Threshold of pain

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In hearing, the threshold of pain is the sound pressure or sound pressure level beyond which sound becomes unbearable for a human listener. This threshold varies only slightly with frequency.

Different values for the threshold of pain are found in the literature:

Threshold of pain
sound pressure level sound pressure
120 dBSPL 20 Pa
130 dBSPL 63 Pa
134 dBSPL 100 Pa
137.5 dBSPL 150 Pa
140 dBSPL 200 Pa

The volume in acoustics refers to loudness. It is a common term for the amplitude of sound, the sound pressure or the sound pressure level.

Prolonged exposure to sound pressure levels in excess of the threshold of pain can cause physical damage, potentially leading to hearing impairment.

See also

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