How loud do you normally listen to your music?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by timind, Jul 29, 2021.

  1. timind

    timind phorum rezident Thread Starter

    A couple weeks ago a friend came by to loan me a couple amps and to hear my system. He specifically wanted to hear my new Joseph Audio Pulsar 2 speakers. We get the stereo warmed up and he starts to listen. About half way through the first song I'm thinking, "this is pretty loud" so I pull out my phone and check the spl he's listening at. My app tells me the music is averaging between 75-80db C-weighted which is quite a bit louder than I listen. I ask if this is a normal level for him. and he says yes.

    When I sit down to listen to an album I usually start with the volume level in the 65-70db range. As the music starts cookin, I move the level up a bit at a time. I usually end up listening at 70-75db before I'm finished.

    Last night, prompted by this thread started by @SME12A, Triangle Magellan Cello - road to audio Valhalla , I cranked the volume to the upper 70db range with peaks in the lower 80s. I only had the opportunity to listen to one album, Joni Mitchell's Don Juan's Reckless Daughter which I hadn't heard on the Pulsars before. While I don't believe the character of the sound changed, I did notice some percussion I'd not hear before. I also felt, not just heard Jaco Pastorius' bass on songs like Jericho in a way I hadn't before. And Joni's voice was so clear and sweet on that song, I really enjoyed it. If I have a chance, I'm going to crank it up another 5db to see whether I like it as well.

    I'm curious what level other forum members listen at. If you have an spl meter, please specify the weighting used.
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  2. Scope J

    Scope J Senior Member

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  3. Dennis Metz

    Dennis Metz Born In A Motor City south of Detroit

    Fonthill, Ontario
    I typically try to keep it just under 90, but I’m going to give that JM album a spin and just might crank it
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  4. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    I don’t measure often, but I’m sure it’s typically in at least that 75-80 dB range.
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  5. C10

    C10 inventor of the single-ended rope.

    SOCO, CA
    I usually start volume low and turn it up until it sounds and feels satisfying to me. This is typically around 85db for most music.
  6. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Yes, the feel is important! That requires some air moving.
    C10 likes this.
  7. Angry_Panda

    Angry_Panda Pipe as shown, slippers not pictured

    After getting myself a meter for this past Christmas, I've been trying to keep peaks generally between 75-80 dB, A-weighted, at my listening position. This has helped reduce ear fatigue and the little bit of tinnitus I have.
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  8. LostArk

    LostArk Forum Resident

    New York
    I try to stay under 85db peaks to protect my hearing.
  9. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Usually, because in practice I'm rarely the only person in the house (and never the only person in the house since COVID), in the 70-75 dB range, sometimes I can push it more in the 75-80 dB range. Preferably, for oomph and realistic and scale and bass in the 75-85 dB range, but that only usually happens when I'm alone in the house and only for an album or two at a time.
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  10. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Relaxed Member


    At this very moment and probably where I’m at most of the time. I will push it harder frequently but that’s generally for a short period of time. 85-90 is about as hot as I’ll go but that depends on the recording and the room I’m in. High volumes can sound really bad in a small room or one with a lot of reflections. Likewise, some recording are just not “crankable”.

    I’m not really worried about how loud it is as much as how good it sounds. Sometimes loud just sounds better, more lifelike, vivid detail and freakishly real imaging. Other times coulomb can sound horrible and punishing. So like asking, “how fast do you drive?”, it depends on the road.
  11. Ingenieur

    Ingenieur Going with the flow...

    75-80 dBA, usually closer to 75
    C weighted peaks ~ 100 dBC
    timind likes this.
  12. Aftermath

    Aftermath Senior Member

    Not very loud because of my tinnitus. 70-75 dB perhaps.
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  13. UnityCoupled

    UnityCoupled Forum Resident

    When listening I try to approximate the level the original performance. Rock a bit lower. I try to keep it under 90dBA average.
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  14. Tone?

    Tone? Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    I try and keep the peaks at C weighted around 78db.

    so when listening to mostly classical which I have been doing lately and jazz most of the time it’s around 68-73db
    timind likes this.
  15. cporcp

    cporcp Forum Resident

    If I'm in the room 75-80 max is all that's required - depending on the recording. C weighting. If I'm in the house but not in the room, easily 100dB, again depending.
    I keep the remote with me.
    timind likes this.
  16. timind

    timind phorum rezident Thread Starter

    If your app does C-weighting, that will probably read 75db.

    Agree some music doesn't go loud very well. Also agree the room controls how loud you can go before the sound goes to hell.
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  17. Tone?

    Tone? Forum Resident

    San Francisco

    Spot on man.

    almost every room won’t do above 85-90db without starting to become really resonant. Then stuff just “ freaks out”.
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  18. SME12A

    SME12A Takumi forever

    Try this one but obviously get high res DSD :

    this will stress test the dynamic capability of your system! You will know if the amp is up to task and speakers do not start to distort.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021
  19. 85-95 db ‘C’ slow response.

    Live concert levels around the 100 db peaks maybe 110-120.

    New amplification permits listening with a “fuller” sound at lower SPLs.

    All subject to room limitations.
    cporcp likes this.
  20. Alright4now

    Alright4now Forum Resident

    New Orleans, LA
    This is what I do as well.
    timind likes this.
  21. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Meat and Potatoes all day long

    For relaxation 75-80 on the meter c weighting.
    Hendrix "All Along The Watchtower"?
    Over 100 until I quit dancing around to the beat or some chinaware comes crashing in a cabinet or something.
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  22. cporcp

    cporcp Forum Resident

    Even without the avatar I could tell you were Klipsch. My Cornwall's sound terrific at those levels - but from a room away.
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  23. elvisizer

    elvisizer Forum Resident

    San Jose
    usually right around 80 for me, 90-100 if I decide to blast it
  24. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Relaxed Member

    The amp/speaker situation also dictates volume to some extent. I really want a system to be able to get up to 90db and stay clean, 100db would be even better but that not always an option when running tube amps or vintage. I’ll certainly turn it up to test and discover where that limit is but that’s not really “listening”.

    it always amazes me when guys get in the forum and say their 86db speaker is tube friendly with a ten to twenty watt amp. I’ve tested that combination a few times and there is no getting past 70db without something sounding ugly.
    Jacob29 and timind like this.
  25. Strange (or maybe not so) how many of us are in the same area.

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