Conform to Broadcast Standards of Volume Limits

In the world of audio production, understanding and adhering to broadcast standards is crucial. Among these standards is ensuring that audio levels adhere to specific volume limits, as dictated by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

Why are Broadcast Volume Limits Important?

Maintaining consistent volume levels across different broadcasts is essential for several reasons:

  1. Audience Comfort: Unexpected and sudden volume changes can be jarring and uncomfortable for listeners. Ensuring consistent volume levels minimizes this effect and provides a more pleasant listening experience.
  2. Compatibility with Equipment: Different playback devices and broadcast systems have varying volume capabilities. Adhering to volume limits ensures that the audio remains within the acceptable range for these devices, preventing distortion or clipping.
  3. Legal Compliance: Broadcast regulations often impose maximum loudness limits to protect audience hearing health and prevent audio from overpowering other program elements.

ITU Broadcast Loudness Standards

The ITU has established two main standards for broadcast loudness:

  1. LUFS: The Loudness Unit Full Scale (LUFS) is a relative loudness measurement system that is gaining widespread adoption in the broadcast industry. A LUFS meter is used to measure the overall loudness of an audio program.
  2. LKFS: The Loudness K-weighted Full Scale (LKFS) is a variation of LUFS that compensates for the human ear’s sensitivity to different frequencies. It is often used for measurements in the broadcast industry.

Target Loudness Values

The ITU recommends specific target loudness values for different types of broadcast programs:

  • Speech: -19 LUFS
  • Music: -24 LUFS
  • News: -18 LUFS

Monitoring and Adjusting Loudness

To ensure that your audio adheres to broadcast standards, it is essential to use a loudness meter. Most digital audio workstations (DAWs) and broadcast software include loudness meters.

To adjust loudness, you can use audio software’s built-in dynamics processing tools, such as compressors and limiters. These tools can help to control the dynamic range of your audio and bring it within the prescribed loudness limits.


Conforming to broadcast standards of volume limits is an important aspect of audio production. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your audio is comfortable for listeners, compatible with various playback devices, and adheres to legal regulations. Using appropriate loudness meters and dynamics processing tools can help you achieve consistent and compliant audio levels for your broadcasts.

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