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What's you're prefered music listening level? (1 Viewer)

keir

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Messages
182
I usually listen to music at what i would call a moderate volume (probably 70 dB), but decided to crank it up a bit when i was listening to Rush - Tom sawyer. I noticed that it had a lot more impact at higher volume. It even sounds more balanced and natural at that volume.
Im running paradigm titans with a sony sa-wm40 that nicely integrates, and they seemed to "come alive" at higher volume more than im used to.
I measured the new volume at 80 dB on the radio shack meter (c weighting, slow setting). its probably a bit silly that I never tried this before :) but i have a feeling ill be cranking it up more often. I bet many of you are used to 80 or even higher though. I would like to know what everyone listens at anyway!
edit: can't believe i used the wrong "your" in the title :frowning:
 

Chris Tsutsui

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 1, 2002
Messages
1,865
It depends what type of music I listen to. I listen to orchestra/symphony type music at up to 90db.
In my car I listen to pop/rock at 100db. (Only on songs I like) I believe the car noise helps achieve 100db cause it doesn't seem very loud until I hit a stoplight.
Movies in my HT usually at slightly above or at reference level.
Comfortable casual listening is like 70-80db.
I listen to a lot of music at night on sennheiser headphones though, I believe they are at around 80db or more.
I have the shack spl meter and I took it inside a commercial movie theater. It was averaging 80-85db during the movie "ice age" I think. Of course my spl meter could be broken after I blew into the mic to see if I could max out 130db. :frowning:
 

DaveHo

Supporting Actor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Messages
605
Guess I'm still young enough to go with the philosophy that if it's too loud you're to old. I regularly hit 110Db peaks at what I consider spirited listening levels in my 13x20ft room. I would consider 100Db levels to be a normal listening level.

-Dave
 

John Desmond

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 13, 2000
Messages
90
Most of the time it is background and below 70db. When I sit down in my good chair for serious listening I like to listen at a level that is somewhat close to what it would be like live. Not quite that loudly, I do want to keep my hearing.
 

kevitra

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
364
"110Db peaks at what I consider spirited listening levels "

I am 26 and only listen at 80db max. Ever hear of tinnus? It is where your ears always ring. Late at night in complete silence I hear a very faint ringing. It is a sign of the beginning of tinnus. It dosen't bother me at all (some people cannot function it is so bad).

I got it from seeing over 150 concerts while in hs/college. I didn't start wearing earplugs until probably concert 50. For fun I will turn up the HT to 100db explosions, but I will never listen constantly at that volume.

Just a warning.
 

Phil Iturralde

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 7, 1998
Messages
1,892
My higher than AVG 2-CH w/sub listening level = 92 - 95 dB Fast Peaks SPLs (SPL Meter Dial = 90 / Weight = C / Speed = FAST).
Temporary hearing loss can happen after you’ve been exposed to loud noise for only 15 minutes. If you have temporary hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear as well as you normally can; and you may have tinnitus (say: tin-eye-tuss), which is a fancy word for ringing in the ears. Your ears can also feel ‘full’. These things usually go away and your hearing soon returns to normal.
Click the link above for the entire article w/SPL chart.
Phil
 

Ned

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 20, 2000
Messages
838
I've measured The Eagles DTS dvd at what I would consider "loud" and it hits about 95-97db c-weighted in my well treated room. Anyone listening to music at home at 100-110db is asking for hearing loss :)
 

jeff lam

Screenwriter
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Jun 4, 2001
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I agree! Be careful. Hearing loss is very serious. I'm only 22 and I'm glad I take better care and am more careful now. Although I may have some minor hearing loss from HS car audio stuff and some concerts/band practices in college.
 

Chris PC

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 12, 2001
Messages
3,975
My room is small so for the most part, I listen to music at about 80-85 dB average C-weighted and sometimes lower, say around 70-75 dB. I listen to music above 90 dB sometimes, but very seldom and only for brief periods. Fave song etc. Too bad pop music is so un-dynamic. You really notice it after a while. In order to get the full impact, you turn it up, and its louds, but its ALL loud all the time, and then when there is something that goes a little louder, its noticable as TOO loud, even by me, someone who likes loud music. I wish pop music was recorded with more dynamics. Some folk and rock and roll is better for that. Classical is the best. You listen at a nice moderate volume and the dynamics pop out or up now and then. Too bad receivers didn't have a dynamics switch or dynamic range expander like the Dolby thingy.
 

Saurav

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2001
Messages
2,174
Have you listened to Paul Simon's 'Graceland' album? The song right after 'You Can Call Me Al' (2nd song on the 2nd side on the LP) starts with a drum that's pretty startling in it's dynamics. Overall, I was pretty surprised at the dynamic range in that album. I agree with you though, for the most part pop and a lot of rock recordings are dynamically very compressed.
 

Chris PC

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I should have a listen. Some of Paul Simon's stuff is very folky-jazzy and so free of melody that I get a little dis-interested. Thats not to say he doesn't have good music, its just that I have been a little lost musically in some of his songs. Kinda rambley. Anyways...I'll check it out. Its hard to say what is compressed and what isn't, as I'm so used to compressed pop and rock music. Sometimes I prefer music that has less loud noisy main parts to the song. So for instance, I listen to Bruce Cockburn or Gorden Lightfoot and it seems more dynamic. Anyways..perhaps this is getting off topic, but the reason I bring it up, is because the dynamics of the recordings I listen to largely determine how loud I play the music. Thats why I'm always harping on bass and loudness controls. I don't need to listen to the music really loud if I can bring the bass up while leaving the rest of the recording at a lower volume.

Movies I am not sure what I listen to them at, but since they are much more dynamic, I would guess I listen to movies at an average of 70-75 dB for the normal dialouge, with 90-100 dB peaks. Just a guess.
 

Jeff Kohn

Supporting Actor
Joined
Dec 29, 2001
Messages
680
I've never really measured the actual SPL of my typical listening levels, but I usually have my receiver at -10 when watching DVD's, which I'm guessing is around 10db below reference. I also have mild tinnitus that I can hear in silence. I'm 29, but I don't think the tinnitus has anything to do with home theater but rather listening to rock/metal at loud levels since I was a little kid and attending my share of concerts. I try to be a little more careful about listening to really loud music for sustained periods of time now because I don't want it to get any worse. But somes times it's just too hard to resist cranking it up. :)
 

Michael R Price

Screenwriter
Joined
Jul 22, 2001
Messages
1,591
I agree. I normally listen from 70-80dB average, and I sometimes crank to 90+ (WOW, it sounds good! that's another story...) But I can't do that too often since my parents live here too. :)
I also wish modern music was recorded with a wider dynamic range. I'd rather get blown out of my chair with the exciting parts of a song, than be either (a) bored by a constantly low level, or (b) blown out of my chair nonstop. If only music CDs were recorded like good DVDs.
Has anyone here tried a 'dynamic range expander' box? Does this sort of thing actually work?
 

Scott Oliver

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 30, 2000
Messages
1,159
keir,

One reason that your system seems to come together at higher volume levels is because of your volume control. More than likely it is a digital volume control, which begins to throw away bits of resolution at lower volume levels.

Also some speakers are better if played louder. Not sure but probably related to cone stiffness and the type of crossover employed in various speakers.

However by louder I mean 80-90dB, not 100dB or so, which is quite dangerous for your system to consistently reach.

I once saw this post, can't remember if it was here or another forum, where the poster stated that he needed to be able to hit 120db on loud passges and 100dB on soft passges otherwise the music just didn't do it for him. I am guessing but I think his SPL meter was broken, otherwise he will be deaf by age 30.
 

Saurav

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2001
Messages
2,174
Or maybe he was already deaf (or getting there), which is why he needed to hit those levels :)
 

Chris PC

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 12, 2001
Messages
3,975
Has anyone here tried a 'dynamic range expander' box? Does this sort of thing actually work?
I am quite positive Dolby made one of these and I think it was related to their noise reduction. HX Pro headroom extention I think was the name of it. The idea was, that with a wider dynamic range, you could have nice loud dynamics and still hear the softer levels "above the noise". Mostly a feature specific of the tape format (which took advantage of Dolby C noise reduction?) but I think there was something else they used and it had to do with spectral or optical movie sound tracks. But aside from those specific technology applications, I know there was an actual stand alone component that acted as a dynamic range expander but I can't remember what it was called if it was different from any of the above. Its on the tip of my tounge from reading Sound & Vision and Stereo Review in the late eighties and early Ninties. People used it in their Hi-Fi systems with tape and record years ago and it was, of course, analog. Perhaps someone can refresh out memories as to the components we are talking about. Better still, perhaps someone could take this into consideration and offer dynamic range expansion for receivers or pre-pro's in both analog and digital flavours :)
 

Martin G

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 19, 2001
Messages
336
kevitra,

Hearing a faint ringing in your ears at night is not necessarily tinnitus. If the environment is soft enough you will hear a ringing from your nervous system. you can also hear a lower pitched sound from your circulatory system. I don't know how soft it has to be to hear these things, but when I went into a "silent" room they almost sounded really loud.
 

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