What is a dB (Decibel)?

dB (Decibel)

The decibel is widely known as a measure of sound pressure level, but is also used for a wide variety of other measurements in science and engineering (particularly acoustics, electronics, and control theory) and other disciplines. In other words it’s used as a sound rating system, higher the number the loader the noise.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The decibel (dB) is a logarithmic unit that indicates the ratio of a physical quantity (usually power or intensity) relative to a specified or implied reference level. A ratio in decibels is ten times the logarithm to base 10 of the ratio of two power quantities.[1] A decibel is one tenth of a bel, a seldom-used unit.

The decibel is used for a wide variety of measurements in science and engineering, most prominently in acousticselectronics, and control theory. In electronics, the gains of amplifiers, attenuation of signals, and signal-to-noise ratios are often expressed in decibels. The decibel confers a number of advantages, such as the ability to conveniently represent very large or small numbers, and the ability to carry out multiplication of ratios by simple addition and subtraction.

The decibel symbol is often qualified with a suffix, that indicates which reference quantity or frequency weighting function has been used. For example, dBm indicates a reference level of one milliwatt, while dBuis referenced to approximately 0.775 volts RMS.[2]

The definitions of the decibel and bel use base 10 logarithms. The neper, an alternative logarithmic ratio unit sometimes used, uses the natural logarithm (base e).[3]

A change in power ratio by a factor of 10 is a 10 dB change. A change in power ratio by a factor of two is approximately a 3 dB change.