Sound level meters are sophisticated devices used to determine the sound level by capturing and measuring changes in sound pressure. Sound level meters tend to be hand-held and will be pointed towards the source of noise. Put simply, sound enters the sound level meter via a small microphone. It is then processed and measurement data or values are displayed digitally in decibels to inform the user if an environment is too loud and any corrective action needs to be taken.
Sound Level Meters for Controlling Noise at Work
Imagine you are in a workplace with various machines working at the same time. Tones that have the same sound pressure level but different frequencies will not sound equally loud to the human ear. ‘A’ weighting is the internationally standardised filter applied by a sound level meter in an attempt to replicate the response of the human ear to specific frequencies. This explains why noise measurement values are expressed as dB(A).
Here is an example of how a modern sound level meter would display a reading in decibels.
Sound level meters come in two forms: data logging, where measurements are saved to an internal memory, or non-data logging, where measurements are displayed on the meter only and the user writes the values down manually. Sound level meters also come in two classes: 1 or 2. The class of a sound level meter represents its frequency range and levels of tolerance. A Class 1 sound level meter meets a higher performance specification than a Class 2 meter and will typically measure a wider frequency range of noise. Pulsar Instruments offer both options however, for Noise at Work measurements, a Class 2 sound level meter is perfectly acceptable.
Click here to view our full range of occupational sound level meters.
Noise dosimetry – noise dosemeters
A noise dosemeter or personal sound exposure meter (PSEM) is a specialised sound level meter intended specifically to measure the exposure to noise of an employee that has been integrated over a specific period of time. This method can be used by employers to comply with current occupational regulations such as the UK’s Noise at Work, OSHA and the EU Directive 2003/10/EC.
The team at Pulsar Instruments are happy to guide you in the selection of the right sound level meters and noise dosemeters to carry out your noise measurements at work. We also offer accessories to enhance your instruments including acoustic calibrators, extension cables, and microphones.
If you have any questions, please contact our team at email@example.com or ring us today on 01723 518011.
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