research | acoustics.01

Environmental Noise

————————————————
Threshold of hearing…………………0 dB
Outdoors, no people or traffic……….20 dB
Background noise in a library………..40 dB
Ordinary speaking voice……………..60 dB
Heavy traffic………………………85 dB
Power lawnmower up close…………….90 dB
Motorcycle (rider)………………….90 dB
Chainsaw………………………….100 dB
Rock music at concert………………110 dB
Jet plane takeoff at 100 yards………120 dB
Threshold of pain………………….140 dB

These noise levels are approximate, and depend on many factors.
Noise levels of 85 dB and above are considered potentially
damaging over time; for example, workers are not allowed to spend
more than 30 minutes per day at 110 dB — the level of a rock
concert!
Weakest sound heard 0dB
Whisper Quiet Library 30dB
Normal conversation (3-5′) 60-70dB
Telephone dial tone 80dB
City Traffic (inside car) 85dB
Train whistle at 500′, Truck Traffic 90dB
Subway train at 200′ 95dB

Sound Levels of Music
Normal piano practice 60 -70dB
Fortissimo Singer, 3′ 70dB
Chamber music, small auditorium 75 – 85dB
Piano Fortissimo 84 – 103dB
Violin 82 – 92dB
Cello 85 -111dB
Oboe 95-112dB
Flute 92 -103dB
Piccolo 90 -106dB
Clarinet 85 – 114dB
French horn 90 – 106dB
Trombone 85 – 114dB
Tympani & bass drum 106dB
Walkman on 5/10 94dB
Symphonic music peak 120 – 137dB
Amplifier rock, 4-6′ 120dB
Rock music peak 150dB
Snare drums played hard at 6 inches away 150db
Trumpet peaks at 5 inches away 150db
Rock singer screaming in microphone (lips on mic) 140db
Conversational speech at 1 foot away 60db
Typical home stereo listening level 80db
Acoustic guitar, played with finger at 1 foot away
Fender guitar amplifier, full volume at 10 inches away 120db
Cymbal crash 130db

Painful
150 dB = rock music peak
140 dB = firearms, air raid siren, jet engine
130 dB = jackhammer
120 dB = jet plane take-off, amplified rock music at 4-6 ft., car stereo, band practice

Extremely Loud
110 dB = rock music, model airplane
106 dB = timpani and bass drum rolls
100 dB = snowmobile, chain saw, pneumatic drill
90 dB = lawnmower, shop tools, truck traffic, subway

Very Loud
80 dB = alarm clock, busy street
70 dB = busy traffic, vacuum cleaner
60 dB = conversation, dishwasher

Moderate
50 dB = moderate rainfall
40 dB = quiet room

Faint
30 dB = whisper, quiet library



Decibal Loudness Chart

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