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How Loud Do You Have the Volume in Your Home Cinema?


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I took the wife to the local Gold  Class  the other day and saw the movie "Tenet".  The cinema is a new fit-out with  new 4K projection and  Atmos sound system.     From the first scene the sound was LOUD, louder than other theatres I've been to but I must admit I really liked it!.  I thought it added extra drama and immersion.  At home I have a tendency to dial the volume high  but lately I  have  tried to be considerate  of others  who don't like it so loud and have compromised.  No more!  

 

 Movie theatres supposedly aim for 80-85db but the peaks in Tenet the other day were way in excess of that.  I've heard of people leaving a theatre for it being too loud and some online suggest that you should  take ear plugs.   For me and the movie Tenet, I would not have it anyway other than LOUD.  I was interested to hear what others do  when chasing the ideal volume.  Do you turn it up as loud as your wife or ears allow ? or do you have a  target average DB level that is set?   

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When watching with my son volume usually is set to -14db which I presume would equate to 91db.

When on my own I can easily go -10db but often settle at -12db.

On rare occasions I've gone louder.

 

I like to feel the movie as much as I want to watch it. Running at 80db just doesn't cut it.

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Where I want to be at is -10db but most of my movie watching is at night after 10pm when everyone is asleep so I stuck at -35db to -30db :(

 

Similar to OP, took my wife to watch Captain Marvel (last movie I saw at cinema :( ) at local United Cinema and felt that volume was extra loud, I loved it but I had to take my 2 year old daughter outside for being it too loud. Thankfully, that was my second time watching in that same cinema.

 

By the way, I find anything on streaming side (Netflix, prime, disney, etc.) I am having to increase the volume by 10db to have the same level vs locally stored movies. Also, I find that DTS tracks are louder than Dolby. It could be just my empty brain playing ticks on me.

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Between -29 and -20 in most cases. There's couple of movies that are a bit quiet which can get into the high teens. But I'd start having pain issues if I went as high as -10.

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Usually around -13 depending on what I'm watching. Goes to -20 if wifey is watching with. Free to air television is always -24 or softer though, those ads shout real loud 😕

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6 hours ago, hometheatrebugbitten said:

Lets just say my best movie nights are when the wife is out 

I don't have one of those anymore, my son lives with me and we both love our movie nights twice a week.

 

I get to buy whatever I want now, my ht has certainly grown better.

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The noise floor in my den is about 25-30 db

So I play my discs around 60/70db mostly peaking at 80db for the occasional loud scene like interstellar ..

Edited by petetherock
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It might have been the soundtrack that reeled me in, but watching Tenet in a quality theatre with the volume waaaaay up  had me convinced it is the way to go.    Tenet had a great music score that was paced with the action and adding to the drama,  quite different to some action movies where its often loud dialog interspersed with explosions.   

 

 

 

 

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0dB = ~103dBC ..... but this is quite loud for most hot content like modern music.

 

I default it to -40dB to be safe (ie. peak = ~63dBC)

Edited by davewantsmoore
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On 20/09/2020 at 8:27 PM, TP1 said:

Movie theatres supposedly aim for 80-85db

No, they aim for -20dB = 80-85dBC   (so peak is 20dB higher, ie. 105 .... the LF channel is another 10dB higher, so peak can get to 115dB)

 

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I get to watch movies midweek during the day when no-one is home so 0MV for me :)

Edited by niterida
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I think we average around -18 here, a couple louder if I'm watching alone. Agree with the previous comment re: FTA TV that ranges from channel to channel is comfortable at -26 on some to -40 on others

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11 hours ago, davewantsmoore said:

0dB = ~103dBC ..... but this is quite loud for most hot content like modern music.

 

I default it to -40dB to be safe (ie. peak = ~63dBC)

Yep. I find I'm listening at around 85 dB more often than not in the main listening room. It's amazing how that level moves up and down with the clarity of your rig though.

 

However for shits and giggles can confirm I can sustain 112 dB in my main listening position without any clipping or obvious distortion. Definitely not for everyday listening at that volume.

 

It's so easy to keep winding it up when your system doesn't distort and everything is so clear.  It's an experience I remember well from my dance music scene days when a well tuned Function 1 rig, driven hard, still lets you have a conversation easily enough on the dance floor, whereas a shitty rig, run hot, will drive you from the floor from the aggressive nature of the sound.

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12 minutes ago, recur said:

Yep. I find I'm listening at around 85 dB more often than not in the main listening room. It's amazing how that level moves up and down with the clarity of your rig though.

 

However for shits and giggles can confirm I can sustain 112 dB in my main listening position without any clipping or obvious distortion. Definitely not for everyday listening at that volume.

 

It's so easy to keep winding it up when your system doesn't distort and everything is so clear.  It's an experience I remember well from my dance music scene days when a well tuned Function 1 rig, driven hard, still lets you have a conversation easily enough on the dance floor, whereas a shitty rig, run hot, will drive you from the floor from the aggressive nature of the sound.

 

Had some mates over a few weeks ago and we streamed a 3hr Pearl Jam concert through the horns.  SPL meter read 100dB+ during the music (not a lot of quiet PJ stuff), peaks circa 105dB or maybe a bit more.  Nobody was complaining about being too loud, nobody wanted to turn it down, we could talk to each other easily enough, but we did hit the pause button a few times to go downstairs and refill the single malt...gotta have priorities.  I think the neighbours also enjoyed the concert...haha.  Point being that the distortion/clipping benefit that comes with a capable loudspeaker does let you listen louder without discomfort, but you really have to be careful about turning up the wick too much for too long.  My normal daily listening is circa 90dB at the listening position, peaks into the low 100's.

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1 hour ago, acg said:

 

Had some mates over a few weeks ago and we streamed a 3hr Pearl Jam concert through the horns.  SPL meter read 100dB+ during the music (not a lot of quiet PJ stuff), peaks circa 105dB or maybe a bit more.  Nobody was complaining about being too loud, nobody wanted to turn it down, we could talk to each other easily enough, but we did hit the pause button a few times to go downstairs and refill the single malt...gotta have priorities.  I think the neighbours also enjoyed the concert...haha.  Point being that the distortion/clipping benefit that comes with a capable loudspeaker does let you listen louder without discomfort, but you really have to be careful about turning up the wick too much for too long.  My normal daily listening is circa 90dB at the listening position, peaks into the low 100's.

The recommended unprotected exposure to 100 dB is 15 minutes. 110db is less than a minute. I am not sure you were talking to each other, more likely shouting at each other. 😂, Single malt will do that. Either that or your sound level meter is kaput, or you and all your mates are deaf as door posts. 

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Don't know if I've got the wrong end of the stick but doesn't it depend on how you calibrate your system?

 

I set my test tones on the AVR to 85dB and listen with volume set at -15 to-12dB so 70 to 73dB?

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2 hours ago, recur said:

Yep. I find I'm listening at around 85 dB

I'm not really sure what that means?   85 = true peak SPL? (how measured?).   If peak, that is relatively quiet (althogh that does depend on how hot the content is)

 

2 hours ago, acg said:

SPL meter read 100dB+ during the music (not a lot of quiet PJ stuff), peaks circa 105dB or maybe a bit more. 

An SPL meter is quite slow.... on most music it will read quite low.

 

2 hours ago, acg said:

Point being that the distortion/clipping benefit that comes with a capable loudspeaker

Don't underestimate the effect of directivity here.... it is likely having a much greater impact than non-linear distortion.

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5 minutes ago, turnthetable said:

I set my test tones on the AVR to 85dB and listen with volume set at -15 to-12dB so 70 to 73dB?

Depends on what "the test tones" on your AVR are?

 

Perhaps they're -20dB from 0dBFS.....  ?!?!??

 

 

But the short answer is "Yes" ..... people using an SPL meter while music is playing doesn't really give a clear picture.   A calibrated test tone, is much much more clear.

Edited by davewantsmoore
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58 minutes ago, John Doe said:

The recommended unprotected exposure to 100 dB is 15 minutes. 110db is less than a minute.

That's for a constant sound power though.... most music is much less constant energy.

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7 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

Perhaps they're -20dB from 0dBFS.....  ?!?!??

I use my SPL meter to adjust the test tones to 85dB in the AVR's manual settings

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23 minutes ago, turnthetable said:

I use my SPL meter to adjust the test tones to 85dB in the AVR's manual settings

Sure... I undrstand.... but are the test test tones -20dB from peak SPL  (0dB "Full Scale") ..... ie. your peak SPL would be 105dB ..... or something else?

Edited by davewantsmoore
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if its too loud . . i turn it down.  If its not loud enuf . . i turn it up.  I don't really care what anyone else things about the sound level.

 

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