If anyone has one to recommend, I would be grateful.
If it is just to check sound levels during listening (to protect ears from excessive levels) then the mic on your phone/tablet in conjunction with a SPL app (often free) should be good enough.
I have 2 different ones i use for free on the iphone. They seem to be consistent and work well.
Indeed. I currently use ‘dB X’. Works well.
If you want accuracy you’ll need a proper, calibrated, meter. B&K used to be the big nane, but lots of others these days. Otherwise there are free phone apps - see this thread for some info on phone apps and things to be aware of in taking readings:
We used to use a basic Radio Shack meter for setting up levels on multi-channel surround systems, but these days I guess an app and a smartphone is all you need.
Hi Yoda, if you want to correlate Db output to frequency in your room let the paranoia begin ATB Peter
Looks like I’ve got a slightly more recent version:
(No, that’s not where I put it when I’m checking my levels!)
I’ve had this about 15 years and can’t fault it. No idea how good the phone apps are - has anyone tried checking them against a calibrated meter?
Depends on app and phone, and it differs. IIRC someone checked against a calibrated meter in the thread that IB linked a few posts up
Thanks for all the answers in here! Downloaded the “dB X” app and it seems to work really well. The graph here shows a small report from Dire Strait’s “Money for Nothing” via Tidal HiFi. But then it is not a big profit to get a conventional sound meter? Maybe it’s just money for nothing?
Just for fun, I used the dBx app on my smartphone to register the loudness of my partners farts.
I got one up to 102 dB.
That’s enough to wake up the neighbours.
I got another at 116 dB.
That’s enough to wake up the dead.
Why do farts smell?
So that deaf people can appreciate them
Downloaded ‘SPL Meter’ and ‘Decibels’, both have very similar readings/levels on the same music choice…whether they are both right or wrong, not sure, however at least consistent.
On the same phone, different apps will often have the same reading, but the sensitivity of the microphone is not the same between different phones. Many apps have a calibration setting for this (+/- x), but that’s not helpful if you don’t have a reference to calibrate against One crude way is to compare the reading to the noise levels in the usual dB tables, such as “normal conversation = x dB, traffic = y dB”
What distance from source? It’s a bit meaningless without that info!
I used to have a pro level SPL meter but had to give it back when I retired.
During the time I had it I compared the reading between it & my ‘Radio Shack’ meter
The numbers matched reasonably well in the upper low to mid range, +2dB out the 2000Hz to 10000Hz range, but the LF range was well out.
My correction table has 20Hz +7.5, 25Hz +5, 31.5Hz +3, 40Hz +2.5, 50Hz +1.5, 63Hz +1.5, 80Hz +1.5, 100Hz +2, 125Hz +0.5
I would be concerned the phone & tablet apps will have the same problem.
How exactly did you test it?
and should you use A or C weighting?