SoundMeter 8 includes companion app for Apple Watch

SoundMeter 8.0 and SoundMeter Pro 4.0, which are both now available for download on the App Store, each include a companion app for Apple Watch. With the Watch app, you can monitor the current sound level, spectrum, and/or noise dose from your wrist (requires iOS 8.2 and iPhone 5 or later). These new versions of SoundMeter add other significant features, as well, including background sound level measurements and notifications of exceeded levels. The original sound level meter app for iPhone has now become the original sound level meter app for Apple Watch.

SoundMeter’s companion app for Apple Watch includes a separate screen for each of SoundMeter’s available tools running on the iPhone (new tools added to SoundMeter via in-app purchase are also supported in the companion app). Each tool can be started or stopped from the watch and current measurement values are updated on the watch display each second. The new notifications feature in SoundMeter allows the user to be notified on the Apple Watch when certain events occur. Notifications can be triggered when measurements stop (using the Auto-Stop feature) or when certain user-defined levels are exceeded. These notifications are supported in each of the Meter, Octave, and Dosimeter tools.

SoundMeter’s new ability to run in the background allows it to continue to run long-term measurements while other (non-audio) apps are in use. A complimentary new feature also allows the individual tools in SoundMeter to run independently. This means that users can run measurements in the Meter, Octave, and Dosimeter tools simultaneously. Users no longer need to worry about resetting the current measurement by switching to another tool (whether intentionally or accidentally). This makes SoundMeter more robust in terms of its ability to preserve acquired data until it can be saved more permanently in an image or data file.

Watch App Screenshots

SoundMeter Pro Screen Shot - Apple Watch  SoundMeter Pro Screen Shot - Apple Watch

SoundMeter Pro Screen Shot - Apple Watch  SoundMeter Pro Screen Shot - Apple Watch

The new versions of SoundMeter also include the following improvements:

  • Lx (percentile-exceeded sound level) measurements now use the same time and frequency weighting as the Lp measurement, instead of automatically switching to Fast and A weighting.
  • Frequency weighting may now be set to Flat, A, or C in the Dosimeter options menu (previously, the Dosimeter only allowed A weighting).
  • Meter, Octave, and Dosimeter tools now use local notifications to alert you when a measurement has finished or when selected levels have exceeded user-defined thresholds.
  • This release corrects a bug that could cause the device sensitivity for the built-in mic or the headset input to get corrupted when changing input gain selection with device units set to “FS.”

Notes:

  1. Octave and Dosimeter tools, Lx measurement and data file export capability are sold separately within SoundMeter via in-app purchase. These capabilities are all included with SoundMeter Pro.
  2. This SoundMeter update will require you to restore your in-app purchases (you will not be charged again for upgrades you have already purchased).
  3. Apple Watch compatibility requires iOS 8.2 and iPhone 5 or later.

 

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Looking for the best sound level meter app

Last year, researchers at NIOSH (the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) began looking at mobile sound level meter apps, hoping to find that such apps could be suitable for occupational noise measurements. After defining specific criteria to qualify sound level meter apps as suitable for their tests, they set out to find matching apps for  iOS, Android, and Windows-based mobile devices. Ten iOS apps, out of over 130 available, were examined as part of their research. Of 62 Android apps downloaded for examination, only 4 apps partially met their criteria. No Windows-based apps qualified.

The results of the study were recently published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA). According to the published article, “The evidence suggests that for A-weighted data, SoundMeter is the app best suited for occupational and general purpose noise measurements. In addition to having the smallest mean difference for the A-weighted data, SoundMeter had the narrowest distribution of differences…”

SoundMeter Screenshot iPhone 5

The article concludes, “This study showed that certain sound measurement apps for Apple smartphones and tablets may be considered accurate and reliable to be used to assess occupational noise exposures. Android and Windows developers do not offer apps that meet the functionality needed for occupational noise assessments.”

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Noted at the end of the article: “The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Mention of any company or product does not constitute endorsement by NIOSH.”

JASA Article

NIOSH Blog Article (with images and video)

 

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.

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Download SoundMeter 5.0

Room acoustics comes to the Mac in Electroacoustics Toolbox 3.2

Have you been looking for a tool to measure the reverberation time, early decay time, clarity and definition of a listening room, auditorium, or concert hall on your Mac? With version 3.2 of Electroacoustics Toolbox, the search has come to an end. Within Electroacoustics Toolbox 3.2 you will find a new room acoustics analyzer tool (sold separately) that puts room acoustics analysis in your grasp.

The new Room Analyzer tool in Electroacoustics Toolbox employs the integrated impulse response method to calculate reverberation time, early decay time, center time, clarity, and definition, as defined in the ISO 3382 standard. The Room Analyzer also allows you to adjust the Schroeder decay curve integration limits with either a click and drag of the mouse or with two independent data cursors. You can plot the calculated room acoustics parameters versus whole or 1/3-octave band center frequency.

Room Analyzer Features:

  • Directly analyze impulse response (IR) data acquired in the Dual FFT Analyzer or Oscilloscope tools.
  • Import impulse responses acquired from other apps and stored in AIF, CAF, or WAV audio files.
  • Export calculated parameter values to CSV, TXT, or MAT files, with the option to include raw IR data.
  • Save impulse response (IR) data to AIF, CAF, or WAV audio files.
  • Save high-resolution plots to PDF files.
  • Analysis
    • Calculate room acoustics parameters according to ISO 3382, including T20, T30, T60, EDT, Ts, C50, C80, D50, and D80, over the entire audio frequency range, or in whole or 1/3-octave bands. Low, mid, and high frequency values for each parameter are also calculated.
    • Plot room parameters versus whole or 1/3-octave center frequency.
    • See the Schroeder decay curve and regression line plotted over the squared IR and manually fine tune the decay curve integration limits.

For whole and 1/3-octave band analysis, the Room Analyzer supports data with sample rates of 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz.

Room Analyzer Screenshot

Electroacoustics Toolbox 3.2 also brings back the Noise Dosimeter tool that was previously available in version 2. The Dosimeter tool is also sold separately.

NoiseDosimeterScreenshot

 

A free trial of Electroacoustics Toolbox is available for download from FaberAcoustical.com.

The Toolbox is also available for download on the Mac App Store.

 

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.