The results of SoundPrint’s second annual Find Your Quiet Place Challenge are in! The campaign inspired hundreds of participants and over 30 organizational partners (including Living with Hearing Loss) to measure sound levels in their local communities to raise awareness for hearing health and to help make the world a quieter place. During the month-long event, participants made SoundChecks at over 2,000 unique venues worldwide.
A Few Glimmers of Hope in the Latest Results
- While overall sound levels were much higher in 2022 (73.4 dBA) when compared to 2021 (70.0), they remained well below pre-pandemic levels (76.4).
- Restaurant noise levels were roughly flat year-over-year (76.4 dBA in 2021 versus 76.5 in 2022). Perhaps restaurants are embracing a quieter set-up post pandemic, maintaining noise reduction strategies like wider table spacing and solid partitions between tables.
- The percent of restaurants rated “Conducive to Conversation” reached its highest level in the past five years at 43%. Much improvement is still needed as 57% were rated “Difficult for Conversation” and 27% “Dangerous for Hearing Health”.
What Does SoundPrint Do with the Results?
SoundPrint’s user-based community plays a vital role in raising awareness about hearing health.
Crowd-sourcing through the SoundPrint app is creating an evidence-based database that benchmarks and identifies trends in venue noise levels around the world. It also helps SoundPrint to discover and promote quieter venues through its app and Quiet Lists.
Most importantly, the information in the app helps the public locate venues more conducive to conversation and to avoid noisier venues that put their hearing at risk.
Readers, do you think it is easier to find a quiet place to eat post-pandemic?
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6 thoughts on “Are Restaurants Adapting to a Quieter World?”
No, they are as noisy as ever. the busboys should be taught proper handilng of the plates and silver they clear and how to not slam them noisily into the metal bins. Maybe this doesn’t bother people with good hearing but my implant picks up every sound. Too bad it doesn’t work as well for coversation! Also they should turn down the music. I guess everyone else likes to listen to a restaurants choice of music, loud ly enough to make conversation difficult but hard of hearing people do not!
There is still much work to be done. Thank you for sharing your experience.
We as people with hearing loss learn over time to be selective about the venues we go to based on the amount of noise (racket) that goes on! This allows us to relax and enjoy the event or dinner with comfort and ease.
Absolutely. Self-advocacy is key. Thank you for your comment.
From the title of the ‘Are Restaurants Adapting to a Quieter World?’ article, I assumed that all of the data was from restaurants.
However, it said ‘overall sound levels were much higher in 2022 when compared to 2021’ and ‘Restaurant noise levels were roughly flat year-over-year (2021 versus 2022).’
Observation: It appears that the data (in the SoundPrint Challenge) was not limited to restaurants.
That is correct. But the study draws some conclusions about restaurants. Thanks for your question.