Noise Levels


0 dB = Smallest sound a person with normal hearing can detect. No risk to hearing.
30 dB = The sound of a whisper. No risk to hearing.
75 dB = Dishwasher. No risk to hearing.
85 dB = Noise from city traffic. Your hearing can be damaged if you are close to noise at or above this level for a long time.
90 dB = Noise from a power mower. Be sure to wear your earplugs!
95 dB = Motorcycle noise. Don&rsquot forget your hearing protection!
100 dB = Workshop noise, such as a power drill. Exposure for 15 minutes or longer can be damaging. Wear earmuffs or earplugs!
105 dB = Personal stereo at maximum volume. Music at this level can damage your hearing. Turn down the sound!
110 dB = Sound from concert speakers can reach this level or higher. Regular exposure for more than 1 minute can damage your hearing forever. Wear earplugs!
120 dB = Siren noise from an ambulance or firetruck. Move away from the noise or wear hearing protection.
140 dB = Noise from a jet engine during takeoff. Wear earmuffs or earplugs if you are standing nearby or move away from the sound.
150 dB = Noise from firecrackers or shotguns. Always wear hearing protection.


For more information, contact the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) at 800-241-1044 or visit