How Loud Is 80 Decibels?

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According to Purdue University, 80 decibels (dB) is approximately as loud as a garbage disposal or a dishwasher. It is possible for ears to be damaged if exposed to 80 decibels for eight hours.

Decibels are used to measure the intensity of sound on a logarithmic scale. For every increase of 10 decibels, the sound is considered to be twice as loud. Another way to imagine the intensity of 80 decibels is twice the volume of a normal conversation. The average person’s pain threshold is 110 decibels, the sound level of a live rock concert, and eardrums can immediately rupture when exposed to 150 decibels, the sound level of a jet engine or top fuel race car. For an amplifier to raise the intensity of sound by 10 decibels, it requires 10 times more wattage.