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The best smartphone decibel meter apps to measure noise levels

The best smartphone decibel meter apps to measure noise levels Today's mobile technology means you can always know when you're in a hazardous noise environment. Here are some great decibel and sound meter smartphone apps for measuring noise levels. 2018 583 The best smartphone decibel meter apps to measure noise levels

Every day, we encounter a variety of sounds that hum, buzz and ring at safe noise levels. However, people of all ages and all walks of life sometimes risk exposure to harmful noises that damage the sensitive structure of the inner ear and cause permanent or temporary noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).

apps for measuring noise levels
These apps turn your smartphone into a
mobile sound level meter.

Inside the ear, small hair cells transmit electrical signals to the brain. These hair cells can be completely destroyed by extremely loud noises at home, in the workplace, while enjoying our favorite hobbies and as we go about living our lives. Excessive noise from activities like attending live concerts, working with shop tools, operating lawn mowers, one-time occurrences like explosions and even things you might not expect like attending parades and watching fireworks shows can destroy these delicate hair cells. The result is hearing loss and even annoying tinnitus, or ringing in the ears.

But, how do you know when loud is too loud?

Luckily, with modern technology comes help with measuring the intensity or decibel level of sounds around us. We found some great smartphone decibel meter apps that raise a red flag when users enter situations that reach noise levels high enough to contribute to hearing problems. The mobile nature of the smartphone makes it easy to take control of your health and hearing wherever you are and avoid activities or locations that may be detrimental to healthy hearing. 

Decibel X

iOS and Android

iTunes rating: 4.5 stars

Google Play rating: 3.8 stars

FREE

This highly-rated, free app turns your smartphone into a pre-calibrated, accurate and easily portable sound level meter. It has a standard measurement range from 30 to 130 dB. It boasts many features for measuring the intensity of sound around you built into a nicely-designed, intuitive user interface. 

Sound Meter

Android

Google Play rating: 4.7 stars

FREE

The Sound Meter app can calibrate itself for your specific device. The interface features a gauge for displaying sound intensity levels as well as green, yellow and red indicators for safety. A potential limitation is that because maximum decibel levels are limited by some devices, you may not be able to measure sounds over 90 dB. This app is a good auxiliary option for most uses, but is not recommended if you need to measure very high noise levels. 

Too Noisy Pro

iOS and Android

iTunes rating: 4 stars

Google Play rating: 3.6 stars

$3.99

This easy-to-use app is built specifically for measuring noise levels in environments where there are groups of children. Teachers can use the Too Noisy app to keep watch on the sound levels in the classrooms and control the noise level. The interface is simple and designed so children will respond to it. Teachers and other childcare workers can adjust the sensitivity of the app, too. 

NIOSH Sound Level Meter

iOS

iTunes rating: 4.5 stars

FREE

Developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), this app is exclusive to iPhone and is a useful tool for anyone working in noisy environments. It can raise employees' awareness about the noise levels in their workplace, help them make informed decisions about their hearing health and determine when hearing protection is necessary. Researchers can also use the app to collect data about noise exposure. 

If you think you may already have been exposed to too much noise and are experiencing hearing loss, visit a local hearing center to have your hearing tested.

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