would like to know dB level of my headphones
Mar 18, 2006 at 3:36 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 56

hehe

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I have a hd580 on a soundblaster live and i am using windows 2000 (dont know if this makes any difference).
Does anyone know what dB this gets when i set both the windows and mediaplayer volume setting at the highest?
I tried it for a while and my ears hurt, they still hurt a little after 3hours now.
I also tested on a site to see what level i usually listen on and its -15dB, i think i should probably listen to lower levels but the problem is it is much better at higher levels
smily_headphones1.gif

I think the recommended level is 80dB to avoid hearing damage?
I think i might be 10+ over this when using my -15 setting.
 
Mar 18, 2006 at 4:50 PM Post #2 of 56

Ayreonaut

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Go to RadioShack and buy an SPL meter. Wrap your index finger and thumb around the mic and press the headphone to it to get a seal. It's not perfect, but its close enough for measureing approximate listening levels.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 12:25 PM Post #4 of 56

iancraig10

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Take one ear off and listen to someone talking to you. If they (sort of) match in volume, then it is probably a safe level.

Aim a low volumes with just enough presence for music to satisfy you. Tinnitus is not nice and improper use will ultimately do something to your ears.

Relying on a machine to try and work it out and remember the level for future reference doesn't work. For instance is 90db from a rock band (with all that bass) as loud (subjectively) as a symphony orchestra at 90db? How can you tell?

The real answer is learn to judge and be careful.

Ian (a tinnitus sufferer!)
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 4:38 PM Post #5 of 56

raisin

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Quote:

Originally Posted by hehe
I dont think a soundmeter is cheap anough
smily_headphones1.gif

I just expected some people to know these things.



Radio Shack SPL meter is 30-40 dollars.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 6:45 PM Post #6 of 56

Skylab

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Spend the money on an SPL meter. It's a good investment at $40, since it can mean ensuring you'll still be able to hear your great headphones in a few years.

Keeping it at 80db or under is a good idea. I have my various amp/headphone combos calibrated to be right at 80dbA with the loudest music I play.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 7:01 PM Post #7 of 56

angler31337

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Quote:

Originally Posted by hehe
I just expected some people to know these things.


There are just too many factors.

Quote:

Originally Posted by hehe
I tried it for a while and my ears hurt, they still hurt a little after 3hours now.
I also tested on a site to see what level i usually listen on and its -15dB, i think i should probably listen to lower levels but the problem is it is much better at higher levels



Extended discomfort is a bad thing. You really do not want to continue listening at that level or you run a serious risk of developing permanent hearing damage. If you want additional clarity and dynamics at lower volumes, you're going to need to invest in a dedicated headphone amp--the 580s really were not meant to be run out of the headphone-out on a SB-live. If you want, we could suggest some reasonably cheap headphone amps...

-Angler
etysmile.gif
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 7:08 PM Post #9 of 56

familyman

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sweet... is that reading 92db?
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 8:20 PM Post #11 of 56

GreatDane

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Quote:

Originally Posted by familyman
sweet... is that reading 92db?


correct. I don't listen that loud very often, I try to keep it under 85(peak)...although the DT-880 can handle that volume(90+) as still sound sweet.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 8:23 PM Post #12 of 56

familyman

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i have to get one of those!
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 8:39 PM Post #13 of 56

hehe

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Quote:

Originally Posted by GreatDane
correct. I don't listen that loud very often, I try to keep it under 85(peak)...although the DT-880 can handle that volume(90+) as still sound sweet.


Is that 92 the maximum your computer can do?
Are both the windows setting and the player at the highest?
I would expect it to be much higher.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 8:48 PM Post #14 of 56

hehe

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Quote:

Originally Posted by angler31337
If you want additional clarity and dynamics at lower volumes, you're going to need to invest in a dedicated headphone amp--the 580s really were not meant to be run out of the headphone-out on a SB-live. If you want, we could suggest some reasonably cheap headphone amps...

-Angler
etysmile.gif



I am very sceptical about amps, i would have to know exactly how they work (why they should improve the sound) and the full spec of the amp (to know they are worth the price) before i would feel comfortable buying one.
Another reason i rather not get one is that no large company seems to make them, they all seem to be made in someone's garrage.
If a company like sennheiser would make them i would trust it more.

I do think my headphones might sound better on the cheap hifi downstairs than on my computer, but im not even sure if im not imagining it.

Altough if i would eventualy decide i want to buy one i would want to use a system that i can connect digitally to my computer so i know it doesnt have any flaws from there.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 8:55 PM Post #15 of 56

TheSloth

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Quote:

Originally Posted by hehe
I am very sceptical about amps, i would have to know exactly how they work (why they should improve the sound) and the full spec of the amp (to know they are worth the price) before i would feel comfortable buying one.
Another reason i rather not get one is that no large company seems to make them, they all seem to be made in someone's garrage.
If a company like sennheiser would make them i would trust it more.

I do think my headphones might sound better on the cheap hifi downstairs than on my computer, but im not even sure if im not imagining it.

Altough if i would eventualy decide i want to buy one i would want to use a system that i can connect digitally to my computer so i know it doesnt have any flaws from there.



Be careful of accidentally calling people who spend thousands of dollars on these products made in 'someone's garage' crazy
very_evil_smiley.gif
biggrin.gif
. You have yourself just admitted that you do not know, nor understand how and why amplifiers do what they do, so I would save your speculation until you answer your own question. I look forward to you reading throught all of the specs you are looking for, to find that both a $20 CMOY and a $14000 SDS-XLR both exhibit similar THD characteristics, and then coming back here and going, 'huh?'.

Regarding the size of companies making them, HeadRoom (www.headphone.com) is a $5 million dollar/year company that grows by about 20% each year. Are they big enough for you?

And just to further confuse you, some of the best, most accurate, wonderful sounding pieces of audio electronics of any kind have been imagined, designed and produced by 1 person in their garage...
tongue.gif
 

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