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It is often a point of contention in our household how loud something is. It that door making a loud squeaking?  Is that music on too loud?  Does mummy or daddy snore the loudest?  Last week we snapped and started looking a decibel meters to try to solve these arguments once and for all.  Then we had a revelation – in our pockets we were each carrying a mini computer with a very accurate microphone and the ability to add programs.

After trawling the app store and trying a number of options we came up with a winner – Smart Meter from Smart Tools co.

sound meter

Smartphone decibel metres are never going to be quite as accurate as specialist devices because the microphones are not designed to pick up sounds over 100 decibels.  Smart Meter is up front about this and gives different profiles for different phones and physical mics to maximise accuracy.

The app is divided into two parts. The top of the screen shows a metre showing current decibels and the maximum and minimum pegged since the last reset.  The bottom of the screen is configurable and can show either a flowing line chart of sound against time, an example of what the current sound volume is equivalent to or the ability to manually calibrate using the sound pressure ratio.

It’s a simple idea and a simple well designed application that many  of us will find occasionally useful. Available in the Play store the basic app is free and there is Pro version that adds logging of data and more phone models for £0.99.