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decibel audio

measurement examples

 
     
 

Audio Measurement Examples

measured in decibels in Carlsbad Ca., USA

 
     
 

Audio Measurement Technique

The data was taken on 6/20/02-7/8/02 by a degreed Electronics Engineer using a Radio Shack Digital Sound Level Meter #33-2055, with meter specs: +- 2 db at 126 decibels.  Time averaging was used for sound tests: approx. 10 seconds where possible.  Note that blanks in the below chart means no data was taken.

 
     
 
ITEM APPROX DISTANCE MIN AVG MAX
       
PALOMAR AIRPORT NOISE   note:higher=louder  
Private Jet, Taking Off In Airport, at closest public point   100 > 100
Jet Plane, on runway In Airport, at closest public point 79 83 90
Prop Plane near runway In Airport, at closest public point 74 83 90
Prop Plane taxi In Airport, at closest public point 73 78 80
Prop Bi-plane taking off In Airport, at closest public point 72 77 89
Prop Plane flying overhead In Airport, at closest public point 75 77 81
Helicopter in air, measurement #2 In Airport, at closest public point 63 76 72
Jet Engine, low Idle in Hangar 300 yds away 62 73 80
Jet Engine, low Idle in Hangar 300 yds away 64 72 80
Helicopter in air In Airport, at closest public point 66 72 77
Ambient Noise, no takeoffs closest parking lot 63 67 71
       
TRAFFIC NOISE        
Palomar & Melrose, Truck #2 during traffic, from corner sidewalk 85 98 > 100
Mustang accelerating next lane to our vehicle   96  
Left Turns, Palomar onto Melrose during traffic, from corner sidewalk   95  
Car Moving in Traffic 55mph inside car, a foot from open window   94 99
Palomar & Melrose, Truck #3 during traffic, from corner sidewalk 90 94 98
Palomar & Melrose, Truck #1 during traffic, from corner sidewalk 85 90 94
Palomar & Melrose, UPS Truck during traffic, from corner sidewalk 81 88 > 90
Car Moving in Traffic 30mph inside car, a foot from open window   87 97
Melrose Traffic #1 from sidewalk   87 91
Melrose single Motorcycle from sidewalk   84 88
Palomar & Melrose, 5:30 pm #1 during traffic, from corner sidewalk < 80 82 93
Palomar & Melrose, 5:30 pm #2 during traffic, from corner sidewalk < 80 82 85
Quiet Traffic, Source not moving traffic corner in Encinitas   80  
Rancho Carillo, Melrose direction 6 houses from Melrose Drive 60 68 80
Car shut off, windows down Inside, no accessories on   50  
       
HOUSEHOLD NOISE        
AVIS AC at airport 15 feet away   85  
Rancho Carrillo Outside Ambient lot #6 Estates, front < 50 58 65
Neighbors Air Conditioning Unit 25 feet away 51 57 65
Quiet tv in Rancho Carrillo House inside, windows closed <50 54 67
Quiet Rancho Carillo House inside, windows closed   50  
 
 

 

note:  Rancho Carrillo is a neighborhood residential area, normally considered a quiet place

note:  Palomar and Melrose are large streets within Carlsbad California

note:  Palomar airport is a local Carlsbad airport actually having the most take offs and landings in San Diego County.  However, the planes there are mostly single engine or dual engine prop plans plus some "for-hire" small jets.  No large jet airplanes are at this airport.

Some conclusions

1. The jet taking off nearby and the trucks were tied for "most annoying"; the Mustang next

2. Except for the jet taking off, many traffic sounds were louder (more decibels) than the airport sounds

3. In Palomar Airport parking lot, most noise was heard coming from Palomar Airport Road

4. After a while, our ears were trained and told the same story as the sound meter - which was - it was often hard to listen for the planes, even on Palomar Airport Road and Melrose Dr. over the traffic

5. The airport being quieter is expected likely due to the smaller planes in use there, which are of course, mostly further away than traffic. If larger jets were in use , a different result is likely.

6. Some noises can be more disturbing that others. Seemingly random noise, called Gaussian or white noise, such as wind or ocean surf is often ignored by us. For example, noise outside our house was up to 15 db higher - enormously higher than inside -. But it was mostly wind, which the ears ignore.   Trucks, jets, motorcycles, prop planes, people voices, and many cars, are of course noticeable.

 
 
 

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