Tools

TOP 3 Best Digital Sound Meters

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Did you know that noise is the second most negative parameter that impacts the human body among the external environment? And, yes, unfortunately, pollution with hazardous gases is one step ahead and that’s no surprise. After all, those who live in big cities no longer pay attention to the noise produced by cars, the subway, noise at the production facilities. Nevertheless, such noises of unnatural origin day after day negatively affect the human’s nervous system and lead to deterioration of health, irritability, loss of attention. Nowadays, a digital sound meter is a device that can determine the normal noise amount.

Each Sound Level Meter (SLM) device is equipped with a sensitivity microphone that captures the musical spectrum. Such a feature makes it easy to control noise pollution in the workplaces by office personnel, government agencies, factories, etc. 

sound metering

Some devices are perfect for measuring noise levels according to industrial hygiene programs such as that one on shooting.

Other ones are designed for long battery life and they are built into systems and control points, as in the airport. Also, local authorities, housing, and construction cooperatives and environmental noise pollution consultants use them to monitor and record Noise pollution.

Technical Terms

A digital sound meter is an electronic device that measures the volume level in decibels. Such equipment is widely used in different areas, for instance: production and everyday life. It has a relatively low cost and does not require complex settings. To use the device, it is enough to simply turn it on without the need for complex manipulations and studying the instructions on several pages.

Grades + Things to Watch Out

Sound level measuring devices are usually divided into grades depending on the accuracy of the issued studies. As for grade 0, it covers the most accurate laboratory tools that serve as a reference for monitoring other equipment. This type of device is the most expensive ones, they are error-free due to the fact that they are made of expensive materials, complex filters and other elements that affect accuracy.

The next inaccuracy is the grade 1 device, which is used for sanitary research. With their help, working conditions are being evaluated. This equipment works with nearly laboratory accuracy, therefore, it can be used as a reference for the efficient monitoring and accuracy of measuring devices of a lower grade.

Grade 2 devices are used to take indicators while passing vehicle inspection, assess the volume of working equipment when it comes to sanitary working conditions. Grade 3 devices are household ones. They are most often found on sale and allow you to get approximate indicators of the volume level, which may differ from the data taken from the standard 1-4 dB equipment.

Top models

When looking for the digital sound meter, it is worth paying attention to its grade, frequency range, and error level. The power supply resource is a matter of taste. In some cases, it is convenient to use the main devices that can be connected to the wall socket, and sometimes it is better to buy battery devices on. Also, the tools are different in weight. The expensive models can display a graph of the power of sound waves in addition to numbers. Here are some key features to consider.

Product Item Weight GradePower Source Frequency range
Amprobe SM-10 14.5 ouncesType 2 standardsCorded-electric 31.5 Hz → 8 kHz
REED Instruments R8080 8.8 ouncesType 2 standardsBattery20 Hz → 8 kHz
REED Instruments R8050 8.1 ouncesType 2 standardsBattery31.5 Hz → 8 kHz

Since noises are part of our lives, but sometimes they deter us. How to fight it? In order to reach the essence of this question, it is necessary to study the strength of the noise with the help of a sound sensor.

Such a measuring device shows what volume the sound actually produces. To measure this, we have looked through the range of audio measurement devices in retail.

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The top 3 Digital Sound Meters best are presented to your attention:

Amprobe SM-10 SLM digital sound meter

Amprobe SM-10 SLM digital sound meter makes it possible to develop timely measures for the units responsible for occupational safety minimizing the nuisance of noise. Amprobe SM-10 can be connected to a computer via USB port.

    Pros
  Cons
• Such device has two measurement modes: “A” and “C”. While the first mode is used to measure noise in offices, the second one – to measure noise in factories and plants
• The device can be used outside by protecting the microphone from the wind, with wind speeds up to 10 m/s
• The booster-light makes the reading visible in a poorly lit room
• Bad instruction manual;Not suitable
for beginners. 
REED Instruments R8080 SLM digital sound meter

REED Instruments R8080 SLM – the sound-level device can be an indicator of impending breakdowns in industrial equipment because of negative acoustic effect height wear out.

This Model is a portable rapid response device ideal for accurately measuring noise levels in the environment, buildings and industry in the range of 30 to 130 decibels.

This digital sound meter has the ability to record information into the internal memory and track recorded readings with time and date stamps when recording data.

Pros Cons 
• There are 2 measurement settings
• Ability to simultaneously track up to 64,000
points
• Convenient equipment helps to use the device indoors, outdoors, in the car and in places that are poorly lit
• The number on screen flicker around
• Lacking instructions
REED Instruments R8050 SLM digital sound meter

REED Instruments R8050 SLM keeps the sensitivity of the eardrum, which is aging due to systemic noise exposure. If you have been looking for a price-quality offer, this device will suit you the best. 

Pros Cons 
• High and low range measurement capability
• The backlight provides good visibility
even at night
• Possible use REED Instruments R8050 both indoors and outdoors
• The frequency response rate is limited while
measuring

 FAQ

Q: Are calibrators needed for SLM?

 A: It depends on what you use the tools for. If they are involved in the area covered by state regulation of ensuring of the unity of measurement (for example, labor protection, industrial safety, environmental protection, state supervision), such measurements should be carried out according to certified methods, which, as a rule, require the presence of calibrators.

Q: Are the once-a-year calibrations is enough?

 A: Regular verification does not replace calibration checks during measurements. The inter-calibration interval is determined by the test results for the purpose of approval of the type of measuring medium and is usually 1 year. There is no concept of internal calibration in the current standards for noise and vibration measurements.

Q: What if I measure the noise on the working site? The measurements are carried out outdoors, at the control point there is a high background noise. How to take it into account correctly?
 Q:  We measure sound insulation. One step in our research is to measure the noise of an omnidirectional sound source in different rooms. Do we have to take background noise into account and if so, how?

A: When measuring noise from equipment or sound insulation in residential areas, as well as during source noise measurements in rooms or outdoors with a high background, the sound levels and sound pressure levels of the source may be similar to the background values. In this case, the values that we will see on the tool screen will be greater than the actual noise characteristics of the source. In such cases, it is necessary to take into account the correction to background noise.

Top choice

We care about the purity and quality of water, the safety of furniture and equipment, the ecological cleanliness of food and cosmetics, and in the 21st century, these concerns about the noise level that surrounds us will be added to, but modern technology can solve this problem.

If you are looking for a universal device, then choose model REED Instruments R8080. It can be used both in the office and in the factory. With it easy to work with large sources of information. The carrying case makes it easy to use the device in rain or industrial applications.

Reed instruments R8050 is ideal for optimizing your home cinema with an analog display.

If you want a good price/quality offer, then choose the model Amprobe SM-10. Despite the low price, there is excellent quality. Here you can take accurate readings on the street even in windy weather.

Conclusion — Buyer’s Guide

It is important to define where to use the SLM before purchasing it. This will be the most important choice criteria. If you are looking for SLM to check the noise levels at home or at the workplace, it is worth to buy a compact model. Such portable devices are inexpensive and easy to use. After reading the instruction, each person can measure the noise level with this SLM. You can measure the noise level of a washing machine, kitchen devises or construction tools.

If you are interested in what kind of SLM to choose for regular inspections in production, then you should choose more carefully. Measurement accuracy is also one of the main selection criteria. The price of each device depends directly on its accuracy. Also, pay attention to the manufacturer.

All modern professional SLM have various additional functions. For example, an integrated memory card, the ability to connect to a PC for further processing of data, etc.

Pay attention to Amprobe SM-10. This model has the best package content. Due to the special features of the 9V battery, the device can be used in production and outdoor for a long time.

If you are using REED instruments R8080, it can record samples in internal memory and track recorded with a time and date stamp. The R8080 has a user-selectable sample rate and the ability to monitor real-time measurements with PC interface software.

REED Instruments R8050 complies with ANSI and IEC Type 2 standards. It has dual-range measurements, data hold functions. And mounting on a tripod allows you to conduct research for a long time.

Conclusion 

Take your time and look through all products reviewed on the list. Compare all specifications, feedbacks, and prices and make your buying decision without a rush. Nowadays you can choose the best product just like that, not leaving your sofa.