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An intricate decibel equivalent table ("what is how loud", from 10 to 310 dB)

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by devouringone3, Jun 26, 2012.
  1. devouringone3
    I hope I'm the first to post this one (if not, please delete)! Here we go:
    "10dB Absolute silence
    13dB Incandescent light bulb hum
    15dB Pin drop from a height of 1 centimetre heard at a distance of 1 meter
    30dB Totally quiet night time in desert
    40dB Whispering
    60dB Normal conversation
    85dB Beginning of hearing damage range, earplugs should be worn
    100dB Normal average car or house stereo at maximum volume
    110dB Car stereo with two 6 x 9” speakers and 100 watts
    116dB Human body begins to perceive vibration from low frequencies
    120dB Front row at a rock concert
    125dB Drums, at the moment of striking
    127dB Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) begins. Permanent hearing loss
    128dB Loudest human scream
    130dB Typical professional DJ system
    130dB Marching band of 200 members
    132dB Eardrum vibration noticeable
    133dB Gunshot
    135dB “Very loud” street car stereo. Bass only
    140dB Threshold of pain, all frequencies
    140dB Hearing protection required (definite long term damage)
    140dB human throat and vocal cord resonance occurs
    141dB Nausea felt after a few minutes
    144dB Nose itches due to hair vibrations
    145dB Vision blurs due to eyeball vibration
    147dB Formula 1 race car full throttle drive bye
    149dB Human lungs and breathing begins vibrating to the sound
    150dB Loud rock concert, at speakers
    150dB Sensation of being compressed as if underwater
    152dB Vibration is painful and felt in joints
    153dB Throat vibrating so hard it is impossible to swallow
    154dB Compression will burst child’s balloon
    155dB Experience cooling from excited air movement, up to 15 degree C perceived cooling
    158dB Inside of a rock concert speaker bin with 5000 watts power
    160dB Flashlight exhibits electromagnetic pulsing (dimming during tone)
    163dB NHRA Top Fuel Dragsters- 5000 to 7000 horsepower
    163dB Possible glass breaking level
    164dB Internal sound pressure of a large jet turbine
    165dB Jet airplane, Example: Boeing 727, at take off
    170.75dB = 1 pound per square inch
    172dB Fog is created, depending on the temperature, dew point and humidity
    174dB Air begins to heat up due to compression
    175dB Quarter dynamite stick, very close pressure may exceed 210 db.
    177dB = 2 pound per square inch
    180dB 1 pound TNT at 15 feet
    181.6dB Loudest extreme SPL car in the world
    183dB = 6 PSI. On large scale would result in total destruction of all structures, and particle velocity of 180 miles per hour.
    191dB 1 lb. bomb or grenade at blast epicentre
    193.979dB 1 bar pressure, 14.504 pounds per square inch
    195dB Human eardrums rupture
    202dB Death from sound wave (shock) alone.
    210.6dB Earthquake Richter scale equivalent 2.0
    213dB Sonic boom generates approximately 1.2 gigawatts power equivalent
    215dB Space shuttle launches exhaust, approximately 3 miles per second
    215dB Battleship New Jersey firing all 9 sixteen inch guns
    216dB Equivalent to a piston engine cylinder with a 9 to 1 compression ratio
    235.19dB Earthquake Richter 5.0 or 31,624 tons of TNT
    243dB Largest non-nuclear explosion ever, 1947 explosion in Nazi u-boat pens used 7100 tons of explosive
    248dB Atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, August 6th & 9th, 1945. Total disintegration of 16 square miles, wind was around 300 miles per hour, destroyed 28” thick concrete walls at 1 mile distance. Leaving a crater 633 feet wide and 80 feet deep. ..equals also the sound (~shock) of the wind inside the core of a fully fledged tornado (a relatively powerful one, destroying everything on its way, lifting cows in the air and moving cars at a distance), devouringone3
    286dB Mt. Saint Helens volcanic eruption
    310dB Krakatau volcanic eruption 1883. Cracked one foot thick concrete at 300 miles, created a 3000 foot tidal wave, and heard 3100 miles away, sound pressure caused barometers to fluctuate wildly at 100 miles indicating levels of 190db at that distance from blast site. Rocks thrown to a height of 34 miles."
    Interesting isn't it?
  2. Joe Bloggs Contributor
    There needs to be more analogies at normal audio levels [​IMG]
  3. devouringone3
    Good point! here's another that has more real-world examples and application:
    1. 180 decibels, equivalent to a rocket launching pad [hearing loss inevitable].
    1. 140 decibels, equivalent to a gunshot blast, jet plane take-off at close range [approximately 200 feet], air raid siren [any length of exposure time is dangerous and is at the threshold of pain].
    1. 130 decibels, equivalent to sound vibrations felt, as with thunder or near a four-engine jet at thirty meters.
    1. 125 decibels, equivalent to a diesel engine room.
    1. 120 decibels, equivalent to an amplified rock concert in front of speakers, sand-blasting, thunderclap [immediate danger], a nearby airplane engine, some rock or hard-metal cacophony groups, pneumatic hammer at one meter, thunderclap over head [at around 120 dB, the sensation of hearing is replaced by that of pain].
    1. 110 decibels, equivalent to deafening factory noises and some musical boxes turned up too loudly, discotheque, thunder, rock-n-roll band.
    1. 108 decibels, equivalent to the coqui frog croak of Puerto Rico [up to 108 dB].
    1. 105 decibels, In a Malaysian surgical-glove factory, making surgical-latex gloves by dipping porcelain models of the human hand into liquid latex, which when dried, is blown off the hands by air jets. Before modifications to the air jets, the gloves were blown off every 30 seconds at a deafening 125 decibels.
    1. 100 decibels, equivalent to a chain saw, pneumatic drill, printing plant, jackhammer, speeding express train, some car horns at five meters, farm tractor, riveting machine, some noisy subways [about 20 feet].
    1. 90 decibels, equivalent to a police whistle, heavy traffic, truck traffic, noisy home appliances subway-rail train, pneumatic drill [or hammer] at one meter, walk-man ear phone [average volume(*maximal volume??, devouringone3)], rock drill at 100 feet, some motorcycles at 25 feet, shouted conversation.
    1. 80 decibels, equivalent to heavy city traffic [25-50 feet], alarm clock at two feet, factory noise, vacuum cleaner, heavy truck, loud-radio music, garbage disposal.
    1. 70 decibels, equivalent to typewriter, average factory noise, busy traffic [at one meter], office tabulator, noisy restaurant [constant exposure], quiet vacuum cleaner, TV.
    1. 60 decibels, equivalent to an air conditioner at twenty feet, conversation [at one meter], sewing machine, large transformer, ordinary or average street traffic.
    1. 50 decibels, equivalent to quiet radio, average home, light traffic at a distance of 100 feet, refrigerator, gentle breeze, average office, non-electric typewriter, ordinary spoken voice.
    1. 40 decibels, equivalent to quiet office, living room, bedroom away from traffic, residential area [no traffic]; many computer hard drives range an average of 40-50 dB, soft whisper [five feet].
    1. 30 decibels, equivalent to quiet conversation, soft whisper, quiet suburb, speech in a broadcasting studio.
    1. 20 decibels, equivalent to whispering, ticking of a watch [by the ear], rural area [without loud farm machinery or other excessive noises].
    1. 10 decibels, equivalent to the rustling of leaves.
    1. 0-1 decibels, equivalent to the faintest sounds that can be heard, the threshold of audibility.
  4. bigshot
    It's important to note that to overcome the noise floor in our homes, we add about 30 dB to the normal listening level of music. So a CD with capability of 90 dB of dynamic range is boosted to a theoretical peak of 120 dB once we play it.

    Most music is generally mixed to have no more than 40-50 dB of dynamic range so everything can be heard at normal listening volumes.
  5. OJNeg
    Just reading that list made my head hurt....and turn down my speakers a bit.

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