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Sound Level Meter suggestions please
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=67788
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Author:  Abula [ Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:59 am ]
Post subject:  Sound Level Meter suggestions please

Im looking for a Sound Level Meter preferable below $100, not looking for anything professional, just a way to compare.

The ones that im considering are
BAFX Products (TM) - Decibel Meter / Sound Level Reader - W/ Battery!
Extech Instruments SL10 Personal Sound Level Meter
Extech 407730 40-to-130-Decibel Digital Sound Level Meter
American Recorder Technologies Sound Level Meter
Mastech Digital sound level meter MS6700 30 dB - 130 dB

But im open for suggestions or recommendations,

Thanks,

Author:  zdb [ Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sound Level Meter suggestions please

I'm in the same boat. Looking for a meter to get some objective measurements.

All of the meters in the above list are 30dB+ but my environment is already down to 35dB (at least, according to the app on my phone), so I'm after something that is sensitive down into the 20s.

Any suggestions?

Author:  CA_Steve [ Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sound Level Meter suggestions please

Of those listed, the BAFX Advanced seems the best of the lot. High customer satisfaction, ability to import data to your PC, 30dB(A) min.

zdb: The jump from 30dB(A) to 20dB(A) involves a couple of grand or more...and realize any app using the tiny tiny phone mic isn't really telling you what the absolute sound level is as the accuracy and repeatability can't be very good...however, it can be useful for comparisons (this setup is quieter than that setup).

Author:  zdb [ Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sound Level Meter suggestions please

CA_Steve wrote:
The jump from 30dB(A) to 20dB(A) involves a couple of grand or more...
Yikes! :shock: Sounds like 30dB is the threshold for a particular type of 'mainstream' microphone technology... and sub-30dB requires something quite different and more specialised (thus more expensive).

Quote:
and realize any app using the tiny tiny phone mic isn't really telling you what the absolute sound level is as the accuracy and repeatability can't be very good...however, it can be useful for comparisons (this setup is quieter than that setup).
Yes, that's all I've been using it for. Control as many variables as possible, take a reading, change one thing, take another reading, rinse, repeat. What I noticed was that the readings started getting more and more 'erratic' once I went below 38dB — so I think I'm approaching some sort of hard limit with the mic in the phone.

Since I can't justify a couple of grand for a more sensitive meter, I guess I'll have to rely on the one between my ears. ;^)

Thanks for the response, Steve — you short-circuited what would have otherwise been a fruitless search.

Author:  CA_Steve [ Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sound Level Meter suggestions please

Here's a fun read from 2008.

Author:  bobb [ Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sound Level Meter suggestions please

Before throwing ur monies away, why not check out those smartphone apps, often free, may be just do the job.

Author:  zdb [ Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sound Level Meter suggestions please

bobb wrote:
Before throwing ur monies away, why not check out those smartphone apps, often free, may be just do the job.
That's what I have been using. Unfortunately, smartphones use a microphone technology that can't detect sound pressure levels below ~30dB. The software is irrelevant — it's the hardware that is the limiting factor.

I've even hooked up an external mic to the phone, and the results (although slightly better) were still not good enough to give me confidence in readings in the 30-34dB range.

High quality/specialist microphones are needed to go below 30dB.

Author:  Abula [ Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sound Level Meter suggestions please

I have semi frozen this project, i did buy a rode mic that seems with in acceptable to measure below 30db, but the problem is the ambient noise where i was planning to test, so until i can do a semi Anechoic chamber, no point in investing much more. But one the mics that i was considering, turn out to be too expensive but maybe someday if i do the chamber.... SoundFirst SF101a Precision Microphone.

Quote:
SF101a typical noise is 13 dB SPL A-wtd, sensitivity is -36 dBV per Pascal, and maximum SPL is 138 dB for a 125 dB dynamic range.

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