decibel reader

Decibel reader

What is a decibel reader?

A decibel reader is a device that measures the sound pressure in a room. Remember that sound is pressure, felt as vibrations and waves. It is also called a sound level meter.

Where is it used?

The most common applications is in industrial plants. They are used to make sure that the sound that occupies the manufacturing floor, is under the threshold allowed by insurance companies. They are also used outside, to measure traffic, planes, factories etc. to ensure that the sounds that they emit are under the municipal thresholds for neighbourhoods.

What does it look like?

You can buy them online, to install and be used on with your phone. Here are a few.
1) Android decibel meter
2) iPhone decibel meter

Are the iPhone and Android readers as effective?

Dedicated decibel readers, with the hardware and software in one unit are still the best. Here are a few:
1) Shimana
2) Extech Instruments

What is the formal definition of a decibel?

Wiki explains a decibel as a ratio. An excerpt from Wiki "The definition of the decibel is based on the measurement of power in telephony of the early 20th century in the Bell System in the United States. One decibel is one tenth (deci-) of one bel, named in honor of Alexander Graham Bell; however, the bel is seldom used. Today, the decibel is used for a wide variety of measurements in science and engineering, most prominently in acoustics, electronics, and control theory. In electronics, the gains of amplifiers, attenuation of signals, and signal-to-noise ratios are often expressed in decibels."

Are there some examples of sounds and their related decibel levels (dba)

Below is a chart that outlines different sounds, and how they perform on the (dba) decibel scale:

decibel chart

When assessing a room for acoustic panels is a decibel meter used?

Not typically, acoustic panels do not alter the decibel level in a room. Panels reduce sound reflections. The room may sound quieter, due to the reduction in reflections. A decibel meter that emits a special sound is capable of testing the duration sound reflections.

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