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


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5 hours ago, davewantsmoore said:

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

 

Yeah, that's what I figure, and Eddie Vedder tends to have a lot to say from time to time...

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46 minutes ago, acg said:

 

Yeah, that's what I figure, and Eddie Vedder tends to have a lot to say from time to time...

LOL, yeah he does enjoy a good chat every now and then....

 

Unfortunately I missed them in 98 and my mates who went never shutup about it.

Edited by davewantsmoore
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I set the volume loud enough to hear the dialogue clearly, which is usually around 75 (dB I guess.... New AVR). Old AVR was usually set around -14.

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, steffanth said:

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.

 

Same.

 

Movies vary on sound levels, even depending on release and media (eg take some of the nerfed disney Marvel Atmos remixes compared to the Blu Ray original). And look at a spectral graph of a lot of movies.  Nearly everything I look at is at least 10db down, and many are 25-30 db down.

 

And some I have to wind back in some key scenes... Nolan...

Edited by Mobe1969
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Some people think it's a sin to listen to Metallica  quietly because they get a lot more sense of enjoyment and involvement when its loud.  I am thinking that some movies - like Tenet- should be heard with the volume way up.  I know its a matter of taste  but  I suspect Christopher Nolan's recipe is to have it on the loud side.   

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On 21/09/2020 at 9:48 PM, davewantsmoore said:

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)

 

@Davewantsmore is correct here.

 

Before we get carried away on the hurling of "you'll go deaf you lot" posts, we need to make into account this is not just measurable acoustic sound level in the playback experience here.... 

 

95dB of 200hz is not experienced the same to our ears as 95dB of 2khz, 10khz or 40hz -- they are experienced vastly different.

 

It is a C weighted calibration to 500-2000hz (typically) in a cinema targeting vocal accuracy, @ 80dB.

 

Next factor, the sound stage engineers and mixers spent days and weeks producing this - typically experienced in expelling the right frequencies at the right level, based on a reference level playback in a cinema. 

 

Acoustics....   90dB playback in a well treated, damped cinema is not the same as a person's nil/light/medium treated room. Nor with concrete separation to the externals quite often..   this means less accumulate reverb, creating direct and indirect delays, peaks and distortion to the original content - often increasing the experienced sound as 'loud'. 

Subjectively, it likely is not. 

Consider this...    Would anyone disagree it wouldn't sound the same playing the movie in the cinema's open foyer, full of glass and reflective surfaces compared to in their treated cinema? 

Ofcourse not.

Even if at the same playback level it will feel louder, as it will be acoustically imposed on by the surfaces.

Most of us experience this at home

 

Calibration.... Often the Gold Class or Luxe , VMAX etc cinema of your local is well calibrated - to reference. It does feel 'loud' but it's not harming. This art has been around for decades and decades...  the speakers used are designed to produce sound for cinema. Krix, JBL, QSC, Klipsch.  Large mid drivers, high speech transmission and efficiency via horn loading etc.

We don't all have this at home, and our systems can inaccurately reproduce a director intended sound. Volume doesn't equal the same output - even if calibrated at a pink noise level same as the cinema...each of your driver's will handle it's freq band how it does...

 

In the meantime, I encourage find a good local cinema that's got Atmos and DTS X. Enjoy it at reference, and play it back at home as you see fit to suit your taste 🙂

 

 

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I like a bit of volume at times, but not all the time. If things start heading into the pain threshold then it really is too loud, pain is not enjoyable. I often myself backing off on the volume a bit when I have been listening at higher levels for a while.

 

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Personal taste is key.  Now that my room has been treated appropriately and that my Trinnov has optimised the sound for the room I am finding I can have it at a higher level of dB and not find it too loud.  Around 85 dB is a good level for me (measured with my SPL metre) sitting 4 metres back from my speakers in my sweet spot chair.

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17 hours ago, Godot said:

With bass that scares the cats. 

My cats seem completely immune to loud and/or bass (they apparently have very adjustable hearing).   They literally sit in the mouth of my bass horns.

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My understanding of calibration levels is the same as Dave's, 80-85dBC.

 

This should be in a safe range. 

 

However, all metrics for safe use, use different measurement parameters. The time and frequency weightings are different to the dBC above. 

 

Average levels to protect against hearing loss need to be measured in dBA LAeq over the entire exposure period. This converts all the range of highs and lows to a single constant number that has the same total energy level for the exposure period as the full dynamic range and changes of the movie.

 

In very simple terms this should be less than 85dBA LAeq. However this is based on a 40 hour per week exposure. And roughly, any 3dBA increase halves the safe exposure. Hit 95dBA and you are looking at only a few hours of exposure.

 

But BEWARE, your entire weekly exposure to noise needs to be considered. Workers who have high exposure at work will have much lower safe levels for listening to music and movies per week than most paper pushers, assuming the paper pushers don't have headphones on all week. For some people music/movies at 85dBA at home could be enough to contribute to hearing loss when the rest of their weekly exposure is considered.

 

The other key measurable parameter is dBC peak. This is a measure of sudden loud events. Levels at 130dBC peak can be enough to cause permanent hearing loss from a single exposure.

 

Unfortunately you will need a proper sound level meter to measure these. Any mobile phone app I have tested, including ones that claim to have calibration curves, are probably only good enough to estimate safe numbers of hours for an indicated level by about a factor of 6 error. Ie am I good for 6 hours at this level or 1 hour?

 

For me it is an interesting discussion about what safe levels at work are? Should consideration be given to what people may be doing outside of work hours? Or is it right for work to claim all of a person's safe amount of weekly noise exposure? 

Edited by DrSK
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The thing is, the number displayed on your AVR is only representative of the input signal attenuation, not sound output level. Sound level at your listening position depends on a few things. ie Amplifier output power, speaker efficiency, any DSP applied, distance from speakers etc, etc, etc.

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10 hours ago, davewantsmoore said:

My cats seem completely immune to loud and/or bass (they apparently have very adjustable hearing).   They literally sit in the mouth of my bass horns.

My cats barely notice when the Crowsons are shaking the bejebus out of the couch. The one on my lap doesn't budge, and the one on one of the spare seats looks up for a moment before going back to sleep...

 

I don't like loud though. I do have tinitus, from childhood, not from noise damage though. More TMJ type exacerbated by tension stress. But loud noise isn't something I like . I have senitive hearing. At the office, I use Sennheiser momentum over ears, and it irritates the XXXX out of me when someone has their phone or computer bleating whenever they get a message, and I'll tell them to mute it. Yes, I can hear it over enclosed headphones when I'm listening to music or audiobooks.  Heck even riding my bike in traffic I'll put wadding in my ears as the ambient wind and traffic noise is unpleasant. So the AVR -dB levels I set are comfortable 

 And it depends on the movie.

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 This is an extract from an article on cinema volume levels from a website promoting hearing protection. They suggest using ear plugs if it gets too loud.

 

A few years ago, during a showing of the film “Inception”, a Belgian girl suffered hearing loss. Peaks of 118 dB were measured during this film. This is comparable with a fighter jet flying over. The corresponding noise level can almost cause instant damage. In comparison, the limit for hearing impairment lies at 85 decibels! However, even during a film such as Frozen, which is seen by many young children, the sound level reached 98 dB."

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18 hours ago, TP1 said:

 

 This is an extract from an article on cinema volume levels from a website promoting hearing protection. They suggest using ear plugs if it gets too loud.

 

A few years ago, during a showing of the film “Inception”, a Belgian girl suffered hearing loss. Peaks of 118 dB were measured during this film. This is comparable with a fighter jet flying over. The corresponding noise level can almost cause instant damage. In comparison, the limit for hearing impairment lies at 85 decibels! However, even during a film such as Frozen, which is seen by many young children, the sound level reached 98 dB."

It is probable that if these peaks at 118 caused hearing loss, they were measured in dBA. If measured in dBC these peaks may have read over 130dB, which cause permanent loss from even a single exposure.

 

The 85dB above relates to LAeq average in dBA as per the discussion in my post further up.

 

This isnt aimed at TP1, just as a general note for everyone reading noise level info. When consider dB you need to keep an eye on the frequency weighting, usually A, B or Z.  And the time weighting, Leq, Lmax, Lpeak, L90, L1, L10, L50 etc etc. Be suspicious of anything that just says dB for noise. dB what? All levels will have a frequency weighting and a time weighting. The number will be different depending on which combination is used when measuring the same sound level. 

 

And in nearly every instance, the distance is also key. Obviously noise levels go up closer to the source. So dB?? sound pressure level should usually be paired with a distance for complete info.

 

And also note that acousticians will also talk in dB?? sound power and sound intensity which is different to what most people think of, which is sound pressure. 

Edited by DrSK
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On 21/09/2020 at 6:26 PM, chunjun said:

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 😕

come on remember they say ads are NOT louder lol

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On 22/09/2020 at 6:26 PM, davewantsmoore said:

LOL, yeah he does enjoy a good chat every now and then....

 

Unfortunately I missed them in 98 and my mates who went never shutup about it.

yes like the wife does shut up about her seeing Dire Straits here in Australia 

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On 24/09/2020 at 8:34 PM, Mobe1969 said:

My cats barely notice when the Crowsons are shaking the bejebus out of the couch. The one on my lap doesn't budge, and the one on one of the spare seats looks up for a moment before going back to sleep...

 

I don't like loud though. I do have tinitus, from childhood, not from noise damage though. More TMJ type exacerbated by tension stress. But loud noise isn't something I like . I have senitive hearing. At the office, I use Sennheiser momentum over ears, and it irritates the XXXX out of me when someone has their phone or computer bleating whenever they get a message, and I'll tell them to mute it. Yes, I can hear it over enclosed headphones when I'm listening to music or audiobooks.  Heck even riding my bike in traffic I'll put wadding in my ears as the ambient wind and traffic noise is unpleasant. So the AVR -dB levels I set are comfortable 

 And it depends on the movie.

I have a similar issue though perhaps not as bad. I hear everything going on around  if a pin dropped I'd hear it. Find it quite annoying as its hard to focus on what you want to hear. My days in pubs and night clubs were terrible, I couldn't hear conversations. 

That said, I do like my ht and music at volume, currently watching Rammstien in Paris at -5 from ref.

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I don't have a set volume but adjust to what I watch.

Last night I watched Midway - wife was out and quickly found my self dialing the sub back two clicks - action scenes very low and loud - I was mostly around -24/25 - ussually around -20/22

she's out to a birthday tonight again - haven't decided what I'm watching yet.....

 

Edited by hometheatrebugbitten
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