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Q & A: Sound of Commercials

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Most recent answer: 06/20/2008
Q:
are tv commercials louder than regular programming
- shadiah (age 11)
arlington tx
A:
Hello Shadiah!

This is an interesting question, one I had never thought of. My solution to your question was to do an experiment - I watched some TV and actually paid attention to the commercial volume. My conclusion is: "sometimes." I noticed that, yes, some commercials are definitely louder than the regular programming, but some are also softer, and for some there is very little or no difference. It also seems to matter what you are watching on TV - some programs themselves are louder than others (try flipping back and forth between an action movie or action cartoon on TV and a program on the stock market or something - you'll notice a difference in the program volumes).
So, some commercials are louder, maybe to catch a person's attention, but others are softer, maybe so the person tries to listen in more so he/she can hear better.
Hope this helps to answer your question!
-Sara

(published on 10/22/2007)

Follow-Up #1: real commercial data

Q:
I actually measured the commercials and whereas the show (news)was at 60dB or threabouts, the commercials were at 70dB, and sound intensity doubles with each 3 dB
- tomf (age 53)
hermiston, or
A:
Tom- Thanks, nothing beats real quantitative data.

Mike W.

(published on 06/20/2008)

Follow-up on this answer.