Decibel Meters vs. Sound Meter Apps – How accurate are they? There is a growing number of sound meter Apps available as free downloads on Google Play Store and the Apple Store, many of these provide standard noise measurement functions, but when used with the internal microphone in your smartphone or tablet do not offer compliant noise measurements, and therefore have no standing legally. This is because:
How to measure noise with your Android phone
Decibel Meters vs. Sound Meter Apps – How accurate are they? There is a growing number of sound meter Apps available as free downloads on Google Play Store and the Apple Store, many of these provide standard noise measurement functions, but when used with the internal microphone in your smartphone or tablet do not offer compliant noise measurements, and therefore have no standing legally.
This is because: The decibel meter and its microphone must meet IEC For compliant measurements, the microphone and noise meter must be calibrated with an acoustic calibrator before and after your noise measurements.
It is not possible to calibrate the internal microphone nor smartphone apps. Because of the range of smartphones available on the market, there is also the potential for significant variations in their accuracy and performance comparing model to model, thus allowing discrepancies to arise as a result.
In most smartphones, the internal microphone is positioned in the lower edge of the device i. Users have shown a tendency to hold the device with the microphone typically facing their body, or laid out on a table both of which affect the frequency response of the device. By the nature of the core purpose of these inbuilt microphones, they are also designed to cancel out some noise.
The location of the microphone on tablets is more variable as these are not intended to be used for calls, however, they are invariably laid flat on a table when measurements are taken not held, and also include noise cancelling. It is possible to use a mobile with a suitable external microphone which meets the relevant instrument standards. Nevertheless, some Health and Safety Officers may find these smartphone apps can serve a purpose for carrying out quick spot checks of noise when a professional decibel meter is not available, or as range-finding devices, and may help workers make quick educated decisions about whether they need to put their hearing protection on.
One commercial company now offers a sound level meter app in a watch. This app measures noise at the person’s wrist, not their ear though, and has similar issues with the microphones to mobile phone offerings, however it does give you noise exposure times. Cheap noise meters – should you use them? Many of the points made above about the smartphone Apps apply equally when we look at the accuracy and compliance limitations of cheap noise meters.
Noise measurement instruments, and decibel meters, in particular, can vary hugely in cost as well as in complexity. Although there are many professionals who are using complicated and expensive decibel meters every day, for the majority of health and safety practitioners, noise is just a small part of their jobs.
They understandably are looking for the cheapest and easiest meter to ‘get the job done’. There are several applications, like with the smartphone Apps, that these simple meters might be adequate for, such as testing fire alarm noise levels and simple office or machinery noise level checks. However, many of these meters are not legally compliant with international noise measurement standards. This means that they cannot be used to measure occupational noise in compliance situations for example in workplace noise assessments under the Noise at Work Regulations.
The Pulsar Nova Range of sound level meters is ideal for meeting these needs and more. The minimum requirements for a compliant noise at work sound meter are that it is an integrating averaging meter compliant with IEC The equivalent continuous A-weighted sound pressure level LAeq The maximum C-weighted peak sound pressure level LCPeak If there is a need to prescribe suitable hearing protection it should ideally also: Measure equivalent continuous C-weighted sound pressure level LCeq ; or The Leq in octave frequency bands.
Are smartphone Apps and cheap noise meters worth it? So, should sound meter Apps and cheap noise meters be used where there is a requirement to be compliant with a standard or regulation? These are the standards, regulations and guidelines to which most Health and Safety Officers and Environmental Officers are working to around the world. Pulsar is not here to approve or disapprove of the use of these sound meter Apps or cheap noise meters.
Apps can play a role when used with the appropriate microphone, and likewise, there are many applications where they and very basic noise meters can be an effective way to take quick indicative measurements. Contact us to find out more.
Other apps for hearing loss
Read reviews, compare customer ratings, see screenshots and learn more about Decibel X: dB, dBA Noise Meter. Download Decibel X: dB. iPhone displaying the NIOSH Sound Level Meter app. Using a mobile device’s built-in microphone or an external microphone, the For example, NIOSH SLM reports the sound level in different weighted decibels, including. Today we are looking at decibel meter apps to measure noise levels. the ability to calibrate the device depending on your phone’s hardware.
Decibel Meters vs. Sound Meter Apps & Cheap Noise Meters
The best smartphone decibel meter apps to measure noise levels www. Here are some great decibel and sound meter smartphone apps for measuring noise levels. Will the roar of the crowd be enough to warrant wearing ear protection? Is the music too loud for your guests and the neighbors? Smartphones have made it easier to check noise levels.
This can come in handy at parties, as our guests can see the result instantly and decide which to keep or discard. Another situation where this software can prove useful is in the case of photo shoots, so users can immediately see a printed form of their pictures and imagine how they would look in an album or photo frame hanging on a wall.
With this software, we can take great photos and capture videos, right from our computer, where we can adjust all the required camera settings and preview the results on a big screen.
VIDEO REVIEW: Get Decibel Meter – Microsoft Store
The reason behind the accuracy is that many apps uses the microphone of the mobile phones which have the limit of 80–90 db. and unable to. NIOSH has released a free smartphone sound measurement app for iOS accuracy of the smart phone decibel meter to measure that noise. Download this app from Microsoft Store for Windows 10 Mobile, read the latest customer reviews, and compare ratings for Decibel Meter.