Just got a radioshack SPL meter (longish read)
Sep 10, 2009 at 6:26 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5

rabidgamer

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So, I got my SPL meter in the post today after I decided to order it because of a recent fright with tinnitus (well atleast thats what I think it was, barely notice it now unless I look for it but... it's still there) so I dropped using headphones, for atleast a month now and finally want to start using them for gaming again, so I purchased one of these: 7-Range Analog Sound Level Meter: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo

Anyway, I set it up like this (seen a guy who done the same thing on here)

p1009091804.jpg

p1009091805.jpg


and started testing COD4, using the loudest guns etc and all of that at a volume I'm more than happy with and according to the SPL meter (even with the peaks of cars exploding etc it never passes -4 on the meter, tested that with the meter set to fast and slow and the dial at 80)

p1009091811.jpg

p1009091812.jpg


I even tested a couple songs and it barely passed -4, shouldn't (even if this is a little bit off) still be more than safe? even if the game gets REALLY loud, or if the dB level is wrong from the meter by 1/2 or whatever, I should still easily be listening around safe levels... unless I'm doing this all wrong... if anyone could chip in and help me out here that would be great.

Heres what my amp volume is set to aswell btw, just for the sake of it

p1009091816.jpg

p100909181601.jpg


Thanks.
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 12:44 AM Post #2 of 5

GreatDane

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That level is easily within my idea of safe limits. It also depend on the duration but you can't crank 100 dB for an entire CD and get away unharmed IMO...at a high volume like that, my perception of detail in the music is dumbed down,not good. It's been a while since I put my meter to mine but I know I often hit 85+ dB when I'm in a certain mood. I usually stay below 75 dB. for casual listening -especially with IEMs or closed cans.

So since you mention recent fear of tinnitus, what level do you think you were listening at before this occurred?

Also, switch the weighting to A and retest. The C weighting measures a wider bandwidth and will react over the frequency range from 32 - 10,000 Hz, whereas the A weighting will give a better indication for the critical mid-range frequencies(500-10,000 Hz). Experiment with the two settings but you should find the A weighting more useful.

This is the basic "safe chart" but I tend to bump those durations lower to be safe. I would never listen at 95 dB. for 4 hours but it may be that "noise" and music have a different impact. Some of these charts may vary but this was the first that I found today.I believe these values are very similar to the US OSHA permissible noise exposure figures.

Hours per day /Sound Level (dB), A weighting, slow response
8 /90
6 /92
4 /95
3 /97
2 /100
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 1:26 AM Post #3 of 5

AtomikPi

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Quote:

Originally Posted by GreatDane /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hours per day /Sound Level (dB), A weighting, slow response
8 /90
6 /92
4 /95
3 /97
2 /100



Those numbers are a bit optimistic. I would stick with 80db max/continuous and if you really need it go up 5 or 10 db for an album with a break afterward. I personally listen at around 75db.

here are the epa's numbers (probably a bit too conservative)
LEVELEPA MAX TIME
> 97 dB SPLNONE
97 dB SPL3 minutes
94 dB SPL6 minutes
91 dB SPL11 minutes 15 seconds
88 dB SPL22 minutes 30 seconds
85 dB SPL45 minutes
82 dB SPL1 hour 30 minutes
79 dB SPL3 hours
76 dB SPL6 hours
73 dB SPL12 hours
70 dB SPL24 hours (continuous)

and NIOSH's:
LEVELNIOSH MAX TIME
> 115 dB SPLNONE
115 dB SPL28 seconds
112 dB SPL56 seconds
109 dB SPL1 minute 52 seconds
106 dB SPL3 minutes 45 seconds
103 dB SPL7 minutes 30 seconds
100 dB SPL15 minutes
97 dB SPL30 minutes
94 dB SPL1 hour
91 dB SPL2 hours
88 dB SPL4 hours
85 dB SPL8 hours
82 dB SPL16 hours
80 dB SPL24 hours (continuous)
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 11:20 AM Post #4 of 5

rabidgamer

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Quote:

Originally Posted by GreatDane /img/forum/go_quote.gif
That level is easily within my idea of safe limits. It also depend on the duration but you can't crank 100 dB for an entire CD and get away unharmed IMO...at a high volume like that, my perception of detail in the music is dumbed down,not good. It's been a while since I put my meter to mine but I know I often hit 85+ dB when I'm in a certain mood. I usually stay below 75 dB. for casual listening -especially with IEMs or closed cans.

So since you mention recent fear of tinnitus, what level do you think you were listening at before this occurred?

Also, switch the weighting to A and retest. The C weighting measures a wider bandwidth and will react over the frequency range from 32 - 10,000 Hz, whereas the A weighting will give a better indication for the critical mid-range frequencies(500-10,000 Hz). Experiment with the two settings but you should find the A weighting more useful.

This is the basic "safe chart" but I tend to bump those durations lower to be safe. I would never listen at 95 dB. for 4 hours but it may be that "noise" and music have a different impact. Some of these charts may vary but this was the first that I found today.I believe these values are very similar to the US OSHA permissible noise exposure figures.

Hours per day /Sound Level (dB), A weighting, slow response
8 /90
6 /92
4 /95
3 /97
2 /100



I just tested the game with the options you said, A - Weighting and slow (tested fast response also) even with the loudest guns/explosions there wouldn't even be a reading on 80dB, so I switched it down to 70 and that's when things started happening, so I tested everything on that from cars exploding and the loudest guns etc and it never passed +2, same with it set to fast for the spikes etc.

So I tested some songs aswell, ones that I consider 'LOUD' anyway and it never passed +3, went over +2 a couple times though and sat around there at the really loud passages, that must be good right? lol, When I'm playing other games the volume will go down regardless, same with listening to music... just on COD4 I need to hear the footsteps etc.

Because you asked I also tested what I used to listen at before the scare, peaks of 93dB when things exploded etc and this happened after a very hectic game so yeah... I'm a moron. :p

This is the weird thing though, I didn't notice the tinnitus until I read about it... and I don't notice it unless I look for it or I'm laying down (and then it seems to switch from my left ear to my right, it's so confusing) I could have had this thing for ages and just never noticed it until that point, god damn google.
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 12:28 PM Post #5 of 5

rabidgamer

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(sorry for double post but, needed to add this)

I just went one step further and turned the volume down another bit... the peaks etc never pass -2 on the 70 scale now, and the songs I tested earlier sit around that area aswell (sometimes going up to the dash before the 0 but never for long) so now I should be even more safe, atleast I hope... the results were more or less the same with the C weighting also but just a little bit higher, around 70 - 71 dB usually. The game usually sits between -10 and -6 and when explosions/gunshots etc come thats when it rises which I guess to around 68dB... I believe this should be more than safe... and I'm happy with the volume.
 

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