How loud do you listen to your system

The background noise in our apartment seems to be around 45-50db with the outside doors open. (some city noise, distant airplanes, birds etc.)
Listening to “Touch The Sky” by Black Pumas, the peak is around 65db at 20:00 on the dial and at 21:00 on the dial it’s peaking at around 75 maxing at 77.7db.
That sounds pretty loud and probably pushing beyond the boundaries of being neighbourly!
Using DecibelX on iPhone.

Listening at a higher volume does not diminish the importance of the ambient noise floor.

There are always quiet passages in music, regardless of the listening volume. During quieter moments in a track, the ambient noise can become more noticeable. This can detract from the overall listening experience, as the subtle details in the music might be masked by this background noise.

A lower noise floor is crucial for accurately perceiving the separation and layering of instruments in a recording. Ambient noise can blur these distinctions and reduce the clarity and precision that Hi-Fi systems strive to deliver.

The perception of depth and the positioning of instruments within the soundstage can be significantly affected by ambient noise. A high noise floor can flatten the soundstage, making it harder to perceive the intended spatial qualities of the recording.

In high-end Hi-Fi systems, which aim to reproduce sound with utmost accuracy and clarity, managing the ambient noise floor is crucial. Instead of masking noise with loudness, it is essential to create an environment with the lowest possible noise floor to fully appreciate the nuances and quality of the audio.


Just download this app. Was hitting mid 80’s dB. I’ve nudged it down a bit :flushed:


Hitting mid 80s or poking 90 is probably okay. It’s where your SPL idles for the majority that really counts. 60-65 feels about right to me.

Interesting the discussion about ambient noise. I’ve a soundproof room that building regs mandate two air exchange units for the volume of space to be on 247 since the room seals tight. I hate these units. They might be made for studios but they are very loud. I turn one off and the other to half power (warned never to do this) otherwise the ambient noise is about 55db!

I’ve not sufficated myself yet.


About 9-10 o’clock depending on the vinyl recording (75-80db) through my sn3- hicap dr - ovator s-600.

9 to 10 o’oclok

25-30 if partner is in room, otherwise 40-45.

Just over 9 o’clock for NDS and around 10:30 for LP12. Peaks at around 80-85db according to the app on my watch. That’s for late evening / night time listening. During the day I dial it down about 20%. What I have found is that as my sources have improved, the volume has gone down which says a lot about SQ.

I fully agree. (I was merely pointing out that in my view choice of higher listening levels in my view is not in itself based on the noise floor - in my case it is simply preferring music at realistic or near-realistic levels.)

Unfortunately, some people live in places where environmental noise is high - but this is another subject.

I’d close them to listen to music! Better for listening, and reduces your impact on others!

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Interestingly I find the opposite. Since putting the NDS on the top of the rack I need to push the power up a bit.
I find that below 60dB average the system sounds a bit thin. Around 65 there is more body. I assume this is where the speakers start to work as designed

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Interesting replies. Sorry, didn’t find those other threads.
Similarly I tend to listen in the 70-75dB range and there is a noticeable increase in body at that point.
As has been stated, position of the volume knob doesn’t mean much as amplifier power, speaker efficiency and distance to speakers all affect this. It’s power at the listening position that really matters

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I measured my previous 282/250 system a while ago after reading the older topic. A loud volume for me was measuring an average of 75db, peaks at 89db.

I think I’m listening at lower volumes now, not measured it, just indicated by the less frequent requests to turn it down :slightly_smiling_face:


90+ would be very loud for me, I’m usually about 75, never paid attention to the gap between songs, will check this out.

Day to day around 60db according to my app which is 9 o’clock on the dial, party mode might be nudging 10 o’clock depending on the genre and guests. Any more feels unnecessary to make the system swing.

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As well as any variation in speaker performance, your ear’s naturally varying sensitivity with frequency will also be having an effect: e.g if you listen at 50dB, a 40Hz bass note will be heard something like 8dB quieter relative to the rest of the music than exactly the same note would when listening at 70dB (NB this is a simplistic calculation for illustrative purposes)

Interesting. So the ear frequency response changes with volume with lower frequencies responding more at higher volumes?

I typically listen to sound levels between 60 to 75 dB from 2 to 3 meters distance to the speakers.

I don’t think I’ve ever needed more than 5 watts from my Nait50

Yes, indeed. Also the highest frequencies but often less noticeably. It is the reasoning behind the “loudness” button that used to be ubiquitous, at least on cheap “hifi” products, though that was a crude boost that actually would only be close to correct compensation at one loudness level.
Google “Equal Loudness Contours” to see plots of varying sensitivity with sound level, and there’s a Wikipedia entry giving a summary.

for most music reproduction the amp’s RMS rating is largely irrelevant - peak capability is generally the limiting factor for sound quality. Even loud music playing with typical speakers only uses an average (for which equate continuous) power of just a few watts (low single figures), but musical peaks can easily require 50x the power to reproduce without clipping - and for wide dynamic range music that might be 100x, 200x or more.

So what is needed for unclipped reproduction depends on how high the musical peaks are compared to average level, which depends on the the dynamic range of the music, and with some type of music inherently having much wider range than others. (N.B. if you are measuring actual levels at your listening position, to get an indication of peak levels do be sure to capture peaks using the fastest response the device offers, which might be called “impulse”). Every 3dB higher requires double the amp power, so a peak 20dB higher than the average uses 100x the average power. (And a peak 30dB louder requires 1000x the power!)


Understood but not concerned.
Most quality amps are designed to handle musical peaks.

“25W of power per channel with peaks of 225W”
Under “The ultimate listening experience”.