2nd October 2019

unsw
17

What is 0 dB?

So 0 dB does not mean no sound, it means a sound level where the sound pressure is equal to that of the reference level. This is a small pressure, but not zero. It is also possible to have negative sound levels: - 20 dB would mean a sound with pressure 10 times smaller than the reference pressure, ie 2 μPa.

How loud is 0 dB?

0 dB occurs when you take the log of a ratio of 1 (log 1 = 0). So 0 dB does not mean no sound, it means a sound level where the sound pressure is equal to that of the reference level. This is a small pressure, but not zero.
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