ABOUT SOUND AND DECIBELS
Sound is actually short for sound pressure level, or SPL, Steve Orfield said. It is measured in decibels, or dB, around which there are misconceptions. A few facts:
• Zero decibels is not the absence of sound but the quietest thing an infant can hear. (Infants have the most sensitive hearing.)
• Many animals have better hearing than us, including owls and dogs; Chihuahuas can hear to almost minus-30 decibels.
• The sound level in the average bedroom with seemingly nothing going on is about 30 decibels, Orfield said.
• Noise levels double with every decibel increment of 10, so 60 decibels is twice as loud as 50, and 90 decibels is 16 times louder than 50.
• During the 1987 World Series, the Metrodome reached 114 decibels, within 6 of a jet-plane takeoff.