People look for ways to stop neighbors’ loud music

By Bao Lam   January 23, 2023 | 05:59 am PT
Nhu Quynh from Dak Lak Province has been searching online for ways to make a signal jammer to keep her neighbors from blasting their loudspeakers all the time.

Quynh said she’d been bombarded with loud music and karaoke in the days leading up to Tet and that radio wave interference might be the only way for her to stop the noise blaring from her neighbors’ loudspeakers.

After wrapping up her work week in Ho Chi Minh City, Quynh headed back to her hometown for the holiday only to have her ears tortured all day long by neighbors cranking full-volume karaoke and dance music from giant mobile speakers.

According to the 25-year-old, almost every household in her neighborhood owns a mobile loudspeaker.

"Some even place the loudspeakers in an alley and blast music or sing loud karaoke all day while drinking with friends," she said.


A woman sings karaoke using a mobile loudspeaker. Photo by VnExpress/Bao Lam

Tran Phong from Binh Phuoc Province said he has constant headaches now because his neighbors place their mobile loudspeakers in the street and blast extremely loud music all the time.

He has asked the neighbors to tone down the music but they don’t listen.

The 30-year-old bought a loudspeaker and put on different genres of music to "fight fire with fire."

However, the situation has not improved.

Mobile loudspeakers in Vietnam often resemble suitcases on rollers for easy transport. They were originally popularized here by troubadours and candy sellers.

In recent years, this style of speaker has gained popularity due to its high volume, high-quality sound and the ability to pair with multiple wireless microphones.

In addition, the selling price is also much more accessible than most professional karaoke systems. It only costs a few hundred thousand dong (VND100,000 = $4.26) to buy a speaker of a few hundred watts.

Vu Duy, the administrator of an anti mobile loudspeaker Facebook group with more than 100,000 members, said that many members of the group were complaining that in the days leading up to Tet (Lunar New Year) the noise has become unbearable. He said that many were asking what could be done about this problem.

So now, according to Duy, many members are have started talking about signal jammers and disrupters as a way out. The discussion threads have gotten a lot of likes and comments. Some have linked to YouTube videos that provide instructions for assembling jammers.

Some of the introduced circuits can break Wi-Fi or Bluetooth waves by plugging in a power bank. Photo:Kieu Tien

Some samples of signal jammers. Photo by VnExpress/Kieu Tien

According to Duy, signal jammers interfere or block the signal from the wireless microphone to the loudspeaker or interrupt Wi-Fi connections so that the singer will have trouble singing or be unable to pair their devices.

Prices range from several tens of thousands to multiple millions of dong, although how well they work for this particular problem is debatable.

"The jammer will interfere with this frequency range, causing the connection between the microphone and the speaker to be affected," explained Nguyen Dai, a radio equipment repair technician in Ho Chi Minh City. "It also causes Wi-Fi radio waves to flicker, causing unstable connections in devices used for singing such as smartphones, tablets...this inhibits users."

However, he said that these devices are often expensive, arguing that the cheap models currently rampant in the market and e-commerce sites are unlikely to have the ability to actually disrupt the radio waves. Therefore, users should research carefully before buying.

In fact, Nhu Quynh tried to buy a signal jammer for VND500,000 online. However, the device barely works and so she said it was "not worth it."

On Duy's Facebook group, many people have complained that they bought cheap devices that didn’t work, or only worked within extremely close range.

Bui Quoc Tuan of the Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association said that only agencies under the Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Public Security can trade in mobile communication jammers and disruptors.

Meanwhile, the law stipulates that signal jammer buyers first need to get approval from the ministry.

According to the Tuan, buying a signal jammer to interfere someone else's wireless karaoke machine is against the law.

Depending on the level and behavior, violators can be fined between VND2-50 million and their equipment will be confiscated.

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