Decibel Exposure Levels
Here are the recommended daily exposures for different decibel levels. Notice that each 3 dB increase cuts the recommended exposure time in half.
|Decibel (dB) Level||Time Exposed|
|103||7 ½ minutes|
Decibel readings for most Conservatory instruments fall between the 75-100 dB range, so the challenges are clear. If you play your trumpet at 85 dB, you can play for 8 hours a day. Boost it up to 97 db and that drops to just 30 minutes! All of our ensembles generate volumes from 85-110, with the Sambistas coming in at 120db. The Conservatory office has decibel meters for you to check out so you can see what your sound exposure levels are. This will help you decide the best approach to take to protect your hearing.
Apart from the Conservatory, the story is the same. Normal volume levels in the Cafe and Commons hover around 85-90 and can be higher during peak hours. Earbuds at 1/3 maximum volume are producing around 85db. Think about that. When is the last time you listened to your headphones at 1/3 volume level. Most headphones easily exceed 95-100dbs as they reach peak volume. That means your safe listening time is only about 30 minutes. How often do you listen to your headphones at high volumes for extended periods of time? Do whatever you can to turn down the volume and limit extended exposure.
This message might not be easy to hear, but if you ignore the facts, nothing will be easy to hear. After all, what is more important than your hearing?