Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hearing Loss: Could It Happen to You?

The right headset and a little knowledge can save your hearing


40 Hz and below Sound effects in movies for earthquakes, real thunder
70 Hz-120 Hz Loudest cabin noise in typical GA aircraft
250 Hz Average voice. “Middle C” on a piano is 261 Hz.
430 Hz A newborn baby’s cry
700 Hz Upper end of “oohzone”—the frequency your chest resonates at when you make the sound “ooh” in a low voice
1,000 Hz The television “test signal” used when it’soff the air or during an emergency
3,000 Hz Human scream. Most alarms are designed around 3,000 Hz. Human peak sensitivity at this frequency.
4,000 Hz Chainsaw. Highest note on a piano is 4,096 Hz.
17,500 Hz Highest frequency heard by an average human at around 30 years of age (decreases with age)
200,000 Hz The upper limit of a dolphin’s hearing range


Soft whisper 40 dB
Normal conversation 50-65 dB
City traffic 80 dB
GA cabin noise (depends on aircraft) 75-100 dB
Power saw 110 dB*
Nearby thunderclap, typical nightclub 120 dB*
Jet takeoff, shotgun firing 130 dB*
Jet engine (nearby) 140 dB*

* Remember that exposure to sounds over 100 dB of more than one minute risks permanent hearing loss.


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