How to Calibrate a Sound Level Meter

A woman holds a sound level meter.
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
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What You'll Need
Sound level meter
What You'll Need
Sound level meter

Now that you have your sound level meter, you are ready to take some measurements. However, before you do any kind of measuring, you should calibrate your sound level meter. The best thing to learn to practice is to calibrate before each measurement, and after you are done taking measurements as well. This will ensure that you are getting the right sound measurements each time you use your device. Below are the steps that need to be taken when calibrating your sound level meter.

Step 1 - Take Sound Measurements

A sound level meter is a measuring device that measures the strength of sound in decibels. There are different types of these meters, but all of them contain three main parts: the microphone, which is used to capture the sound; the processing section, or the area where the sound is processed; and the unit that contains the readout, which is digital and lets you know the outcome.

Step 2 - Start the Calibration

Take your external calibrator and turn it towards the microphone on your unit. Taking your calibrator and putting it right over your microphone is very effective as well. Then, you simply turn on your calibrator and let it works its magic. This will calibrate your sound level meter.

Step 3 - Tune It

A sound level meter.

Doing the calibration should show the levels as being equal to one another. This means that the meter level should show a level equal, or very close to the output level. If this is not true, you will probably want to send or bring in your sound level meter for some tuning.

Step 4 - Take Measurements

Now that you have calibrated your sound level meter, you are ready to take some measurements. To do this, simply take your unit and point the microphone directly against the noise that you want measurements for. It will hear the noise, process it, then shows you the outcome on a digital display.

Step 5 - Turn it Off

You can simply remove the battery, and put the unit away until next time. Or you could choose to calibrate it once more now that it has been used. It is not possible to over-calibrate a sound level meter.

Sound level meters are a very interesting little device. If you take the time in calibrating your unit, you will be pleasantly surprised by the accurate outcome that it gives.