Just how loud are our Train Horns?

14 Oct

I wanted to take some time to write a blog post about the level of loudness that our air horns have.  I’ve received countless questions about how to compare two horns noise levels.  It’s tough to choose a train horn just by how it looks, when really you need to hear it.  I have installed sample sound clips for all of our most popular items, which can be found on our home page, here.  Once you’ve narrowed down a few air horns that you like, another measure to compare is the loudness.  Loudness is measured by decibels and our current in stock train horns vary in dB level from 120 on up to 175+ dB.

So, what exactly are these Db levels comparable to?  Below is a list of other common activities and their dB levels.

Whispering or crunching leaves-  20dB

TV audio or vacuum cleaner-      70dB

Power lawnmower-                    96dB

Live rock music-                        108-114dB

Chainsaw-                                 120dB

Aircraft Carrier Deck-                 140dB

Jet Takeoff-                               150dB


As you can see, nearly all of the train horns that we carry are louder than even the loudest day to day noises we hear.  To put these numbers into even a clearer form, lets use 70db as the base noise level.  It’s important to note that dB do not go up incrementally, it is an exponential rise as you reach absolute loudest sound possible that travels through air, which is 194 dB.  To put this into perspective, the 120 db chainsaw is 32x louder than the 70dB vacuum cleaner.  So, I’m sure you are wondering how much of a difference there is between our train horns and the loudest sound in history.  Well, you’re in luck because I have dug the info up.  Are you ready to be shocked?  One of our loudest horns, the Maximus IV Train Horn Kit measures in at roughly 175 dB.  The loudest event EVER recorded by humans was the explosion of Mount Tambora in Indonesia in 1815.  This explosion was under 190dB meaning that the difference between our air horns and the loudest sound in history is less than 15dB.  Now, that is insane!

I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about how dB’s are measured and I will have many more posts similar to this in the coming days, so be sure to stop back!  Feel free to contact us at anytime using the contact us form on our website or at admin@trainhornkits.net.


Until next time,

The Trainhornkits.net team


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