Sometimes turning an amp up to eleven simply doesn’t cut it. If you’re looking for something to point back at those cars that drive by your house with the bass cranked, this speaker (which is likely the loudest speaker in the world) might just do the trick for you.
The “Was 3000”, made by Wyle Laboratories can produce a sound level of 165 dB, which can literally melt the wax out of your ears.
To properly put this into perspective, the pain threshold of noise is 125dB. The loudest rock concerts in the world can get to 130dB, which isalso the sound level that airport workers would experience standing beside a jet engine if they took off their hearing protectors. Here is an interesting dB table that describes the scale and what each level relates to in more detail.
150dB Can vibrate the walls of your chest, and the space shuttle taking off measures in somewhere around 150dB.
On the dB scale, a sound that is twice as powerful as another sound is 3dB louder. That means that a 90 dB sound is four times as powerful as a 84 dB sound. it also means that the Was 3000 is more than TEN TIMES as powerful as the deafening roar of a jet engine right beside you… and five times as powerful as the space shuttle taking off.
At an output of 30,000 Watts and 165dB, this speaker can be physically dangerous – consider this:
- at 135 dB you experience a slight cooling sensation from the air
- at 140 dB your throat and vocal chords start to vibrate
- at 142 dB your chest starts to pound intensely
- at 148 dB the vibration because uncomfortable and even painful
- at 150 dB you experience the overwhelming sensation of being compressed as if underwater
- at 155 dB the compression and expansion from vibration is felt to the core
- at 158 dB the vibration is violent, and nausea becomes intense
- at 190 dB eardrums rupture 50% of the time
- at 198 dB human death from sound (shock wave) alone
Now, before you go out and try to buy a couple of these to hook up to your XBOX 360, be aware that the Was 3000 is primarily used to make noise. It uses a technique called airsteam modulation that pushes compressed air and nitrogen through various slots in the device, which create ‘puffs’ of air which acts as a modulator.
What is it used for other than other that in acoustic test chambers, you ask? Well, you know those noise-cancelling headphones that work by sampling the ambient noise, creating a waveform that is an exact duplicate of the noise, reversing the polarity and combining it with the original signal? Well the idea of this speaker is to do the same thing at airports and other installations that have a huge amount of noise.
Wyle has demonstrated its low-frequency noise reduction technology at various locations including Baltimore/Washington International Airport. The US Army uses the WAS 3000 in a speaker setup called “The Mother of All Speakers” for battlefield simulations.
This speaker sort of brings that old Maxell ad to mind.
watch my horn .. thank you
from april to septemper at fluelen, Lake of Lucerne, Switzerland
It’s to bad the article was written with so many mistakes in it the author should be flogged.
Space shuttle is widely acclaimed to be one of the few man made machines that can clip the air by producing an amplitude greater than 194db.
It does so by burning more than 7000 lbs of aluminum dust propellant per second.
Wyle labs system produces 165db
space shuttle produced 194db+
Delta is +30db or 1000x power although the human ear would tell you it seems as though it is 32x louder due to the human ear non-linearities and integration and the fact that your ears would have forever ceased to work above about 180db!
amazing, although you really have no way of knowing the physical effects on someone, not unless you have data from Japanese/German scientists in world war 2 or something 🙂
the only way to gauge the limits of human endurance is to test them, participants aren’t normally volunteers
Assuming that our military has already experimented with audio/sound wave technology as a weapon, I wonder what the smallest size this can be made as well as focal point control possibilities… you saw Ironman right? It may well be a more effective weapon as a harmonic disruptor based on the general ‘harmony’ of the human body and instead of neutralizing the ‘noise’ apply a malignant state causing great homeostatic chaos. Sorry I went way off on a tangent there…
You need to learn how to use math.
150 decibels to 165 decibels isn’t 5x the power. Each 3db doubles the power, as you yourself state. So 153 is double 150, 156 is quadruple, 159 is 8x, 162 is 16x and 165 is 32x.
On the dB scale , a sound that is twice as powerful as another sound is 3dB louder.
No. A sound that is twice as powerful as another is 10dB louder. You already linked to the Wikipedia article. Thank you.
BOOM! imagine standing inside that and just connecting a macrophone to a bass drum!
We have 2 WAS3000’s in each of our 2 acoustic chambers. The smaller chamber has a logarithmic horn with an 8′ diameter mouth in the floor and another in the ceiling. The rooms a 14′ diameter cylinder by 25′ tall. We put spacecraft or spacecraft components in there, then blow nitrogen at 10 to 40 psi through the WAS’s while feeding a computer controlled random noise signal through it to simulate the noise environment of liftoff. The result is 60000′ watts of rocket in your building. The noise signal is 20 to 10000 Hz up to 160 dB overall sound pressure level. The other chamber has similar horns with about 15′ mouths about 40 x 40 x 60 high designed to take a full shuttle payload for acoustic test. The WAS itself has about a 4″ opening at each end. The actual cylindrical acoustic voice coil/acoustic driver is 2 slotted cylinders one with a machined spring to return it to center. The machining is extremely intricate especially for something designed in the early 1970’s. Running these tests is exciting and fun but dangerous. Lots of safety rules
Sound like that would probably shake your eyeballs out!
“I can’t hear the vocals in my wedge….”
Hang on – I’ll be back in a second!
looks like the worlds most annoying and largest vuvuzela
So the diaphragm acts like valve admitting (modulating) air pressure into the exponential horn?
I’d like to extend the horn back and attach my Sousaphone mouthpiece to it.
Better, remove the Sousaphone bell and attach the instrument to the horn and play a tune.
Now if only they could find the correct frequency for “brown noise” …
You can visualize it as a voice coil driven diaphone modulating an air flow. It’s not really a hi fi speaker. The voice coil drives a slotted cylinder aligned with stationary slots to the throat of a horn. At higher pressures of operation, such as 30 PSI, macrosonic distortion occurs, as air no longer behaves in a linear manner. A sine wave drive to the voice coil results in a sawtooth wave output from the horn. At low operating pressures around 1 PSI the output is similar to the input in that a sine wave input to the voice coil results in a sine wave output to the horn over its operating frequency range.
Sounds like a perfected version of a German WW2 invention, a sound gun designed to incapacitate opposing troops with sheer noise. The German version was powered by a resonant combustion chamber and emitted a one frequency noise, not a “mother of all subwoofers”. I bet Kim Jong 2 would love a whole array of these gems. Hint for evil acousticians: higher frequency means better directionality.
check out the Hyperspike!
How to really shut somebody up…
If you ever need speakers reconed, or custom made, contact us. We’ve built speaker drivers used in automotive sound systems that measured on the lab mic at over 162db.
Pump up the volume.
So, why don’t bands who SHOULD be playing their music loudly have such crappy speakers when something like this is available? I get so sick of bands that have subpar speakers at their events.
At home, I have basically a sound room and I would love to have something like this. I basically grab the top ten singles each week and listen to them at top volume. If they can’t stand up to that, then they’re not worth listening to ;).
Good job, you’ll be deaf in no time
Yeah I’m pretty sure it’s because most bands don’t have 10 million dollars lying around. Just sayin.