How to measure decibels in a Patio setting ...

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by igmolinav, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. igmolinav macrumors 65816

    Aug 15, 2005

    I am helping a (neighbourhood) organization. This
    organization has noticed that around ten bars have
    opened within a six month period in their neighbo(u)r-
    hood. Almost all houses in the neighborhood,
    without regard to their sizes, are very close together.
    (Actually they are arranged next to each other). All
    of these houses have a small or large patio, depending
    on their size. Some house owners have rented some
    of these houses to run bars at night. Not all houses
    next to any of these bars have tenants or are occupied,
    but most bars have neighbors living close by.

    These bars are allowed to have music up to a certain
    decibel level, but they are not being checked all the
    time by the authorities. Members of our organization
    are concerned because there are neigbors who feel
    bothered at night and they can not sleep propperly
    or at all. The perceived loudness is not every day, but
    three to four days of the week.

    I wonder how the city officials measure loudness, or
    I wonder what could it be the best way to measure
    loudness? Is loudness measured by decibels?

    How expensive are these decibel-measurer, (is that
    their name?). Perhaps the organization I am helping
    can afford one. Which would be a brand and/or
    modell you would recommend?

    Perhaps these decibel-measurers can be attached to
    any of the walls in these bars and the decibels'
    information recorded during a night can be recorded
    and stored to be analized by the neighbors, city officials
    and bar owners. Perhaps these decibel-measures can
    keep a decibel level that is satisfying for all the parties

    Any ideas or suggestions will be very appreciated to
    go about solving this situation.

    Thank you, kind regards,

    igmolinav : ) !!!
  2. mcpryon2 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 12, 2008

    First I would contact the city about the noise ordinance and just ask them how they define it and how they enforce it (which it sounds like they don't yet, which is why you ask). What decibel level at what distance, stuff like that.

    What you're looking for is a Sound Pressure Level Meter, or SPL meter. You can get decent ones on Amazon for under $50. I'd suggest reading the reviews. If you just want a basic meter you won't need any features, like connections to devices.

    There are also some free apps on the App Store that measure sound level and can be fairly accurate.
  3. milliepuppy macrumors member

    May 23, 2010
    This .... i have tested the dB meter app on my phone (Decibel 10) against my actual dB meter and it pretty darn close !!

    Don't suppose you know the actual ordinance ... your going to need this to know where to make the measurement from ... most ordinance is the measure on whats coming into the premises, it varies by property type / residential / commercial etc. .. good luck and keep us posted !

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