|Item Weight||7.2 ounces|
|Package Dimensions||8.1 x 4.9 x 1.6 inches|
|Item Package Quantity||1|
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Mini Digital Sound Level Meter by Parts Express
|Price:||$29.95 & FREE Shipping. Details|
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Mini digital sound level meter is less than 6" in length making it perfect for your pocket or tool box! Great for measuring and monitoring noise and sound in any environment.
Top Customer Reviews
I bought it to monitor sound levels at a night club and as a way to judge applause levels at Karaoke Contests.
However... the power button should have been recessed. If you carry this in a bag, or in your pocket, it will be turning on and off all of the time and this will seriously effect battery life, as the automatic backlight will also turn on in these situations. The 9v battery uses the old fashioned pig-tail contact, so constantly removing the battery is impractical and will eventually ruin the pig-tail connector. It is a minor inconvenience (I'll have to purchase a hard case for my application.)
The wind screen is also a slip on piece that slides on and off far too easily. There is no lip or retainer and it slides off easily. Although it is not necessary for the unit... it does help protect the microphone diaphram.
Still, at $30, it seems to be rather accurate and will be extremely useful for me as a DJ to monitor my sound level at gigs. The tripod mount is a great feature also, I place my unit on a mini-camera tripod and occasionally activate the unit to make sure I'm not deafening my crowd.
PRO's: Good value, pretty solid design,
CONS: bad power button - should have been recessed; resolve yourself to the fact that you will lose the slip on windscreen. Fortunately, it isn't required to use the unit.
The cons are minor irritations, otherwise, I'm happy with the unit.
I needed a meter for noise documentation in a lawsuit so I wanted something that could be calibrated so I got the Reed ST-8050 Sound Level Meter which can be calibrated. What I discovered upon performing side by side tests of both meters was I found the Mini to perform almost exactly as the ST-805. The response time and readings were identical. The most difference I saw was maybe a 1 db level lower in the Mini. I placed them in front of the TV and raised the volume up and down very quickly with different music channels and the results were again almost identical. And I tested them against the noise source I was documenting 800 yards away and they performed worked the same
But I did see a significant difference in the response in the lower dB readings between the Mini’s. One would read as low at 15 dB where one would only do 24 dB and latest one I have is the slowest to respond and it may have like a drop 20 dB before it begins a slow rise to get to the level of sound it is measuring. But since my ST-805 stopped working after a single drop I can’t compare the third Mini’s slower max reading to see if it is continues to accurate.
This device was unbelievably handy in this process. (I cannot speak for accuracy since I have no professionally calibrated devices to compare it to. However, I can say all of the readings I got were exactly in the ranges I anticipated, which to me made the device appear to be very accurate.)
This little meter is VERY sensitive in a good way. When you first turn it on, you need to give it several seconds to normalize, as the initial sound pressure readings are as expected erratic until the device normalizes itself. A really good example of sensitivity - I live a good 200 yards from a residential road - when I'm sitting inside my fairly soundproof newer home & a car goes by that far away I can see a brief slight rise in the dB readings & then it goes back down again. At first I thought it was a coincidence, but noticed this happened consistently. When an occasional motorcycle or small truck goes by I see a similar rise & then drop in the readings - something I would expect - the car thing was unexpected since it was barely audible (at least to me). My point is this device is extremely sensitive (for such a low priced device) and users need to understand that variances in readings can be expected with even the slightest sounds. I also note that the (fairly loud) ticking clocks hanging on my walls cause fluctuations.
Overall, great device!!! Price was unbelievable, personally, I think it's well made and as indicated highly sensitive in a good way. The documentation is worthless, but it couldn't be easier to operate. I haven't even wanted to try the max / min button in my application yet but as other raters have indicated the documentation does not explain it. If you want to use this feature - just push the max/min button and see what it does. For me, I was able to handle the on/off button very easily (LOL) and after letting the device normalize for several seconds see exactly what I needed to see - relative readings throughout an entire sound room set-up !!! I would buy it again - no regrets - only positive things to say (except the documentation - but most users probably won't need documentation to operate a device that has an on/off switch and one other function max / min.)
Oh, I do like the built in tripod nut - it may come in handy in some applications. Also not sure why the specs say 40db to 130db - mine goes down to the teens & twenties in VERY quiet conditions. Haven;t had a desire to test the upper range yet - maybe a trip to the airport or local motorcycle shop would work!!!