Noise Level References

Noise SourceDecibelsComments
Jet take-off (at 25 meters).150Eardrum rupture.
Aircraft carrier deck.140 
Military jet aircraft take-off from aircraft carrier with afterburner at 50 ft. (130 dB).130 
Thunderclap, chain saw.  Oxygen torch (121 dB).120Painful. 32 times as loud as 70 dB.
Steel mill, auto horn at 1 meter. Turbo-fan aircraft at takeoff power at 200 ft (118 dB). Riveting machine (110 dB); live rock music (108 - 114 dB).110Average human pain threshold. 16 times as loud as 70 dB.
Jet take-off (at 305 meters), use of outboard motor, power lawn mower, motorcycle, farm tractor, jackhammer, garbage truck. Boeing 707 or DC-8 aircraft at one nautical mile (6080 ft) before landing (106 dB); jet flyover at 1000 feet (103 dB); Bell J-2A helicopter at 100 ft (100 dB).1008 times as loud as 70 dB. Serious damage possible in 8 hr. exposure.
Boeing 737 or DC-9 aircraft at one nautical mile (6080 ft.) before landing (97 dB); power mower (96 dB); motorcycle at 25 ft (90 dB). Newspaper press (97 dB).904 times as loud as 70 dB.  Likely damage 8 hr. exposure.
Garbage disposal, dishwasher, average factory, freight train (at 15 meters).  Car wash at 20 ft (89 dB); propeller plane
flyover at 1000 ft (88 dB); diesel truck 40 mph at 50 ft (84 dB); diesel train at 45 mph at 100 ft. (83 dB).  Food blender (88 dB); milling machine (85 dB); garbage disposal (80 dB).
802 times as loud as 70 dB.  Possible damage in 8 hr. exposure.
Passenger car at 65 mph at 25 ft (77 dB); freeway at 50 ft from pavement edge 10 a.m. (76 dB).  Living room music (76 dB); radio or TV-audio, vacuum cleaner (70 dB).70Arbitrary base of comparison. Upper 70s are annoyingly loud to some people.
Conversation in restaurant, office, background music, Air conditioning unit at 100 ft.60Half as loud as 70 dB. Fairly quiet.
Gast AT05 < 60db. Less noise than a conversation in a restaurant or background music.59Half as loud as a vacuum cleaner or as loud as an A/C unit from 100FT away – not very loud.
Quiet suburb, conversation at home. Large electrical transformers at 100 ft.50One-fourth as loud as 70 dB.
SSP DBMX80 < 45db. More than ambient noise in a library and less than the sound of a quiet conversation at home. Much less than the noise of an air-conditioner.45Approx. one-sixth as loud as 70 dB.
Library, bird calls (44 dB); lowest limit of urban ambient sound.40One-eighth as loud as 70 dB.
Quiet rural area.30One-sixteenth as loud as 70 dB. Very quiet.
Whisper, rustling leaves.20 
Breathing.10Barely audible.
Modified from on 2/2000. SOURCES: Temple University Department of Civil/Environmental Engineering (, and Federal Agency Review of Selected Airport Noise Analysis Issues, Federal Interagency Committee on Noise (August 1992). Source of the information is attributed to Outdoor Noise and the Metropolitan Environment, M.C. Branch et al., Department of City Planning, City of Los Angeles, 1970.