How Loud Is Too Loud?
Keeping Car Stereos at a Safe Level Prevents Long-term Hearing Loss Enjoy Great Car Audio with Expert Car Stereo Equipment and Safe Use
The human ear is a sensitive, precise piece of equipment that helps people communicate and enjoy entertainment, as well as avoid dangers and even maintain proper balance. So how loud is too loud when it comes to car stereos? Many people spend multiple hours a day driving to and from work or school, and rely on the music pumping through their car audio systems to make the time more enjoyable. Yet this extended exposure to amplified sound can have serious consequences in the form of immediate and long-term hearing loss.
Sound is measured in terms of decibels (dB) on a scale from zero dB, absolute silence, to just over 300 dB, the loudest sound ever recorded on earth. Common sounds tend to be less than 150 dB, but that is still more than enough to cause damage. Prolonged exposure, meaning more than four hours, at sound above 85 dB will lead to gradual hearing loss. For reference, a whisper is usually around 40 dB, an average conversation around 60 dB, and very heavy traffic or loud earphones usually reach 90 dB. So with one of the best car stereo systems at even just 80% of max volume, even with less than 100 watts, it is easy to top out at 100 dB. At that level, just 15 minutes can be enough to cause some hearing loss. Above 110 dB, just one full minute of exposure can cause permanent hearing loss.
In other words, close attention and safe sound use are necessary to protect the inner ear from damage when enjoying loud music in the car. Of course, many sounds exceed these levels. Rock concerts tend to hit between 115 and 130 dB, which is why so many musicians wear ear plugs when they perform. KISS, AC/DC, and Led Zeppelin have all performed at sound levels around 130 dB, with KISS topping the list at 136 dB. But it gets louder. Gunfire typically reaches 155 dB, a 5.0 earthquake can generate up to 235 dB, and the loudest sound ever recorded, the Tunguksa Meteor that stuck the Earth outside Siberia, Russia in 1904, created somewhere around 315 dB.
Signs of hearing loss include physical pain while listening, muffled hearing or trouble distinguishing different sounds and voices, a sense of ringing, roaring, or hissing in the ears, and fluid leaking from the ear. The best strategy to prevent hearing loss is to listen to music at a safe volume and enjoy louder volumes only for short periods of time or with the aid of hearing protection. That means keeping car stereos turned down to a reasonable level. The payoff of a little caution is the chance to continue enjoying great music on into the later years of life, even if it requires turning the car stereo down now.
Sonic Electronix has made a name for itself as a quality e-tailer, determined to give customers a positive experience so they end up satisfied with the best car stereo systems possible. Sonic Electronix makes its presence felt in the audio industry with more than 1,000 orders shipped per day and offers information about car stereos and equipment as well as informative articles at http://www.sonicelectronix.com/.