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  • Jennifer Birtles

How Loud is Too Loud?

How loud is too loud for your ears? All sound can be measured in decibels (dB), a measure used to evaluate whether a sound is safe to listen to, and for how long.

What decibel is too loud? Any noise measured 85dB and above can be harmful, especially if you’re exposed to it for a prolonged period of time. Safe listening is considered to be listening to sounds of up to 85dB for up to 8 hours a day.

Most cases of noise-induced hearing loss are a result of accumulated damage from repeated exposure to loud noises. Find out more about different decibel levels below.

(Image credit: BYJU's)

Listen safely with headphones

  • Follow the 60 / 60 rule to protect your ears - don't listen to personal audio devices at more than 60% of the volume for more than 60 minutes at a time. After an hour of listening, give your ears a break and a chance to recover.

  • If possible, use noise-cancelling headphones - the volume we listen at usually depends on the amount of competing background noise there is. Noise-cancelling headphones help to mask out any background noise.

  • Be careful not to turn up the volume of your headphones to compensate for background noise, you can do damage without realising how loud you're actually listening.

  • Limit the amount of time you spend engaged in noisy activities and take regular breaks to give your ears time to rest.

Enjoy entertainment safely