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How loud is too loud...

post #1 of 100
Thread Starter 
I am really enjoying my Grado SR60's and listening to some tool.

When I listen to heavier music like Tool, I like it loud.
I'm just not really sure how loud is too loud, what is a comfortable volume level and how do you test?

I don't want to damage my ears, but I really like to here it...

Is there a point where i can be going to loud for my headphones and blow them out..

I'm listening through my macbook. The itunes volume is at full, the macbook volume is 1 bar under halfway. So I could go a lot lot louder...
post #2 of 100
My rule is: Turn up the volume of any music until the drivers start to "drive" then knock it back half a notch.

If you don't get drive until high volume levels, your amp isn't sufficient for the drivers.
post #3 of 100
Thread Starter 
What do you mean the drivers start to drive?
post #4 of 100
i contacted shure about my se530's and asked wether i would damage them with too much volume and they responded saying my eardrums would give way before the drivers with excessive volume, this gave me great confidence to kill them with extreme volume but i very rarely do it.

my advise to you would be to teach yourself to listen at lower volumes. in a way try to get used to it so you are not tempted to raise it up further.

i have limited my ipod volume to just over 3/4 so i can be sure i wont do damage. you should do something similar
post #5 of 100
Originally Posted by lindmar View Post
What do you mean the drivers start to drive?
When the sound blooms, when music starts to lift together coherently, instead of there being recessed frequencies or an inability to resolve. The music will just sound "right".

It is the mark of a good driver and of a good amp, to deliver this drive, this coherent sound, at lower volume levels. Loud sounds good because the ear and the brain interpret an increase in volume as an increase in quality. This is why output level matching is so hugely important when comparing sources.
post #6 of 100
regardless of the quality, too much volume will damage your hearing. If you don't have access to a dB meter, look up a chart of average dB levels (google) and judge based on that.

For me, for open phones, I must be able to hear someone talking to me or drumming my fingers on a desktop, or snapped fingers. Closed phones, slightly less, but I find I listen quieter with closed phones anyway.
post #7 of 100
Loud volumes will only damage your hearing if you listen for extended periods of time at those volumes. In general, the louder you play your music the better it will sound... assuming of course that you aren't overdriving anything or introducing distortion.

So, based on these two facts, generally I will turn up the volume as high as I can stand... and then back it off a couple steps. I usually end up with a volume that is not fatiguing, but sounds excellent. As I get more familiar with my amp and what volumes I need for different music, I have learned the positions and no longer need to do this, but that was my starting point.
post #8 of 100
everytime i read things like these i just have to turn the volume down

has onyone got the zvm +super fi EB combo? i listen indoor below level 10 and outdoor 12, max level 14. i just want to compare volumes

reading about hearing loss and tinnitus makes me paranoia
post #9 of 100
I use the highly scientific method of clicking my fingers while turning the volume up. When I can't hear the click anymore, I stop.
post #10 of 100
with closed phones, how much of a difference does it make to have the dB meter up to the driver open as opposed to having a seal?
post #11 of 100
Originally Posted by Bizzel View Post
I use the highly scientific method of clicking my fingers while turning the volume up. When I can't hear the click anymore, I stop.
i like this idea but how can it be accurate when you cant be sure of your isolation? i mean i can only just hear my clicks after sticking se530 in with black foam tips
post #12 of 100
Grados are more than capable of playing with no distortion at volumes loud enough to cause hearing damage. I use a similar method to Bizzel, although i try to keep it where i can still hear the snap of my fingers over the music (open phones).

Not exactly scientific, but i think i'm getting to be a decent judge of comfortable volume. I will pick up an SPL meter one of these days.
post #13 of 100
Also, Grados are pretty good at resolving details at quite low volumes, so you shouldn't need to turn it up too much. Try turning it down a notch each time a song finishes, you won't notice it as much then, and as long as your suroundings are fairly quiet you'll probably find that you can listen at lower volumes than you thought.
post #14 of 100
I keep the volume at or below that of normal conversation. While listening, say a few words at your normal conversational level. If you can't hear yourself clearly, turn it down.

You will get used to lower levels over time and come to enjoy them. Also, keep reminding yourself that your amp is more linear at lower levels.
post #15 of 100
ffor me Iust can't hear details at low levels of sound.. I don't know if it is the lack of an amp or the headphones but music just sounds crappy when you can't hear it much. I am not saying crank it up high but enough so you can hear details... idkkk
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