Noise Hunter Review – Come on feel the noise
App Type: Uncategorized
Version #: 1.0.1
Date Released: 2011-12-03
Price: 5.99User Rating:
Noise is everywhere. From your office mate clicking away in joyous programming ecstasy to your neighbours listening to Greatest KISS. These are mild, noise sources, you can get away. But did you know that with an ambient noise above 40 dB your learning and ability are severely impaired? And that above 85 dB you are likely to end with ear damage if exposed for more than 40h/week? Well, we didn’t. Now we do and can check whenever we want, because we now have Noise Hunter.
Noise Hunter is a top notch app to detect ambient noise. Almost as good as top of the line sound devices, it only needs an iDevice with an internal microphone (iPhone, latest iPod Touches, iPads) or even an external microphone compatible with the iPhone mic jack. We are now addicted at checking what the sound levels are everywhere. Train, office, home. When listening music, when sleeping.
As a sample of what noise means for you, the German ministry of environment claims that noise is one of the worse problems they are facing. New research is telling that ear damage comes more easily than what was thought, when being exposed to 85 dB(A)! (We bet you don’t know what a dB(A) is… keep reading!) Even 65 db(A) can lead to long term illnesses, like heart attacks or strokes. Even some research suggests it can ultimately generate cancer. Just by noise. You have to learn how to gauge it.
Noise Hunter comes with so many features it is hard to list them. The first that comes to mind is the avatar. If you tap the sound graph once, you’ll see a human silhouette telling you if learning is possible with the current level of sound and if there are any health hazards with the current levels. Simple, no need to learn anything else. But if you do know… You can choose between decibels in sound pressure level (what an electronic device can hear) or A-weighted decibels: what a standard human ear can feel. Just in case: all safety levels are always in db(A), like in this wikipedia table.
The program also records maxima and minima, and the standard deviation around the average. This is of course to be expected from such a good program… But it also offers “record programs”. The main one is sound level recording, the app will automatically record for a given time and then either store the data or mail it to you (in the always handy CSV format). Another interesting indicator is the continuous sound pressure level: if sound varies a lot, the maximum noise may not be a good indicator of what is going around you (in noise levels).
Noise Hunter is not a cheap app for everyone, but for people needing a sound meter is awesome. We just tested a set of no-power iPhone speakers to check their claims, without Noise Hunter the job would have been a nightmare. With it it was a breeze!
Would I Buy Again:Sure
Who Is It For:It's for almost anyone, but if you are interested in noise and sound, better
What I Like:It's so full featured it is scary
What I Don't Like:Nothing
The extensive calibration makes the app's high accuracy (*) possible. High-quality calibration data for most devices and their internal microphone (partly for other microphones, too) is already delivered with the app. Additionally regularily updated and extended calibration tables can be downloaded cost-free over the internet. Beyond that, experts may use the „device adjustment“ to optimize their device's accuracy even more.
Besides the momentary sound level in dB(A), dB(C) or dB(SPL) special measuring programs allow to evaluate even more complex noise scenarios. The so-called Equivalent Continuous Sound Pressure Level will show the amount of noise a person is permanently exposed to on average although the momentary values vary. At the push of a button another measuring program evaluates the background noise level.