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Showing 1-10 of 121 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 126 reviews
on August 29, 2008
This Extech 407730 decibel sound meter is easy to use right out of the box and it works very well. The instructions are simple and easy to understand and everything worked as expected. I had never owned or used a sound meter before, so I wasn't sure what to expect, and someone told me it can be complicated, but it's "So simple a child could do it", to quote Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy from the original Star Trek (Spock's Brain episode)!

Having both the "A" and "C" ratings available to use is a good thing -- make sure you know which one you should use for your particular application (I did some basic web research to learn more). It measures 40 dB to 130 dB, and I was surprised to find that 43 dB is about my basic background noise in my yard, no wind but birds chirping.

Also, the "Max Hold" function is great; it keeps the highest rating on the display so if you mount the meter remotely, you can still see what it recorded.

I mounted it on a basic camera tripod and it worked fine. It actually has a metal tripod mounting thread, unlike some (expensive) digital cameras that use plastic.

The only nits I can pick are: 1) The little foam wind sock that sticks over the end is pretty flimsy and it comes off too easily, but not a biggie; and 2) The battery cover is attached with a tiny Phillips head screw, rather than having a cover that simply snaps on. So you'll need to find a very small #3 Phillips head screwdriver just to remove the batteries, and let's hope you don't have to do this at night or in the bush.

It seems well made for what it is -- basic plastic case and slightly mushy rubberized push buttons. The display is easy to read (not sure if it has a light, I only used it during the day).

Once you familiarize yourself with the instructions, you pretty much don't have to bother with them again, it's that easy to use. The batteries are the el cheapo type that probably have about 25% of the lifespan of a good pair, but otherwise, this is a very nice unit that's probably way overkill for just recording the neighbor's late night parties. I used it for a basic scientific research project and published the results and it worked fine for that.
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on March 3, 2013
Seemingly quite good. I won't address audiophile applications because I am not using the tool in that way. I wanted a device that would monitor sound levels in my neighborhood and on construction sites that I drive to so that I wouldn't have to rely on the assertions of others about actual and prospective noise impacts. This device is quite well suited for that. The MAX function allows you to catch peak impact noises, isolating them from the basic noise levels of the test area.

This device was designed as a temporary or moment-to-moment metering device. Individuals who have the need to trap data and transfer a stream to a computer record should look for a different type of tool or a device with a larger set of metering abilities.

The company delivers the device in calibrated condition, of course, but is inconsistent in its recommendation for calibration through time. In the accompanying user guide, recalibration is recommended before every use, especially if the instrument has not been used for some time. On the company's web site, recalibration is recommended once a year. Recalibration requires an additional device; Extech offers one that costs twice as much as the meter itself. Independent professionals or employees of sound analysis services won't be bothered by the expense, but casual users of the device may find that to be a large pill to swallow to keep a tool tuned up that is used only now and then.

I metered a television broadcast whose volume was set in the overlap zone for the device's high and low ranges and found the readings to be pretty much in agreement -- perhaps 1-2 dB apart. This was a rough eyeball comparison, not a serious attempt to determine the meter's consistency. My verdict is that the unit is easily good enough for occasional private party use and even quick professional determinations to guide expectations in a context where more extensive noise level studies are planned.
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on February 24, 2013
I'm a long time sound meter user, for the purpose of setting up a Home Theater listening system of fifteen plus years.

Before "upgrading" to this unit, I was using a Radio Shack, digital sound meter, the standard on many Home Theater forums. I wanted better because like most, better is, well, just better; security in knowing you're using better.

Buyer beware: this is not a spec'd sound level meter. There are four types of sound meters; lab grade type 0, field/lab grade Type 1, professional general field use Type 2 and the unspecified Type 3 with the lowest calibration standards for general survey work to see if one needs a better quality sound meter. This unit qualifies as a Type 3 as there's no mention in the provided data sheet of this unit being of any type. This is very important if one is going buy and use this unit for required spec'd measurements such as OSHA, lab, legal or law enforcement.

Overall, my first impressions were, how light it was. Yes, I'm human and I like my gear to have some heft to it. Along with this sound meter, I purchased a sound meter calibrator. Beware, the first thing I did when calibrating this unit, I pushed the side mounted calibration wheel into the casing and had to take the case apart to "bend" the potentiometer, back into place. Not a good sign. The adjustment feature needs to be better secured as I'm a careful user of gear and from my experience, this shouldn't have happened. It's fixed, you've been warned, life is good.

Moving forward, the meter reading is what I would characterize as unstable (even on slow, the readings flicker too much) and with a noise threshold of >40dB, does not go low enough for in room measurements. The Radio Shack, digital sound meter is limited to >50dB and yes, at >40dB, this unit is an improvement but at <40dB, in room measurements are lower then the range of this unit. The specifications state that this sound meter has a range of 40dB to 130dB and if the measurement is <40dB, one gets a constant "LO" error message. A normal quiet room is in the 35dB to 39dB range.

Most Type 2 sound meters are spec'd down to 31.5Hz. This unit is spec'd 300Hz to 8kHz which leaves reliable subwoofer set up out of consideration. If one is doing general, outdoor, factory measurements, you'll be good but if setting up a Home Theater sound system, this is not the meter one should consider. For the price, the manufacture needs to improve on the sensitivity of this sound meter.

The unit has a small threaded insert in the back so it can be held by a tripod with an appropriate sized thread tripod mount screw. The unit can be used as a microphone but if recording or doing room measurements and one has a laptop, I would recommend purchasing a USB measuring microphone and use your sound meter for just that, measuring sound pressure levels and nothing more.

The meter lacks back lighting capability which makes it difficult to use in low light situations.

Overall, I will give that it has a nice feel to the hand. A bit light but still, a nice feel. But for the price, I expected better and was disappointed to the point that I parked it on a shelf and bought another sound meter. If one wishes, they can check my other reviews as I have filed a review on this third sound meter.

One can buy this unit and expect to get dependable use from it but in my opinion, it has too many user limitations to be considered anything more than an entry level sound meter. I will not be returning this sound meter because it works as advertised but overall, based on my above, I can't recommend buying this unit.

.........................

06Mar13

I've had the sound meter for a month. The power button is getting a bit wonky and at our expense, we're looking to have to send it to the manufacture for repair or replacement.
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on January 16, 2015
I picked up one of these to help level match my subwoofer to my main stereo system. It has A and C weighting, and I used C as recommended. It worked great for this without needing to understand anything, right out of the box. I also used it to see if the level on the noise machine in my nursery was in the safe range, and adjusted it a little. There's a lot of buttons I probably won't use, honestly, but this is well made. It comes with a wind foam shield which you can use for outside applications. For quick estimates of sound volume (for unofficial purposes, I'm not sure how well calibrated this is) or for comparing two sources to see if they are the same, this is the right tool.

I also used this to point out to my wife that the home theater stereo wasn't too loud to do hearing damage. I then pointed out that her yelling at me at how loud the stereo was actually WAS loud enough to do hearing damage (90db!) and that she should probably volume down. Yeah, that didn't go over so well. I don't recommend using this for spouse volume testing. But for stereo equipment matching, oh yeah, it rocks for that.
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on June 17, 2017
I have an older DB meter that does straight readings. I was looking for something that I could use for averaging and finding peak volumes so I gave this a try. It's not at all expensive, is easy to use, and seems to work correctly. I have a high end calibrated source for my older meter, and when I tried it on the Extech it read exactly the correct value. So in a static situation the meter is very accurate. While I don't have any way to test it for peak or average readings, I'm guessing that it's probably pretty darn close. I plan on using this for measuring shop machine noise levels, and also for monitoring sound levels for the PA for a jazz band I play in. If you need a DB meter, this one will do a good job at a great price.
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on February 6, 2013
See my other reviews: I try and buy the most accurate and recommended items. I tried this meter for music background on the weekends that is extremely loud (some people do not understand regular customs) and was surprised at the decibels and then tried it for the noise next door with roosters. The roosters had a higher decibel. I am not sure about this because I bought the higher end because police always want to know where the noise and music is coming from which house. Not sure - have tested this several times. Will test more!!!! I had 5 choices for lower prices, but wanted to show or to ensure police had accurate decibel readings. Not sure. I know most people rated this at 4 1/2 stars, but I am on a mission for this issue - noise is disturbing. Hope this helps.
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on March 29, 2013
Bought this for 5-6 times more than those low end products expecting to get a high quality one. But no, just the opposite. It worked out of box for about 20 minutes then the reading went on its own and did not response to any sound anymore. Also it seems cheaply manufactured - metal part looks dull and plastic parts are roughly fit. I am packing it for a return. Will try a different brand other than Extech.
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on November 18, 2014
I'm still learning how to use this. It does do everything it advertises it is supposed to. I am just an amateur with this stuff. I bought this Sound Level Meter because even though the FCC law went into effect awhile ago that TV commercials are supposed to be at the same volume as the rest of the broadcast stations programming, I'm constantly turning the volume down for the commercials and back up when the show I'm watching comes back on. I have a hard time hearing so I have the volume pretty loud. Then a commercial comes on and it's deafening!

For my experience, needs and price range this is a quality piece of equipment and I recommend it.
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on July 18, 2014
I purchased both the Extech 407732 and the Reed St-805. The Prime price currently has the Reed cheaper by $30. Except for the color of the case they are the same instrument. Same button layout, same functions. Everything the same but the color in the plastic case. I also purchased the sound calibrator from Reed. It was significantly cheaper.
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on December 13, 2013
So far this meter seems to be working alright enough. We have used this on numerous occasions: checking noise level of a window air conditioner to determine if there was any way to dampen the noise level via adding various barriers around window; checking noise level of mowers, tractor, and weed eaters - though we always wear some sort of protective ear gear (plugs or muffs). By measuring equipment we use /have on hand, this gives us a more realistic idea as to what level of noise reduction we want to target / pay for with future replacement or other "noise producing" equipment. I could use this in my business, as I believe the quality is sufficient for the purposes of a very "limited" sound survey.
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