How to measure the sound level around you using iPhone

Unlike the Apple Watch, you cannot measure the sound level in decibels (dB) using built-in apps and tools on your iPhone.

But that doesn’t mean you’re all locked out. The App Store is full of great apps that allow you to measure the sound around you.

See sound in dB using iPhone

Here’s how to measure the ambient sound level using your iOS device:

  1. Download and install the Decibel Meter app for free.
  2. Open the app and allow it to access the iPhone microphone when asked.
  3. The app will now use your iPhone microphone to capture the sound around you and show the noise level as the Current Value measured in dB (decibels).

Sound level in decibels with real world example

Here’s another sound level chart from the decibel app:

  • 20dB – Threshold of hearing
  • 30dB – Rustling leaves
  • 40dB – Quiet whisper
  • 50dB – Quiet home
  • 60dB – Quiet street
  • 70dB – Normal conversation
  • 75dB – Inside car
  • 80dB – Loud singing
  • 88dB – Automobile
  • 90dB – Motorcycle
  • 94dB – Food blender
  • 100dB – Subway
  • 107dB – Diesel trick
  • 115dB – Power mower
  • 117dB – Pneumatic riveter
  • 120dB – Chainsaw
  • 130dB – Amplified Rick & Roll
  • 140dB – Jet plane
  • 165dB – Shotgun
  • 180dB – Rocket launch
  • 194dB – Loudest possible tone

decibel app on iPhone to measure sound

Here’s a chart courtesy of the Decibel Meter app we mentioned in the steps:

  • 0dB – Absolutely quiet
  • 10dB – Rustling leaves
  • 20dB – Quiet house
  • 30dB – Quiet office
  • 40dB – Whispering
  • 50dB – Conversation
  • 60dB – Loud
  • 70dB – Disturbing
  • 80dB – Potential hazard
  • 90dB – May be harmful
  • 100dB – Dangerous
  • 110dB – Very dangerous

Best iPhone apps to measure sound level around you

In addition to the Decibel Meter app, you can also use these apps to measure the sound around you. Some of them have a Dosimeter (dosemeter) that measures the sound level and exposure over a time period like 8 hours. A few apps can also sync your noise data to the Apple Health app.

Note that all these apps are free to download and use but may have an optional in-app purchase option.

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