How loud is too loud? Sound can cause hearing loss at a level of 85 or more dBA (A-weighted decibels). The louder a sound is, the faster it can damage your hearing. According to the CDC, 5 in 10 young people listen to their music or other audio too loudly and more than 1 in 2 adults in the US have noise-induced hearing loss but do not have noisy jobs. The problem with loud noises is that they can permanently damage your hearing from repeated or extended exposure - but if the sound is loud enough, even 2 minutes of exposure can cause damage to your hearing. Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is entirely preventable, but once NIHL occurs, it is permanent and cannot be undone.