To measure the intensity of a sound, a measurement is needed that is able to provide us with quantifiable data that can be compared and contrasted.
For example, A chainsaw may sound louder or quieter from one person to another depending on their hearing ability. This post will discuss two sound levels which are 50db and 52db…
Sound perception is different and we all operate differently a question recently got was a person basically asking what 52db sounded like….
You may be wondering why a question like this is necessary…it is necessary in order to judge our perception of sound and have a general idea of whether our hearing ability is fine or not.
With that said, What does 52db sound like?
52db would typically like an electric fan, a hair dryer, a running refrigerator or a quiet street.
With that said, let’s get into what something that is typically 50db would sound like…
The decibel scale is what we use to measure the sounds that humans can perceive and we start at 0 dB which is the threshold of human hearing, and 120-140 dB is the threshold of pain.
The decibel scale simply provides the intensity of a sound.
Loudness of 50db
50 dB for the most part is just as loud as a quiet conversation, a quiet suburb, or a quiet refrigerator.
Im using the word quite because all sounds between 31-60 decibels are considered quiet.
50 decibels is a moderate level of sound and isn’t considered harmful to human hearing.
Factors that affect loudness
What 50 decibels sound like will ultimately depend on a couple of factors.
The first factor of course is how close you are to the sound source.
If a sound is 50 dB and you are standing right next to the source, you will perceive the sound as loud as it is.
However, someone standing far away from it, will perceive it as a much softer sound.
The second factor that we have to consider are the noises that are present along with the 50dB sound source because they’ll have an effect on the source we are interested in.
Therefore, if the background noise is loud, for instance a fire truck, or a loud classroom.
The louder noises will drown out the 50-decibel sound.
Therefore, the sound will be sort of muffled.
Is 50db a safe noise level?
50 decibels is a safe noise level.
However, noise levels that exceed 70 decibels are regarded potentially dangerous if the exposure is more than 24 hours,
noise levels above 85 decibels are considered hazardous if your exposure exceeds 8 hours per day.
Factors that affect hearing loss
The simple working practicality is that the louder a sound is, the more damage it can cause to your hearing, and the quicker this damage will ultimately occur.
Human beings can’t hear all frequencies, or pitches of sound, therefore A-weighted decibels (dBA) can be employed to describe sound based on what human ears can actually hear.
With that said, Sounds that are at or below 70 dBA are generally considered safe. However, sounds that are at or above 85 dBA will more than likely damage your hearing over time.
The more you approach a sound source, the more it gets louder and the more you move away from a sound source, the softer it gets.
If you are far away from the sound, the risk of damage to your hearing is much lower.
If you’re however near to a loud sound the risk of damage to your hearing is much higher.
For example, at concerts, sitting at a distance away from the speakers will reduce your risk of ear damage.
The impact of noise adds up over a lifetime. If you are regularly exposed to loud sounds on a your risk for permanent damage increases over time.
Its also worth point out that even a single but long-lasting loud event can cause damage.
Sounds that are at or below 70 dBA are usually regarded as safe, even if they last a long time.
Noises are more likely to damage your hearing if they are:
85 dBA and last a few hours.
100 dBA and last at least 14 minutes.
110 dBA and last at least 2 minutes.
Tips for Safe Listening
1. Lower the volume and avoid listening to music or broadcasts at a really high volume.
2. Move away from loud noise sources, for example at concerts… don’t be too near to the loud speakers. Maintain a healthy distance.
3. Utilize hearing protectors, such as earplugs or earmuffs. If you find yourself in need of ear shielding and you don’t have ear plugs or earmuffs,
cover your ears with your hands until you safely get away from the noise.