[SOLVED] Does anyone know what the numbers mean on the volume control?

erigthekid

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Jan 25, 2017
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When turning up or down the sound in windows you see a number next to the meter. What does this number mean?

The number goes from 1-100, you know, "my volume is at 30%." However what does this percentage mean in relative to decibels?
Is this number decibels? Is the max volume on windows 100 decibels when you hold down the volume control on your keyboard?

This question really is an obscure out of the blue question, but I'm just concerned about losing hearing, and if this can't be answered because
I can be dog water at explaining things,

What should be the max volume I should keep on windows to prevent hearing loss?
 
Solution
The numbers are just a percentage of the volume that Windows see's..
For instance, you may have the volume on your amplifier set to 50% but, Windows sees that as 100% so in reality when you have the slider set to 30% in Windows it's really 30% of whatever the setting is at the amplifier...

Wolfshadw

Titan
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No. The number next to the volume control is not decibels. Decibels are going to be a combination of your audio chip set, your speakers, the PC audio control, and the volume control on your speakers. Now I'm not an ENT, but I think if the volume is loud enough that you cannot hear any background audio (i.e. someone trying to get your attention), it's too loud and likely damaging to your hearing.

-Wolf sends
 

Henry577

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Feb 8, 2014
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The numbers next to volume sliders tend to refer to percentage of maximum volume, not decibels. This is because different speakers and headphones all produce sound at different amplitudes. For example a speaker that draws mains power will be able to play sound a lot louder than a pair of headphones that plug into the audio jack and nothing else.

Numbers next to volume sliders can also mean plus or minus decibels. These are more typically found on speaker systems that have had endless research in order to know how a resistance value will change the volume. The speaker still doesn’t know how loud the sound is but it knows how much it is increasing or decreasing the original sound by.

Computer audio can also be hard to keep at a consistent volume. For example two different YouTube videos can be played on maximum volume but produce completely different levels of sound. This is down to the content creators and how loud they recorded, edited, and rendered their audio.

If you are really worried about volume when using a pc, there are phone apps and computer programs that can use a microphone that you plug in (phones obviously have these built in) to detect decibel levels and you could use that to check your volume whenever you are worried about it being too loud. Alternatively there are devices made specifically for taking decibel measurements.

From what a quick google search told me, anything above 90 decibels can be damaging to the inner ear, whilst anything above 120 decibels can do permanent harm. That is pretty loud though so unless you are going out of your way to crank the volume up, I’m sure you’ll be fine.
 

erigthekid

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Jan 25, 2017
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No. The number next to the volume control is not decibels. Decibels are going to be a combination of your audio chip set, your speakers, the PC audio control, and the volume control on your speakers. Now I'm not an ENT, but I think if the volume is loud enough that you cannot hear any background audio (i.e. someone trying to get your attention), it's too loud and likely damaging to your hearing.

-Wolf sends
I have sound canceling earbuds ;-;
 

erigthekid

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Jan 25, 2017
68
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10,630
The numbers next to volume sliders tend to refer to percentage of maximum volume, not decibels. This is because different speakers and headphones all produce sound at different amplitudes. For example a speaker that draws mains power will be able to play sound a lot louder than a pair of headphones that plug into the audio jack and nothing else.

Numbers next to volume sliders can also mean plus or minus decibels. These are more typically found on speaker systems that have had endless research in order to know how a resistance value will change the volume. The speaker still doesn’t know how loud the sound is but it knows how much it is increasing or decreasing the original sound by.

Computer audio can also be hard to keep at a consistent volume. For example two different YouTube videos can be played on maximum volume but produce completely different levels of sound. This is down to the content creators and how loud they recorded, edited, and rendered their audio.

If you are really worried about volume when using a pc, there are phone apps and computer programs that can use a microphone that you plug in (phones obviously have these built in) to detect decibel levels and you could use that to check your volume whenever you are worried about it being too loud. Alternatively there are devices made specifically for taking decibel measurements.

From what a quick google search told me, anything above 90 decibels can be damaging to the inner ear, whilst anything above 120 decibels can do permanent harm. That is pretty loud though so unless you are going out of your way to crank the volume up, I’m sure you’ll be fine.
Thanks for your reply man, the google search was originally why I asked this question because I did not know how 90db was relative to the number values on the sound bar. One thing I'm still confused about, is; A vacuum cleaner is 70 db. From what I understand 70 db isn't enough to do permanent hearing damage as long as its kept within a time limit. So you're saying as long as my earbuds aren't producing as much noise as a vacuum cleaner, they're not damaging my ears? I know this isn't the case, but like.. what?
 

itsdigger

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Jan 11, 2018
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The numbers are just a percentage of the volume that Windows see's..
For instance, you may have the volume on your amplifier set to 50% but, Windows sees that as 100% so in reality when you have the slider set to 30% in Windows it's really 30% of whatever the setting is at the amplifier...
 
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Solution

Henry577

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Feb 8, 2014
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Thanks for your reply man, the google search was originally why I asked this question because I did not know how 90db was relative to the number values on the sound bar. One thing I'm still confused about, is; A vacuum cleaner is 70 db. From what I understand 70 db isn't enough to do permanent hearing damage as long as its kept within a time limit. So you're saying as long as my earbuds aren't producing as much noise as a vacuum cleaner, they're not damaging my ears? I know this isn't the case, but like.. what?

I imagine decibel levels are somehow related to the distance from the source of the sound. Because earbuds are closer to your ears, it doesn’t need as much energy to produce the same decibel level as there is less distance for the sound or energy to dissipate. For example if you was to hold a decibel meter (or whatever the proper name is for a decibel measurement device) close to the speakers in your headphones it would give a higher decibel reading than if you were six feet away.