Decibel measurement gauge with green needle pointing to 30 dB

Many factors influence how loud a sound seems. One easily measured factor is sound intensity, or volume, which is measured in decibels. A-weighted decibels, or “dBA,” are often used to describe sound level recommendations for healthy listening.

A microscopic cell.

People who have lost their hearing may one day be able to get it back, thanks to recent research that uses a new lab recipe to grow inner ear cells.

Screenshot of an ear from video illustrating how sounds travel from the ear to the brain, where they are interpreted and understood.

Travel through the human ear in this short, animated video. Learn how sound waves are changed to electrical signals that our brains interpret and understand.

People walk along West Broadway in Tribeca district, New York.

The Sounds of New York City (SONYC) research project will use large-scale noise monitoring to provide technology and data to help the city understand and control noise more effectively. Ultimately, the project could contribute to creating quieter cities, thereby reducing the risk of noise-induced hearing loss.

Alexander Graham Bell

Noisy Planet shares the story of Alexander Graham Bell’s contributions to the science of hearing through his creation of the audiometer.

The Sun

Scientists are using sound waves to study the interior of the sun. Frequencies coming from the sun’s interior are almost too low for humans to hear by the time they reach the surface.

Screen grab of the article in the January 2015 edition of NIH News in Health

Sounds are all around us—but when they are too loud and too long, they are damaging to our hearing. Be sure to check out the January 2015 edition of NIH News in Health that discusses noise-induced hearing loss and how to prevent it.

Alexander Graham Bell

Hundreds of experimental audio recordings were left behind by Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, and Emile Berliner. Scientists are now working to recover those recordings.

Portrait of cheerful young girl playing guitar with band in garage

Playing any musical instrument—regardless of size—can harm your hearing, if played loud enough and long enough. To better protect their hearing, musicians wear earplugs. 

Person snorkeling in the ocean holding a shell

Did you know that we hear much higher pitched sounds underwater? This is because sound bypasses the eardrum when underwater—through a process called bone conduction.


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