Turn your phone into a sound level meter

You can measure ambient noise by installing  a sound level app on your  smart phone. We review a 'Made in India' app and a couple of others which will help lay citizens  support complaints in noise pollution  cases with  documented sound levels
By V.Sudhakshina
Bangalore, November 24 2014: Planning a house party over the  weekend and worried about causing disturbance in your neighborhood by exceeding the sound limit? Hassled by noisy  public loudspeakers or fire crackers and need to   confirm the decibels before lodging a complaint?
Till recently one had to invest  Rs 3000 - Rs 10,000 on a portable sound level meter. Now your smartphone will  do the job: You  can convert your Android smart phone or iPhone into a  handy sound level measuring device by installing an app. 
The app uses  your phone’s microphone to pick up the noise  and  measure  its  sound level, which it converts  to readings in the decibel (dB) scale. Most of these applications allow you to record the  measured sound level data, as proof.
Here are a few free apps  we found  and liked:
iNVH: Developed by Bosch engineers in Bangalore, this app measures both sound and vibration. The sound level meter of this app has five  values that measure minimum to peak levels of noise. You can also measure the average sound level with the Overall Level, which  graphically shows noise levels at every second. You can  record and share the data. Download it  from the Google Play store. 
Sound Meter: An app with an easy-to-use interface, Sound Meter by Smart Tools,  provides the minimum, mean, and maximum noise level values. It features a  checklist  of  typical noise levels, for example 80 dB represents busy street or  an alarm clock, 120 dB is the threshold of pain and compares it to the recorded level. This app also allows you take a screenshot and save the data. Download it  from Google Play store
If you are an iPhone or iPad  user, you can download the free  Decibel 10th  app for similar functions.
And if you hadn't realised it before, your smart phone is  a 'sound' investment!