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This site says the typical human voice has a wattage of about 1W. Another site indicates it is 80db with about 0.001W of energy.

I'm confused. How does one compare 80db of 0.001W against 1W? Most importantly how is the wattage of the human larynx calculated?

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The 1W in the first site seems to be referring to the total transmitted vocal power. The 0.001W in the other site sounds like it's referring to the received power at a point near the vocal source. The power received in practice would depend on:

  1. The power transmitted by the source;
  2. The distance from this source;
  3. Some measure of the efficiency of the receiver.

There are many different decibel acoustic measures. It's hard to tell from those sites exactly which one they're using. If its the sound power level measure, then 80dB gives the power ratio relative to $10^{-12}W$, which would actually give 0.0001W, not 0.001W so maybe a typo?

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Thank you. Any ideas on the the latter question - how is the wattage of the larynx calculated? – Everyone Jan 3 '13 at 17:47
Not really, but perhaps I'd try putting someone in an anechoic chamber, and placing a sound level meter at a bunch of sample points maybe 1m from the head, then integrating the results. – twistor59 Jan 3 '13 at 17:55

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