How loud do you listen to your system

Just for interest how loud do people set their system at their listening position? I am interested as I read somewhere that loudspeakers are designed for typically 80dB at the listening position. No idea if this is true, but wondered how loud people normally listen (serious listening) and also what people consider low volume.
I don’t have a calibrated meter but I use SPL meter app on the iPhone and I generally sit around 70dB (A) at my listening position. I certainly notice an increase in solidity and bass if I push the levels up to 70-75dB(A)

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Is that an app that can be easily loaded onto an iPhone?

@graham55 Yes it’s easy to download various app options from App Store, I use Decibel X dB Sound Level Meter, just type in Sound Level on the app search bar.


Normally at 21:00 hrs on the dial perhaps a little higher on vinyl.


I tend to listen with peaks at around 75dB (around 9 on my SN3). Occasional enthusiasm pushes that level up, but not so often.

If its helpful NIOSH SLM is a (free) production level sound measurement app for iPhone. The Apple watch’s built in measurement app gives a more conservative reading.



About 9 on my SN3.

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Just tried an app and anything above 70db is extremely loud. Not sure how good app is. Watching TV around 50 to 60db.

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Volume control setting is an absolutely meaningless indication of loudness other than to someone with tge same amp, speakers, source, room and listening distance…


There have been multiple threads on this sibject, one very recently:

In my case it of course depends on the music. I commonly listen - but to music not to my system - around 80dB average, sound level, not infrequently higher, occasionally quite a bit higher and occasionally lower.


Nighttime around 7pm on the volume, daytime I stretch to 8pm. Dave is set to approx 1v so overall quite low.

About 65db with peaks generally around 80db.

One thing I find though is that things start feeling louder as a listening session goes on. I find myself nudging the volume down several times over the hour.

A more meaningful method of comparison is to determine the Relative Difference and Power Ratio between the loudness level of your music and the ambient noise in your room.

For example, suppose you listen to music at 70 dB and your room’s ambient noise is 30 dB. Meanwhile, another person listens to music at the same level of 70 dB, but their room’s ambient noise is approximately 36 dB. In this case, you would calculate the Relative Difference and Power Ratio for both scenarios to make a comparison.


If listening at very low levels that would indeed be meaningful, but I don’t think very relevant if listening at, say, 60 or 70 dB upwards - and anyway suspect that is pushing most people’s abilities a tad far!

On my main system (NDX2 252 active 250’s 808’s) which is in a detached house, usually 21:00 on the dial or sometimes 22:00
In my apartment system (NDX2 SN3), usually 20:00 and very occasionally 21:00 if I know my neighbour directly above is out.


Unfortunately volume control setting doesn’t give any indication of sound level to anyone unless they have an identical system, room and listening distance…


Between 50 and 110.

The concept of noise floor and its impact on high-fidelity audio experiences, especially in a high-end Hi-Fi setup, is quite significant. Increasing the loudness of music does not remove or reduce the noise floor. If you’re arguing for the sake of argument, I have no further comment.

I just tried the same iPhone app.

90+ seems jolly loud, even for very brief bits of vigour, the gap between songs still scores nearly 30 (more if the wind is blowing, birds are singing, the kettle is on or whatever), and the average seems to be nearly 70. All those numbers are lower if we are trying to chat as well as listen or if we are playing Canto Gregoriano or solo piano or whatever.

That’s about 8pm on the 82’s volume knob, but without knowing the rest (250, Neat Xplorers etc) and that I am about 10’ from the speakers, I am not sure how much that tells anyone.

This may say more about my age, past life and the music most usually played than about much else.

That I understand. And I was not fundamentally disagreeing with you, rather my point was that the noise floor relevance decreases as sound level rises. I don’t think people play at 85 instead of 80 because their noise floor is 35 not 30, whereas when listening quietly they may very well listen at 55 instead of 50 for that reason, even though they may not recognise tat’s what they’re doing.

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