An advertising campaign by LG pasted on the Skytrain platforms touts their new beltless washing machine. The key benefit: it is significantly quieter than the competition. As you can see, the LG Inverter DD operates at only 50 decibels whereas the competition’s belt-driven washers operate at horrifying 58 decibels.
The problem is, the graphics they use to illustrate these relative levels of sound are very misleading. Here are some average decibel levels for various types of activity,
10 dB – Normal breathing
30 dB – Whisper
40 dB – Stream, refrigerator humming
50-65 dB – Normal conversation
60-65 dB – Laughter
70 dB – Vacuum cleaner, hair dryer
75 dB – Dishwasher, washing machine
80 dB – Garbage disposal, city traffic
85-90 dB – Lawnmower
100 dB – Train, garbage truck
110 dB – Jackhammer, power saw
120 dB – Thunderclap
Not sure what LG is exactly depicting in the 58 dB picture – looks like road work to me – but it seems pretty clear that 58 dB isn’t nearly as loud as road work would be. And the 50 dB picture – someone sitting in a library – probably isn’t accurate, either. A library would probably be closer to 35-40 dB.
Note that prolonged exposure to any noise about 90 dB can cause gradual hearing loss.