A subjective term for the sensation of the magnitude of sound. Generally a 10dB increase in sound pressure level is perceived as a doubling of subjective loudness. At low frequencies (20Hz to 200Hz) an increase of as little as 5-6 dB is perceived as a two-fold increase in the subjective loudness.


Zwicker, E. (1958): Uber psychologische und methodische Grundlagen der Lautheit. Acustica 8, 237-258.

Eberhard Zwicker, Bertram Scharf, "A model of loudness summation", Psychological Review, Volume 72, Issue 1, January 1965, Pages 3-26

See also: Equal Loudness Contour, Loudness Level, Perceived Noisiness, Phon, Sound Pressure Level, Zwicker Loudness.

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Subjects: Audio Noise & Vibration

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