Sound Ratings

Decibel (dB) Comparison Chart

Common Sounds you Hear

This decibel (dba) table compares some common sound levels and shows how they rank in potential harm to hearing.

Jet Engines (Close)140 Very Loud
Shotgun Firing130 Very Loud
Jet Takeoff (100-200 Ft.)130 Very Loud
Rock Concert (Varies)110-140Threshold of pain (125 dB)
Oxygen Torch121 
Disco/Boom Box120Threshold of sensation (120 dB)
Thunderclap (Near)120 
Stereo (Over 100 Watts)110-125 
Symphony Orchestra110Regular exposure of more than 1 minute risks permanent hearing loss (over 100 dB)
Power Saw (Chain Saw)110 
Jet Fly-over (1000 Ft.)103 
Electric Furnace Area100No more than 15 minutes of unprotected exposure recommended (90-100 dB)
Garbage Truck/Cement Mixer100 
Farm Tractor98 
Newspaper Press97 
Subway, Motorcycle (26 Ft)88Very annoying
Gas Lawnmower, Food Blender85-90Level at which hearing damage starts after 8 hours (85dB)
Recreational Vehicles, TV70-90 
Diesel Truck (40 Mph, 50 Ft.)84 
Average City Traffic Noise80Annoying; interferes with regular and telephone conversation
Garbage Disposal80 
Washing Machine78 
Vacuum Cleaner70Intrusive; interferes with regular and telephone conversation
Hair Dryer70 
Normal Conversation50-65 
Quiet Office50-60Comfortable (under 60 dB)
Refrigerator Humming40 
Whisper30Very quiet
Broadcasting Studio30 
Rustling Leaves20Just audible
Normal Breathing10 
 0Threshold of normal hearing (1000-4000 Hz)
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