What Are Decibels (dB)?

Sound is all around us and can be measured to inform and protect us, as some sounds are not safe. In fact, loud noise can be very damaging to hearing. The level of noise, where a person is in relation to the noise (distance to the noise), and the amount of time they listen to it can all result in risk for hearing loss.

Cheering in loud stadium

Decibel Meter

Sound can be measured with a device called a decibel meter. It samples and measures sound, giving a readout. Decibel meters (also called sound-level meters) can even be accessed on a smartphone through apps. Measuring the sound of an environment with a common device like a smartphone that many people always carry may help protect their ears more often.

Decibel Scale

Sound is measured in units called decibels (dB). The higher the decibel level, the louder the noise. On the decibel scale, the level increase of 10 means that a sound is actually 10 times more intense, or powerful.

EarQ Decibel Level Infographic

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Put Your Hearing to the Test

Sometimes, hearing loss happens so gradually that it can be difficult to notice at first. However, there are some common signs that indicate you may have hearing loss. Want some answers now? Take this short survey to determine if it's time for you to make a hearing appointment.

Take a 3-minute hearing test!

Read the following statements and select “yes” if they apply to you most of the time, “sometimes” if they apply once in a while, and “no” if they don't apply at all.

I have trouble hearing the other person on the phone.

YES SOMETIMES NO

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