The single value measured by a sound level meter is referred to as the "broadband value" as it uses all values across the audio frequency bands (20 Hz to 20 kHz) to calculate the level. It is typically measured in decibels (dB), which is a logarithmic unit. This means, for example, that doubling the sound level would correspond to a 10 dB higher measurement value.
Real Time Analyzer RTA
The spectrum of frequencies provided by an RTA measurement suits tasks such as optimization of sound systems and rooms. An RTA typically measures with a resolution of 1/1, 1/3, 1/6 or even 1/12 octave. To conceptualize this, one can think of a piano. 1/1 gives us a single measurement value for each octave (12 semi-tones), 1/3 provides a single value for groups of 4 semi-tones, 1/6 represents 1 semi-tones, while 1/12 is a separate level measurement for every key on the piano.
Sound Level Meter Functions
A sound level meter can be used for measuring sound or noise* for Community Noise Analysis, Building Acoustics, Industrial Noise Control, Machinery Noise Analysis, and further applications.
* the definition of "noise" is simply "unwanted sound"; one person's sound may be another person's noise
In this video, Philipp Schwizer tells us about the XL2 Sound Level Meter
Useful Links to Webinars on Demand
- Sound Level - Definition, Calculation, Practice
Covers the technical definition of sound pressure level, an explanation of how to sum sound levels from different sources, and more, together with practical examples.
- Basics of Sound Level Measurements
Introduction to the essential aspects of sound level measurements. Explains terms such as Leq, frequency or time weighting, min/max level, measurement microphones, calibration etc.
- Advanced Principles of Sound Level Measurements
Explanation of the most frequently used sound level measurements, e.g. instantaneous level, equivalent level, maximum and peak level, percentiles etc.