Voice Level and Distance

The voice level at various distances

Talking with a normal voice approximate to a sound pressure level of 70 dB, a raised voice to 76 dB, a very loud voice to 82 dB and a shouting voice to 88 dB (1 ft distance).

For every doubling of the distance from the noise source the sound pressure levels will be reduced by 6 decibels. This may be expressed like:

Distance Voice Level (dB)
(feet) (m) Normal Raised Very Loud Shouting
1 0.3 70 76 82 88
3 0.9 60 66 72 78
6 1.8 54 60 66 72
12 3.7 48 54 60 66
24 7.3 42 48 54 60

In social situations people often talk with normal voice levels at distances of 1 to 4 meters. In such cases the noise level should not exceed 55 to 60 dB(A).

In outdoor play and recreational areas, people often communicate with a raised or very loud voice at distances of 5 to 10 meters. In such cases background noise should not exceed 45 to 55 dB(A).

background noise voice level

Related Topics

  • Acoustics - Room acoustics, acoustic properties - decibel A, B and C - Noise Rating (NR) curves, sound transmission, sound pressure, sound intensity, attenuation and more

Related Documents

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