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Noise levels

What is a dangerous level for noise to damage your hearing?

 120 decibels is equivalent to a jet taking off. 110 decibels is equivalent to a gig. 100 decibels is equivalent to a nightclub. 90 decibels is equivalent to a pneumatic drill. 80 decibels and above is a dangerou level of exposure. 70 decibels is equivalent to a city street.

Loudness of a sound is measured in decibels (dB). Experts agree that exposure to noise at or above 85 dB can damage hearing over time.

  • An average nightclub has a noise level of over 100dB. 
  • The maximum volume of some MP3 players is the same noise level as a pneumatic drill (90dB) and some models even reach 100dB!

Sound intensity doubles with every 3dB. Sounds at 88dB are twice as intense as sounds at 85dB, although this won’t be obvious to the listener.

That means that for every 3dB increase in volume, damage can occur in half the time.

Gemma Twitchen, Head of audiologyRespect the experts

“Hearing loss caused by noise is completely avoidable,” says Gemma Twitchen, our Senior Audiologist

“Once your hearing is damaged by noise it can’t be repaired. The best thing to do is to protect your hearing now, so the damage doesn’t occur in the first place. This will reduce your chances of noise induced hearing loss in the future.”

What earplugs and headphones should I buy?

There are a range of different earplugs and ear defenders that you can buy. Check out our recommendations.

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