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dB Volume Meter

By Amanda Gates

This app is only available on the App Store for iOS devices.


dB Volume Meter provides a simple way to measure audio volumes in your environment. The app shows the approximate dB (decibel) level, also known as Sound Pressure Level (SPL). This app is mainly intended for fun, educational purposes, not for professional-level volume measurements, for which you should buy an actual SPL meter from your local electronics store.

This dB meter design has a darker display with a bright, colorful dB indicator, with the extra feature of slow/fast response to see a more gradual dB response.

Most people have no idea how loud a 90 dB sound is, or even what threshold they should be avoiding for their own safety. This app gives you an estimation of the environmental sound levels so that you can move to safety when the volume level is too high.

We've included some useful statistics about the measured volumes, including Average, Peak, Peak Hold, current dB level, maximum, and minimum values. These can all be quickly reset by tapping the "Reset" button, or they can be "frozen" by tapping Start/Stop.

If you wish to use an external microphone, or if you find that the dB reading is a bit off when compared with traditional analog SPL meters, you can calibrate the app using the Settings screen. For example, a hyper-sensitive microphone might give you a dB value that is too high, so you'd add a negative Trim value to the dB reading to adjust. Calibration settings ("Trim") are saved internally in the app.

To adjust the calibration, tap the "Configure" button, and then adjust the value based on whether you are using an internal microphone (iPhone users) or an external microphone (iPod Touch users).

Please note that this application requires an external microphone for use with the iPod Touch.

An approximate guide to decibel level safety:

150-160 = Eardrum rupture

140 = Aircraft carrier deck.

130 = Jet take-off (100 meters), gun blast at close range.

120 = Human pain threshold, loud rock concert.

110 = Serious hearing damage if sustained for more than 1 hour.

100 = Serious hearing damage if sustained for more than 8 hours.

90 = Likely hearing damage if sustained for more than 8 hours.

80 = Potential but unlikely hearing damage if sustained for more than 8 hours.

70 = Just annoying, but probably safe.

60 = Typical conversational volume.

50 = A quiet, library conversation.

40 = A whisper.

30 = Barely audible sound.

20 = Threshold of human hearing.

What's New in Version 2.1

A bug has been fixed whereby the meter would freeze when the Home button was pressed and the app rebooted.


iPhone Screenshot 1
iPhone Screenshot 2
iPad Screenshot 1
iPad Screenshot 2

Customer Reviews

Updated - home button issue fixed.

Can't comment on accuracy, yet. But it only works from the first launch. If you go back to the springboard and run another app then try to launch db, it won't measure sound even after hitting start/stop. The only way to get it working again is to double tap home, kill the app, then relaunch it. Running a iPhone 5 with latest iOS.

Update: 5 stars for being so responsive to fixing the home button bug. Wow. Thank you, developer for responding to feedback

Nice features, grossly inaccurate

Very nice interface and setting options (Slow/fast readings, internal/external mic, calibrate by adding or subtracting a fixed amount). But it's way too inaccurate when used with iPhone 4S internal microphone.

I compared with a real sound meter that passes a sanity check. Sound levels 31 dB, 38 dB, 62 dB and 86 dB on my real sound meter show up in this app as 43.5 dB, 46 dB, 51 dB, and 62 dB. You can set it to "trim" a fixed number of decibels, but that doesn't help. I tried an external microphone. The 31-86 dB sounds measured 44 to 75 dB. Still not enough responsiveness. Trimming a fixed number of dB does not solve the problem.

very good results

Compared with my Radio Shack meter, the results are quite consistent. There is some issue with the extremely high registers (like > 110 dB), but that is probably to be expected given the poor mobile phone mics. This db meter produces more consistent results than the other dB meter apps that I've seen. For normal day-to-day use, I highly recommend this one.

dB Volume Meter
View in iTunes
This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad
  • $0.99
  • Category: Health & Fitness
  • Updated:
  • Version: 2.1
  • Size: 9.6 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller:

Compatibility: Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Customer Ratings

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