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What is decibels (dB)?

We measure sound intensity (also referred to as sound power or sound pressure) in units called decibels. Decibels (dB) are named in honor of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of both the telephone and the audiometer. An audiometer is a device that measures how well a person can hear certain sounds. A modern version of it is still used today to diagnose hearing loss.

Decibels are different from other familiar scales of measurement. While many standard measuring devices, such as rulers, are linear, the decibel scale is logarithmic. This kind of scale better represents how changes in sound intensity actually feel to our ears. To understand this, think of a building that is 80 feet tall. If we build up another 10 feet, the building will be 12.5 percent taller, which would seem just slightly taller to us; this is a linear measurement. Using the logarithmic decibel scale, if a sound is 80 decibels, and we add another 10 decibels, the sound will be ten times more intense, and will seem about twice as loud to our ears.

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Soon you’ll know, just watch the video 🙂

Now you know what decibels is!

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