Safe listening level
Feb 22, 2006 at 8:47 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

Shion

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Ok... So I am perhaps the dumbest thing since sliced pizza,

But I need to understand this, because I want to be listening to my music for the rest of my life. Everyone speaks of hear loss if you listen to things too loud, or as almost everyone says "above safe listening levels"
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So, I would like to ask for your help in telling me just what a "safe listening level" is. Is it prescribed in SPL numbers? Is it a function of your ear shape and SPL?
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The answer wouldn't possibly be "whatever you deem it to be". Because if I'm enjoying the volume I'm using now even though I am not sure if I'll hear my door knocked, then I may be causing myself hearing loss without having any pain or discomfort. And I can tell you my listening level with headphones is moderately higher than with speakers, except when I feel in sort of a party mood and crank it up
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(even then, my headphone listening level is pretty close to that).

To clarify doubts: by cranking it up I don't mean window shaking kind of cranking up.

Please post thoughts and or what your definition of "safe listening level" is, even if it's in dB
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Thanks,

Shion
 
Feb 22, 2006 at 10:15 AM Post #3 of 10

strogg

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well, you could be super obsessive about it like i am and get an SPL meter from your local radio shack. otherwise, you can do a simple trick to keep at safe listening levels (assuming your environment is relatively quiet). turn your cans/speakers all the way down. then turn them up until you can hear all the simple details of the songs (like all the instruments and vocals) very clearly. then you're set. that'll typically be around 70-80 dB, very safe for 24/7 listening.

or here's a very crazy idea: if you really like it so loud that your body is convulsing, go ahead and turn it up even LOUDER, like 105-110 dB or something (hopefully not annoying anyone around you). then put on earplugs. voila! it's like being at a concert!
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Feb 22, 2006 at 11:18 AM Post #4 of 10

socrates63

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This is what my audiologist told me when I went in last year for an exam. If you're using open headphones, your listening level is too high if you cannot conduct a conversation with someone in your normal tone of voice.
 
Feb 22, 2006 at 9:58 PM Post #6 of 10

socrates63

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Yeah, there are a lot of variables, but I find it to be a useful guideline nonetheless. It's an attempt to provide some kind of basic reference point people can relate to.
 
Feb 22, 2006 at 10:09 PM Post #7 of 10

VicAjax

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Shion
Ok... So I am perhaps the dumbest thing since sliced pizza,


hey... i find sliced pizza to be quite ingenious!

that headwize article is a good resource. it's all about balancing volume with time of exposure. it's best to keep volume at the lowest level you can while still being able to hear all the instruments. if you have to play it loud, do it only for short periods of time and then give your ears a complete rest.

it's also a good idea to use closed headphones or IEM's in loud/public areas, to mitigate the tendency to turn it up to drown out ambient noise.
 
Feb 23, 2006 at 5:02 AM Post #8 of 10

Shion

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Quote:

Originally Posted by VicAjax
hey... i find sliced pizza to be quite ingenious!


PIN PON!

Someone noticed that line! I'm impressed
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The only reason I put that in there is because I'm dumb, I actually prefer to eat pizza by the slice haha. Well, it's the first and only thing that came to mind when I started this post.

Thanks for your guidelines guys. I'll try the conversation trick and certainly will give a good read to that headwize article.

Cheers and peace out,

Shion
 
Feb 24, 2006 at 7:51 PM Post #10 of 10

Illah

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I put together a guide for measuring the SPL of headphones relatively accurately.

http://www.seanmulholland.com/arc/08...headphones.php

Just make a note of where your volume control is at when you're at 70-80dB and don't go higher
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If you have a speaker rig you can just use the SPL meter directly. It's good thing to have if you have a home theater cuz you can calibrate it well.

Also if you listen to loud music at like 90+dB *once in a while* you're not going to go deaf. I pump it from time to time, and I like to watch movies pretty loud. Sometimes I forget earplugs for shows. BUT - I watch maybe one movie a week and don't bump my headphones very often at all. You just gotta watch for the constant exposure and be smart about it.

--Illah
 

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