Monday, February 18, 2008

Indoor Acoustics: Noise in Restaurants

Alexandra Gill writing in the Globe and Mail (Canadian newspaper) has an excellent article about noise in restaurants. Here is a taste (sorry for the pun):

So how loud is too loud?

The ideal sound level for normal conversation is 55 to 65 decibels. When the ambient noise rises to about 70 decibels, you have to raise your voice to be heard. At 75 decibels, conversation is difficult. Above 85 decibels, prolonged exposure - more than eight hours - can permanently damage your hearing.

While restaurant noise levels aren't a threat to hearing loss, "they are certainly an issue for communication. Many, if not most, restaurants have noise levels that are too high for comfortable conversation," says Christine Harrison, an occupational audiologist with the Workers Compensation Board of British Columbia.

I recommend reading the entire article. Enjoy.

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