“I like the music, but is it safe for my hearing?”
Bob Bruce, principal at CSTI acoustics, recently addressed the issue of loud music: “It seems everyone wants a single number that is safe but still enjoyable. The problem is that the safe number is low and assumes something about how frequently it happens. Sounds are reported in decibels (dB) and cannot be added to one another directly.”
In his paper at Inter-NOISE 2010, published in Sound)Vibration magazine, Bob addresses this problem. He proposes an exposure rating that can be summed to determine what sound levels are safe for how long. It’s up to you, though, to determine whether the music is enjoyable.