If the sensitivity of the headphones is 98 dB at 56 ohms, can they play louder than 100 dB?
It is harmful for hearing from 90 dB, can I listen to them at 80% volume without serious harm to my hearing?

If the sensitivity of the headphones is 98 dB at 56 ohms, can they play louder than 100 dB? It is harmful for hearing from 90 dB, can I listen to them at 80% volume without serious harm to my hearing?

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answers (2)

Answer 1
January, 2021

The sensitivity of headphones is indicated in different ways: it can be in decibels per volt, it can be in decibels per milliwatt.

An increase in power 10 times causes an increase in volume by 1 bel (10 decibels ). An increase in voltage 10 times causes an increase in current also 10 times and an increase in power 100 times - and loudness by 20 decibels.

But what about Volume "percent" is generally a dark topic. The volume control can be stupidly linear or logarithmic, which better corresponds to the subjective uniformity of loudness.

If 100% of the player produces the coveted calculated signal level, then the volume will be calculated.

In the case of a linear regulator - at 32% volume there will be a decrease in volume by 10 decibels.

In the case of a logarithmic regulator - it is even more confusing ...

Just be guided by ear.

Answer 2
January, 2021

The sensitivity of headphones (and any other speaker system) is the level of sound pressure they create when a certain electrical signal is applied to them. There is no single standard here - different manufacturers measure according to different methods, at different frequencies, and often present the results in different units of measurement - some in dB / V, others in dB / W. Volts and watts, of course, are related to resistance through a formula from a school physics textbook - P = U * U / R, but the output resistance of the signal source also contributes to the resistance. In addition, the decibel is a logarithmic unit, an increase in sound pressure by 10 decibels corresponds to an increase of 10 times.

Simply - headphones with a sensitivity of 98dB / V when a 1V signal is applied to them will give out 98 dB, when applied to them 1.1V - 108dB.

Relax - most portable household devices like an iPhone or MP3 player do not output more than 0.3-0.5V at a low-impedance load. Just set a comfortable volume level without regard to the numbers published by the manufacturers.

For reference - 90db - jackhammer, 100dB - blacksmith shop, subway car, circular saw, 110dB - disco, rock concert, 120dB - pain threshold.

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