sound level meter?
Apr 4, 2002 at 2:46 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 23

zbuddah

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anyone know where i can get one for really cheap?

i have a fear of tintinitus. in my early years not knowing any better i used to crank my phones to ear deaf'ning levels i even pushed the phones closer to my ears. i'm still not out of the clear either, i work at a gas station and when the air compressor starts for the car lifts, comes on its like gunshots after gunshots of NOISE. Well since i'm looking into some good phones i decided that it was best for me to get the spl meter. i notice the ringing at night when i'm in bed.

Are there specific types of SPl meter like ones for phones and one for speakers or is there only one type that can be used for both.
 
Apr 4, 2002 at 3:07 AM Post #3 of 23

dngl

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the Ratshack SPL meter works for headphones very nicely. If you want to do frequency sweeps, you would need special coupling, but if you're just measuring for safety the SPL alone is enough. Don't freak out about the ringing you have before you go to bed- maybe it's tinnitus, maybe it's not. Play it safe: use earplugs, make sure your headphones aren't too loud, but don't freak out yet. There are other causes of tinnitus (allergies, meds, etc.)
 
Apr 4, 2002 at 3:36 AM Post #4 of 23

Nick Dangerous

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This tinnitus scare is getting out of hand:

1) You can ALWAYS hear more ringing at night when laying down in bed. I remember complaining about this to my dad when I was 5 years old!

2) Hi-fi headphones teach your mind to listen more carefully. After a while, you will begin to "hear" the ambient ringing already present in your ears.

As long as the music isn't so loud that you cannot hear other ambient noises/voices in the room, it shouldn't cause a problem.
 
Apr 4, 2002 at 4:42 AM Post #5 of 23

delenda est Sony

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Zbuddah---

I'd be more concerned about the compressor noise! Buy Flens disposable plugs and wear em--29 dB isolation, which means you can still talk to people, but the dangerous edge shoud be taken off even very loud noises.

As for the Rat Shack SPL gauge, don't get the real cheap analog one (with a physical needle). Get the entry level digital one--about $40, but much more accurate, especially for very focused noise, like from heafdphones. Cat # 33-2055.

smily_headphones1.gif
 
Apr 4, 2002 at 6:49 AM Post #6 of 23

zbuddah

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oh thank goodness guys, i was begining to cut down on most of my listening. But i'm still going to cut down on the volume levels until i can get my hands on the spl meter from radio shack (thanks delenda est Sony i'll definitly look for the digital one).

i don't usually listen to music that loud either, usually i snap my fingers or tap the table to see how loud i went. I do have allergies also but i never really associated it with the ringing. but i'm defintily going to try something about the air compressor, probably ear plugs. do you know where i can get :Flens disposable plugs: ?

i used to pride myself for being able to hear thing other ppl can't. i had a lucky childhood compared to my sister, she had a couple ear infections and that affected her hearing quite a bit. she's not deaf but she can't hear as well as me. must make my ears last 60 more years.

thanks for the advice people
tongue.gif
 
Apr 4, 2002 at 11:34 AM Post #7 of 23

gaineso

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You can get disposable ear plugs at Home Depot / Lowe's. They're cheap. There are several brands. Little foam rolls that you compress between your fingers and stuff into your ear. They work very well. Used them at work for many years. You can hear someone talking at normal levels, but it cuts out loud noises and especialy sharp noises. 20 to 30 db reduction.
 
Apr 4, 2002 at 12:37 PM Post #8 of 23

sacriste

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I strongly recommend you to check with a safety products company if the protection you get is whether for impulse or continuous noise. In my job, I wear foam plugs for continuous noise (compressed air and steam vents, machine running) but I read is not good for gunshot like sounds. Could be sad if you think you are protected and you're not.
 
Apr 4, 2002 at 4:22 PM Post #9 of 23

delenda est Sony

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ZB---

all the big drug store chains in this area (NY) carry Flens. Rite Aid, CVS, Duane Reade, Walgreens. They are pretty common. Good luck shopping!
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Apr 4, 2002 at 7:18 PM Post #10 of 23

Hirsch

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Quote:

Originally posted by delenda est Sony
As for the Rat Shack SPL gauge, don't get the real cheap analog one (with a physical needle). Get the entry level digital one--about $40, but much more accurate, especially for very focused noise, like from heafdphones. Cat # 33-2055.


Among the home theater crowd, the analog meter is generally considered superior to the digital one for HT speaker setup, and is the one usually recommended.
 
Apr 4, 2002 at 7:56 PM Post #11 of 23

delenda est Sony

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On my Onvia HT setup calibration disc, they do recommend the analog one, but state that they are doing so only because it is cheap and will do the trick. If you are setting up HT speakers, you will use the SPL meter very infrequently so I can see not spending a lot. But if you are measuring headphone volume to try and safeguard your hearing, you will need to use the meter much more frequently, and need to know as accurate a reading as possible. If you're off a few dB in setting up HT speakers, it probably won't even be noticeable, but those same few dB matter a lot more from headphones. Also, in my local Rat Shacks, the ones that even had the analog meter had em in really old dusty boxes that suggested they were sitting on a shelf since the Ford Administraion, which would probably not help matters!
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Apr 4, 2002 at 8:15 PM Post #12 of 23

Blighty

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For more precise measurements one should use an acoustic coupler or at least a make-shift one. There are too many variations just measuring manually with the SLM and terms of distance and seal.

http://www.digital-recordings.com/ carries a simple coupler(a bit small for some HPs) for measuring headphones as well as a higher quality set that measures earbuds as well. Although still short of high-end professional measurement equipment/software, it is good enough to give you a reasonable idea of how loud you are listening.

BTW, there was a thread here about which settings to use the SLM with and a bit of debate whether using A or C weighting was correct. I personally use the fast response with an A weighting on my SLM as it simulates sound in regards to human hearing more accurately. C weighting is a bit misleading although a bit closer to a flat, unweighted reading which does not really relate to how human hearing is affected by high noise levels and frequencies. A 5000hz frequency at 80dB can often be much more than damaging to human hearing than a 100hz tone at 90dB. However, if measuring for pure frequency response itself, it is best to use an unweighted reading(which is not available on the RS SLM unfortunately).
 
Apr 4, 2002 at 8:19 PM Post #13 of 23

Audio Redneck

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Your company ought to offer you those earplugs if there is any machinery (air-compressors count) in your work area. OSHA gets real nasty about that stuff. They are cheap in bulk and available through most business oriented cleaning and tool supply companies.
 
Apr 5, 2002 at 2:23 AM Post #14 of 23

dngl

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If you are worried, get the Audio CD from Digital Recordings. I've used it for about a year now to make sure that I am not losing my hearing.
 

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