Absurdly Loud Sound System Would Kill You If You Heard It


This is a little off topic, until you consider running a bass synth through it, but the Large European Acoustic Facility is a sound system so loud that, if you ever heard it, it would kill you.

You might think that the LEAF was invented to get back at dudes that drive at three in the morning with their massive subs cranked up – but it’s actually used for research.

in the photo above, Engineer Kees van Zijtveldt is standing beside the largest sound horn of ESA’s Large European Acoustic Facility (LEAF), capable of subjecting satellites to the same noise a launcher produces as it takes off and flies through the atmosphere.

It is the most powerful sound system in Europe – but no human being could survive hearing it at maximum output.

Large European Acoustic Facility (LEAF)

LEAF is an integral part of ESA’s ESTEC Test Centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, a collection of spaceflight simulation facilities under a single roof. One wall of the chamber, which stands 11 m wide by 9 m deep and 16.4 m high, is embedded with a set of enormous sound horns. Nitrogen shot through the horns can produce a range of noise up to more than 154 decibels, like standing close to multiple jets taking off.

The LEAF includes safety features to ensure that its lethal audio capabilities are not tested. It can operate only once all the doors are closed. Steel-reinforced concrete walls safely contain its noise, coated with epoxy resin to reflect noise to produce a uniform sound field within the chamber. The chamber itself is supported on rubber bearing pads to isolate it from its surroundings.

via ESA, i09

63 thoughts on “Absurdly Loud Sound System Would Kill You If You Heard It

  1. “They told us, all they wanted
    Was a sound that could kill someone
    From a distance, so we go ahead
    And the meters are over in the red
    It’s a mistake in the making”

    Kate Bush – Experiment Iv

  2. Pretty clever to put the gain controls right by the horn. I think we all know what that lab tech does after hours. I’m pretty sure he as a diaper on.

    1. How does it go? `Bwarm! Bwarm! Baderr!!’ something, and in the stage act you do it ends up with this ship crashing right into the sun, and you actually do it!

    1. Google it, sound at over a certain decibel level starts to cause permanent ear damage, keep cranking it up and you’re looking at brain damage from the energy being absorbed through the ear drum, and eventually, either listening at that level for an extended period of time, or by continuing to crank it up, it will kill you…

  3. & The soundsystem of the plan-E.T.elephones is so powerful, it can still be heard by someone on the other side of Christ’s tiny hemo’globe. Because the world is like a tiny drop of Jesus Christ’s homo’globe that fell into the earth be’low.

  4. Playing sweeps of Minimoog lowpass filter in self oscillation while people who deserve it locked in the room.
    P.S. thanks for the inspiration Brandon 😉

  5. There may be safety interlocks, but if you’re in there and the engineer outside knows you’ve been noodling his wife, I would say you are about to experience the unknown. I wonder, would you come back all blue and glowy with super powers?

  6. Perhaps they would consider putting justin bieber in there playing one of his songs on repeat for a few hours just to make sure the job is done??

    1. That’s funny man. I’m going to the NAMM in a couple weeks.

      …No headphones in class? Fine bitch, I’m playing this at the lunchtables.

  7. This would not kill you, at worse you would have severe hearing damage. Manowar regularly play at 125db or so, I think they have approached or breached the 140db barrier in a festival open-air setting, but you can’t actually die from noise like this, once your eardrums burst there is no mechanism to receive further sound. The only way is if the physical sound waves shook you apart, and that would probably have to be in the 1000s of decibels I am guessing. Cool tho. But it’s not like Scanners where you head would just explode (although it may feel similar).

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