Sound levels

What kind of sound volumes do the people on this forum listen to.
I usually listen at around 80 decibels with peaks at about 85. That is partially because I have modetate hearing loss in my right ear and mild hearing loss in my left.
My wife thinks anything over 50 is far too loud.

1 Like

Where is that on the volume dial, as that might help people to take a view. Perhaps it’s time to explore hearing aids, which would doubtless improve the quality of life for both of you.

1 Like

I have no idea about the db levels.
With a nait 50 and a supernait, 9 o’clock on the volume is plenty, and 8 ish is often sufficient.
Only if I get carried away does the volume go past 9 to say 10 and then I’m told it’s loud.


Unfortunately dB is the right way to discuss this as volume dial position will vary widely among speakers of different sensitivities for the same sound level, and that’s before you introduce amps with different gain.

Folks should just download a free SPL meter for their smartphone as that will be precise enough for this. It’s also a handy tool in life in general if you are trying to protect your hearing.

1 Like

The best system upgrade I ever did was to buy some good quality hearing aids! Just saying.


Despite my tinnitus I have literally never thought about this and have zero interest in using meters etc. to measure it. The only question for me is whether I can hear what I want to hear. I listen to music as an active thing i.e. as an activity largely to the exclusion of other things just as if I were watching a film in the cinema or reading a book. It generally gets 100% of my attention. How loud it goes to get that will vary.

Late at night when the family might be asleep then it’s lower than it might be earlier in the evening. It’s also lower because the ambient noise from family, traffic etc. is also lower. It then varies with the recording. Brilliant music but from a different era (Phil Spector springs to mind) may have very distorted vocals which no system can rescue. I’’ve zero interest in it being exceptionally loud unless we’re hosting a party and even then nowadays most of our guests enjoy conversation ahead of dancing. Similarly, once I have my head around the lyrics and music within an album I’m more willing to have it on all the way through at a lower volume. I’m currently playing the new albums from Hurray for the Riff Raff and Ruth Theodore at lower violumes then they were being played a month ago simply because I now know both inside out and can enjoy them when I am flat on my back doing physio. just as much as if I were sat dead centre and giving them my full attention.

All this of course before you get into the thorny matter of the levels changing from album to album and sometimes track to track. Albums are mastered to completely different levels and switching between local streams, Obuz, Tidal and radio only emphasises this further.

Bearing all this in mind it is absolutely beyond me how anyone can credibly say I listen at 9 o’clock or ay 80db as though that is what they’re doing all the time. Surely not?

1 Like

My wife thinks anyone over 50 is too loud. Usually me.


Unfortunately this is also 100% true for me as well.

I am as convinced, as far as I can be, that I am now hearing my system as well as I was before age began taking its’ toll on my hearing.

I am frustrated by the number of people here who appear to take a pride in their hearing not being what it once was.

Spending large amounts of money on equipment seems silly to me when you know you can’t hear it properly. It also impacts other areas of your life, often when you don’t realise it until you do something about it.

1 Like

The forum search tool is your friend, as they say… this is a much discussed subject, with quite a few threads, e.g:

(These are all links that should open the relevant thread)

Hearing AIDS were a revelation and easily the best upgrade in years. I have a music setting put in by my Audiologist which helps SQ even more.


Thanks @Innocent_Bystander. As you advise, there are many threads about this. People don’t use the search option, myself included sometime. Again thanks for your efforts.


Yes I think I will have to get some, I will have to wait while the swelling goes down first as some of my hearing may come back over time.

Guilty as charged, soon as I sent the post out I realised and did a search. However I found intetesting that some people thought hearing aids were a help so I am definately going to explore this further.

This quite normal for a marriage.


Quiet (!) normal.

Not sure how factual this is but I downloaded a DB app to my phone earlier today, it provides a sound chart and states no more than 2 hours exposure to 85DB of noise. I am not sure at what level I listen to at this stage but in terms of listening time, 2 hours + would not be unusual on a Sunday!


Quiet chilled sess

Until a couple of months ago I usually had the volume level on the NAC 552 set to 9.30pm. Then the (b)light of my life finally persuaded me to get my hearing checked, and I now have some rather expensive hearing aids. Now the volume is set at 9.00pm or a little less. Should have got the aids some time ago.

Alas my B&W on-ear headphones are not really compatible with the hearing aids, so I’m going to have to go out and find a local dealer with some good quality over-ear (wired) phones to replace them. I use the headphones if I want to listen when “the boss” has gone to bed before me!

1 Like

Focal Utopia. Love them.