Originally Posted by sahwnfras
When you go to a concert do they play softly? No its loud. Instuments dont have volume knobs.
Yeah, but can they still go to 11?
Seriously though, just as a little meaningless anecdote, the "right" level for listening always depends on my mood. Sometimes you want visceral, and sometimes you just don't want to get fatigued. But overall, if the volume is too low, it sounds tinny to me, but when it's too loud certain things get drowned out or seem out of whack. The snare drum for instance can get so unbearable loud I can't focus on the rest of the music. I am not sure if there is an objective component in addition to the subjective at higher volume. It is almost 4 in the morning and I am not sure what I'm even doing up. But a quick scan of the wikipedia page Equal-loudness contour - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
shows some differences between loudspeakers and headphones, along with some unidentified flying citations. Red licorice is on the phone.
Having tinnitus, it can also benefit me to listen louder to the point where my tinnitus is masked by some of the music. I could turn it up unbearable loud like a rock concert, but I don't want to damage my hearing anymore than it already will be (and is).