OSEA Safety Blog

Smart Phone Noise Meters

Thursday, July 4, 2019 Brenda Griffin

Did you know that NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) has an iOS app to measure noise levels? It’s called, “NIOSH Sound Level Meter,” and it’s free in the Apple App Store!

It was developed by acoustic engineers and sound experts. According to the information on the app download page found here, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/niosh-sound-level-meter/id1096545820, this app is not only award-winning, but developed to be easy to use - all from the palm of your hand.

Now, any time, any place, you can make decisions in real time with real data on how to protect your hearing.

Here are some of the identified features:

  • The app has no annoying ads.
  • It’s truly free.
  • No limited features.
  • No in-app purchases like there are on other similar apps.
  • Accuracy of the app was tested according to standards in a reverberant chamber at a NIOSH acoustics lab, so it’s been tested and validated to accuracy of +/- 2dBA.
  • The app provides metrics found in professional level sound instruments. The metrics include LAeq (equivalent continuous sound level) and TWA (Time Weighted Average), Max and Peak Levels, Noise Dose and Projected Dose according to NIOSH and OSHA standards, and all three major weighting networks (A,C, and Z).
  • It can be calibrated to either internal or external microphones.
  • It’s capable of reporting and sharing data.
  • It shows what noises are considered to be hazardous, as well as how to properly select hearing protection when needed.

So, whether you’re on a job site, mowing your lawn, or at a concert, with an Apple phone (iOS) and this app, you’ll have all you need to make decisions regarding the need for hearing protection.

Using an Android phone? Here are some options for you in the Google Play store:

Decibel X – works both on Android ($3.99) and iOs (free with in app purchases)

SPL Meter – works on both Android (free) and iOS ($.99 with in app purchases)

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