Do you have a noisy neighbor or a nearby business that generates a high level of noise pollution? A sound level meter will help you document the situation before you confront the offending party or take more serious action to restore peace and quiet. The AZ 8928 Digital Sound Level Meter is easy to use with lots of options and features at a price that might lead you to incorrectly believe that this is a toy. Do not be fooled. The AZ 8928 Digital Sound Level Meter is a precision instrument that provides precise, consistent readings every time.
When you open the box and remove the sound meter, you will get a surprise. It actually comes with a heavy duty, 9 volt battery. A printed Operation Manual, which is more of a folded instruction sheet, provides valuable information on care and use of your new sound meter.
AZ 8928 Features
The AZ 8928 has an LCD digital display and 6 function buttons that provide access to a variety of useful features.
- Digital Display: Large LCD screen, 0.1 resolution updated every 0.5 sec. with a 4 digit readout.
- On/Off Button: A black button on a red background instantly powers the unit on or off.
- Record Button: Activating the Record feature will start the meter tracking the high and low sound measurements as they happen. Digital readings will appear on the screen as well as an active bar graph below. This does not record to a hard drive or a computer.
- Range Button: Toggles between Auto and Manual Range select. There are 4 measurement ranges which are displayed in 10 dB increments: 40-70dB, 60-90dB, 80-110dB, and 100-130dB. The Auto setting will display LO or HI for the sound level.
- Weighting A/C Button: The startup default is A weighting which allows the meter to respond in the same manner as the human ear with increases and decreases over the frequency spectrum. The C weighting is best for flat sounds with no ups and downs.
- Fast/Slow Button: Select a fast or slow response time for readings according to your needs. The default setting when you turn on the meter is Fast. OSHA testing uses a slow response with A weighting.
- Max Hold Button: Selecting the Max Hold button will freeze the maximum sound level reading on the screen. It will remain there until a higher level of sound is detected.
- Automatic Shutoff: The meter will turn off automatically after 20 minutes unless you press the ON/OFF and Max Hold buttons simultaneously to override the feature.
- Low Battery Indicator: When the battery reaches a critical low power state, a low battery BAT message will be displayed on the lower left of the screen.
- Sound Measuring Range: The meter measures sound levels between 40 ~ 130 dB.
- Measurement Frequency Range: The frequency range is 300Hz ~ 8K Hz.
- Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 3.5 x 1.9 inches
- Accuracy: ¡À2dB(at 94dB, 1K Hz) I honestly have no clue what that first number means but it was in the product information so I’ve included it here.
- Microphone: 10mm (Dia) Electric Condenser Microphone. This seems to be sensitive enough to pick up sounds from a good distance away.
When Bravolink sent me the AZ 8928 Digital Sound Level Meter for review, I knew relatively little about decibel levels and had never even seen a sound meter before. I inserted the 9v battery into the meter and referred to the instruction sheet to get started. Even with my limited knowledge, I was able to start testing quickly. The meter is very easy to use and performance is fast and consistent with no lag in the response time when a change in the sound level is detected. The AZ 8928 is the tool you need to monitor a troublesome sound source from traffic noise, heavy machinery, loud music, or your spouse’s complaints that you turn the television on too loud. There is no way to record the sound level data to your computer but you should be able to use your cell phone or digital camera to take a picture of the results on the meter to document the offending sound levels for future use.
The high level of performance and the solid construction of this meter might lead you to expect a price much higher than $20 on Amazon but this is a precision tool that will get the job done. The AZ 8928 is sold by Bravolink and fulfilled by Amazon. Free shipping is available on orders over $35.
There are many resources online for information on sound levels. There is a Decibel Loudness Comparison Chart at Galen Carol Audio online. This will show how loud is too loud and how much exposure can be harmful to your hearing. You will also find an excellent article on safe sound levels at Hearing Loss Help online. Of course you can also find information on the OSHA website but as with most government sites, it can be hard to find the information you need without an extensive search.