Our History

First for noise measurement since 1969

Noise measurement experts since 1969

World firsts by Pulsar Instruments™

  • In 1970 it was the first company to display sound exposure times on the scale of the sound level meter as well as the sound level – a revolutionary idea at the time.
  • It pioneered the use of integrated circuitry in place of discrete transistors
  • It was one of the first companies to include quasi-rms circuits to meet the international standards of the day
  • It designed the first instrument to be “styled” with coloured scales and fitted it into beautiful moulded cases – previously bent metal cases were commonplace.
  • In 1974 it developed the world’s first true linear scaled meter.
  • In 1977 it produced the first instrument designed for a world market meeting the new international standards of the time.
  • In the 1980’s it designed the world’s first Leq meter to meet the new international standard as well as a series of precision Class 1 sound meters
  • In 1982 Pulsar seconded their Chief Engineer, Dudley Wallis, to the International Standards body (IEC) and he, with three other British engineers, were responsible for much of the IEC's noise measurement standard IEC 61672.

50 year history - a summary

Pulsar Instruments Inc. was founded in 1969, in California, by a group of University researchers to produce a new linear scaled Sound Level Meter. This was to comply with the 1969 Walsh-Healey Act, which demanded that the noise in USA workplaces should be controlled. By 1977, technical difficulties were the trigger for a group of European engineers to buy into the company to give technical help. In 1980, the Scientific Measurements Inc. group, with headquarters in Delaware, bought Pulsar Instruments. While for legal and tax reasons, SMI kept its world headquarters in the USA it was majority owned by a group of European engineers.

In 1981, production and marketing were centralised at the main plant in the United Kingdom where Pulsar Instruments Ltd. started to specialise in easy to use but very accurate sound level meters, mainly for the USA, European and Pacific markets.

In 1998 a group of British and American design engineers, made an offer to take over Pulsar Instruments Inc., from the shareholders thereby taking over Pulsar Instruments Ltd. This was finalised on September 1st 1999 and Pulsar became independent again. Since then, Pulsar has become one of Europe's major producers with sales to over 50 countries with a strong balance sheet, no borrowings or other debt and a clear growth plan.

In 2003, Pulsar Instruments had grown so much that it became a PLC (Public Limited Company) with all the added controls and financial checks that the United Kingdom government demands of all PLCs.  This new status greatly increased the potential for sales to European government bodies and was a trigger for growth.  Pulsar Instruments PLC became only the third sound level meter company in the world to gain such status at this time.

Today, Pulsar Instruments continues to produce quality innovative noise measurement products to meet our customers' needs including a range of easy to use high-performance decibel meters (Pulsar Nova), noise dosemeters and noise-activated warning signs.