How Loud Is X Decibels

A decibel is a measuring unit of sound. Why is it important? Put simply, we hear different sounds on a day to day basis. While some sounds are beneficial and add joy and entertainment to our lives, many sounds can be pretty harmful. 

Decibels basically give us the means to compare different sound levels that things make. This helps us to compare what appliances are louder than others. It also allows us to know if we’re being exposed to noise levels that are rated as detrimental to our hearing.

Knowing how loud a sound is can be difficult to tell just from the stated dB level. So we’ve put together a list of common sounds to help get an idea of how loud a sound is at a certain decibel level. 

how loud is x dB

How loud is 0 decibels? 

0 Decibels is an incredibly low level of sound. If you’re hearing anything that’s at 0 Decibels, then you probably have really good hearing because it’s almost inaudible. 

How loud is 10 decibels?

Normal breathing is as loud as 10 decibels. You might notice it if you’re close to someone else, but you’d have to pay a great amount of attention to the sound to really hear anything. 

How loud is 20 decibels

Any sound level at 20dB is going to be faint and you could liken the sound to rustling leaves. You’d hear it only if you’re really trying to. 

How loud is 30 decibels? 

30dB is a soft sound level. You know what a whisper sounds like right? Well then, you know exactly how loud 30dB is. 

How loud is 40 decibels? 

Have you ever noticed how quiet a library is? No doubt, you probably have. In fact, it’s what libraries are known for. But you may not have known that you were sitting in area where the sound levels were only at 40dB.

It’s similar to the noise level from wind chimes. The quietest airbrush compressors run just below 50dB.

How loud is 50 decibels? 

At 50dB you’re not hearing anything much louder than a quiet library. It could be likened to the a quiet stapler stapling some papers and clacking of keyboard keys you’d hear in an office without much chatter. 

The quietest dehumidifier models or a window air conditioner run just above 50dB. If you’re running a quiet ceiling fan you’d be hearing a sound of just over 50dB.

How loud is 55 decibels?

A working percolator coffee machine or the quietest robot vacuum cleaner is what 55dB sounds like. It’s at a noise level that’s in between a quiet library and the sound of a normal conversation.

If you opened a can of soda quietly you’d hear this sound level. A very quiet portable generator runs at about 55dB.

How loud is 60 decibels? 

60dB is the sound level of a normal conversation. It’s like the kind of conversation you wouldn’t have with any of your loud friends.

An electric shaver or quiet microwave is also a great example of what 60dB sounds like. 

How loud is 65 decibels? 

65dB is just a little louder than a normal conversation. You’re listening to your friend laugh or you may even be laughing yourself. If you stood near the quietest washing machine or had a run on your treadmill it would be around this loud.

How loud is 70 decibels? 

A sound level of 70dB is similar to the sound you’d hear from the inside of a car that’s moving at 60mph. If you use a quiet shop vac frequently then you know what 70dB sounds like. It’s even similar to a loud flushing toilet or range hood

How loud is 75 decibels? 

A lot of us use dishwashers. We probably use them every day. If that’s the case, then it won’t be hard to imagine what 75dB sounds like. 75dB is the amount of sound you’d hear a dishwasher make or a quiet lawn mower

How loud is 80 decibels? 

You’d definitely want to look into soundproofing your windows because this is the sound of some heavy traffic outside. If you’ve been woken up by an alarm clock or held a quiet hair dryer near your ear then you’ve heard a noise level of around 80dB.  

How loud is 90 decibels? 

If you’re familiar with what a subway train or a welder sounds like, then you’ve definitely heard 90dB. Household items like even the quietest blenders also give off sounds at 90dB. 

It’s good to remember that any noise from 90dB and up is going to be damaging to your hearing if you’re constantly exposed to it. Quiet air pistols and even the quietest air rifles give off a brief 90dB sound.

How loud is 100 decibels? 

Tools you’d use for DIY work like a handheld drill, garage air compressors or a sander make sounds at 100dB. Listening to music or drums at full volume will also give you an idea of what 100dB sounds like. 

How loud is 110 decibels?

Someone using a car horn is going to give you a good idea of how loud 110dB is. It’s what’s considered an extremely loud sound. The sound of a chainsaw is a great example of 110dB as well. 

How loud is 120 decibels? 

Examples of sounds that reach 120dB is thunder or an oxygen torch. Obviously, you can’t exactly shield yourself from something like thunder that occurs whether you want it to or not, but you might want to protect your ears if you live in an area where there’s frequent thunderstorms. 

How loud is 130 decibels? 

If anything is making sound at the level of 130dB, you’re most likely able to hear it from far away. At 130dB you could be listening to the sound of an ambulance or even a jackhammer. 

How loud is 140 decibels? 

You’ll be familiar with the sound level of 140dB if you live close to a jet runway. 140dB is the equivalent of sound you’d hear from a jet plane taking off.