#1
Like the title says, how loud is too loud when using an amp (or a mfx unit, in my case), with headphones? I don't want to become deaf, so I need to know how loud I can turn up the volume.

With one pair of headphones, I have to turn the master volume on my rp355 to 80 for it to be loud enough, and on another pair, I have to turn up the master volume up to 25 for it to be loud enough. Which pair should I use?
Guitars: Fender FSR Standard Strat, Squire Affinity Strat, Epiphone Nighthawk
Amps: Vox AC15C1, Roland Cube 15x, Peavey KB-1
Pedals: Digitech RP355, HD500, Joyo AC-Tone, EHX Soul Food
#2
turn of the sound and check if your ears are ringing a bit every now and again. if they are, turn it down
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#3
Does it mean I am puting more decibels into my ears if the master volume is higher? Or does it just depend how loud it is too my ears?
Guitars: Fender FSR Standard Strat, Squire Affinity Strat, Epiphone Nighthawk
Amps: Vox AC15C1, Roland Cube 15x, Peavey KB-1
Pedals: Digitech RP355, HD500, Joyo AC-Tone, EHX Soul Food
#4
your over thinking it, the headphones will have different outputs levels, so your master volume just levels them out. retro has best advice, play for 5 min, see how your ears feel. Adjust accordingly.
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#5
You can always wear Earprotection when using headphones, I run into about the same problem because its hard to Estimate how hard it really is ringing in your ears.
And i would say use the one headPhone where you get the best sound out of.
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#6
prolonged exposures to SPL's greater than 85 dB will result is hearing damage (as per OSHA). 85 dB's is supposed to sound like a busy car traffic.

* 40 dB SPL - Very quiet living room.
* 60 dB SPL - Average Conversation 5 feet from person speaking.
* 80 dB SPL - Same person shouting.
* 90-100 dB SPL - Platform of subway station as train arrives.
* 130-150 dB SPL - 100 feet behind airplane jet engine.

to give you an idea of how loud is too loud. mind you, prolonged exposure is what is worrisome, 85 dB's for a few minutes is not going to damage your hearing, but hearing it for long periods of time will.
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#8
loud earphones will be worse than sitting in a room with a loud amp i would imagine, with the earphones the sound has no where to go except into your ears, do yourself a favour and turn it down, and to answer your question, only you will know when its to loud
#9
Quote by kutless999
With one pair of headphones, I have to turn the master volume on my rp355 to 80 for it to be loud enough, and on another pair, I have to turn up the master volume up to 25 for it to be loud enough. Which pair should I use?

It sounds like your headphones have different levels of impedance or maybe sensitivity and one needs more "volume" to compensate. This is not a bad thing although for portable electronics, lower impedance will give you longer battery life for the same perceived volume.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headphones#Impedance

As for which one to use, I would try both headphones with your best audio source (computer or CD/MP3 player) and listen to some high quality music. Preferably a CD, lossless compression (FLAC, etc.), or maybe a high bitrate MP3. Listen to the same music on each and see which sounds better. You could also look up the specs of each set and compare the signal to noise ratio, frequency response, distortion, etc.

Driving the headphones too hard might cause distortion in the sound. As long as you can hear each part of the soundtrack, it's loud enough. Start with it quiet, increase the volume a bit and see if you can hear something new. Listen to music that has appropriate dynamics and quiet sounds, this is where you will be able to pick out new sounds you didn't hear before. Loud death metal will probably not help here. I would suggest Buckethead, Sail on Soothsayer or Aunt Suzie.

Also, volume level is not a contest. The default volume on my MP3 player is 10. I turn it down to 8 with my etymotic er6i in-ear buds because they isolate the outside noise so well. With the stock ear buds (similar to ipod style) I had to turn it up to 12-14.
Last edited by black_box at Jun 20, 2011,
#10
Thanks for the info, I'll try that. But the thing is, the sound is better in the pair of headphones that requires little master volume, but they hurt the exterior of my ear after a while, but the other pair's audio quality is not as good as the other pair. So I'll probably just hVe to get used to the pair with better audio quality.
Guitars: Fender FSR Standard Strat, Squire Affinity Strat, Epiphone Nighthawk
Amps: Vox AC15C1, Roland Cube 15x, Peavey KB-1
Pedals: Digitech RP355, HD500, Joyo AC-Tone, EHX Soul Food