# At what altitude can the sonic boom no longer be heard at sea level?

As others have stated here, you can hear the sonic boom of planes flying by at a fairly high altitude, ~80 000 ft. At what altitude would the sonic boom no longer be noticable at sea level? To add to that, is there any relatively "simple" method of estimating sound dissipation with altitude?

• Interesting question. We don't hear meteors at all, meteors fly through the mesosphere, above 160,000 ft (49 km). Therefore, the hearing limit is probably somewhere between that and 60,000 ft (18.3 km), Concorde's maximum cruise altitude. Feb 4 at 15:03
• The larger the object, the louder the sonic boom. A supersonic bullet produces a "click" when it passes by (not that I recommend trying to experience this personally), and that click wouldn't be audible beyond a few hundred yards; the "click - bang" would become just the "bang" of the weapon firing. Given this dynamic, there won't be a single altitude that "the sonic boom" doesn't reach the surface; the altitude would be affected by the size of the aircraft involved.
– Ralph J
Feb 4 at 17:52
• I'm gonna say a .308 makes more than just a click at supersonic speeds. Feb 4 at 21:58
• @Betternottell We don't hear meteors at all ... I beg to differ. In 2013, windows were smashed, buildings were damaged and people were injured as a result of the shockwave of a meteor near Chelyabinsk, Russia. Smaller meteors may be heard too, but the smaller the meteor, the more faint the noise it makes. Note that due to distance the sound has to travel, there is a long delay between the sighting of the meteor and the arrival of the sound. Feb 7 at 9:25
• @DeltaLima I meant the usual meteors (falling stars) such as Perseides or Leonides, not exceptional meteoroids surviving the stratosphere. Feb 7 at 11:45