Testing the accuracy of smartphones and sound level meter applications for measuring environmental noise

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Title: Testing the accuracy of smartphones and sound level meter applications for measuring environmental noise
Authors: Murphy, Enda
King, Eoin A.
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/7435
Date: May-2016
Abstract: This paper reports on experimental tests undertaken to assess the capability of noise monitoring applications to be utilized as an alternative low cost solution to traditional noise monitoring using a sound level meter. The methodology consisted of testing 100 smartphones in a reverberation room. Broadband white noise was utilized to test the ability of smartphones to measure noise at background, 50, 70 and 90 dB(A) and these measurements were compared with true noise levels acquired via a calibrated sound level meter. Tests were conducted on phones using the Android and iOS platforms. For each smartphone, tests were completed separately for leading noise monitoring apps culminating in 1472 tests. The results suggest that apps written for the iOS platform are superior to those running on the Android platform. They show that one of the apps tested – SLA Lite – is within ±1 dB of true noise levels across four different reference conditions. The results also show that there is a significant relationship between phone age and its ability to measure noise accurately. The research has implications for the future use of smartphones as low cost monitoring and assessment devices for environmental noise.
Funding Details: Irish Research Council
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright (published version): 2015 Elsevier
Keywords: Noise measurement apps;Environmental noise;Crowd sourced noise monitoring;Smartphones
DOI: 10.1016/j.apacoust.2015.12.012
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy Research Collection

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