Example noise levels

Noise is entirely natural and is something we are exposed to every day, whether from social sources, (e.g. music, iPods, cinema, road traffic, etc.) or noise experienced while at work. These are some common noise exposure levels which help to relate the numbers seen in dB to known situations.

150dB
Rifle
140dB
Shotgun
Jet taking off
120dB
Threshold of pain - where noise starts to hurt
115dB
Standing on train platform as inter-city train passes
110dB
Amplified music / live concert
Roadworks - levels pedestrians can be exposed to when walking past.
105dB
Wind noise experienced on a motorbike travelling at 70mph.
100dB
Chainsaw
Cinema (often 100 to 110dB)
Car stereo - (98 to 120dB)
95dB
Standing on tube platform when train passes.
Domestic vacuum cleaner (93 to 96 depending on room)
90dB
Personal CD or MP3 player, (up to 105dB if on loud)
Lawn mower
Noisy pub or restaurant
85dB
85 dB(A) is upper workplace exposure limit.
Regular exposure will damage hearing. Protection is mandatory.
Roadside cafe
80dB
Lower workplace exposure limit - hearing protection is advisory from 80 to below 85dB(A).
70dB
Normal restaurant
20dB
Buzzing insect
10dB
Falling leaf
0dB
Limit of hearing for young people with good hearing.

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