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.