Why so negative?
October 20, 2010 9:30 PM Subscribe
Why does the sound system show negative db?
posted by Hactar to technology (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My roommate's sound system has, on the front, a measure of the decibels that it is producing at the time, whenever you change the volume. I tend to watch tv at -50db, my roommate at -42db (he works in clubs and so has harmed his hearing), while videogames tend to be played at -65db (don't know why they're louder, but they are).
I know how the logarithmic scale of decibels work, and I understand the negatives are in comparison to something. I'm not about to turn the thing up to 0db, for fear of blowing out the speakers. But what I had learned was that for sound 0db was the quietest sound a normal human could hear. Since these sounds aren't impossible to hear, what's the baseline here? And furthermore, what determined that baseline?