Noise abatement: basketball and kids screaming

Does anyone know the best way to block the noise of a basketball bouncing on cement,
and kids screaming? My next-door neighbors are very loud outside my bedroom window.
My windows are single-pane.

At this link,,
it says double-pane windows actually won’t help: “…this extra weight…creates a resonance due to the mass
of air trapped between the two panes. At the frequency this resonance occurs the level of sound isolation
will drop dramatically, meaning any benefit from having the extra glass is undone.
Therefore, though it seems counterintuitive, a 6mm single pane of glass is as good as,
if not slightly better, overall than a 6mm/12mm/6mm double glazing unit.”

Thanks for any suggestions. Specific brands and model names (windows, insulation, etc.)
will be welcome!

I don’t know specific brands but honeycomb shades work reasonably well but don’t have enough mass for the lower frequencies.

The answer basically boils down to multiple layers with air between them. If you have a little bit of spare money you can build a double pane window where the two panes aren’t parallel. This is what they do in recording studios and basically you can get a portion of the sound to reflect inside the window before you get into the room. This won’t be perfect so inside of that I’d drop in a honeycomb shade and then inside of the room I’d drop a blackout curtain. It won’t be perfect but you could probably cut 50 dB between the 3 solutions.

Thank you rat avatar and Oredigger 77!

Hope they all get into good colleges.

Kids screaming are relatively easy to control high frequency sounds. Basketballs create low frequency noise which is almost impossible to deal with. These Bose noise cancelling earbuds work really great during flights to cancel engine noise. They might work.

Perhaps a simpler method would be to have a few words with the parents?

This is quite wrong. A standard double glazed unit with two 4mm panes of glass and an air cavity will reduce noise by ~25dB. If resonance did occur it might reduce the effectiveness, but that would only be at one frequency.

With triple glazing units you can get more than 50 dB reduction. Not cheap, but may be worth it.

From my backpacking, staying in hiking shelters/hostel experience - earplugs. But don’t put them in at first, wait till the noise is noticeable interfering, then pop them in. They do a good job but also not perfect. if you put them in automatically it feels like you are still being interfered with, but putting them in a bit later, gives a smug feeling of satisfaction, which helps one get to sleep.

Other things that may work, put in a fence barrier, park your car in a strategic location either to block the noise or to limit their playing field, set off the car alarm to make to seem like their playing did it. Install a bright outside light (or even inside under some circumstances) that interferes with their playing, hopefully in line of sight of the basket or casts shadows that make it hard to focus, perhaps make it a motion sensor light where they are in that sensor area, causing it to turn on and off, but put a few in so it doesn’t look like you are targeting them.

Thanks. I appreciate the suggestion of earbuds, but I need something for sleeping. I work nights, and the screaming and ball thudding starts at 7 am
every morning.

Quartz, I’m hoping the parents will be receptive when I get up the nerve to talk to them. Keep in mind that they once hired a personal
trainer to work out on their patio between 6 and 7 am every weekday. It involved bouncing a basketball while the trainer shouted at them
to bounce it harder and faster (he was literally yelling “Pow! Pow! Pow!”). They’d ring a bell between rounds. And their patio
is only a few feet from my bedroom window. :frowning:

Even the girl on the other side of me is woken by the kids – and she’s a lot farther away from them than I am.

Kanicbird – thank you. I love your ideas! I should’ve told a more complete story initially. I do use earplugs and white noise – wouldn’t be without them!
There’s no room to park my car next to their patio.

Maybe I should build a concrete or brick wall? :frowning:

This is good advice; I use them myself sometimes.

Word of warning- don’t let the plugs get grubby. Keep buying new ones.
Otherwise they can give you an ear infection.

My wife snores, pretty loudly, but the worst is the kids in our kitchen. Any sound in there resonates through the whole house and generates the low pitched “thumping” sound that I imagine is like your problem.

I bought a bluetooth headband like this one and crank up some white noise like this, and have not had any problems since. There are more expensive headbands than these specifically for sleeping but this works for me, I move both speakers to the exposed side of my head. White noise probably takes some getting used to for most people, but I have been using it for 20 years or so in the form of fans since I was in a tropical environment for a couple years with no AC. Now I can’t sleep without it, but you probably need some extra “oomph” than a fan would provide.

Are there any places nearby for the kids to play instead, like a park? You could suggest they play there. If they are using a portable goal, maybe they can move it to someplace away from your bedroom.

Check the noise ordinance to see what the quiet hours are. It might be until 8am, which would be a little better.

Have you tried a dedicated white noise machine–not a fan, but a device specifically to make white noise? They can help, but they won’t eliminate the sound from the kids.

Have you ever tried noise cancelling headphones? Some of them are quite good. What may work is some of those Bose noise cancelling headphones and having them play white noise. They’re kind of big, but they would likely block out a lot of the sound.

How about a mosquito tone? You know, those high frequency things only kids can hear.

I guess a few little speakers in the bushes would do it.

When I worked nights I swore by wax ear plugs. But now I see that Bose has a new Sleep Buds product that might be what you are looking for.

One thing that might work in a passive-aggressive way is to have a very loud argument about the noise with a pretend person. Like, yell really loud so they can clearly hear you saying things like: "GODDAMN, WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO ABOUT THE DAMN NOISE? … WHY DON’T YOU TELL THEM TO SHUT UP … " and on and on. Direct the yelling towards the closest window to them. If it’s the parents making noise with their personal training, toss in a lot of cuss words. I’m guessing that they’ll stop making noise pretty much immediately just to listen what the commotion is all about, and hopefully they’ll take the hint.

Thanks to all who responded; I’ll check out the products you suggest. BobBitchin’…LOL. Filmore, I’ll suggest that they play in the front yard
since the park may be too far. Your argument idea is hilarious! Thanks. :slight_smile:

After reading what you had to say about the personal trainer, I have to say (assuming you rent) if I were you I’d move. (If you own the place, then I sure am sorry as I think selling would be difficult if not impossible.) Those neighbors are idiots! Are they renting? Maybe you could talk to their landlord.

Exactly. A calm conversation might go a long way. Don’t do it if you’ve been awakened for the 3rd day in a row and are mad.
Barring that, call in a noise complaint to the local police station.
School has started so maybe you’ll catch a break.

The quietest basketball courts I know are those on the roof deck of a building, surrounded by a high chain link fence. It’s just the floor immediately below the playing area that needs some work.