The sound level intensity table
Table shows examples of sound sources with various intensity level given in decibels.

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# Sound intensity level (dB)#

 Sound intensity level [dB] Example sound sources 10 rustling of leaves with a gentle windnormal breathing 20 whisperticking watch 30 a very quiet street with no traffic 40 noises at homerefrigerator humlight rain 50 noise in officesthe WHO (World Health Organization) recommended daytime noise level in the working environment 60 vacuum cleanernormal conversationair conditioner 70 interior of a noisy restauranttearing papertoilet flushingcar interior 80 loud music indoors, honking 90 road traffichair dryer 100 motorcycle without a silencer 110 chainsawshouting or barking in the ear 120 the maximum allowable level of firework sound intensity 130 helicopter rotor at a distance of 5 meters, the limit above which permanent hearing impairment may occur 140 fighter take-off 150 rifle shot 160 bomb explosion 190 space rocket launch 220 atomic bomb explosion

# Some facts#

• Sound intensity level is defined as:
$L = 10~log_{10}\left(\frac{I}{I_0}\right)$
where:
• L - sound intensity level,
• I - sound intensity,
• $I_0$ - reference sound intensity, amounting to $10^{-12}$ W/m2, experimentally determined the lowest intensity felt by people.
• The unit for the sound intensity level is decibel.
• The sound pressure level is based on the logarithmic scale. This is due to the psychoacoustic properties, i.e. the way people perceive changes in loudness.
• Sound with level of intensity zero decibels (0 dB) corresponds to reference intensity $I_0$. The reference level was selected arbitrarily to reflect the hearing limit of people.
• A higher value of the intensity level means that the intensity is greater than the reference intensity, i.e. the subjectively perceived loudness level is higher.
• The experimentally tested pain threshold is approximately 120 dB for acoustic noise and approximately 140 dB for sinusoidal sound. One of the highest levels (about 300dB) was noticed in today's Russia in 1908 in the so-called the Tanguska disaster.
• The device that measures the sound level is decibelmeter.

If you're interested in calculators related to acoustics, check out our other calculators:
• Sound intensity level (dB) - if you want to learn what is decibel and how the sound intensity level is measured,
• Sound velocity in materials - if you want to learn how the type of substance affects the speed of acoustic wave propagation,
• Acoustic impedance of substances - if you want to learn what is acoustic impedance and how it depends on the type of substance,
• Sound wave reflection - if you want to find out how an acoustic wave behaves when it encounters an obstacle in the form of media boundary,
• Mass law: single wall - if you're interested in building acoustics and would like to estimate the acoustic insulation of a single wall,
• Mass law: double wall - if you're interested in building acoustics and would like to estimate the acoustic insulation of a double wall with an air gap between the walls,
• Sound absorption coefficients - if you're interested in acoustic adaptation of room and you would like to learn how different materials absorb the acoustic wave,
• Noise propagation - if you want to learn how sound intensity level changes with distance from the source,
• Sound insulation countours - if you want to learn more about acoustic insulation assessment standards used over the world,
• Sound reduction index (SRI) - if you're searching for acoustic insulation of popular building materials expressed in the coefficient Rw,
• Sound transmission class (STC) - if you're searching for acoustic insulation of popular building materials expressed by the index STC.

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