- What Is 50 Decibels
- How Loud Is 50 Decibels
- What Is 50 Decibels Sound Like
3.1 Noise sources that contain 50 dB
- What Is 50 Decibels Compared
4.1 60 Decibels
4.2 70 Decibels
4.3 80 Decibels
- Is 50 dB Dangerous Or Safe
- How To Protect Your Hearing
- Get More Info About dB With Decibelpro.App
Some find the decibel’s logarithmic scale puzzling. Because it’s not linear, it can be hard to understand. This has many wondering what certain decibel levels actually sound like.
For this exact reason, in this article, we’re looking into how loud 50 decibels is - an average noise level. We’re going to see what this noise level sounds like and if it could be hazardous to your health.
The decibel scale is what we use to measure the sounds that humans can perceive, starting at 0 dB – the threshold of human hearing, and reaching 120-140 dB - the threshold of pain. The decibel scale basically shows us how intense a sound is.
If you look at the graphic below, you will see that the noise level of the common sounds we hear every day can vary greatly.
When trying to answer our main question ‘What is 50 decibels?’, looking at the decibel chart above, we can see that 50 dB is:
- a low noise level
- not a level that is damaging to your hearing
- is equivalent to the noise level of a quiet office.
50 dB is as loud as a quiet conversation, a quiet suburb, a quiet office, or a quiet refrigerator. Notice the use of the word ‘quiet’ when describing this noise level? That’s because all sounds between 31-60 decibels are considered quiet.
50 decibels is a moderate noise level that is not generally considered harmful to human hearing. This noise level is under the limits recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency according to which if you keep your exposure to noise under 70 decibels over 24 hours you can prevent hearing loss or damage.
However, if you are trying to sleep or study, the ideal noise level should be under 40 decibels.
What 50 decibels sound like will depend on a few factors.
The first one is how close you are to the source. If a sound is 50 dB and you are standing right next to the source, you will most likely perceive the sound as loud as it is. However, if you are standing far away from it, you will perceive it as a softer sound.
The second factor that will influence how you perceive a sound is other noises. If the background noise is loud, for instance in a train station or a loud classroom, louder noises will most likely drown out 50-decibel sounds. Therefore, the sound will be muffled.
To better understand what is 50 decibels and what it would sound like, let’s take some examples:
50 decibels is a safe, quiet noise level comparable to the following common sounds:
- A quiet conversation
- A quiet office or home
- A quiet residential street
- A quiet refrigerator
- Moderate rainfall
Our ears are very sensitive to sounds. That is why we can perceive even small differences when it comes to noise levels. On top of that, because the decibel scale is not linear but logarithmic, a difference of 10 decibels is much more intense than you think. In fact, from 0 decibels on, every 3-decibel increase in a sound actually represents a doubling of the sound’s intensity.
The rule of thumb to calculate a sound’s intensity depending on its decibel level is that each 10 dB increase represents a 10x increase in sound intensity. As far as the sound volume is considered, we perceive a 10x sound intensity as a 2x increase in sound volume.
To further understand how loud 50 decibels is, let’s compare them to other noise levels:
When compared to 60 decibels, 50 decibels will sound twice as loud. In reality, a 60 dB sound is 10 times more intense than a 50 dB sound.
Following the same logic, you may perceive a 70 dB sound as being 4 times as loud as a 50 dB sound. In fact, a 70 dB sound is 100 times more intense than a 50 dB sound.
When it comes to 80 decibels, the difference in intensity is even higher. If 70 decibels is 100 times more intense than 50 decibels, 80 decibels is 1000 times more intense. And you will perceive an 80-decibel sound 8 times as loud.
Generally, 50 decibels is considered a safe noise level. Noise levels exceeding 70 decibels are considered potentially dangerous if your exposure is more than 24 hours, and noise levels above 85 decibels are considered hazardous if your exposure exceeds 8 hours/day.
Health experts recommend that you take certain precautions when you are exposed to sounds that can affect your hearing.
For instance, you should always protect your ears with earmuffs, foam earbuds, or noise-canceling headphones when you are exposed to powerful noise like that of heavy machinery or an explosion of sound like that of fireworks.
At the same time, you should also be mindful when you listen to loud music on your devices. Try to limit the time you use speakers and headphones to listen to music at a high volume. Ideally, you should listen to music at 60% of the volume for no more than 60 minutes at a time.
Other things you can do to protect your hearing are:
- move away from the sound source
- limit your exposure time
- control the volume on personal devices
- wear appropriate hearing protection
- regularly check your hearing health
If you want to conveniently measure noise levels, a sound level meter app like Decibel Pro is ideal. You can easily download it to your iPhone or iPad and get instant noise level readings on your screen.
In addition, Decibel Pro also comes with additional features like a hearing test that can help you keep your hearing health in check and a spectrum analyzer that you can use to analyze frequencies and set up sound systems.
To learn more about the Decibel app, click here.