For me it varies by mood, but I do sometimes play at “realistic” levels, whence the sound level at the listening position may average high eighties for rock music. classical music depends on the type - an extreme being the Telarc 24-bit recording of Tchaikovsky’s 1812, of which the canons easily reach the 115dB max output of my speakers before clipping, perhaps 113dB(A) at my listening position, with the average sound level only in the seventies meaning I have to keep it down, unnaturally. Other dramatic orchestral music I might play with average sound levels of the higher volume passages in the eighties.
For my ears’ sake, in general I tend to keep average levels no higher than low eighties except for short periods of time - truly realistic rock music maybe only 2 or 3 albums max in a session, and that infrequently.
Of course, what matters as far as the neighbours are concerned is the sound their side of the boundary - which depends on many other factors not just the listening level, including acoustic properties of whatever separates you from them…
For information, I’ve only measured with an iPhone app (which incidentally can vary by as much as 6dB ‘out of the box’ - you do need to make sure you use the right “weighting”: normal convention for this sort of purpose is dB(A) some apps are set for other weightings like dB(C), which is inappropriate. And having checked that there may still be up to about 3dB difference (equivalent to saying twice the sound level of the other!). Having compared apps it seemed reasonable to pick one of those giving readings very similar to a number of others. The two I settled on (having slightly different functions suited to different things) are Decibel X and dB Volume
Also very significant to the subject of this thread of course is whether to measure average or peak sound level. Average over a period of time, which is what most people tend to mean when talking about “listening level”, as opposed to instantaneous peaks such as the beat of a bass drum, for which the speed of response can make quite a difference to the reading. In my case I have a detached house, well insulated, and never open the windows when playing music.
Same as you 60-70 dB average,and sometime very short peaks at 75-80. No complaints from neighbors in my apartment building. Like to keep it that way. Went from 202/200 to 282/200 to 282/250 to now 282/300,and with every step I could turn the volume a notch down and still enjoy the music in the same way. Now if a neighbor complains I’ll ask him/her to chip in for a 252. Or a 500 system or if it really bothers him a full Statement setup…
70-80 normally, according to an app and I don’t feel that’s “loud”. That’s 2.5 meters from speaker and the volume dial at 9 o’ clock. Louder if I can and am in the mood, but can’t really as loud as I sometimes would want. Well-built apartment with no neighbors below and good separation to the others
All depends how close your neighbours are. Terraced house or country estate with 500 acres between you and the neighbours.
My 17 year old son did " complain" that he could hear my music as he got out of the car on the drive once. I felt quite proud.
I have sympathetic tinnitus so certain frequencies ring when played too loud and is very uncomfortable. I avoid live music where possible for this reason. Given up on cinema alltogether in favour of home theatre where I can control the levels below my discomfort threshold.
To me 65db seems loud. I might rock out louder with one track in a blue moon (peaking 90db) at a more realistic level.
Of course my wife and kids think 65db is crazy loud.
This hobby is a marathon, not a sprint. Protect your hearing folks. Or the hobby will be short lived.
Even with people familiar with a particular source, preamp and power amp combination volume control position doesn’t give a meaningful indication of the sound level to other people speakers unless you give your speaker sensitivity (which can range from low 80 decibels per watt to mid 90 decibels per watt, and over 100 in the case of horn speakers), and your distance from the speakers (every doubling of distance reduces by 6dB).
Ideal for me is around 75dBA average, around 3.5m from the speakers. Late evening around 70 and by 80 the room is contributing in more than I like. Very rarely is the volume knob above 9 and if it is, its only very slightly. Speakers rated at 88dB.
I don’t have any means of measuring loudness but I do know when its too loud. Particularly with female singers and large choral groups. My ears start to crack in a most unpleasant way.
Difficult to compare a live orchestra in full flight with a hi-fi system doing the same.
Its a long time since I attended an orchestral classical concert. I do remember when it was very loud it wasn’t uncomfortable in the way home hi-fi might be.
I just did some measurements using the mentioned Bosch app.
My room is roughly 5 x 11 meters or 17 x 36 ft. The speakers play in the length of the room.
My normal listening position is 3.5 meters from the speakers. When I move back to 6/7 meters there is virtually no measurable drop in loudness/dBs. The app measures realtime and average. If I change the volume, it shows immediately.
A relevant factor could be that in both positions there is no wall close behind me (even at 6 meters from the speakers, the rear wall of the room is still 4 meters away).