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150 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 111704 12-Nov-2012 16:50 Send private message

FYI

Listing 531368963

Found these on Trade-me that look to be a great deal. I've been looking for a decent sound level meter to set up my HT Speakers for a while but they always seemed too costly for the few times I'd use it but any cheap ones I found looked decidedly... well... cheap! I'm not too keen on the built in receiver version so I'm going to grab one of these while they're there!


Robin

Edited because I pasted a Geekzone page I'd been looking at instead of the Trademe listing by mistake  :-(

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 715953 12-Nov-2012 17:22 Send private message

Hi - this may be a handy unit... but I'm wondering if there isn't a smartphone app that may do a similar job with similar accuracy...? I have used a couple of decibel meters on an iPhone quite some time ago... I can't vouch for their accuracy, but there should be no reason why they 'couldn't' be as good....




Cheers,
Mike

iPhone photo/general blog - here




150 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 715957 12-Nov-2012 17:28 Send private message

mmm.... really... thats interesting. I wouldn't have thought an app would be accurate/sophisticated enough. I've got an android, might have look first!

Thanks for that

Robin

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  Reply # 715986 12-Nov-2012 18:12 Send private message

the app on my sgs2 wont go past 80 or 90 or something quite low. also probably doesnt help that the mic on the phone overloads hopelessly when doing video.




Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 716009 12-Nov-2012 19:05 Send private message

I use Smart Tools and RTA Pro on Android, i can't vouch for accuracy but I would be surprised if they are grossly inaccurate


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  Reply # 716049 12-Nov-2012 20:08 Send private message

clicknz: Hi - this may be a handy unit... but I'm wondering if there isn't a smartphone app that may do a similar job with similar accuracy...? I have used a couple of decibel meters on an iPhone quite some time ago... I can't vouch for their accuracy, but there should be no reason why they 'couldn't' be as good....


I would reccomend a high quality microphone / sound level meter if your after accurate dB readings. 
The android and iphone apps are quite cool though and will do the trick... i mean whats a couple of dB's between ears?  Im sure you can only hear + - 3dB changes at a time anyway?  (maybey Im wrong)?



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  Reply # 716051 12-Nov-2012 20:09 Send private message

...you get what you pay for. If you good search you will see a many 'high end meters'.



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  Reply # 716059 12-Nov-2012 20:29 Send private message

Gooseybhai:   Im sure you can only hear + - 3dB changes at a time anyway?  (maybey Im wrong)?



Correct, there needs to be a 3 dB change in sound level for the human ear to be able to detect the change.

Remember, a 3 dB change is also a doubling (or halving) of the power output.  

Also you need to think about the inverse square law with respect to distance from the sound source.  Doubling the distance will reduce the power measured by one quarter.  Placement of the measuring device is important.

Depending on what you're trying to achieve with your measurements really determines what quality of device you need.  If you want accuracy in absolute measurements (.e. you need to know exactly how much power) then a high quality meter is what I'd go for, if you just want to compare different scenarios (i.e. what is the approximate difference is between two situations) then a mobile phone app is probably quite acceptable.




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  Reply # 716060 12-Nov-2012 20:31 Send private message

Not really as mobile phone mics are no way near the same sensitivty pattern that a real microphone is, they are actually made to only be sensitive towards the person speaking which is why they are so hopeless at recording audio when used as a video camera.




Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 716074 12-Nov-2012 21:12 Send private message

richms: Not really as mobile phone mics are no way near the same sensitivty pattern that a real microphone is, they are actually made to only be sensitive towards the person speaking which is why they are so hopeless at recording audio when used as a video camera.


I'd agree a mobile phone mic won't be as good as some other mics, however on my phone at least the recording quality isn't too bad on video.

It comes down to what accuracy you're after.  Pointed at the sound source I'd say it'd be quite OK for doing approximate relative or comparative measurements but I'd be pretty sceptical about accurate absolute measurements.




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Master Geek


  Reply # 716086 12-Nov-2012 22:02 Send private message

Well as I mentioned I primarily want use it to set my speaker balances for my home theater. Would a phone/app be good enough for that?

Robin

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  Reply # 716101 12-Nov-2012 22:36 Send private message

NZRobin: Well as I mentioned I primarily want use it to set my speaker balances for my home theater. Would a phone/app be good enough for that?

Robin


I'm guessing the phone app should be OK since you are only wanting to compare figures, certainly cheap enough to try.  The dB meter app for my phone is free.

I would make two points.  Does it matter what the meter reads?  It's what you hear that counts.  Secondly there needs to be at least a 3 Db change for the ear to be able to detect any change.  Basically what I'm saying are you wasting your time even bothering with these measurement? 




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  Reply # 716109 12-Nov-2012 22:50 Send private message

the 3db thing is for an noticeable change when you are not listening for it.

you want them as close as possible, but the delay settings make more difference in making surround believable than the levels IME, and the mic on the reciever or else inputting the distance sorts those out.

I usually like the center way louder than equal so that I can actually hear the dialog, and the LFE way way way louder than auto so that it really gets the bass cranking ;)




Richard rich.ms

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