Noise Level Chart
A noise level chart showing examples of sounds with dB levels ranging from 0 to 180 decibels.
|dBA||Example||Home & Yard Appliances||Workshop & Construction|
|0||healthy hearing threshold|
|10||a pin dropping|
|60||conversational speech||air conditioner|
|75||toilet flushing||vacuum cleaner|
|80||alarm clock||garbage disposal|
|85||passing diesel truck||snow blower|
|90||squeeze toy||lawn mower||arc welder|
|95||inside subway car||food processor||belt sander|
|100||motorcycle (riding)||handheld drill|
|105||sporting event||table saw|
|115||emergency vehicle siren||riveter|
|130||peak stadium crowd noise|
|135||air raid siren|
|140||jet engine at takeoff|
|150||fighter jet launch|
|165||.357 magnum revolver|
|194||sound waves become shock waves|
Most noise levels are given in dBA, which are decibels adjusted to reflect the ear's response to different frequencies of sound. Sudden, brief impulse sounds, like many of those shown at 120 dB or greater, are often given in dB (no adjustment).
Specifics about the measurement of a particular sound source can be found in the Noise Navigator® Sound Level Database, E-A-R 88-34/HP, by Elliott H Berger, Rick Neitzel, and Cynthia A Kladden, E•A•RCAL Laboratory, 3M Occupational Health & Environmental Safety Division, an extensive compilation of data on noise level measurements, including many of the values appearing on this chart.
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Noise Sources and Their Effects
|Jet take-off (at 25 meters)||150||Eardrum rupture|
|Aircraft carrier deck||140|
|Military jet aircraft take-off from aircraft carrier with afterburner at 50 ft (130 dB).||130|
|Thunderclap, chain saw. Oxygen torch (121 dB).||120||Painful. 32 times as loud as 70 dB.|
|Steel mill, auto horn at 1 meter. Turbo-fan aircraft at takeoff power at 200 ft (118 dB). Riveting machine (110 dB); live rock music (108 - 114 dB).||110||Average human pain threshold. 16 times as loud as 70 dB.|
|Jet take-off (at 305 meters), use of outboard motor, power lawn mower, motorcycle, farm tractor, jackhammer, garbage truck. Boeing 707 or DC-8 aircraft at one nautical mile (6080 ft) before landing (106 dB); jet flyover at 1000 feet (103 dB); Bell J-2A helicopter at 100 ft (100 dB).||100||8 times as loud as 70 dB. Serious damage possible in 8 hr exposure|
|Boeing 737 or DC-9 aircraft at one nautical mile (6080 ft) before landing (97 dB); power mower (96 dB); motorcycle at 25 ft (90 dB). Newspaper press (97 dB).|
|4 times as loud as 70 dB. Likely damage 8 hr exp|
|Garbage disposal, dishwasher, average factory, freight train (at 15 meters). Car wash at 20 ft (89 dB); propeller plane flyover at 1000 ft (88 dB); diesel truck 40 mph at 50 ft (84 dB); diesel train at 45 mph at 100 ft (83 dB). Food blender (88 dB); milling machine (85 dB); garbage disposal (80 dB).||80||2 times as loud as 70 dB. Possible damage in 8 h exposure.|
|Passenger car at 65 mph at 25 ft (77 dB); freeway at 50 ft from pavement edge 10 a.m. (76 dB). Living room music (76 dB); radio or TV-audio, vacuum cleaner (70 dB).||70||Arbitrary base of comparison. Upper 70s are annoyingly loud to some people.|
|Conversation in restaurant, office, background music, Air conditioning unit at 100 ft||60||Half as loud as 70 dB. Fairly quiet|
|Quiet suburb, conversation at home. Large electrical transformers at 100 ft||50||One-fourth as loud as 70 dB.|
|Library, bird calls (44 dB); lowest limit of urban ambient sound||40||One-eighth as loud as 70 dB.|
|Quiet rural area||30||One-sixteenth as loud as 70 dB. Very Quiet|
|Whisper, rustling leaves||20|