Problems Caused by Environmental Noise

Noises from automobiles, buses, trains, planes. and leaf blowers — frequently encountered in an urban environment — prevent hearing quieter sounds. There are three problems that occur due to environmental noise.

environmental noise masks intelligibility
The first problem is that environmental noise masks the fainter audio portions of a signal from being heard.

The second problem is that the soft speech sounds, critical to speech intelligibility, are the first to be masked — giving everyone a hearing impairment — making it more difficult and fatiguing to understand a phone conversation or audio book.

environmental noise too loud sound
The third problem is that people turn up the volume in order to hear, and then leave it turned up, either because they become accustomed to the high volume,

BART noise
or do not want to be bothered with continually adjusting the volume in response to continually fluctuating noise levels. The danger is that this behavior can result in hearing loss.