How to Measure Headphone Decibel?

We all crank up the volume while listening to our favorite song and take a break from the surroundings. How is this loud music going to affect your ear? Are you killing your ears? 

How to Measure Headphone Decibel?

To understand these things first, you should know How to measure the Headphone Decibels (dB).

Before that, we will see the consequences of hearing music at a louder volume. Sound is measured in terms of Decibels. Experts say that anything below 75 decibels is OK for your ear even after prolonged exposure.

If you are exposing to a sound above 85 decibels through your headphone, then be cautious, you are getting deaf not in a day or two, but in a long and repeated exposure. 

Below we have listed some familiar sound and its decibel range for your knowledge.

ActivitySound Level (dB)
Normal Breathing10
Ticking of Watch20
Refrigerator Hum40
Normal Conversation, Air Conditioning60
City Traffic (Inside Car)80-85

Many headphones can produce sound above 85 dB, and absolutely they can cause Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). 

But the most important thing is that once you suffer hearing loss because of sound exposure, there is no going back, meaning you are Deaf, permanently. Nobody can repair your defect because you killed something which can’t be regenerated.

Actually, the louder sound through your headphone destroys the nerves that carry sound from hair cells present in your ear to the brain.

What does make it more dangerous is that these are occurring slowly and subtly. And you cant even sense until a predominant fraction of your hearing has been lost.

So it is necessary to know how to measure Headphone decibels.

How to Measure Headphone Decibel

Now let us have a look into the various methods to measure sound of various headphone brands.

1. Measuring Decibels by using an Android Mobile

Can you measure the decibel using a mobile app? The answer is Yes—download and install an application named “Sound Meter” from your Android Playstore. 

It is absolutely free and needs only below 5 Megabytes. The accuracy of your reading depends on the quality of your smartphone. Top-quality mobile can measure high decibels with perfection.

How to carry out the test? It is very simple, open the app, start playing the music through your headphone and place the ear cups close to the microphone. And the app will give you the value. Repeat the experiment at various volumes. 

This will help you fix the maximum level above that volume; it may affect your hearing. 

2.How to Measure Sound in an iPhone.

With apple devices like iPhone, you can use Decibel Meter or Sound Meter to measure sound produced by headphones. The procedure is almost the same as mentioned above. But the value delivered will be highly accurate and can even measure the highest decibels.

3.Measurement of Sound in Windows Phone

Windows phones are not popular nowadays. If you are using a Windows phone and you want to measure sound, don’t worry, here is the method.

At this point, you can proceed with another app Cyberxy Decibel Meter or Sound Meter.

4. Measure Headphone Decibel using Computer.

You can also use a Computer to measure the decibel of your headphones. For that first, you have to download the “free decibel reader” application, which is available in the Microsoft App store, it is free and consumes only a few megabytes of your system storage. 

Then you are supposed to play any music through your headphone. Make sure that you placed the headphone ear cups to the computer microphone as close as possible. 

Then the microphone of your computer reads the sound and show you the decibel level. You can check the value for various volumes. You need not be a software expert to do this analysis because the procedures are simple to follow and readily available in the application itself.

Then limit the volume of your music in the comfortable range while listening to them for the next time.

5. Measuring using instruments.

Instruments available in the market to find the decibel can also be used to check your headphones. Almost all such devices follow the same method and simple. A user guide is also available with such tools; you just need to follow the instructions directly. 

I have also included the best five instruments you can buy that delivers the absolute value of your sound.

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6.Measuring using Common Noises

Here we do not get any numerical value. But this method helps you to find whether your headphone sound is within the safe limit or not.

Here you need not download any application or buy instruments; just compare the sound produced by your headphones with environmental noise. The conclusion may not be accurate, but you will get an idea.

We have a few methods to do this as follows.

1.Relate with your Breathing or Respiration

Comparing with your breathing is an easy and simple method you can do. Normal breathing produced 10 dB sound. Suppose you cannot hear anything on your headphone while breathing, it means the sound produced is below 10 dB. It is a safer level, and you can listen to this much voice for a long time, and it does not harm your ear.

2. Comparing with the surrounding.

You can find the decibel of your headphone by comparing it with traffic, which is 15 m away is another choice. It is measured that traffic produces 80-85 dB. If you could not hear the music through the headphone when you are 15 m away from traffic, your headphone is creating high decibel noise, which can harm your ear.

3.Comparing with extreme noises

Comparing your headphone noises with extreme noises of a power saw or jackhammer is another method to find decibel. Both of these tools produce a louder sound than any headphone.

If you put on your headphone and still can hear the noise produced by power saw or jackhammer, be extremely careful because you are listening to a very high decibel sound.


According to the Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OSHAS), anything above 85 dB will harm your ears if you listen to it beyond this period. The safe exposure time decreases with an increase in decibel.

So it is necessary to keep your headphone’s volume below the permitted level to keep your ear healthy.

So it is essential to measure headphones decibels. It is straightforward and can be done quickly with your smartphone. 

Saneesh VS is a Tech Blogger and Writers who love to write about Latest Gadgets and Tech Updates.

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