Faber Acoustical announces SoundMeter Pro for iOS

Building on the success of SoundMeter, which debuted on the iPhone App Store in August of 2008, Faber Acoustical has announced the release of SoundMeter Pro. SoundMeter Pro turns your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch into a handheld data-logging sound level meter (SLM), data-logging noise dosimeter, and real-time analyzer (RTA).

SoundMeter Pro works with built-in or external measurement microphones to deliver reliable sound level measurements, including time-weighted and equivalent sound levels in addition to percentile-exceeded sound levels and noise dose. Measured levels can be logged at intervals as small as 0.1 seconds for durations of up to two weeks (longer measurement durations may require larger logging intervals). The built-in Octave tool performs sound level measurements in whole or 1/3-octave frequency bands.

In a recent article published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, NIOSH researchers found that, out of over 130 sound measurement apps for iOS, “SoundMeter is the app best suited for occupational and general purpose noise measurements.” SoundMeter Pro builds on everything SoundMeter has to offer.

With the built-in or headset microphone, SoundMeter Pro can measure peak sound levels of up to approximately 130 dB. Results may vary between iOS devices and headset microphones. External microphones may enable the measurement of much higher sound levels.

SoundMeter Pro also includes various features that users have come to expect from Faber apps, including the ability to save measurement data to CSV, TXT, or MAT files, save measurement displays to high resolution PDF files, switch between three different color schemes, and calibrate microphone input sensitivity. Exported data files may be retrieved from the iOS device via iTunes File Sharing or by enabling the app’s built-in file server and downloading the files to another device or computer via a standard web browser. The built-in signal generator tool further extends SoundMeter Pro’s utility by producing any of various test signals, including white noise, pink noise, frequency sweeps, and periodic waveforms.

Faber Acoustical has simultaneously announced the availability of SoundMeter 5.0. The new version of SoundMeter adds support for a new Data Logging Upgrade, which is available via in-app purchase. SoundMeter Pro includes all the functionality of SoundMeter 5 with all its available in-app purchase upgrades. Although both apps run on iOS 6, each also features a user interface tailored for iOS 7.

NOTE: Although it has been designed to do so, SoundMeter Pro is not guaranteed to meet ANSI or IEC standards for sound level meters. These standards require conformance of the entire measurement system, including software, hardware and microphones.

The built-in and headset microphones are suitable for certain, basic sound level measurements, but high precision external microphones may also be used with appropriate audio accessory hardware. Even though default sensitivity values are included for the built-in and headset microphones, for best results, SoundMeter Pro should be calibrated before use. Sound levels may be off by a few dB when using the default microphone sensitivity.

   SoundMeter Pro Screenshot iPhone 1 SoundMeter Pro Screenshot iPhone 2

   SoundMeter Pro Screenshot iPhone 3 SoundMeter Pro Screenshot iPhone 4

 

Minimum Requirements:
* iOS 6.0 or later
* iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad
* 4.12 MB

Pricing and Availability:
SoundMeter Pro is now available for download on the App Store for $99.99 (USD). External hardware may be required for analog input capability. More information on SoundMeter Pro can be found at Faber Acoustical online. More information regarding suitable input devices for specific iOS devices can be found on the Faber Acoustical blog.

Download SoundMeter Pro

Download SoundMeter 5.0

SoundMeter 4.1 offers percentile-exceeded sound levels

SoundMeter 4.1, which is now available for download on the App Store, offers percentile-exceeded sound levels (Lx) via in-app purchase.

With the new upgrade, SoundMeter can display L10, L50, L90, or any percentile between 1 and 99. Percentile exceeded sound levels are also available in the Octave Analyzer tool (sold separately).

Also new in SoundMeter is the ability to set the meter to automatically stop after an arbitrary amount of elapsed time from 1 second to two weeks.

The Dosimeter and Octave Analyzer tools (sold separately) can also be set to automatically stop after a user-defined period of time.

Lx IAP Upgrade screenshot

Download SoundMeter 4.1

 

 

SoundMeter and dB support new iPads

Nominal microphone sensitivities for the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display have been added to SoundMeter 4.0.1 and dB 3.0.1.

Both apps also display dark blue toolbars in the black color scheme to make it easier to view the screen in dark environments.

SoundMeter additionally corrects the HTTP file server configuration screen, which now scrolls to reveal the web URL on 3.5-inch iPhone screens (the file server is available for in-app purchase as part of the data acquisition upgrade).

SoundMeter Screenshot iPhone 5

 

SoundMeter 4.0.1 and dB 3.0.1 are both available for download on the App Store.

Download SoundMeter

Download dB

 

SignalScope Pro 3.0 for iOS 7

In the new version 3, SignalScope Pro’s appearance has been completely revamped for iOS 7. SignalScope Pro supports both iOS 6 and iOS 7, but looks largely the same on iOS 6 as the previous version.

Also new in version 3:

– Audio data handling is more efficient.

– Image overlays created in the Level Meter tool now use the full resolution of the original image (whether the image comes from the photo library or straight from the camera).

– For devices that support input gain adjustment on the built-in or headset microphone, the input gain is stored with data exported from the FFT, Octave, or Oscope tools.

– When entering a preferred sample rate, “48k” can be entered in the text box, as an alternative to typing out “48000.”

– Default input sensitivities have been updated, based on measurements of the iPhone 5S and 5C microphones and headset inputs.

– Cursor info text now uses a larger font.

 

SignalScope Pro Screenshot iPhone 1 SignalScope Pro Screenshot iPhone 4 SignalScope Pro Screenshot iPhone 5

SignalScope Pro Screenshot iPhone 2 SignalScope Pro Screenshot iPhone 3

 

Download SignalScope Pro

SignalScope, SoundMeter, and dB have also received similar updates for iOS 7.

Download SignalScope

Download SoundMeter

Download dB

Octave Analyzer tool for iOS

 

The Octave Analyzer tool for iOS performs real-time spectral analysis in whole or 1/3-octave frequency bands.

The Octave Analyzer tool is built into SignalScope Pro. It is also available in SignalScope and SoundMeter via in app purchase.

The Octave Analyzer can analyze up to two audio input channels simultaneously (this requires a two-channel input device).

The Octave Analyzer can be configured with several options that are common to overall sound level meters. These options include time weighted exponential average levels with fast, slow, and impulse response times as well as the equivalent level, which expresses an average signal level over the total measurement time. Flat, A, and C frequency weighting are also available.

The Octave frequency spectrum appears within a bar graph which can be adjusted in its vertical scale either manually or automatically. In addition to current levels within each frequency band, maximum or peak levels may also be displayed, depending on which level type is selected. A data cursor allows specific levels at specific frequencies to be identified. The entire graph can be saved either as an image in the iOS photo library, or as a high resolution PDF file within the app.

Additionally, in SignalScope Pro, Octave analyzer data may be exported to CSV, MAT, or tab-delimited text files. Data export is also possible in SignalScope and SoundMeter with the optional Data Acquisition Upgrade available via In-app Purchase.

Download:

SignalScope Pro

SignalScope

SoundMeter

SoundMeter 3.3 can turn your iPhone or iPad into a personal noise dosimeter

SoundMeter 3.3 offers users the option to add a noise dosimeter tool via in-app purchase. The new Dosimeter tool enables you to measure noise dose–the percentage of a maximum permissible daily noise exposure based on an 8-hour time period. The Dosimeter supports criterion levels of 80, 85 and 90 dB, exchange rates of 3, 4 and 5 dB, and thresholds of 40 to 80 dB. The new tool also displays the 8-hour time-weighted average sound level (TWA), as specified by OSHA.

As with other measurements in SoundMeter, the Dosimeter’s accuracy depends on the quality of the microphone used as well as the accuracy of the microphone’s sensitivity calibration within SoundMeter.

SoundMeter 3.3 also includes updated Help files, minor bug fixes, and stability improvements. SoundMeter 3.3 will also continue to run while the screen is locked, which is important for making long-duration measurements, such as noise dose, Leq, and TWA.

  SoundMeter Noise Dosimeter

 

Download SoundMeter 3.3 on the App Store.

 

Are you looking for a measurement microphone for your iPhone?

Since iOS 6 finally remedied the low frequency roll-off problem of the headset mic input of the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, the headset jack has become a suitable option for measurement microphone input. Prior to the release of iOS 6, the only way to connect an external measurement microphone, without sacrificing low-frequency information, was to go through the dock connector. Dock connector devices can still provide higher quality solutions, but working with the headset jack offers a level of portability (i.e. compact size) that cannot be matched when a 30-pin dock connector is involved (we’ll see what comes along to take advantage of the new Lightning connector).

MicW i436

Some time ago, I was made aware of the i436 measurement microphone from MicW. It looked like exactly what was needed to turn any iOS device into a quality sound level meter, or acoustical analysis tool, that you could truly carry around in your pocket. However, it was limited in its utility by that pesky low-end roll-off that plagued earlier versions of iOS. Some developers attempted to perform software correction for the input filters, but when an input signal is driven into the noise floor by the hardware (or firmware), there’s nothing app software can do to restore the lost signal at those lower frequencies. Now that iOS 6 has solved the issue, the i436 has become the attractive measurement microphone solution for iOS that it should have been when it was first introduced.

i436i436

Last weekend, I carried the i436 around the Denver Tech Center Marriott at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF), along with my iPhone 5. The i436 is small enough that it could slip into my pocket and remain there unnoticed or it could stay connected to the iPhone, which was perched in my shirt pocket when it wasn’t in my hand. In short, I was quite pleased to confirm that the i436 does indeed make for a portable measurement solution that you can carry in your pocket all day long.

MicW i436 Noise Measurement

As for quality, the i436 looks and feels like a proper measurement microphone. It was designed to meet the Class 2 standard for sound level meters, which addresses issues like environmental stability in addition to frequency response. The i436 also fits a standard microphone field calibrator, with a 1/4″ adapter, which you would also expect from a measurement microphone. A field calibrator makes microphone sensitivity calibration very easy with measurement software like SoundMeter or SignalScope Pro.

i436 Typical Frequency Responsei436 Typical Polar Pattern

The i436 is available in a package with just the mic, or in a kit. The kit includes a wind screen, extension cable, splitter cable (to connect headphones or an audio cable to the headphone output), a small clip, and an aluminum storage tube that doubles as a holder for the i436 that mounts to the top of a standard microphone stand (very handy).

i436 Single Packagei436 Kit Package

If Class 2 compliance meets your needs, then I highly recommend the MicW i436, especially in the kit. Either option is quite affordable for a quality measurement microphone. If you need a microphone that conforms to the Class 1 standard, then another hardware solution will be necessary.

Finally! iOS 6 kills the filter on headset and mic inputs!

So, iOS 6 has finally arrived and the biggest news for SoundMeter, SignalScope, and SignalScope Pro users may just be that the high-pass filter which used to plague the built-in microphone and headset microphone inputs now gets bypassed. This exciting improvement to iOS 6 will significantly improve the quality of acoustical measurements that can be made with the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, without requiring a dock connector accessory for audio input.

Below are 1/3-octave headset input frequency response comparisons for the various iOS devices that support iOS 6. More details regarding the headset input and built-in microphone will be presented in the days ahead.

Update (9/19/20120, 7:32 PM): It should be noted that these are electrical frequency response measurements. When making acoustical measurements, the overall frequency response will depend also on the microphone that is used.

iPhone 4S Before iOS 6/Now

iPhone 4S Headset Leq Pre-iOS 6  iPhone 4S Headset Leq iOS 6

iPhone 4 Before iOS 6/Now

iPhone 4 Headset Leq Pre-iOS 6  iPhone 4 Headset Leq iOS 6

iPhone 3GS Before iOS 6/Now

iPhone 3GS Headset Leq Pre-iOS 6  iPhone 3GS Headset Leq iOS 6

iPod touch 4 Before iOS 6/Now

iPod touch 4 Headset Leq Pre-iOS 6  iPod touch 4 Headset Leq iOS 6

iPad 3 Before iOS 6/Now

iPad 3 Headset Leq Pre-iOS 6  iPad 3 Headset Leq iOS 6

iPad 2 Before iOS 6/Now

iPad 2 Headset Leq Pre-iOS 6  iPad 2 Headset Leq iOS 6

 

iOS 6 is now highly recommended for all SoundMeter, SignalScope, and SignalScope Pro users.

 

 

Stereo 1/3-octave analysis now available in SignalScope Pro

With the release of version 2.2, the Octave tool in SignalScope Pro for iOS can now analyze two input channels simultaneously. This new capability is only available on devices running iOS 5 or later, and it requires a stereo or two-channel dock connector audio accessory.

     

The Octave tool offers whole and 1/3-octave real-time spectral analysis with A, C, or flat frequency weighting and fast, slow, or impulse time weighting. Time exponential averaged level (Lp) and equivalent level (Leq) measurements are both supported.

The Octave tool available via in-app purchase in SoundMeter 3.0 and SignalScope 3.2 also offers two-channel measurement capability on iOS 5 or later. SoundMeter 3.0, SignalScope 3.2 and SignalScope Pro 2.2 are all available for immediate download on the App Store.

Improvements in SignalScope 3.2 and SignalScope Pro 2.2 include:

  • For users running iOS 5, or later, the Octave analyzer tool can now be operated as a stereo RTA, analyzing two input channels simultaneously (with compatible input hardware). (The Octave tool is available within SignalScope via in-app purchase.)
  • Data can now be exported to CSV files from the FFT, Octave, and Oscope tools. CSV files can be opened directly in Numbers, or other spreadsheet apps that support it, from within SignalScope. Tab-delimited text files can still be created by giving the file name a .txt extension. (Data file export requires the data acquisition upgrade available within SignalScope via in-app purchase.)
  • Corrects a potential crash when accessing the image picker on iPad.
  • SignalScope uses less memory on iPhone and iPod touch.
  • Twitter support has been restored (in iOS 5) for tweeting level meter data. (The Level Meter tool is available within SignalScope via in-app purchase.)

SoundMeter 3.0 offers in-app upgrades

  SoundMeter 3.0 is now available for download on the App Store,

offering in-app purchases of the same tools found in SignalScope Pro. Available upgrades include dual-channel Octave RTA, Oscilloscope, and FFT Analyzer tools, as well as a data acquisition upgrade.

Dual-channel analysis in the Octave tool enables SoundMeter to be used as a stereo 1/3-octave RTA. This dual-channel capability requires iOS 5, and is also coming soon to the Octave tool in SignalScope and SignalScope Pro, but it is available now in SoundMeter. (In SignalScope, the Octave tool is also available via in-app purchase.)

SoundMeter’s new data acquisition upgrade enables the user to export Octave, Oscope, and FFT data to CSV, tab-delimited text, and MAT files, and to access those files from a web browser on another device. This upgrade also enables additional units, such as V, A, g, and ips to be assigned to input signals.

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