Cinemas are too loud, yet the common opinion of movie makers is noise levels are a personal perception. Complaints about cinema loudness often comes from the older population, so as we age our ears are more sensitive.
While sitting in the cinema watching one of the latest action movies, Terminator: Dark Fate, to hit the screen, I found myself covering my ears. This was mainly to get myself through the car chases and scenes of action violence without pain in my ears.
The noise in cinemas can also aggravate tinnitus. Digitally enhanced movie sounds can leave you with crackling and buzzing in your ears.
Noise of 90 decibels and above will feel too loud for the ears and cinemas often exceed that level of sound, sometimes spiking as high as 105 – 118 decibels. It has been likened to the sound of heavy traffic or a jet engine. The safe upper level is 85 decibels. Fortunately, it would take hours of exposure to constant excessive noise levels to create permanent hearing loss.
In the age of digital sound, volumes can be increased without distortion. Sound levels are calibrated by producers for maximum effect and the ultimate movie experience. Yet some theatres are smaller than others in multiplex cinemas which make the noise levels unsuitable and uncomfortable to audiences.
You should never take a baby into a cinema as their little ears are still developing and the loud noise could damage their ear drum permanently.
Why are cinemas too loud?
Movie directors claim it’s what the audience wants. The bulk of movie goers are between the ages of 18 to 35 and they want loud surround sound for the ultimate movie experience. Its what gets them away from their big screen TVs and puts bums on seats. Yet an interest fact is that sound mixers for movie production need to wear ear protection while developing the soundtrack to avoid over exposure to damaging noise levels.
Dolby Laboratories have developed the latest cinema sound called Dolby Atmos which has increased the volume in cinemas. Using separate speakers, Dolby Atmos slowly builds up the sound till it blasts from multiple directions.
If you think your local cinema is too loud you can measure the level of noise while you are watching a movie by downloading one of the apps available for Android and iOS. Healthy Hearing article has listed some of the best ones available.
The Hearing Cub
The Hearing Club is a local and independent hearing service provider. Our aim is to assist the hearing impaired to achieve the greatest enjoyment from life.
We are a family business accredited to provide services through the Commonwealth Office of Hearing Services. We are experienced in providing excellent services to private clients in the area. We are proud of our history and commitment to the local community improving lifestyle through better hearing.
If you are concerned about hearing loss and or tinnitus, our professional audiologists will conduct a hearing assessment and discuss the options available to you for better hearing health.
To make an appointment with one of our professional staff please call 1800 627 728. To find a clinic near you, contact us online today.