How Loud Is 120 Decibels

120dB is the amount of sound pressure a human ear would hear at one meter (about four feet) from a source that emits no more than 120dB. It’s also known as the threshold of hearing or absolute hearing threshold, and it is equal to the pressure wave at which we perceive a sound as being heard by our ears.

It’s interesting to note that there are two types of sound waves: acoustic waves and mechanical waves. Acoustic waves are generated by vibrating materials like air or water. Mechanical waves, on the other hand, are created by forces like gravity and friction.

Acoustically-generated sounds such as sirens, applause, thunder and fireworks can be very loud; they can even exceed 120dB in some cases! But when you want to create sounds with mechanical action like earthquakes or aircraft engines, you will need to use an instrument called an ear trumpet which produces both mechanical and acoustic signals at the same time.


120 decibels is the equivalent of how loud a sound wave is when it’s at its peak — the point where it’s most intense. It’s the equivalent of 100,000 volts (which is what can happen during an electric shock).

It’s been said that 120 dB can kill a person. It was also once thought that 120 dB was impossible to hear without losing hearing altogether. The new scientific consensus has determined that it’s possible to hear and feel a 120 dB sound wave without any loss of hearing.

Our ears aren’t just sensitive to sound waves; they are also sensitive to vibrations. Vibrations are produced when you shake your hands or feet while swaying or moving your head up and down. When you walk, you create movement in all directions — left, right, up, down, forward and backward.

And while running, this movement has been found to produce vibrations that are more intense than sounds produced by cars driving on a motorway at 100 mph (110 km/h).

What this means for us as writers is that if we want our readers to feel their words over their shoulders and not be distracted by their surroundings or run into something in their path — we need to use words with higher pitch than normal when writing.

Normal Conversational Levels

There’s a lot of information to be had about what is considered “noise” and how loud things can get.

The average noise level for most people is around 40 decibels, or 40dB.

Noise has a serious impact on our lives; it can cause safety concerns, health issues, and even interfere with our sleep patterns.But what exactly is noise? Most people think that noise is the sound of something like a motor or loud machinery.

But while those are definitely examples of noise, they are not typically considered “noise.”

What you may have noticed when walking down the street or reading in bed at night is not just sounds from your surroundings, but also noises from other people’s conversations. Loud music also falls into this category of “noise.”

People hear and feel sounds that are louder than 40 dB quite often without us even knowing that there was any sound at all!

Below we will explore how loud 120 dB actually sounds and why it isn’t so common knowledge (as you might imagine).We want to make sure that the information you get from this article is as complete as possible and will help you to avoid common mistakes when trying to understand what noise means in the first place!

Loudness Perception

120 decibels is about as loud as you can be without a sledge hammer. This isn’t a measurement of sound pressure. It’s a measurement of how loud something feels.

Sound pressure and sound intensity have completely different meanings when it comes to measuring the volume of sound waves. A sound pressure level is simply how loud the sound wave is and it doesn’t take into account its frequency or intensity and therefore, it will never measure 120 dB.

Furthermore, a sound pressure level can vary by a great margin depending on the nature of the object being measured. For example, if you are standing near an electrical outlet with your ear partially covered, then your ear will be further away from the source compared to if you were wearing earplugs so that your ear has to deal with more intense sounds.

However, if you are standing in front of someone’s face with an earpiece inserted in his or her ears then all sounds will be much louder than they normally would otherwise—a factor that affects how loud 120 dB appears on paper as well.

Sound Intensity and Human Perception

Sound intensity is measured in decibels, with a decibel (dB) being one tenth of a bel. The decibel scale can be used to describe the loudness of sounds, which are divided into categories based on their perceived loudness, from barely audible to extremely loud.

The human ear can discern sounds down to about 110 dB in certain circumstances — for example, if an explosion occurs nearby — but even then, the human ear can only distinguish between two frequencies at a time.The perception of sound intensity is based on perceived loudness and not absolute volume.

That’s because there’s another factor involved beyond volume; sound pressure is calculated based on the intensity of the pressure waves. So while 100 dB might indicate a simple explosion that you can hear clearly right next door, 120 dB means that the blast has reached your bedroom and made your walls rattle.

120 dB in a Nutshell

Noise is one of the most interesting aspects of our modern world.So, how loud is 120dB?

The standard definition for measurement is that a sound pressure level that can be heard by humans at a distance of about 20 meters (66 feet) without the aid of amplification devices.One source states that the human hearing threshold for 100dB SPL is about 6-8 decibels, or about one half octave below the audible range for most people.

It’s important to note that this threshold does not apply to speech, which has been measured to have a maximum sound pressure level of 123 dB. But it does apply to pure tones, which we know from previous studies have an SPL of 116 dB, with intermediate amplifiers being able to produce 107 dB or more.The noise we encounter in everyday life can vary in volume, with higher volumes than those noted above being considered “loud” and lower ones being considered “quiet”. As a result, the potential range above 70dB has typically been defined as “moderate noise” and above 105dB as “high noise”.