On International Noise Awareness Day, (April 26 2017), we are asking workers to measure the noise at their workstations using cellphone apps. 

Steps to participate:

  1. Download an app on your cellphone (see the list below for recommended apps)
  2. On April 26, 2017 take some noise measurements at your personal workstation
  3. On the same day visit this website to report your readings
  4. Raise awareness about noise and its effect in your workplace and find ways of reducing excess noise (ongoing)

Noise App Recommendations:

Based on reading some high quality evaluations of noise measuring cell phone apps, plus some of our own experimentation with such apps, we’ve come up with a short list of apps that we’re confident are the most accurate.  So, if you want to participate we recommend you use one of the following apps:

iPhone Apps

       NIOSH SLM, By EA Lab
Free!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/niosh-slm/id1096545820?mt=8

 NIOSH SLM App Screenshot

 NoiSee, By EA LAB

$1.39 US

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/noisee/id549239949?mt=8

 

 LogSPL, By Fabien Lefebvre

$2.79 US

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/logspl/id491999427?mt=8

 

SPLnFFT Noise Meter, By Fabien Lefebvre

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/splnfft-noise-meter/id355396114?mt=8

Android Apps 

OpeNoise, by Arpa Piemonte

Free! 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=it.piemonte.arpa.openoise

 

 SPL Meter, by Keuwlsoft

Free

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.keuwl.splmeter

 

For some very “sound” reasons, noise measurement apps on the iPhone generally are more reliable than Android, although we have some suggestions for Android app included in the list above.  But, if you have a choice between types of phones, we recommend using the apps designed for iPhones.  There are lots of unreliable noise measurement apps, so “Buyer Beware!”  

References

Kardous C.A., and Shaw, P.B. (2014). “NIOSH Science Blog: So How Accurate Are These Smartphone Sound Measurement Apps?”, https://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2014/04/09/sound-apps/   (accessed March 10, 2017).

Kardous, C., and Shaw, P. (2014). “Evaluation of smartphone sound measurement applications,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 135, EL186–EL192.

Kardous, C., and Shaw, P. (2016). “Evaluation of smartphone sound measurement applications (apps) using external microphones—A follow-up study”, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 140, EL327-EL333.

Roberts, B., Kardous, C., and Neitzel, R. (2016). “Improving the accuracy of smart devices to measure noise exposure,” J. Occup. Environ. Hygiene 13(11), 840–846.

Kardous C.A., and Celestina, M. (2017). “NIOSH Science Blog: New NIOSH Sound Level Meter App”,   https://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2017/01/17/slm-app/  (accessed March 10, 2017).

Rutkowski, E. (2017). “The Tech Tide: From Air Monitors to Apps, the Public’s Use of Technology Challenges His Inside and Outside the Workplace”, The Synergist Vol 28 (no. 2 February 2017), pages 24-27.

Behar, A. (2017). “Noisy News (Column): On Apps and Sound Level Meters”, Occupational Hygiene Association of Ontario OH Forum, Vol. 40 No. 1, March 2017, p.7-8.

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