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The State Environment Protection Policy (Control of Music Noise from Public Premises) (SEPP N-2) protects residents from music noise.

EPA uses SEPP N-2 to decide if noise is louder than the limits.

When and where we measure music noise

EPA measures music noise:

  • across an average of 15 minutes
  • in a residential area, or other place where people live or sleep, including a hospital, tourist accommodation or hotel.

Noise measurements to assess compliance: indoor venues

SEPP N-2 explains how to measure noise from an indoor venue. It covers the time periods (day/evening or night) to which noise limits apply.

For the day/evening period, SEPP N-2 measures music noise in decibels as an A-weighted sound pressure level, dB(A). This measure represents the sensitivity of human hearing to how loud a sound is. It applies across a range of frequencies (20Hz to 20,000Hz). 

For the night period, SEPP N-2 measures music noise in each octave band from 63Hz to 4000Hz. It measures in decibels as a linear or C-weighted sound pressure level, dB(Z) or dB(C). This type of measurement is sensitive to the more intrusive musical frequencies, including low frequency bass sounds, often emitted from nightclubs.

Noise measurements to assess compliance: outdoor venues

SEPP N-2 explains how to measure music noise from an outdoor venue. It measures music noise in decibels as an A-weighted sound pressure level, dB(A). 

More about music noise from venues and events

About music noise 

Music noise: EPA's role

Music noise: the law

Outdoor event permits

Report music noise 

Noise and your health

Reviewed 26 November 2019