Why you should use a windshield with your sound level meter

windshield soundmeterWe are often asked about the use of the windshield that is supplied with our noise measurement instruments. We agree, it does not look much and can be a bit cumbersome. However, a windshield is an important accessory. We recommend that you have it to hand with you at all times and use it both indoor and outdoor while taking measurements.

A windshield comes as standard with our complete sound level meter measurement kits or can be purchased separately.

They are made from open cell polyurethane foam and manufactured to strict dimensional tolerances for use with our microphones.

Simply, a windshield is used to protect and shield the most precious part of your sound level meter or personal noise dosemeter, the microphone, from external influences.

For instance, when air blows by the microphone, the noise reading is altered and can affect your measurement readings. To avoid the turbulence or noise levels generated by the wind, use a windshield to cover the microphone capsule of your instrument. This is only one of the protections it provides.

A windshield performs other important functions:

  • Protects the microphone capsule from moisture (but not from torrential rain!!)
  • Prevents dust ingress into the microphone capsule
  • Physically protects the microphone capsule from accidental knocks
  • Reduces the effects of impacts upon noise measurements which may cause false Peak (C) readings
  • Helps protect the microphone capsule from any chemicals that may be in the air
  • Protects an operator who is being monitored from being ‘poked’ in the eye!

A windshield will affect the frequency response of the microphone slightly at higher frequencies. This change in frequency response is very small.  However, for measurements requiring a high degree of accuracy, you may decide not to use a windshield.

pulsar windshield on noise dosimeter

To use a Pulsar windshield, push the hole in the windshield over the microphone of the sound level meter. Alternatively, use a windshield to cover up an entire doseBadge noise dosemeter before you mount it onto the worker’s shoulder.

The windshield must be removed before the sound level meter or noise dosemeter can be calibrated. Once your device is calibrated, you should replace the windshield.

Pulsar Instruments offer a range of windshields in different sizes (for example, 90mm or 50mm) and shapes dependent on the application they are intended for such as with a sound level meter, a personal noise dosemeter or permanently, when used with an outdoor noise monitoring kit. In the latter case, the pre-amplifier and microphone from the sound level meter itself are fitted within a ‘waterproof’ mounting system complete with windshield and bird-spikes. The windshield system in this case provides protection from the elements whilst the bird-spikes are needed to avoid birds perching on the windshield and affecting your noise measurements.

A Windshield on an outdoor kit is essentialSo, next time you set out to perform a noise survey, don’t forget to pack your windshield!

We hope this article has given you a broad overview of why it is important why you should use a windshield with your sound level meter and other noise measurement instruments. Please contact us if you want additional details on our windshields or would like to add or replace any missing accessories to your kits. Our team will be pleased to assist and guide you on 01723 518011 or via our contact form.

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