Looking for a restaurant in Seattle to enjoy a relaxing meal and quiet evening out? Well, a recent study of restaurant noise levels in the Seattle area by tech startup SoundPrint indicates that noise levels at eateries in Seattle are nearing those found in New York City and San Francisco, which have two of the noisiest restaurants scenes in the country.
SoundPrint, a crowdsourcing app described as the “Yelp for noise,” based its study on readings contributed through its app at more than 2,300 venues nationwide. It shows Seattle restaurants have an average noise level of 77 decibels (dBA), with 56% of venues measured being too loud for conversation (greater than 75 dBA) and 24% above 80 dBA ― a level the study suggests could potentially endanger the hearing health of employees and patrons.
“Many people don’t have a concept of healthy noise levels,” says Gregory Scott, the founder of New York-based SoundPrint, who has hearing loss. “This can pose a problem when you are trying to have a conversation and can be dangerous to one’s health. Excessive noise is a serious public health issue as 40 million American adults, nearly 24%, may have noise-induced hearing loss.”
The SoundPrint app allows users to check on noise levels at restaurants around the country as well as measure noise levels at a venue via a decibel meter. The apps’ database currently contains some 80,000 noise-level submissions.
For those seeking that quite evening out in Seattle with family or friends, or even as a personal escape, don’t despair, however. SoundPrint also makes available a “Quiet List” that includes a host of eateries in the Seattle area that pass the decibel-meter test as “recommended quiet venues.” Among the venues on the list are San Fermo in Ballard, Andaluca and Maximilien in downtown Seattle, Café Juanita in Kirkland, Flo in Bellevue, Canlis in Queen Anne and Blueacre Seafood in the Denny Triangle neighborhood.