How Loud Should Your Music Be When You Drive?


One might not think of music as a “noise problem.” But it is, especially when you drive. And the reason for this is that in most cases, the volume levels that drivers prefer at home or in a car are way too loud when one drives on the main road.

You can easily find out how loud your favorite song sounds when driving. Suppose you have already driven with your setup on the main road. In that case, nobody has to explain why listening to music too loud when driving is dangerous: Many people die or get injured every year from accidents caused by distracted drivers.

But you probably don’t know why listening too loud when being behind the wheel is so dangerous. What is the reason for this?

Loud Music Harms Hearing

You may have noticed that the loudness of sound is not a linear function of volume level. In other words, if you double your playback volume from 10 to 20 on your audio system, the perceived loudness will not double as well (1.4x or 1.2x), which means that sounds above 85dB will perceive much louder than they actually are.

At this point, it also becomes clear why rock concerts can cause significant health problems. The average listener’s ears get damaged after only one concert at 110 dB(A), which represents about 100 W/m². You should keep the noise level below that, especially when learning how to drive.

Ear Sensitivity

The human ear has different sensitivity at different frequencies and volumes. Low-frequency sounds don’t do as much damage as high-frequency sounds. You can find a lot of explanations why listening to music too loud is harmful to your ears.

In general, you should not listen to any sound louder than 85dB if you want to have a healthy hearing at an old age. When driving, you should not listen to music louder than 75dB. So how loud is that?

The Loudness of Music In Your Car

Well, the answer is: It depends on a lot of factors. A good rule of thumb is “half of your car audio system’s maximum volume,” which means, if the maximum output of your car stereo system is 100W RMS, you shouldn’t play songs more loudly than 50W RMS. If you have a 4-way speaker system with 200W max power, do not exceed 100 W.

Finally, if you’re behind the wheel with 400W max power from your amplifier(s), keep your levels below 200 Watts as well. It will still sound deafening but does more minor damage to your ears and won’t cause hearing loss or even tinnitus.

If you want to drive safely when listening to music in your car, you should use an app that blocks all sound if your volume is too loud. This way, you won’t be distracted by music while driving but can still listen to your favorite songs when parking before you go hiking or running, etc.

You want to insure your vehicle in case anything happens due to loud music. Ensure you use a car insurance compare service online to get the best rates available on your new policy. I hope this article has helped you to understand why listening too loud when driving is dangerous.

With that said, do yourself and your car stereo system a favor and turn down the volume while you’re behind the wheel! Also, make sure to check out our apps to block music while driving if you want an app that will keep the sound turned off at all times (also helpful while running with earbuds in case you don’t want to miss anything).