What is the proper loudness for listening?

Paul McGowan via YouTube claims that each room, system and recording has a specific sound level at which music sounds most "real"

I've noticed this myself listening to my 3 different systems set up in differing rooms. Thought I was crazy to think so but I guess maybe I'm not?

Also, have notice in smaller listening rooms that lower maximum volume levels sound more real.  Going too high on volume in a small room just overloads it and results in distortion

Any comments?


I have listened at very high levels.  Hovering ~100db.  That is as loud as I care to listen, my system will do that all day,,,,I like overkill.  But, as I age I prefer music that has a large dynamic range, so it peaks at ~100db.  There is no set rule, but having said that, a good db meter will tell you (no matter what room) that its overloaded, your ears should tell you first.

To answer your question: yes I agree that every piece of music has a "proper" listening level.  I'll only add "determined by you".





+1 …. You never want to be even close to any OSHA or other government standards.. you can be sure they will be revised down many times as more data comes in. 

85 db or lower can be listened to for up to 8 hours without 

damage.  I listen at 85 average. Small or large room 85 db is 85db

small rooms just get there quicker

Good luck Willy-T

65-85 here. Depends on the music. Sometimes rock has to be played louder though.😁

My system seems to b able to play most jazz louder than rock, likely because it's recorded with less distortion.