Noise Level Chart

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Sound intensity is measured in decibels (dB). Our range of hearing starts at 0 dB and is considered safe up to 70 dB. Over and above that level is hazardous and can result in permanent hearing damage.

Some facts about dB's:

  • Auditory nerves can be permanently damaged from prolonged exposure at 90 dB.
  • 120 dB can cause pain and ringing in the ear.
  • Sharp pain and extensive destruction of the auditory nerves occurs at 140 dB.

The table below presents noise data at octave-band center frequencies for familiar residential, outdoor, transportation and building activity noise sources.

Intermittent or peak noises may exceed the data given in the table by 5 dBA or more, depending on the source or environment. For many practical problems, however, the data can be considered to be typical source levels at the given distance and condition, or average general activity levels for interiors. The data can be used for design purposes if proper consideration is given to especially load equipment or sources which may exceed it, unusual site conditions, and any other conditions that deviate from the normal. For example, it is prudent to measure transportation noise at proposed building sites near highways, airports, etc., so design data will represent existing noise sources and reflect specific site features.

Example Source 63 Hz 125 Hz 250 Hz 500 Hz 1000 Hz 2000 Hz 4000 Hz8000 HzdBA
Teleconference Rooms
65 74 78 80 79
75 68 60 83
Home
Alarm Clock @ 4' - 9' N/A 46 48 55 62 62 70 80 80
Electric Shaver @ 1.5' 59 58 49 62 60 64 60 59 68
Vacuum Cleaner @ 3' 48 66 69 73 79 73 73 72 81
Garbage Disposal @ 2' 64 83 69 56 55 50 50 49 69
Clothes Washer @ 2' - 3' 59 65 59 59 58 54 50 46 62
Toilet (refilling tank) 50 55 53 54 57 56 57 52 63
Whirlpool (filling tub) 68 65 68 69 71 71 68 65 74
Ringing Telephone @ 4' - 13' 64 64 65 65 53 48 44 37 59
TV @ 10' N/A 41 44 56 68 73 69 83 83
Stereo (teenager volume)
49 62 64 67
70
68 63 39 74
Stereo (adult volume) 60 72 83 82 82 80 75 60 86
Violin @ 5' 56 66 75 72 70 66 64 48 75
Normal Conversation @ 3' N/A N/A 91 91 87 83 79 66 92
Outdoors
Birds @ 10' N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 50 52 54 57
Large Barking Dog @ 50' N/A 50 58 68 70 64 52 48 72
Lawn Mower @ 5' 85 87 86 84 81 74 70 72 86
Pistol Shoot @ 250' N/A N/A N/A 83 91 99 102 106 106
Surf (moderate seas) @ 10' 71 72 70 71 67 64 58 54 78
Wind in Trees N/A N/A N/A 33 35 37 37 35 43
Transportation
Large Truck 55MPH @ 50' 83 85 83 85 81 76 72 65 86
Passenger Cars 55MPH @50' 72 70 67 66 67 66 59 54 71
Motorcycle full throttle @ 50' 95 95 91 91 91 87 87 85 95
Snowmobile @ 50' 65 82 84 75 78 77 79 69 85
Train @ 100' 95 102 94 90 86 87 83 79 94
Train Siren @ 50' 88 90 110 110 107 100 91 78 109
Car Horn @ 15' N/A N/A N/A 92 95 990 80 60 97
Commercial Airline @ 1 mile 77 82 82 78 70 56 N/A N/A 79
Military Helicopter @ 500' 92 89 83 81 76 72 62 51 80
Interiors
Amplified Rock Music 116 117 119 116 118 115 109 102 121
Audiovisual Room 85 89 92 90 89 87 85 80 94
Applause at Auditorium 60 68 75 79 85 84 75 65 88
Classroom 60 66 72 77 74 68 60 50 78
Computer Equipment Room N/A N/A 90 104 106 101 89 79 108
Dog Kennel N/A N/A 90 104 106 101 89 79 108
Gymnasium 72 78 84 89 86 80 72 64 90
Kitchen 86 85 79 78 77 72 65 57 81
Laboratory 65 70 73 75 72 69 65 61 77
Library 60 63 66 67 64 58 50 40 68
Mechanical Equipment Room 87 86 85 84 86 82 80 78 88
Music Practice Room 90 94 96 96 96 91 91 90 100
Racquetball Court 82 85 80 85 83 75 68 62 86
Reception & Lobby Areas 60 66 72 77 74 68 60 50 78