Does noise matter?

What is Soundscore™?

How is Soundscore™ computed?

Is Soundscore™ objective?

Can Soundscore™ affect selling a house or renting out an apartment?

What if I disagree with a Soundscore™?

Who is Soundscore™ intended for?

How can I contribute to HowLoud’s Soundscore?

Can I use HowLoud for free?

Does noise matter?


Noise is the most common complaint to most cities’ complaint call lines. The New York City call line gets a noise complaint every four minutes. The Los Angeles Helicopter noise complaint system registers over 7,000 complaints a month. Recent studies have also shown noise to be the biggest complaint about hotels and restaurants i.

What is a Soundscore™ rating?

A Soundscore™ rating is a number between 0 and 100 that says how loud (low score) or quiet (high score) a location is. HowLoud licenses Soundscore™ to real estate listings for them to provide Soundscore™ to users directly on their sites.

How is a Soundscore™ rating computed?

A Soundscore™ rating is determined by three noise factors: vehicle traffic, air traffic and local sources (restaurants, schools, stores, etc.).  For the most important component — vehicle traffic — we apply the Federal Highway Authority’s Traffic Noise Model . This model is mandated in the State of California, but HowLoud is the first to use it on a massive scale and make the results available to consumers and other businesses. Here is San Francisco’s commissioned noise map. This map is very useful, but such maps are currently only available in some cities.

Is a Soundscore™ rating objective?

Yes. Our methods treat every location the same, and the model is the required by the Federal Highway Authority for all municipal noise studies. Our methods for treating airport noise and local sources are proprietary, but treat these in a uniform way using national data sets.

Can a Soundscore™ rating affect selling a house or renting out an apartment?

Yes. Like information about schools, commute times or crime statistics, a Soundscore™ rating helps people understand what it is like to live in a neighborhood. Whether the neighborhood is quiet or loud affects the quality of life there, and so can also affect the sale prices in the neighborhood. However, Soundscore™ is fair and transparent, and so is a useful tool for people trying to find the right place to live.

What if I disagree with a Soundscore™ rating?

If you disagree with a Soundscore rating, please tell us about the location you know well here. We appreciate user input and always incorporate it into our map updates. We respond to every email or call that we receive.

Who is Soundscore™ intended for?

Would you rather take one minute to look at a quick summary of noise information before you move into a new home or would you prefer to learn about it first hand after you’ve driven across town or even moved in? Soundscore™ saves house hunters time by making the information available while they’re looking and makes them more confident in their decision to bid on a home. We license the data to listings sites so that their sites have this useful, unique information and draw more users.

How can I contribute to HowLoud’s Soundscore?

Let us know about the locations that you know well using our feedback page. If you have a useful local dataset that you can share with us, please do that. We’re collecting data on many sources of noise or noise prevention; underground sections of road, busy train lines, helicopter ports, fog horns, night clubs etc. Please contact us and share this data with us.

Can I use HowLoud for free?

HowLoud offers a free level of access to the API. Please request a key on the contact page.

i “Noise in Restaurants – The Disconnect with Customers”. Nation’s Restaurant News. Retrieved January 15, 2016.