70-75 Decibels

Boroughs This Loud: Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Hounslow, Lambeth

Sound Comparison: A car passing on the motorway.

Why Are They This Loud?: It’s common for problems with densely populated areas to be loud, just because so many people are living their lives. Plenty of reports attribute noise pollution in these boroughs to anything from mundane reasons like dogs barking to business-related, such as active machinery.

Would it Need Soundproofing?: Those either living or working in these areas would undeniably benefit from soundproofing. Utilising soundproofing foam, soundproofing floors and soundproofing walls could make a real difference in either homes or offices.

NVM Soundproofing London Soundproofing 6

  1. 75-80> Decibels

Boroughs This Loud: Bexley, Enfield, Islington

Sound Comparison: A noisy food blender.

Why Are They This Loud?: The loudest boroughs in London can likely be attributed to a high population, though this isn’t the only reason for just high levels of noise pollution. Some areas, such as Islington, is renowned for being popular party spots, with some reports blaming an increasing trend of Airbnbs for the noise. One even stated that someone managed to hire a one-bed flat for a 200 person strong rave (complete with a DJ and a bouncer) which speak volumes about how bad the problem can be in these boroughs.

Would it Need Soundproofing?: It depends on how bad rush hour is, how well you’ve adapted to the noise and, frankly, how bad your neighbours are, but generally, it seems like soundproofing would provide incredible benefits. This may be true even if you wouldn’t have thought the problem was so bad; soundproofing might provide an incredible contrast! So, offices? Yes. Homes? Yes. Doghouses? Probably yes as well. 

The contrasts between boroughs can be shocking, with stats showcasing as large a divide as a whisper like 26 decibels (roughly 16 times the average of London as a whole) in Kingston’s Bushy Park and the roaring 77.2 decibels recorded as an average in Islington. The variations in noise levels are almost as diverse as the population of London itself, so you’re sure to have a completely different take on whether you think soundproofing is worthwhile or not!

Do you live in any of these noisy areas? Does the average decibel level surprise you? Tell us about how you find life living and working in London in the comments below, and be sure to keep up with the rest of our news and articles!

Why more and more couples are soundproofing their rooms

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

In a world where privacy is becoming harder and harder to achieve, it is not surprising that more and more couples are deciding to soundproof their homes. Throughout the country apartment blocks and houses are on the rise, meaning we are now living in much closer proximity to each other. With more apartments comes more noise. It is easy to talk about why you should soundproof your home because of a noisy neighbour, but, what if you are the noisy neighbour? Unfortunately, in a lot of modern buildings, it is very easy to become noisy without knowing it thanks to thin floors and walls. As couples move into their new homes they understandably want to keep their privacy private and don’t want their neighbours to hear any noises they might be making. Some of the reasons for couples soundproofing may be a little obvious but some may surprise you, so here are some of the main reasons why this happens.


What soundproofing can do for your home office

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

We’ve all been there – having to bring work home just so you can put the final pieces together and tie projects off. Whilst the idea of working at home can seem like a dream, there are also disadvantages to it. The main one being noise. (more…)

The best noise cancelling headphones of 2015

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

If you have read any of our previous posts, you’ll know that background noise in the office can be really distracting and ruin productivity. So we’ve talked a lot about plugging headphones in and listening to ambient sound. We haven’t discussed the headphones you should choose though. (more…)

How does soundproofing work?

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

We have talked a lot about the benefits of soundproofing here on our blog, but we have never delved too deep into how soundproofing actually works. And we think that the more you understand the science behind the art of soundproofing, the better chance you have of putting it into practice in your own space. (more…)

How to soundproof a room

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Home is our place for peace and quiet; a space to relax and wind down after a hard day’s work. But your teenage son’s drumming and your daughters flute practice is cutting through that quiet and not just driving you up the wall, but your neighbours too. (more…)

How to make your office a more productive environment

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Many businesses when trying to increase productivity look at the individual people within their employment. What training can you give or incentives can you offer to make them a more productive force? (more…)

How to deaden sound in your office

Monday, October 6th, 2014

A noisy office can quickly kill productivity and cause stress amongst your team. And no matter how many rules you put in place, there’s always going to be noise in your office.


Five reasons to sound proof your home office

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Anyone who works from home knows that there are a lot of potential distractions. And the biggest of those distractions is noise; the kids playing in the room next door, the teenager next door learning the drums, the TV upstairs – how are you ever going to get anything done with all that noise?


Simple tips to deaden sound in your home

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Whether you’re in an apartment or a house, renting or owning, there are simple ways to deaden sound that will block noise from neighbours, block noise from your apartment travelling to surrounding apartments or block noise from different areas of your home.