Environmental Noise

Lately I’ve been noticing just how loud some places can be. Here’s a brief look at some recent experiences. Keep in mind that sounds above 70 dB are considered harmful. Extended exposure, as well as specific freuency ranges of noise can also add to the level of harm they do.

As the hearing health foundations says: “a basic rule of thumb is common sense: If it sounds too loud, it is too loud.


In this case the combination of loud music, coffee machines and cooling cases made for a very poor experience. These snapshot readings are below 70 dB, but if you look at the trending graph below, there are easily peaks at 70 dB or even higher. Prolonged exposure could bring negative effects to workers and customers.

Arnold’s arcade:

This is a local family fun center with a lot going on under one roof. These readings were taken from the arcade section where multiple machines play constantly, creating a cacophony of sound. Easily over the 70 dB limit.

Tech conference:

These readings were from inside a room where a DJ was performing at a local tech meetup. The lower reading is from outside that room. Both are entirely too loud to hold any kind of productive conversation.

Note: Readings taken with Sound Meter app on Android. Ads from the app have been manually cropped out, so some of the image scaling might be off, but the values are original.


By jjdeprisco

Sonic explorer, sound artist, guitarist in Fricknadorable, software designer.