The decibel which is normally abbreviated dBA is the unit used to measure the intensity of a sound. The human ear is incredibly sensitive, a person's ears can distinguish between wide ranging sounds such brushing their fingers on a notepad to the loudest explosion or Jet aircraft. To put these differences into perspective a jet aircraft is 1,000,000,000,000 times more louder than the quietest audible sound.
Looking on the decibel scale, the smallest audible sound which is near silence registers at 0 dB. An increase of 10 decibels equates to a 10 fold increase in noise to your ear.
Generators are measured and compared within the industry @ 7 metres.
To comply with EEC regulations all generators have to be marked in LWA this is a different measurement of sound which is taken from a different distance. For an example our quiet Champion 2000 Watt Inverter Generator (82001i-E) is rated at its lowest at 53 dBA @ 7 metres. On the LWA scale this would equate to approx 86-88 decibels. Please beware of this as all products have LWA marked on them, many do not have the industry rated @ 7 metres level.
Here are some common sounds and their decibel ratings:
|Sound Levels Chart
|Inside underground train
|Average traffic on main road (at kerb)
|Normal Conversation (at 1m)
|Typical business office
|Living room in suburban area
|Bedroom at night
|Insulated broadcasting studio
|Threshold of hearing
|Note: A 10 dB increase represents a doubling in loudness to the ear.
|More Sound Info
|Heavy weapons, 10 m behind the weapon (maximum level)
|Toy pistol fired close to ear (maximum level)
|Slap on the ear, fire cracker explodes on shoulder, small arms at a distance of 50 cm (maximum level)
|Hammer stroke on brass tubing or steel plate at 1 m distance, airbag deployment very close at a distance of 30 cm (maximum level)
|Hammer stroke in a smithy at 5 m distance (maximum level)
|Loud hand clapping at 1 m distance (maximum level)
|Whistle at 1 m distance, test run of a jet at 15 m distance
|Threshold of pain, above this fast-acting hearing damage in short action is possible.
|Take-off sound of planes at 10 m distance
|Siren at 10 m distance, frequent sound level in discotheques and close to loudspeakers at rock concerts, violin close to the ear of an orchestra musicians (maximum level)
|Chain saw at 1 m distance, banging car door at 1 m distance (maximum level), racing car at 40 m distance, possible level with music head phones
|Frequent level with music via head phones, jack hammer at 10 m distance
|Loud crying, hand circular saw at 1 m distance
|2-stroke chain-saw at 10 m distance, loud WC flush at 1 m distance
|Very loud traffic noise of passing lorries at 7.5 m distance, high traffic on an expressway at 25 m distance
|Passing car at 7.5 m distance, un-silenced wood shredder at 10 m distance
|Level close to a main road by day, quiet hair dryer at 1 m distance to ear
|Low volume of radio or TV at 1 m distance, noisy vacuum cleaner at 10 m distance
|Refrigerator at 1 m distance, bird twitter outside at 15 m distance
|Noise of normal living; talking, or radio in the background
|Very quiet room fan at low speed at 1 m distance
|Sound of breathing at 1 m distance