Noise Level Chart

A noise level chart showing examples of sounds with dB levels ranging from 0 to 180 decibels.

dBAExampleHome & Yard AppliancesWorkshop & Construction
0healthy hearing threshold  
10a pin dropping  
20rustling leaves  
40babbling brookcomputer 
50light trafficrefrigerator 
60conversational speechair conditioner 
75toilet flushingvacuum cleaner 
80alarm clockgarbage disposal 
85passing diesel trucksnow blower 
90squeeze toylawn mowerarc welder
95inside subway carfood processorbelt sander
100motorcycle (riding) handheld drill
105sporting event table saw
110rock band jackhammer
115emergency vehicle siren riveter
120thunderclap oxygen torch
125balloon popping  
130peak stadium crowd noise  
135air raid siren  
140jet engine at takeoff  
150fighter jet launch  
155cap gun  
165.357 magnum revolver  
170safety airbag  
175howitzer cannon  
180rocket launch  
194sound waves become shock waves 

Most noise levels are given in dBA, which are decibels adjusted to reflect the ear's response to different frequencies of sound. Sudden, brief impulse sounds, like many of those shown at 120 dB or greater, are often given in dB (no adjustment).

Noise Chart

Specifics about the measurement of a particular sound source can be found in the Noise Navigator® Sound Level Database, E-A-R 88-34/HP, by Elliott H Berger, Rick Neitzel, and Cynthia A Kladden, E•A•RCAL Laboratory, 3M Occupational Health & Environmental Safety Division, an extensive compilation of data on noise level measurements, including many of the values appearing on this chart.

Learn more:
What is a decibel?
What are the safe noise exposure limits?
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