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Best Smartphone Decibel/SPL Meter Apps For Home Theaters

Best Smartphone Decibel/SPL Meter Apps For Home Theaters
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If you live or work in a noisy environment, it’s very important to keep your hearing safe. One easy way to d that is by understanding how high the decibel levels are in your environment. One easy way to do that is by using a decibel meter.
 
However, these devices tend to be expensive. A lost cost and easy way to measure decibel levels are to use a decibel meter app.
 
In this article, we will look at the best decibel meter apps on the maker. Here are two of the best decibel meter apps out there available for Android and iOS:

Best Overall Android and iOS: Decibel X (iOS and Android)

Apple App Store Rating: 4.6 stars, free, offers in-app purchases
Google Play Rating: 4 stars, $3.99

Decibel X is a free iOS/Android decibel meter app. This app is quite popular as it offers a variety of features. If you are asking what is the best free decibel meter app, then this is probably it.

This app is arguably the most accurate decibel meter app for android and iPhone.

Decibel X (iOS and Android Free with in-app purchases)

In fact, Decibel X essentially turns your smartphone into a professional sound level meter.

The app is highly rated for its accuracy and easy-to-use interface on which it displays real-time sound level information in decibels as well as with beautiful waves and graphs.

This app is also supported on Apple Watch, so you can have easier portability.

Best iOS: NIOSH Sound Level Meter App (iOS)

Apple App Store Rating: 4.7 • 7.9K Ratings, Free

While not as popular as Decibel X, the NIOSH Sound Level Meter holds the distinction o being developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which adds a tonne of credibility.

NIOSH Sound Level Meter App

The app was initially developed to measure noise levels in the workplace for safety and health professionals. Since then, NIOSH has made the app freely available to the general public. If you are looking for a free decibel meter app for your iPhone, then this is it. 

Most Affordable iOS and Android: Decibel Pro – Frequency Analyzer & dB Sound Meter

Apple App Store Rating: 4.6 • 29.5K Ratings, free, offers in-app purchases
Google Play Rating: 4 stars • 1,729 Ratings, Free with ads, Pro version available

The DecibelPro Sound Level Meter is a professionally accurate sound level meter app. The app is available for Android and iOS and includes features such as:

Noise Dosimeter: Measure noise thresholds.

Hearing test: Test the condition of your hearing.

Create photos and videos: Embed ambient noise level graphs onto photos.

Spectrum analysis: Spectrum analyzer with more than 100 operating options.

Decibel Pro Frequency Analyzer and dB Sound Meter

One of the main advantages of this app is the fact that the free version is pretty good with limited intrusive ads. 

Of course, there is also a pro plan that offers additional features such as popular sound weightings and the spectrum analyzer.

You can use the app for a wide variety of situations whether it’s just checking ambient noise or as a quality bass tester or equalizing different sound systems.

Best SPL Meter Apps For Home Theater

Sound pressure level (SPL) is an important consideration in your home theater. Sound pressure level is a measure of the level of pressure produced by the sound you are measuring.

It is the most commonly used indicator of the strength of sound. Below is a list of the best SPL meter apps for your home theater:

Decibel X

Again, Decibel X tops the list because it is simply the best app for measuring sound levels. This app turns your smartphone into a pre-calibrated, accurate and easily portable sound level meter.

SPL Meter

This one is for professionals and is regularly used to measure SPL in ways traditional SPL meters are used (ballistics, ranges, filters, and decay rates). Even though the app comes pre-calibrated for most mobile devices, it can be adjusted to match professionally calibrated meters.

Why Use Decibel Measuring Apps?

So, all the decibel charts and decibel scale charts presented so far give ideas as to how loud sound at a certain decibel may be. For example, 70 dB could be about as loud as city traffic or 140 dB may be as loud as a jet taking off.

However, different cities will have traffic with different noise levels and different jets may emit noise at different intensities when taking off. In other words, decibels are hard to gauge.

It’s certainly not as easy as estimating a pound of chicken or 10 inches of rope.
So, is there a way to objectively measure noises easily?

Yes, there is!

There are several decibel meter apps out there that you can simply install on your smartphone and use on the go!

How Do Decibel Meter Apps Work?

These decibel meter apps can measure the noise levels around you and make recommendations so that you can take smart action to protect your ears from noise-induced hearing loss.

These apps use the phone’s built-in microphone to collect noise from the surroundings, analyze the same and give real-time noise exposure data.

For better results, you can purchase an external, calibrated microphone such as the Rode VideoMic Me Directional Microphone.

Recap

There are, of course, other apps for measuring decibel levels. We should note that while these apps are pretty good and are often pretty accurate, they are not a replacement for sound pressure level meters, decibel (dB) meters, noise meters or noise dosimeters. They are simply handy aids for everyday, non-professional use. Additionally, they should not be used as a replacement for good hearing healthcare.