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What do decibels mean?

A decibel is a unit used to measure the intensity of a sound. On average, washer dryers tend to run at a decibel rating of around 50-60dB during the wash and 70-80dB during the spin. Obviously, there are particularly quiet models out there, which run at decibels levels much lower than the average. Some washer dryers have brushless inverter motors which eliminate the squeaking noises you might associate with laundry cleaning; the Hotpoint Ultima WDD960P is one example. As a general rule to noise levels, a machine creating around 70 db on the spin programme is a quiet one.

Below is a chart detailing decibel ratings and there equivalent sound:

 Decibels in real terms dB 
Disco, 1m from speaker 100
Diesel truck, 10m away 90
Curb side of busy road, 5m 80
Vacuum cleaner, 1m away 70
Conversation, 1m away 60
Average home 50
Quiet library 40
Quiet bedroom at night 30
Background in TV studio 20
Rustling leaves in the distance 10
Threshold of hearing 0

       baby sleeping and man with fingers in ears    man with his finger over his mouth

What’s interesting to know is that the human ear cannot distinguish the difference between one decibel to the next. So, if you happen to be looking at two washer dryers that are rated only 1 decibel apart, it may help you to know that you wouldn’t notice a difference in volume. However, a difference of 3-4 decibels would be noticeable to the human ear.

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