Noise Level Charts of Common Sounds With Examples

This guide contains the noise level charts of common sounds.

Let’s get in!

The definition of noise is “unwanted sound.”

The majority of persons will get some hearing damage after repeated exposure to noise levels above 85dB(A).

And some people may even experience acoustic shock (sudden hearing loss) at levels exceeding 137dB. (A)

If you must be around noise, it is recommended that you use hearing protection or restrict your exposure time.

The recommended exposure period is reduced by half for every three dBA rise in noise levels.

A noise level chart, also known as a decibel level chart or decibels level chart, displays the impact of sound at various decibel (or dBA) levels.

Many noise level charts that highlight the impact of sounds and noises at various decibel levels are included in this manual.

These charts also include examples of typical noises that make noise at various decibel levels.

These graphs can be used to determine what kind of noises are too loud.


Noise Level DB Charts

Decibels are used to measure sound (dB).

A motorcycle engine running is roughly 95 dB louder than a whisper, the typical conversation is about 60 dB louder, and so on.

Long-term exposure to noise levels above 70 dB may cause hearing loss.

You can face instant ear damage from loud noise above 120 dB.

Most noise level charts provide samples of sounds with dB values between 0 and 140 decibels or occasionally between 0 and 180 decibels.

Yet, sound can reach a maximum volume of 190 dB!

That is earth-shattering!

But, since there is still a possibility, we will provide dB noise charts that contain dB values. 

We’ll display a number of dB level charts that display sound effects at various decibel levels (e.g. 0 – 140 dB and 0 – 180 dB).


Decibel Range: 0 dB to 140 dB

Noise Level Chart : Normal Sound Decibel Chart

Let’s begin with the softer decibel range (up to 140 dB). This decibel chart displays sound levels from absolute quiet (0 dB) to loud noises (140 dB).


Everyday Sounds and Noises Average Sound Level (measured in decibels) Typical Response (after routine or repeated exposure)
The quietest sound heard 0
Regular breathing 10 Normally, noises that are this loud don’t harm your hearing.
Clock ticking 20 Normally, noises that are this loud don’t harm your hearing.
Whispering 30 Normally, noises that are this loud don’t harm your hearing.
Refrigerator humming 40 Normally, noises that are this loud don’t harm your hearing.
Normal discussion

Air conditioner

60 Normally, noises that are this loud don’t harm your hearing.
dishwasher and washing machine 70 You could find the noise to be annoying.
urban traffic (inside the car) 80-85 You can feel really irritated.
Lawn mowers and leaf blowers that run on gas 80-85 After two hours of exposure, hearing damage is possible.
Motorcycle 95 Hearing damage is probable after around 50 minutes of exposure.
Automobile horn at 16 feet (5 meters), approaching metro trains, and sporting events (such as hockey playoffs and football games) 100 After 15 minutes, hearing loss is possible.
The loudest radio, stereo, or television, as well as noisy entertainment events, are the maximum volume levels for personal listening devices (such as nightclubs, bars, and rock concerts) 105-110 In less than five minutes, hearing loss is probable.
In-ear barking or yelling 110 In less than two minutes, hearing loss is probable.
standing next to or close to sirens 120 Ache and ear damage
Firecrackers 140-150 Ache and ear damage


Sounds Could Be Louder Than What You Hear

The intensity of a sound is not the same as how loud you believe it to be.

The amount of sound energy in a small area is known as sound intensity.

Decibels are used to measure it (dB).

Since the decibel scale is logarithmic, loudness does not relate to sound intensity.

Instead, a sound’s intensity increases quickly. 

Thus, a sound at 20 dB is 10 times as loud as one at 10 dB.

Moreover, a sound at 100 dB has a one billion times greater power density than a sound at 10 dB.


Even if two sounds have the same intensity, they may not be equally loud. How you hear audible noises is referred to as loudness.

Even though the sound intensity is the same, a sound that feels loud in a quiet room cannot be audible while you are on a busy street corner.

A sound needs typically be amplified by 10 dB in order to be perceived as twice as loud when measuring loudness.

Ten violins, for instance, would only sound twice as loud as one violin.


The Highest Recommended Levels of Noise Exposure

The table below illustrates how long a person can be exposed to various noise levels without hearing protection.

Noise Level dB(A)

Maximum Exposure Period(in an 8-hour working day/shift)

85 8 hours
88 4 hours
91 2 hours 
94 1 hour
97 30 minutes
100 15 minutes
103 7.5 minutes
106 3.7 minutes
109 112 seconds
112 56 seconds
115 28 seconds 
118 14 seconds
121 7 seconds 
124 3 seconds 
127 1 second 
130-140 Less than 1 second 
Less than 140 No exposure time 


Ordinary Noise Levels (Dba)

Are you at risk for hearing loss from noise in your daily activities?

Examine the list below to see whether you need to take any action to protect your hearing from noise.

Examine the list below to see whether you need to take any action to protect your hearing from noise.

Even a single exposure to noise at 70 dBA over time can permanently damage your hearing. How can you help? Avoid noisy surroundings.

 Also, wear hearing protection if you cannot get away from the noise source.

Even though noise-induced hearing loss is irreversible, it is completely avoidable.




50-60  Automated toothbrush 40 Quiet Office and Library 40 Peaceful Neighborhood
50-75  Machine For Washing     50 Big Office 70 Highway Traffic 
50-75  Conditioning unit 70-95 Power Lawn Mower 85 Loud restaurant with much traffic
50-80  Electrified Razor 80 Manual Tools and Machines 90 Truck , Shouted Dialogue
55        Percolator for coffee 84 Handsaw 95-110 Motorbike
55-70  Dishwasher 90 Tractor 100 Snowmobile 
60       Sewing Device 90-115 Metro 100 Dancing at the School, Boom Box110
60-85  Carpet cleaner 100 Electric drill Disco, Music Club 
60-95  Hair Dryer 100 Factory Equipment 110 Busy Video Arcade 
70-80  coffee grinder 110 Power Saw 110–120 Rock Show
70-95  Trash Removal 110 Leaf Blower 112 High  Personal Music Player
75-85  Toilet flush 120–125 Chainsaw, Hammer On Nail 117 Stadium Football Games
80        Portable Toaster 120 Heavy Equipment Pneumatic Drills 120 Band Concert
80        Doorbell 120 Jet Plane at Ramp 125 Auto Stereo
80        Caller on the Phone 150 Jet Engine Lifting Off 130 Stock Car Events
80        Whistling Kettle 120 Emergency siren  143 bicycling horn
80-90   Food processor or mixer 130 Jackhammer and power drill  150 fireworks
80-90   Blender 130 Air Raid  156 Cap Gun 
110      Infant crying 135 Percussion Section at Symphony 157 Balloon Pop
110      Squeaky Toy Placed Next to the Ear 140 Aircraft Lifting Off (At 3 Feet) 162 Fireworks
135      Toys that make noise 150 Artillery Fire at 500 Feet 163 Rifle
189 Rocket Launching from Pad 166/170 Handgun, Shotgun


Types Of Sound That Affect Hearing Ability 

In addition to the example provided above, you can utilize the information below to help you decide if a decibel level is safe.


1. Unsafe & Painful

The human ear is extremely vulnerable to damage from decibel levels between 120 and 140 dB and is uncomfortable.

Even a brief regular exposure to such loud noises might burst the eardrum and result in immediate hearing loss.

  1. Between 120 and 140 dB, common sources of unpleasant and harmful noises include:
  2. An airplane launching;
  3. The clap of thunder;
  4. A chainsaw or jackhammer;
  5. The sound of a high-caliber gunshot, such as one from a shotgun or rifle.


2. Uncomfortable

Sounds between 110 and 120 dB are said to be unsafe for human hearing.

They can be very uncomfortable and even cause pain, instantly damaging your hearing.

Common sources of 110-120 dB sound include:

  1. Jet plane or helicopter;
  2. Rock concert or symphony orchestra
  3. Large-scale sporting events
  4. Car horn
  5. Leaf blower
  6. Power saw


3. Extremely loud

Very loud sounds are 80 dB or more and up to 110 dB.

According to the general rule, all sound pressure levels greater than 85 dB are extremely loud and possibly dangerous and harmful to human hearing.

When exposed to sounds louder than 85 dB, experts advise using hearing protection.

Examples of 80-110 dB sound that are typical include:

  1. Turning up the volume of your personal audio system or listening device to 100 dB;
  2. The power tool noise is 90 dB.
  3. Clock radios: 80 dB.


4. Irritating

While not harmful, noise levels between 70 and 80 dB can occasionally be irritating or even annoying.

This is particularly valid when you’re attempting to concentrate, like when you’re working or studying.

This degree of background noise may damage schoolchildren’s ability to learn to understand and read.

Those who are exposed to these noise levels for an extended period may experience stress and an increase in blood pressure.

Here are some common noises that range between 70 and 80 decibels:

  1. Vacuum or waste disposal is 80 dB
  2. 70 dB from car tires;
  3. Typical traffic noise level: 70 dB.


5. Loud

Human hearing is safe from sounds between 60 and 80 dB. Yet they are still seen as noisy.

Some examples of sounds in this range include:

  1. loud restaurant (70–80 dB);
  2. loud radio, between 70 and 75 dB;
  3. 70 dB for city streets;
  4. 70 dB for a hairdryer;
  5. 70 dB for a dishwasher;
  6. 60 dB for an electric shaver;
  7. 60 dB for a typical chat.


6. Moderate

Decibel levels between 40 and 60 are considered moderate.

No matter how long you are exposed to these levels, they are appropriate and not harmful to your hearing.

Moderate sound examples include:

  1. Regular speaking pitch;
  2.  Rainfall
  3. The refrigerator;
  4. Minimal traffic
  5. A street for houses


7. Soft 

Soft sounds range in volume from 20 to 40 dB and are extremely gentle.

You can be exposed to these loud levels for an endless period of time without harming your hearing.

Soft noise examples include:

  1. Serene setting
  2. Someone whispering;
  3. The sound of leaves rustling;
  4. An empty library.


8. Very quiet 

Noise levels between 10 and 20 dB are quite low and safe for your hearing.

These sounds are a little louder than your breath.

And these sounds have a volume of 10 dB, which is comparable to a soft whisper of the wind blowing over a leaf.


9. Almost inaudible

Despite the sensitivity and accuracy of our ears, we cannot hear every sound.

Some people are too quiet to hear or distinguish.

Between 0 and 10 dB are barely audible sounds, such as a person breathing or a leaf resting.


Guidelines to Prevent Hearing Loss

If you ever find yourself in a position where you are exposed to loud noises, follow these quick precautions to avoid damaging your hearing:


  • Watch Out for the Amount of Noise Around You

Monitoring noise levels is the best preventative action to protect your hearing.

You can identify potentially dangerous noise levels and take measures to safeguard your hearing by measuring the noise levels in your home or place of employment.

To measure noise levels, you can use a sound level meter or a sound level meter app.


  • Use Caution When Listening to Music

Hearing loss is frequently brought on by loud music.

Loud music, whether played through speakers or headphones, can harm your ears and impair your hearing.


  • Limit Your Exposure to Loud Noises

By measuring the noise levels around you, being aware of them, wearing hearing protection, or moving away from the source of the noise, you can prevent being subjected to loud noises and protect your hearing.


  • If Necessary, Use Hearing Protection.


Use the proper hearing protection if you work in a factory or on a construction site or are otherwise in a situation where loud noises are unavoidable.

Earplugs, earmuffs, and noise-canceling headphones are your options.


  • Periodically Test Your Hearing


Regular hearing testing is the greatest method to detect hearing problems early and stop future damage.


What Is Decibel Level Too Loud? Acceptable level of noise?


What is noise level considered to be safe for people to be around?

Hearing loss may result from long or recurrent exposure to overly loud sounds and at or above 60 dB.


This means that 60 dB or less is people’s minimum allowable noise level.

Although noises of about 60 dB are at a safe decibel range for humans, it’s still advisable to avoid long-term exposure.


Why Are Sound Pressure Levels Measured in dB/dBA?

A decibel is a unit of measurement for sound, first and main.

It measures a sound’s volume or the power of a sound signal.

Now, you may observe that noise levels are sometimes expressed in dBA (A-weighted decibels).

Decibels are converted to dBA, which represents the ear’s response to various sound frequencies.

The human ear is less sensitive to hearing at low audio frequencies.

Hence this correction is done.

Particularly true for frequencies under 1000 Hz (1 kHz).

In other words, even though dB is a more common unit of measurement for sound, people do not perceive all frequencies equally.

So, dBA is just decibels that have been adjusted to take into consideration human hearing.


Decibel Levels That Are Appropriate in Residential Areas

Sound pressure levels above 85 decibels are usually regarded to be harmful to human hearing (dB).

This is the most typical maximum value allowed in industrial zones as a result.

The permissible decibel level is lower in residential areas, though.

State-by-state and country-by-country variations are typical regarding the allowable decibel level for residential zones. 

Yet, a minimum level of noise is appropriate for all residential locations.

Disturbing noise is defined as any sound that is louder than 70 dB.

Ordinarily, residential noise limits are set at 60 or 55 decibels (the equivalent noise of a regular vacuum cleaner).

There may also be time limits, which are typically in effect between 10 nights and 7 am.

Hearing Loss and Noise

Noise can have negative effects, as seen by the abovementioned noise level charts, decibel charts, and decibel scale charts.

Yet, noise is all around us since we all live in a busy and exciting environment.

Unless you live in a very distant place, you are probably affected by noise pollution from the train station to the park.

The problem is that excessive noise might harm your hearing severely.

You shouldn’t assume you are safe just because you reside in a place with less noise pollution.

Even the noise from an overhead plane, a loud movie, or a concert might have negative impacts.

The main thing is to understand that, even while you can’t always prevent it, you can try to lessen the impacts, and that’s what we’ll talk about in this.

Due to excessive noise, 10 million Americans suffer from noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), the medical term for permanent hearing loss.

This has a number of serious issues, one of which is the fact that this kind of hearing loss frequently develops gradually over time.

This makes it difficult to notice until the harm has already been done. The crucial question is now: How loud is too loud?

Every decibel chart has shown you, most likely for the first time, that sounds louder than 80 dBs—more particularly, 85 dBs—can eventually lead to serious issues.

The maximum suggested exposure time is 8 hours at 85 dB.

You should, therefore, make every effort to reduce these influences.

It’s important to avoid being too close to the source of loud noises if you’re going to be exposed to it for an extended period of time.


Any “unwanted” sound is referred to as noise.

Many things make noise, including tools, industries, cars, and construction sites. 

The development of automobiles, heavy industries, power equipment, etc., has led to a major increase in noise pollution.

We can take the necessary precautions if we know the noise levels that are safe for human ears.

The fundamentals of sound and noise were covered in this guide.

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