With the intention of study and discover apps for mobile devices which make risk prevention activities easier, I´ve seen and tested several applications allowing use the smartphone as a sound level meter. Among the tested apps, the most satisfactory for risk prevention works is in my opinion, SoundMeter by Faber Acoustical, available for iPhone, not for free, but affordable.
Despite of finding a satisfying app, I held a grudge because I could´t use the smartphone as a sound meter level for noise measurements in sound level studies, since smartphones does´t fulfil with statutory requirements from Spanish Royal Decree 286/2006 (European Directive 2003/10/EC), besides this new “a sound meter level as a toy in the pocket“, published at www.granadahoy.com, which explains that, from a study by a student of Environmental Science, is questioned the reliability of these apps in order to measure noise, since display reading up to 10 decibels of difference compared to professional devices.
At that moment, my illusion and desire for using the iPhone as a sound level meter started to vanish. But the feasible solution came some paragraph below, when the author (Aitor Palomino) said that the main problem comes from microphones and that a calibrated microphone for iPhone is available in the market.
The micro in question is the Mic W i436, which meets Class 2 specifications of IE-C61672 and its european equivalent UNE-EN 61672 replacing UNE-EN 60651 required at RD 286/2006 (European Directive 2003/10/EC on the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents, noise).
Thus, by means of an iPhone, this microphone (not greater than a USB stick) and a proper software like SoundMeter, we can have a sound level meter meeting RD 286/2006 requirements and use it for data collection for sound level studies in risk prevention activities. Besides this are the regular calibrations to be passed to get a continuous use.
The cost of transforming our iPhone in a sound level meter is not high at all. We can buy the Mic W i436 for less than 100€, and SoundMeter app for less than 20€. Taking into account that the cost of a good sound level meter is 25 times higher, you can estimate the economic and ergonomic saving that means have the sound level meter in the smartphone.
Find out this explanatory video:
It will be about testing and assess the possibilities of the iPhone calibrated microphone. We will keep you informed.
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