How Loud Are Movie Theater Speakers? – (Revealed)

Speakers in movie theaters generate sound ranging from 85 decibels to 105 decibels.

The sound level varies with the scenes in the movie, as a gun shooting scene would peak the soundwave volume to 105 decibels.

How Loud Are Movie Theater Speakers
Movie Theater/Source/Depositphotos

Read the following article to learn more about movie theater speakers and the rules and regulations for these speakers.

Why are movie theater speakers so loud?

The loudness of the theater speakers depends on two separate parties, filmmakers and movie theater owners.

Let’s find out how both of them are responsible for the final sound output’s loudness.

Sound systems manufacturers, such as Dolby Atmos, THX, etc., have set reference levels that one should maintain to have the best experience.

These companies have given calibration levels for different video entertainment consumption media, including

  • Theatrical
  • DVD/BlueRay
  • ATSC
  • Common Old NTSC
  • EBU R128
  • WWW

According to Dolby, the fader level should be 7 for theater sound delivery. The level 7 fader is equivalent to around 85 decibels.

However, people still find 85 decibels very high. As a result, the theater sound engineers set the sound level to 5 or 6, which is less than what Dolby has referred to.

As theater operators lower the sound, filmmakers increase the sound level in their movies. As a result, though the theater owners reduce the sound of the movies, the final sound level is always high.

RELATED: How Loud Are TV Speakers

Are movie theaters too loud for ears?

Movie theaters are loud enough to damage your hearing temporarily.

According to Northeastern University, the noise level of a movie theater is comparable to some loud events you have experienced in your life.

Human ears have a comfort zone which is around 60 to 70 decibels. More than 70 decibels are counted as noises. However, movie theaters’ sound level is around 85 decibels.

Besides, the Motion Pictures Association of America has defined the upper limit of the sound at a movie theater as 85 decibels.

However, at the time of the extreme gun shooting and other intense moments, peak volume goes up to 95 to 100 decibels. Due to the peaking of sound, you may experience temporary hearing loss.

What kind of speakers do movie theaters use?

Most modern movie theaters use 3D and immersive sound technology. As a result, the sound comes from multiple directions to create a virtual environment for you.

If you ever go to a cinema hall, you will experience movie sounds that you never experienced before. The sound comes from every possible direction and gives a real-time environmental experience.

You can experience this sound atmospheric experience with 8D Audio songs available on YouTube. There, you need to use headphones. You will find the song rotating around you while singing.

Some of the most famous brands listed below manufacture sound systems for movie theaters to see at a glance:

  • Dolby Digital
  • Mono
  • Dolby Stereo SR
  • Dolby Stereo
  • DTS
  • Pulz
  • Bose
  • Norge
  • JBL
  • SDDS

Are movie theaters too loud for babies?

Exposing baby ears to 70 to 85 decibels of sound for two hours can be severe. It can and will cause permanent ear damage. Thus, the answer is movie theaters are too loud for babies.

Baby ears are more sensitive compared to a full-grown human. As a result, it can handle less noise and has a comfort range of around 60 to 65 decibels. Above this sound level, babies experience irritation.

On the other hand, movie theaters’ sound systems are meant to generate around 70 to 85 decibels. It is way above the comfort range of a regular full-grown human. Thus, it is not a good place for a baby.

Besides hearing loss, serious health issues can occur if you expose your baby to a noisy place like movie theaters. Some of the health issues that will arise are listed below to see at a glance:

  • Headache
  • Increase in heart rate
  • Increase in blood pressure

Besides, as babies feel irritated, they will cry. And a baby’s crying sound in a movie theater is very annoying as everyone goes there to experience the movie. Thus, you might get scolded.


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