Is your noisy upstairs neighbor a pain in the neck? Can you not get a good night’s sleep even with a white noise machine on the bedside?
Is it okay to capture noisy neighbors’ late-night “loud” conversations and even incessant fighting?
We have a solution for you!
Capture and save your loud neighbors’ disrespectful behavior with digital recorders that even their whispers can’t escape.
Find out more about how to record noisy neighbors for evidence.
Is it legal to record the noises your neighbors make inside your residence?
The neighbor dispute goes a long way, especially if your noisy neighbor has a domestic problem to deal with and realizing another conflict will eventually arise because one neighbor reports its home being a noise nuisance.
Whatever you do inside your residence is your prerogative, as long as you don’t breach your neighbor’s privacy. If they sense you are recording them, you will be in a spotlight that will make you try to invade their privacy.
Often apartment units have shared walls, and it is no intended to hear shouting and excessive noise issues on the other side of the wall.
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Unless the wall is soundproof and has acoustic panels, the noise level that comes from the other side will become a noise disturbance.
If you aim to have that recording as a file in case you want to file a noise complaint, that recording will serve as proof that your neighbors are a nuisance.
If it is heard, you can assume that it is in public. And your act of recording is inside your home; nobody would know what you were doing.
Pro tip: It is your right to record but to report is another thing.
When looking for the best noise recorder, the range is essential in the recorder you are using.
Since the person is not inside your home, there are sound barriers or soundproofing between you and the neighbor next door.
So, a voice recorder that can capture loud conversations and airborne noise feet away is a good buy. Hence, audio quality falls second among the factors to look at.
What will suffice is you get those disturbing conversations right there on your compact device for noisy neighbors!
Unless you are a music enthusiast or a recording artist, you would want to dig in more on the science between a condenser microphone and a dynamic microphone.
But for the sake of understanding the function of your voice recorder, you must know the basics.
Your sound recorder usually has a built-in microphone. This tiny device is a significant player in capturing the sound you want to record.
If in your case, you have a noisy neighbor that you want to report, it is best to use a voice recorder with a built-in dynamic microphone.
Since the loud voices are intense sounds, it is like capturing a live performance in a live setting.
The most precise quality of a dynamic microphone is as follows:
- Can withstand high sound pressure
- Ideal for loud sounds and live settings
- The most typical microphone in live performances
- Omnidirectional — Can capture sound in all directions
A condenser microphone is the opposite of a dynamic microphone. It is appropriate for quieter sounds and greater frequencies. An example of this is a bassy voice.
Condenser microphones are highly sensitive and are focused on more delicate sounds, which disqualify them from capturing noisy neighbors in the next room.
These microphones are used in recording studios and classified as cardioid, which capture the sound in front of it.
Recording quality is one factor you have to look up when buying a recording device. It’s useless to have a device that poorly captures sound anyway.
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No matter how efficient your voice recorder produces sound, adjust your environment in certain ways:
- Get a voice recorder with a built-in dynamic microphone
- Get nearer to the neighbor’s noise
- Get rid of background noise coming from your room
Yes, your recorder is fully functional and highly efficient. But with complicated buttons and controls, you would probably miss small details when trying to capture outside noise, such as noisy tenants.
You will be wasting your time by scrambling where the playback or record button is. You will lose the accuracy and precision in noise recording.
That’s why to choose the recording device with easy access buttons, intuitive, and user-friendly. As they should come in handy, access buttons should also be that way.
As important as any tech device, a warranty protects you, the customer, against fraud in the declaration of features. If the device doesn’t work as advertised and expected, you can have it replaced or run after the seller for poor product delivery.
Pro tip: Omnidirectional mics are great when you are looking to get the sound of the instrument/voice and the room’s sounds. Omnidirectional means the microphone captures sound from all around it, and cardioid only captures sound directly in front of it.
1. EVISTR 16GB Digital Voice Recorder
An audio recording device in the palm of your hand, complete with easy buttons, play, rewind, fast-forward, and Omni-directional that captures the sound to record.
More Features and Benefits:
- Digital voice recorder, providing you with modern-day technology in capturing sound.
- Dynamic noise cancellation, like fan sounds, leaves out the unnecessary sound and offers crystal sharp and clear audio records.
- Multiple format file recording and saving — MP3 and WAV, giving you no hassle in reformatting to adapt to specific formats
- USB connection for easy file sharing and transferring
- Convenient file management — Easy sorting of file records through timestamp
- Handy and easy to carry and slip into a pocket for use on different occasions: meetings, lectures, interviews, and neighbor’s noise capturing
2. Zoom H6 All Black (2020 Version) 6-Track Portable Recorder
Best for podcasts, filmmaking, and music.
It is built with advanced ports and with interchangeable capsules for optimum delivery of high-definition audio.
More Features and Benefits:
- Combo jacks/lines — Allow you to send audio to your video cam whale monitoring through headphones using the headphone jack.
- USB and SD card — More options for data transfer and storage
- Gain control (volume)
- Digital display for convenient file monitoring and management
- With a battery life of more than 20 hours, even during continuous recording
- Record MP3 and WAV format for ultra HD audio
- The detachable capsule is perfect for all live stereo recordings and compatible with all Zoom input capsules.
3. Sony ICD-PX370 Mono Digital Voice Recorder
Sleek, a small but powerful USB voice recorder, this small wonder works on two triple-A batteries with incredible 57 hours of battery life and is excellent for extended recording activity!
All you can get are crisp, clear recordings and reduced ambient noise. Just turn on the “auto voice recording” features to capture vocal frequencies. Clear voice technology is best for conversations!
More Features and Benefits:
- Conveniently record audio in MP3 format in no time at all. No waste of time.
- With built-in, direct USB connection, leaving out the hassle of wires
- Directly attach to PC or laptop for data transfer and file management
- Super handy, classic look but work wonders for a lower price
- Micro SD is expandable up to 32GB for more data and memory usage, which is equivalent to 536 hours
4. 32GB Digital Voice Recorder for loud neighbors
The EVIDA digital voice recorder works best in recording voices with its decibel-level configuration. It is excellent for setting the loudness when recording, no matter the dB level is the captured sound.
Isolates only on talking voice, and reduce blank and whispering snippets with its upgrade noise-canceling capability.
More Features and Benefits:
- With 32Gb internal memory, more than spacious to store saved audio files, which translates to a 10,000 songs capacity!
- It has a versatile port in type-C for super-fast charging and super convenient file transfer
- The device is password protected with huge saved files to prevent a data breach.
- Compact and handy that can be slipped in the pocket any time of the day!
- It can be used as a voice recorder, USB flash drive, and an Mp3 player.
- Excellent for types of people that are on the go and have no time to take down notes! students, teachers, seniors, business people, writers, and bloggers
5. Digital Voice Activated Recorder by Dictopro
Dictopro’s digital voice-activated recording may look like your conventional voice recorder but has a unique quality. It has a dual mic for ultra-sensitive voice capturing with 700 hours of recording.
More Features and Benefits:
- Direct file transfer to Mac and PC using a USB cable
- Comes with a flashy LCD color display compact but sturdy aluminum body for better portability
- Crystal clear recording even if the subject is 40 feet away–perfect for any noise problem and nuisance noise that captures discreet but disturbing conversations from your annoying neighbor!
- Fashionably white, making it easy to find
- Voice-activated (operated) recording–means you can preset the record button by going into the configuration settings.
Will you be able to record the noise from multiple spots in the flat?
It’s possible, but it depends on where you’re at in the flat and the source of noise you are trying to capture. This sounds a little tricky because you will be dealing with scattered sounds.
If your goal is to record your noisy neighbor, the room’s setup will impact the quality of your recording.
If, for example, the room’s walls have sound dampening materials on them, they will muffle the sound coming from the other room. In such a case, you may need to find the perfect spot where the noise is more audible.
Voice recorders with dynamic noise cancellation can give you crystal clear recordings because they eliminate unnecessary ambient sounds.
How to make apartment noise complaints?
Noise disturbances can be put to an end by filing a complaint. But to whom? And how?
When we experience living in an apartment with noisy neighbors, sometimes, it is our natural tendency to attack without careful thought of putting things on a professional level.
Talk to your landlord if you feel the noise from the next door or wall is unbearable and persistent.
You only need to escalate the matter to the police if there is aggression from your neighbors.
Here is what you can do:
- Read your contract or lease agreement for certain rules on noise violations.
- Most communities have a noise ordinance that constitutes the limit of sound hours of the day and days of the week.
- Check municipality ordinances that cover unreasonable noises.
- Have a record of the type of noise your neighbors are committing that you find disturbing. Your recording is a big help when they ask you to present evidence.
- If the local government can’t help, you can approach the police if the matter has escalated where your neighbor doesn’t want to cooperate.
Pro tip: The design of the room affects the quality of sound you intend to record. Consider the size, shape, and type of wall surface of your room and your spot before deciding to push “record.”
When you are moving into a new apartment, sometimes, it is difficult to tell that you will be dealing with a noisy neighbor.
Frequent noises, like night parties, screaming children, or domestic shouting that mainly occur late at night and lead to violence should be brought up to concerned parties.
If the only thing you are holding on to is the voice recorder, such a handy device could be the one that will protect you and your mental health.
Yet, the smartest thing to do with loud neighbors is to stay away from them.
Robert is an electronic engineer with more than five years of experience with a solid affinity for helping people reduce noise. He writes about these silent home appliances and easy soundproofing measures to help everyone avoid the negative effect of extended exposure to high noise levels.