Propeller Head Plaza

Technical and scientific discussion of amps, cables and other topics.

Return to Propeller Head Plaza


Message Sort: Post Order or Asylum Reverse Threaded

Sound level meters, what are they good for?

73.223.52.194

Posted on May 25, 2020 at 11:36:36
jedrider
Audiophile

Posts: 13756
Location: No. California
Joined: December 26, 2003
I'm wondering because I am very concerned about sound infiltration between rooms and I think being able to measure effectiveness could be a real boon to deciding what to do.

So, do they work for really faint sounds through walls? Or, are they only sensitive enough to measure really loud sounds when playing music in the same room?

 

Hide full thread outline!
    ...
RE: Sound level meters, what are they good for?, posted on May 25, 2020 at 11:45:46
I only play an audio technician on the internet, but a dime for a doughnut says you're going be told 'it depends' on the measuring gear and what you're willing to pay for it

or, you could use one of the most sensitive and important measuring tools available ... your significant other ... if they'll go along with tearing up the walls for vibration mitigation you'll have a point of departure

good luck!


 

RE: Sound level meters, what are they good for?, posted on May 25, 2020 at 11:53:57
jedrider
Audiophile

Posts: 13756
Location: No. California
Joined: December 26, 2003
Thanks. That's what I thought.

Actually, originally, my idea was to use BOTH. I almost forgot that.

To setup up a repeatable sound in a room and then just listen in the other room because our ears are way more sensitive to sounds and frequencies than any meter.

Maybe, I should fine some irritating rap music to start with and record where I set the volume control to, etc.

 

RE: Sound level meters, what are they good for?, posted on May 25, 2020 at 12:18:06
you need John Phillip Sousa for that

pretty sure anyway


be well,

 

RE: Sound level meters, what are they good for?, posted on May 26, 2020 at 13:31:25
Dave_K
Audiophile

Posts: 3665
Joined: September 30, 2014
If you're not sure whether or not you have a problem, I would do as rivervalley817 suggested and use your ears.

If you already know you have a problem, then you can use a SPL meter with C-weighting to measure (roughly) the sound transmission class (STC) of your current walls. I would use a proper, calibrated SPL meter and not a phone app.

Set up a speaker in the "source" room facing the wall and just a foot or two away from the wall. Measure the background noise in the "destination" room for reference.

Play pink noise very loud, and measure the volume level next to the wall in front of the speaker. Then measure on the other side of the wall. Subtracting the two will tell you how much attenuation you're currently getting. If you can't measure anything above the background noise in the destination room, then you probably need to turn up the source, but be careful you don't damage the speaker.

You can then compare your attenuation measurement against the STC rating of various acoustic wall products. Note that it's not quite an apples vs. apples comparison, because the ASTM standard way to measure STC involves measuring at different frequencies and fitting to a curve that is not flat with frequency. But it should at least give you a rough idea of how much improvement to expect with acoustical wall products.

 

Was that an Edwin Starr b-side? (nt), posted on June 17, 2020 at 00:22:34
Posts: 2014
Location: Orange Co., Ca
Joined: September 19, 2001
nt

 

The Original Title of War and Peace:, posted on June 17, 2020 at 09:56:23
oldmkvi
Audiophile

Posts: 9794
Joined: April 12, 2002
War. What is it good for?
According to Elaine on Seinfeld.

 

RE: Sound level meters, what are they good for?, posted on July 11, 2020 at 11:22:17
John Elison
Audiophile

Posts: 23216
Location: Central Kentucky
Joined: December 20, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
January 29, 2004
The ones I've seen all had switchable ranges for measuring different loudness levels.

 

RE: Sound level meters, what are they good for?, posted on July 26, 2020 at 19:41:05
mlsstl
Audiophile

Posts: 626
Location: Midwest
Joined: September 1, 2015
I find having a sound level meter useful for getting a realistic decibel reading of how loud someone's listening level in a room really is. I've seen an endless number of posts over the years where someone says they listen at a "moderate" level, or "loud", etc without what that really means being apparent. One person's "loud" may be someone else's "moderate" level and vice versa.

When that can be translated to a real number, whether 80 dB or 100 dB or something else, you now have something that goes much further in terms of telling you about your needs in terms of speaker efficiency and amplifier power.

For your purpose, I doubt that you'd find a meter all that helpful. Even low-level sounds can be very annoying if they are unwanted. For example, when I'm sitting in the waiting room of a car dealership while I'm waiting for the repairs, even the very low volume of a TV in the corner with some stupid daytime TV show on can drive me nuts if I'm trying to read. You hardly need any volume at all if its a sound you don't want to hear.

For that, forget the meter. Play the music in one room and then go to the other room and just listen. Or, have the person who's been annoyed do the listening. That's the only way to know if you've got the sound blocked off sufficiently.

 

RE: Sound level meters, what are they good for?, posted on August 7, 2020 at 03:51:16
geoffkait
Manufacturer

Posts: 10589
Location: northern Virginia
Joined: August 23, 2000
The best use of a SPL METER is finding the highest sound pressure zones in the room, which are the locations where some kind of acoustic treatment is suggested. Room corners and other locations in the 3-D space of the room, such as first reflection points, can often be measured as having 6-9 dB higher sound pressure level than the average level in the room when music is playing. The more of these high SPL zones you treat the purer the sound will be. A SPL and test tone, e.g. 315 Hz, is a sure-fire way to map out the room, all other methods of finding these sound pressure peaks is like trying to solve x simultaneous equations in x + N unknowns. Tube traps are sometimes not best directly in room corners, sometimes they should be a foot or more away from the room corner. The sound can be worse directly in the corner.

 

Page processed in 0.038 seconds.