Jean-Louis Gassée on the noise issue at Apple’s newest store in Palo Alto:
For reference, a normal conversation at 3 feet (1m) is 40 to 60 dB; a passenger car 30 feet away produces levels between 60 and 80 dB. From the Wikipedia article above: “[The] EPA-identified maximum to protect against hearing loss and other disruptive effects from noise, such as sleep disturbance, stress, learning detriment, etc. [is] 70 dB.”
On a relatively quiet Saturday evening, the noise level around the Genius Bar exceeded 75 dB.
I’ve heard a lot of talk about how beautiful the new store is but not about this issue. But it’s clearly an issue if Apple is installing SPL recorders to measure the acoustics.