Are your listening levels healthy? Doing damage?

Do you know decibel levels when listening to your system, and how loud do you go?

Since upgrading my system, again, I find my listening levels have tended to increase. Not because I'm slowly going deaf but because it's more enjoyable.

I measured the decibel level with a few iPad Apps, and there was lots of disparity. Plus or minus 25 dB. 

Certainly if it's too loud I sense things are not healthy but I'd really like to know how loud things are since Google tells me prolonged listening above 70 dB could be damaging my hearing.

The apps on an iPad are clearly unreliable and now I have to contemplate spending several hundred dollars for a sound meter as well as a calibration device so I can know what my limits are and so I can be in compliance with Google.

Anyone know a good sound meter, and do most serious listeners get one of these things?



I typically listen at 65 to 70db with peaks to 75db. 

The caution is that over 85db for eight or more hours can cause hearing damage, 88db for 4 hours, 91 db for 2 hours. 70 db or under is OK for as long as you want. 

So, unless you are into headbanging volumes you are probably good. 


Maximum 80 db. Plenty loud enough and does not worsen my tinnitus.

Same boat...

Maybe 85 dB peaks, average 70dB.

I recently compared dB Pro and NIOSH SLM (free) and they are virtually the same.

I designed my system to protect my already damaged ears.

As I write this I’m listening to TP Echo 65dB avg / 85dB peaks and it fills my large room with satisfying sound - and at 10ft from the speakers is more then enough to feel the music.

@moonwatcher tinnitus is the brain’s perception of / compensation for hearing loss - it can’t really change with stress but the perception can be affected by blood pressure and other things (alcohol, coffee etc.) - it also cannot be measured, your actual hearing loss can be quantified, of course.

Moderate levels these days. Yrs ago I had three big Carvers running bullet proof Axiom speakers. I could dim the lights when I cranked em up. Not too smart. Paying for it now.

If you use headphones, that is where you real concern should be especially if you use IEM during airplane travel for extended periods.