The London Underground is so loud that experts suggest adults and babies wear earplugs

New research has found that noise from some parts of the London Underground could be damaging your hearing.

A number of major news agencies, including the BBC, have drawn attention to the extreme noise levels that can be found on the London Underground.

Decibel levels higher than 105 have been recorded – which is similar to the volume of a chain saw. Sections of the tube that recorded over 105 include the central line between Liverpool Street and Bethan Green, the Northern Line between Camden Town and Euston, and the Jubilee Line between North Greenwich and Canary Wharf.

The research also found that sections of the Victoria line are louder than a rock concert.

Dr Joe Sollini, of UCL’s Ear Institute, analysed the data, saying it was “concerning” as any noise in a workplace at or above an average 85 decibels over an eight hour period, would mean hearing protection would have to be offered.

“If someone was on a noisy Tube line every day, it is perfectly possible this could increase the risk of hearing loss and potentially tinnitus,” said Sollini.

Following this research, hearing protection range Alpine has warned that musicians who regularly uses the underground system could be damaging their hearing or developing tinnitus.

While adults are able to pop some earplugs in if things get too loud, Alpine is urging parents to pay attention to how the noise may affect infants travelling on the London Underground.

“The effects are worse for children or babies, which is sometimes irreparable,” said the company.

“Alpine Hearing Protection offers a wide range of solutions for both infants and adults, and are the only brand with CE certification across all ranges.”

Check out the BBC’s London Underground noise chart below:

Alpine is distribution by Active Music, for more information email


About Laura Barnes 427 Articles
Founder/Publisher of UK musical instrument industry publication MI Focus.