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The Best Decibel Meter Apps for Protecting Your Hearing Health

Discover the top decibel meter apps that transform your smartphone into a professional sound level meter and safeguard your hearing. Click here for more!

Nicole Brener
Author:
Nicole Brener
The Best Decibel Meter Apps for Protecting Your Hearing Health
Nicole Brener
Nicole Brener

Copywriter based in Miami, FL. Leads copywriting workshops and mentors women entrepreneurs at the Idea Center of Miami Dade College.

Everyday scenarios like attending concerts, live sporting events, or working in noisy environments can expose our hearing to noise levels that, in the moment, seem harmless. However, over time, these seemingly harmless sounds can cause permanent hearing damage.

That's where decibel meter apps come in. They can effectively transform your smartphone device into a professional-grade sound level meter, tracking and identifying hazardous environmental noises, allowing you to proactively take measures to protect your hearing and enjoy life without the looming threat of hearing impairement.

What is a Decibel Meter App?

A decibel meter, also known as a sound level meter or SPL meter (sound pressure level), is a device that measures noise levels and displays the sound's intensity in decibels (dB).

Nowadays, this technology is readily accessible as a downloadable app from your smartphone, using the device's built-in microphone. This technology is a practical and user-friendly tool for raising awareness of sound levels in your environment and taking appropriate measures to safeguard your hearing health.

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How Loud is Too Loud for Your Hearing Health?

Crowd at concert
Crowd at concert

The loudness level considered "too loud" for your hearing health can vary depending on several factors, including the duration of exposure and individual sensitivity to sound. 

Here's a breakdown of how loud is too loud for your hearing health:

Decibel Chart

Decibel Level (dB) Sound Example Potential Impact on Hearing
140 dB Fireworks, gunshot Extremely high risk of immediate damage with short exposure.
130 dB Jet take-off (100 meters) Very high risk of immediate damage with short exposure.
120 dB Ambulance sirens, thunder High risk of immediate damage with short exposure.
110 dB Chainsaw (close), live rock concert High risk of immediate damage with short exposure.
90 dB Lawnmower Risk of hearing damage with prolonged exposure.
85 dB Heavy traffic Risk of damage with extended exposure.
70 dB Busy traffic Prolonged exposure may risk hearing damage.
60 dB Normal conversation Safe, common social environments.
50 dB Rainfall Safe, moderate noise, no risk.
40 dB Refrigerator humming Safe, typical home noise.
30 dB Quiet library Safe, comfortable, conversational level.
20 dB Rustling leaves Safe, normal background noise.
10 dB Whisper Safe, virtually no risk.

Noise-induced hearing damage is cumulative, meaning that the more time you expose your ears to noisy environments, the greater the risk to your hearing. To protect your hearing, consider using a decibel meter to detect loud settings and use hearing protection, such as earplugs or earmuffs.

Take a look at the best decibel meter apps.

The Best Decibel Meter Apps for Protecting Your Hearing Health

1. Decibel X

iOS rating: 4.6 stars, free, offers in-app purchases

Google Play rating: 3.6 stars, free, in-app purchases

With over 118K reviews, this decibel meter is a popular choice. The app turns your mobile device into a professional sound level meter, detects harmful environmental noises, and helps protect your hearing. 

Known as a highly reliable and accurate sound level meter, this extremely useful tool integrates directly with the Health app, allows you to record data, and is easy to use thanks to its intuitive interface and seamless UI design. Plus, the free version is highly recommended. 

2. Decibel Pro

iOS rating: 4.7 stars, free, offers in-app purchases

The free decibel meter app measures environmental noise levels using an actual Nor140 high-precision decibel meter and allows you to save your measurements and their locations and share them with others. You can also take a hearing test and export measured noise levels and audiograms with the Health app integration.

Its also used to calibrate home or concert venue equipment, controlling volume output with the best accuracy. Plus, other great features like creating photos and videos with overlaying noise levels.

3. NIOSH Sound Level Meter

iOS rating: 4.7 stars, free

Created and maintained by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), this award-winning app was developed by experienced acoustic engineers and hearing loss experts.

The app provides up-to-date information and guidelines for preventing hearing loss. It fosters awareness of the acoustic environment to make informed hearing health and protection choices. Furthermore, it collects noise exposure data, enhancing our understanding of occupational sound levels and their potential impacts.

The app has highly positive reviews and is convenient and easy to use.

4. Too Noisy Pro

iOS: 3.9 stars, $7.99

Google Play rating:  3.7 stars, $7.99

The Too Noisy app is an effective and playful solution to assist teachers in keeping control of general noise levels in a classroom using a visual stimulus.

Teachers can use the Too Noisy app to monitor the classroom's noise levels, adjusting noise sensitivity levels, with a simple interface designed so children will respond to it, graphically displaying noise levels in a fun and engaging way. Additionally, it can be used as a learning tool to help children understand the different sounds and noise levels in their environment by conducting volume experiments. 

Conclusion

With the constant exposure to sounds in our daily lives, staying informed and utilizing tools like decibel meter apps is not just a matter of convenience; it's a crucial step towards preventing potential hearing damage. 

Decibel meter apps are a powerful ally in preserving our hearing health. These innovative applications empower us to heighten our awareness and assume control over our auditory well-being.

These apps provide real-time feedback on our sound environment, helping us identify situations that might harm our hearing, make informed decisions about when to use hearing protection, reduce our exposure, or advocate for changes in our surroundings to minimize noise pollution. 

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