When 90dB is LOUDER than 120dB

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Published on 15 Sep 2022, 16:46
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We often use decibels, a measure of sound pressure, to describe how loud something is - but loudness is caused by how we perceive sounds, and the two often don't line up.

To learn more about this topic, start your googling with these keywords:
- Decibels (dB): a unit used to measure changes in pressure or power.
- Loudness: the intensity with which a sound is perceived.
- Weighted decibels (dBA): decibels that try to take into account our sensitivity for different frequencies to better approximate loudness.
- Frequency: the rate at which something occurs. In the context of sound it usually means 'sound waves per second'.
- Audible: perceptible for the human ear.
- High sound: a sound that has a high (fast) frequency
- Low sound: a sound that has a low (slow) frequency
- Resonance: When multiple things have a similar frequency they will tend to move together and amplify each other.
- Echolocation: Using sound to "see". Bats use this to hunt in the dark.
- Equal loudness contours: Curves that show the sensitivity of the human ear along the frequency spectrum.

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Hawkins, Joseph E. “Human Ear | Structure, Function, & Parts.” Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 Oct. 2018, www.britannica.com/science/ear.Suzuki, Yôiti, and Hisashi Takeshima.

“Equal-Loudness-Level Contours for Pure Tones.” The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 116, no. 2, Aug. 2004, pp. 918–933, 10.1121/1.1763601.

Tosi, Patrizia, et al. “Earthquake Sound Perception.” Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 39, no. 24, 19 Dec. 2012, 10.1029/2012gl054382.