For questions or answers not found here, please send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Where is SoundPrint accessible? Both Iphone and Android models? A website?
SoundPrint is available via the Iphone. An Android version is not currently available as the accuracy of the different hardware, software and microphones across numerous Android devices and operating systems makes for inaccurate sound level readings and lack of a sufficient comparison between devices. We are exploring the Android market for certain devices.
Iphone SE Model
The Iphone devices are reasonably accurate compared to a Type 1 professional sound level meter – they have been tested by engineers at the University of Nebraska. There is an exception with the Iphone SE Model which we are currently exploring ways to improve this the accuracy of this specific device.
I want to help get more venues measured in my city (i.e. raise noise pollution awareness), how can I help?
SoundPrint has a city ambassador program where you can help lead or contribute to efforts to raise noise pollution awareness by increasing the number SoundPrint submissions to the database to enrich the data so that the public, venue managers and city officials can be informed as to how loud or quiet a venue in their city actually is.
Contact email@example.com with the subject line ‘SoundPrint Ambassador Program’ to inquire within.
How to take a proper noise measurement?
On the app, (a) press the ‘SoundCheck’ icon on the bottom bar of the screen. (b) Press start and record for a minimum of 15 seconds (30 seconds is recommended). Pay attention to the AVG number in the upper right corner as that tells you the average sound level for the venue. (c) When done, press stop and then press submit. (d) A list of venues will pop up – choose the name of the venue from the list. If the venue you’re in is not listed, enter the venue name in the search bar and press ‘Search’ (e) Click on your venue and press ‘Submit’. Congrats – you have now submitted a SoundPrint!!
TIP: When measuring, ensure there is at least three feet of space in all directions (360 degrees) from the smartphone (i.e. do not measure with the phone sitting on a table).
The sound level measurement is too low or the microphone is not working – what do I do?
- Check that your SoundPrint’s microphone settings are on via the App’s settings (rather than through the Iphone’s hardware settings). You can access this via “Settings > SoundPrint > Microphone > Make sure this button is on as it should be the color green (see photo below)
- Check that nothing is inserted in the headphone jack or that there is a heavy iphone cover that could block the receiver
- If above fails, delete the app, power on/off the phone, re-download the app again and be sure to “enable microphone” the first time you take a recorded reading
How do I enable location services on the app? No pins are appearing on the map in the Search function
- Check that your SoundPrint’s Location settings are on via the App’s settings (rather than through the Iphone’s hardware settings). You can access this via “Settings > SoundPrint > Location > Make sure you click on Never and then click on “While Using the App” (see photo below)
What is a decibel and what do the sound categories mean?
A decibel (abbreviated dB) measures the intensity of sound. Zero decibels (0 dB) is the quietest sound audible to a healthy human ear. A logarithmic scale is used, thus every increase of 3 dB represents a doubling of sound intensity.
There are four sound level categories
(1) Quiet = 70 dBA or lower (safe for hearing health + conducive to conversation)
(2) Moderate = 71 – 75 dBA (safe for hearing health and conducive to general conversation, but a little bit louder)
(3) Loud = 76 – 80 dBA (likely safe for hearing health, but difficult for conversation)
(4) Very Loud = 81+ dBA (unsafe for hearing health + not conducive to conversation)
A Loud atmosphere is likely safe for hearing health. As the dBA begins to increase from 76+ upward, the likelihood of noise-induced hearing loss increases; it can be very difficult to hear your companion
But, a Very Loud atmosphere is potentially very dangerous for your hearing health and it is recommended you take steps for protection: (1) ask the venue manager to reduce the volume of background music (2) move to a quieter spot in the venue (3) wear earplugs (4) leave the premises and go somewhere quieter (5) complain to the venue manager to suggest they incorporate more sound-absorption features in their interior design.
Why is the app only available on iOS devices?
iOS devices share common hardware and software architecture (i.e. microphones) that are better optimized for audio-based applications. The Android device landscape is fragmented with numerous manufacturers that often have very different hardware and software requirements for their microphones, audio/signal processing chips and software, which is less accurate than those available on iOS devices.