What Is a 52 dB(A)?

Airplane engine noise is significantly higher than 52 dB(A).
••• airplane image by Clarence Alford from Fotolia.com

Every sound has a level in decibels that relates its loudness. For example, a hair dryer can be about 53 decibels (dB(A)) while a chainsaw from three feet away is about 117 dB(A).

History

The decibel comes from the unit of measurement of sound intensity and was named after inventor and scientist Alexander Graham Bell. A decibel is one tenth of a bel. The human ear responds to sounds at different frequencies so three levels are used dB(A), dB(B) and dB(C). The most commonly used is dB(A).

Significance

To measure the intensity of a sound, a measurement was needed that would provide them with quantifiable data that can be compared and contrasted. A chainsaw may sound louder or quieter from one person to another depending on their hearing a ability. This measurement is created using mathematics and is free of human error and perspective.

Examples

Every sound has a decibel level associated with it. If an item is 52 dB(A), then it has a sound similar in intensity to a electric fan, hair dryer, a running refrigerator and a quiet street. Other common sounds include a blender at 90 dB(A), diesel truck 100 dB(A) and a crying baby can reach 110 dB(A).

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