Use the 60:60 rule: The 60:60 rule is to listen to your personal music player at 60% of the max volume for 60 minutes. A nearby helicopter can easily reach 105 dB—while most people are not near helicopters very often, 105 dB can also be produced by a large drum, which is a serious hazard for musicians. Environmental Noise: weakest sound heard: 0 dB: normal conversation at 3-5 ft: 60-70 dB: dial tone of telephone: 80 dB: city traffic inside car: 85 dB : 1983 OSHA monitoring requirements begin 90 dB. In general, sounds above 85 are harmful, depending on how long and how often you are exposed to them and whether you wear hearing protection, such as earplugs or earmuffs. Instead, just remember that decibels are relative and logarithmic. Or it will restrict the volume to a safe level. Normal conversation: 60 dB; Lawn mower: 90 dB; Movie theater: 80-100 dB; Live music: 100-115 dB; How many decibels is too loud? The distance from the ears to the sound source is very important to the value of the SPL. Environmental Noise. A lawnmower can be anywhere from 60 to 90 dB and are often in use for several hours. Decibel (Loudness) Comparison Chart. Normal conversation is about 60 dB, a lawn mower is about 90 dB, and a loud rock concert is about 120 dB. Library, bird calls (44 dB); lowest limit of urban ambient sound: 40: One-eighth as loud as 70 dB. A sound's loudness is measured in decibels (dB). Large electrical transformers at 100 feet. Library, bird calls (44 dB); lowest limit of urban ambient sound: 40: One-eighth as loud as 70 dB. Whisper, rustling leaves: 20 : Breathing: 10: Barely audible: Go back. Quiet rural area. Large electrical transformers at 100 ft: 50: One-fourth as loud as 70 dB. Quiet suburb, conversation at home. 50: One-fourth as loud as 70 dB. Very Quiet. Quiet rural area: 30: One-sixteenth as loud as 70 dB. DECIBEL (LOUDNESS) COMPARISON CHART. Researchers have discovered that extended or repeated noise exposure to levels of 85 decibels or above can cause permanent hearing loss. 40 dB is twice as loud as 30 dB, and half as loud as 50 dB. The range of 60-70 decibels sound pressure level is about as loud as normal conversation in 1 meter distance. 30: One-sixteenth as loud as 70 dB. When it comes to damaging levels of sound, the magic number is 85. Logarithmic means that, for every 10 dB, the corresponding real-world volume doubles. Relative means that dB is only a useful measurement when compared to other dB values. Fairly quiet. Here are some interesting numbers, collected from a variety of sources, that help one to understand the volume levels of various sources and how they can affect our hearing. All MP3 players iPods and smart phones bought within the EU have a smart volume feature. 60: Half as loud as 70 dB. Generally when you try to put the volume up past a certain level it will tell you you are passing the safe level. 60: Half as loud as 70 dB. Fairly quiet: Quiet suburb, conversation at home.