# How much louder is 110db vs. 90db?

#### Ferocious

##### Diamond Member
I found two different answers in my search.

One says 100X as loud. The other says 4X as loud.

shortylickens

#### Eug

##### Lifer
It's 20 dB louder.

It's a doubling every 3 dB, so around 100X the sound power. You won't perceive that as 100X though. Some people say that it sounds like 4X as loud but I'd guess that'd vary.

I guess to put it another way:

+3 dB seems a little bit louder to us humans, but it takes twice the power to achieve that. So, if you find your 80 Watt per channel stereo isn't loud enough, you'd probably want to get something like a 200 Watt per channel amp (assuming the values are measured the same way). Getting an amp that does only 25% more at 100 Watts wouldn't help you, since we'd perceive that as barely any louder.

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#### Ruptga

##### Lifer
Our hearing is logarithmic. And Eug beat me to it, with a better post too. Bastard.

#### repoman0

##### Diamond Member
Are you talking about intensity or pressure? For pressure, it's a linear factor of 10 increase in pressure per 20 dB. When talking about how loud X object is to a human, you'd use pressure. For intensity (power per area) it's 10 dB per factor of 10. Obviously both referenced to different quantities

Number1

#### Eug

##### Lifer
^^^ Off topic but...

When shopping for a dishwasher, don't cheap out unless you're really short on cash. I got one that is way quieter than normal speech. Most of the time I don't even know it's running unless it's silent in the room or I put my hand on the front of the unit.

#### z1ggy

##### Lifer
Wow did not know how loud inner tornado was. That's pretty crazy considering I've been about .25m away from an AR-15 when it went off with just a little ear protection on (ear plug was very loose). I can't imagine then what the tornado would feel like. My ear rang for a solid 2 days.

shortylickens

#### Imp

##### Lifer
^Ya, it's pretty insane how loud guns are. Think I've seen 150 dB for rifles. Best ear plugs I've seen reduce by a rated 33 dB. Noise exposure allowed by OSHA or whatever for 117 dB is almost zero -- potential for instant damage. Silencers supposedly only reduce by 30 dB or whatever, so silencers + ear plugs might be useful.

As to OP: I don't remember, just that it's not linear.

Regardless, you going deaf with either one. The 110 dB will just make it happen way sooner.

#### lefenzy

##### Senior member
Is everyone who's been in the army slightly deaf?

#### IronWing

##### No Lifer
One is like Neil Diamond in concert and the other is The Who.

#### Eug

##### Lifer
Wow did not know how loud inner tornado was. That's pretty crazy considering I've been about .25m away from an AR-15 when it went off with just a little ear protection on (ear plug was very loose). I can't imagine then what the tornado would feel like. My ear rang for a solid 2 days.
If you're in a tornado, I'd say you'd have bigger things to worry about.

BTW, the lead singer of AC/DC went deaf from driving a race car without ear plugs.

#### Rubycon

It's 20 dB louder.

It's a doubling every 3 dB, so around 100X the sound power. You won't perceive that as 100X though. Some people say that it sounds like 4X as loud but I'd guess that'd vary.

I guess to put it another way:

+3 dB seems a little bit louder to us humans, but it takes twice the power to achieve that. So, if you find your 80 Watt per channel stereo isn't loud enough, you'd probably want to get something like a 200 Watt per channel amp (assuming the values are measured the same way). Getting an amp that does only 25% more at 100 Watts wouldn't help you, since we'd perceive that as barely any louder.

It's not that simple.

While it's true regarding actual power, the way a loudspeaker works and music (especially live music or recordings possessing wide dynamic range) are far different.

If a (home) loudspeaker system can handle the increase (most claiming they do are generally ballasted) the increase in volume isn't proportional. As voice coils heat up their resistance increases which means the power decreases at same given voltage. This phenomenon is known as power compression.

This is why bridging amplifiers doesn't always work as well as one would think. In pro audio where you benefit from higher impedance loads getting the extra voltage you gain headroom which helps with live sound.

And distortion rapidly increases with increase in voltage input as well.

The solution? Improve efficiency by changing loudspeaker design or adding more speakers. Going from a system that's 87dB (1W/1M) to 97dB will be electrically equivalent of increasing your amplifier power tenfold! And that's using the same amp. Horn loaded systems with room gain can approach 115dB or more. This is why car audio systems can get so loud on comparatively little power.

And before you say "Well Leo has a van with 25,000 watts bro!" Let's see how loud it is sitting in the middle of a ball field with the doors open playing full volume, which with batteries and alternators going full tilt, isn't going to last long! (Thankfully)

Amp power is frequently measured in dB/W as well. A 20dBW amp is 100W. 30dBW is 1000W and so on. It's not uncommon to have summed venue values of 55dBW or more! This is why at front row, SPL can reach 130dB which is quite loud. Most people's ears don't even hear the individual notes at this level, it just sounds like a scream.

#### WaTaGuMp

##### Lifer
My car did 135 DB when it was measured, the stereo, of course. This was back in my car audio days, which are long over. Now its portable audio.

#### dullard

##### Elite Member
Is everyone who's been in the army slightly deaf?
Hearing loss isn't that simple. There seem to be three categories of people.
1) Those who are born with genetic hearing loss.
2) Those who are born with genes that make them susceptible to hearing loss after exposure to loud noises.
3) Those are not genetically susceptible to hearing loss after exposure to loud noises and require major trauma to get hearing loss.

Most people don't know about category #3.

Just being exposed repeatedly to loud noise is probably not enough to cause hearing loss. You also need to be genetically susceptible to hearing loss caused by loud noises. So, in short, no not everyone in the army is slightly deaf.

A good rule of thumb, is that if your ears hurt or ring for days afterwards, then you might have harmed your hearing if you are genetically susceptible to it. If not, you probably didn't harm your hearing.

Note: I'm not an expert in hearing loss. Also note that I've been flamed here and elsewhere for talking about #3 before. People hold the concept that any loud noise causes hearing damage as very near and dear to them.

#### WaTaGuMp

##### Lifer
I made my ear drums stronger by listening to loud music, that's my story and I am sticking to it.

#### IEC

##### Elite Member
Super Moderator
Can confirm, repeated gunfire with inadequate hearing protection will damage your hearing.

I double up with plugs + electronic muffs to avoid further damage. One or the other isn't enough unless you shoot 100% suppressed.

#### JSt0rm

##### Lifer
Hearing loss isn't that simple. There seem to be three categories of people.
1) Those who are born with genetic hearing loss.
2) Those who are born with genes that make them susceptible to hearing loss after exposure to loud noises.
3) Those are not genetically susceptible to hearing loss after exposure to loud noises and require major trauma to get hearing loss.

Most people don't know about category #3.

Just being exposed repeatedly to loud noise is probably not enough to cause hearing loss. You also need to be genetically susceptible to hearing loss caused by loud noises. So, in short, no not everyone in the army is slightly deaf.

A good rule of thumb, is that if your ears hurt or ring for days afterwards, then you might have harmed your hearing if you are genetically susceptible to it. If not, you probably didn't harm your hearing.

Note: I'm not an expert in hearing loss. Also note that I've been flamed here and elsewhere for talking about #3 before. People hold the concept that any loud noise causes hearing damage as very near and dear to them.

I'm in category 3. Thank fucking god I have that going for me. I listen to lots of loud every day and while I do have a little tinnitus my hearing tests have come back good. I do fatigue sometimes and need silence.

You can still damage your hearing though. And I think u won't know what kind of person you are until you go past the breaking point so it's probably not good to make people comfortable with the idea.

We also have to remember we perceive loudness differently based on frequency. Pink noise is a decent enough aproximation of our hearing range and any measurement of loudness should be done with it.

#### z1ggy

##### Lifer
I love electronic muffs.....

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk

shortylickens

#### ImpulsE69

##### Lifer
Is everyone who's been in the army slightly deaf?

No, because earplugs are a requirement (most people use them).

#### Imp

##### Lifer
Can confirm, repeated gunfire with inadequate hearing protection will damage your hearing.

I double up with plugs + electronic muffs to avoid further damage. One or the other isn't enough unless you shoot 100% suppressed.

The funny thing about that is that I used to think that 33 dB earplugs + 35 dB earmuffs = 68 dB of protection. That, apparently, isn't true. Combining the two supposedly only gives ~40 dB of protection because of how sound is transmitted through your face/bones and whatnot -- not a doctor or hearing expert.

Wonder if I can get a suppressor in Canada... I heard you can get one in the U.S. with enough paperwork.

#### IEC

##### Elite Member
Super Moderator
Yes, it's not additive. But it actually gives the best benefit in sound reduction (up to ~40dB) and you can still hear other people around you due to the electronic earpro. So it is safer (NR) and safer (awareness of what's going on around you).

20db

#### Fenixgoon

##### Lifer
It's 20 dB louder.

It's a doubling every 3 dB, so around 100X the sound power. You won't perceive that as 100X though. Some people say that it sounds like 4X as loud but I'd guess that'd vary.

I guess to put it another way:

+3 dB seems a little bit louder to us humans, but it takes twice the power to achieve that. So, if you find your 80 Watt per channel stereo isn't loud enough, you'd probably want to get something like a 200 Watt per channel amp (assuming the values are measured the same way). Getting an amp that does only 25% more at 100 Watts wouldn't help you, since we'd perceive that as barely any louder.

a useful first post? am i in the wrong place?

nice work

#### shortylickens

##### No Lifer
Like your eyes, your ears change the way you perceive large changes in input. You cant go by your senses, you need a device that can measure without attenuating.