Originally Posted by esldude
Max possible output going by specs, would be around 118 db for you.
Setting of 30/100 would give a max of about 107 or 108 db. Depending on music, your average level might be -15 db from that. So you have possible peaks of 108 db, and average levels of perhaps 93 db. All theoretically and assuming specs are accurate. Kind of loud. Near the level where OSHA would suggest limiting exposure to 6 hours per day. Specifically OSHA suggests 8 hour exposure limits of 90 db. Altering that by 5 db up one should halve exposure. Or dropping 5 db one could allow twice the exposure. Maybe lowering volume to 17/100 would be really safe. Maybe not listening all your waking hours would be okay where you are.
So I did a bit of research. Got myself an app for my phone that measures dBs. Fortunately, I have a very good microphone in my phone, probably the best in the smartphone market. It measures even sounds louder than 98dBs which I heard is very good for a microphone like this. I tested it and the reardings sound accurate I guess:
typing on a keyboard 50-65dBs
background noise (computer fans running) about 30-37dBs
Talking near the phone, about 70dBs, 80dBs if I'm talking loudly
tapping the microphone, 98dBs
and so on
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKzWLUQizz8 this is what i tested
did some tests, I've read that for maximum accuracy you have to make a cup with your hands around the microphone and the headphone to be sure that the sound pressure is read correctly. Did that and found out that at 30/100 volume on the loudest song I could find in my music folder, that had aggressive treble and bass, full of "beats" (whatever the audiophile term for that would be) and electrical noises and the meter read about 55-80dBs (depending on what was going on during the song), with the peak being 88dBd that lasted less than half of a second. Average I saw was about 75-85dBs. So, is that safe?
The volume was pretty loud, that song was pretty noisy too and it got almost painful so I probably didn't listen to this kind of volume anyways, so I guess I'm safe, but I'm going to a doctor anyways, just to be sure.
So this were the CALs.
Now I'll quickly test my older Senn HD429 headphones that I used for almost 2 years, same volume same song: average=50-80 and peaks were like 85 but only 2 or 3 times in the song and for very short durations. The song sounds very loud and annoying on these headphones as well, I probably didn't keep them for long at this level. It's probably one of the loudest songs I have on my PC or so it seems.
I tested (on both headphones, very similar results) some other songs I like and have listened to more and they were about 65-75dB at 40/100 (not 30) volume, even the peaks were under 80 on these songs so I guess my hearing didn't get damaged.
I usually listen to music at 20/30% for about 3-4 hours a day on average, but not all the time, maybe a couple of days a week. At night when everything's quiet I can't stand louder music so I turn it down to 10-20%.
So what does everybody think? Am I safe?
Edited by An00bis - 12/29/13 at 1:00pm