Hearing loss

How loud is too loud
for my ears?

How do I know if my hearing is at risk?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exposure to sounds 85 decibels (dB) and above can damage your hearing.

The louder or higher decibel the sound is, the less exposure time is required for hearing loss to occur.

This chart shows examples of sounds with decibel levels ranging from 40 dB to 140 dB, and the amount of exposure time necessary to put your hearing at risk.


If you’re unsure whether the noise you’re being exposed to exceeds 85 dB, many smartphone apps — like Starkey’s free SoundCheck app — let you measure decibel levels in real time.

140dB

Gunshot, Jet Engine at Takeoff
Immediate danger to hearing

125dB

Air Raid Siren, Firecracker
Pain threshold

120dB

Rock Concert, Sandblasting
Risk of hearing damage in 7 minutes

115dB

Baby's Cry, Jet Ski
Risk of hearing damage in 15 minutes

110dB

Snowmobile in Driver's Seat
Risk of hearing damage in 30 minutes

105dB

Jackhammer, Helicopter
Risk of hearing damage in 1 hour

100dB

Chain Saw, Stereo Headphone
Risk of hearing damage in 2 hours

95dB

Motorcycle, Power Saw
Risk of hearing damage in 4 hours

90dB

Lawnmower, Truck Traffic
Risk of hearing damage in 8 hours

85dB

Beginning of OSHA Regulations

70dB

Busy traffic, Vacuum Cleaner

60dB

Conversation, Dishwasher

40dB

Quiet Room

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