5 Best Decibel Meters

Of the five decibel meters that we reviewed comprehensively, we certainly to a unanimous conclusion that BAFX Decibel Meter is the clear winner.

The Winner

BAFX Decibel Meter – Budget Pick

BAFX Decibel Meter is one of the best-known brands on the market. In spite of its compact nature, this decibel meters effectively combines a great design with great features and functionality.

Its ease of use is great as well because all you have got to do is turn it on and get a reading immediately. As a power preserving method, BAFX Decibel Meter automatically goes off after a while to preserve battery.

  • Margin of error of 1.5 dB
  • Measurement range of 30-130dB
  • 9V battery with a maximum lifespan of 30 hours
  • Backlit display and low battery indicator

While sounds may be a part of our everyday life, this still doesn’t change the fact that certain sound levels may be damaging to the ears.

Decibel meters easily help you measure or determine the sound level in your surroundings, especially when in workplaces where loud sounds may be unavoidable.

This is exactly what decibel meters help you do, and what’s more, they can be used almost anywhere provided there is some form of sound being made.

Comparison Table for Best Decibel Meters

ImageProductPrice
Editor's Choice
BAFX Decibel Meter
BAFX Decibel Meter
  • Margin of error of 1.5 dB
  • Measurement range of 30-130dB
  • 9V battery with a maximum lifespan of 30 hours
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VLIKE LCD Audio Decibel Meter
VLIKE LCD Audio Decibel Meter
  • Measuring scope of 30-130 dB
  • Backlight feature and backlight auto power-off feature for battery saving
  • Two measure mode; analog and digital
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Extech Digital Sound Level Meter
Extech Digital Sound Level Meter
  • Measurement range of 40-130 dB
  • Automatic power-off feature and Max hold function
  • 2dB accuracy alongside 0.1dB resolution
Check Price
Easy One Button Use
Parts Express Mini Digital Level Meter
Parts Express Mini Digital Level Meter
  • ¾ backlit display screen for showing readings
  • Automatic power-off feature
  • Allowance for standards tripod stand mount thanks to the threaded insert
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RISEPRO Decibel Meter
RISEPRO Decibel Meter
  • Measurement range of 30-130 dB
  • Auto power-off feature, as well as data, hold feature
  • Maximum recorded reading and minimum recorded reading features
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Best Decibel Meters Detailed Reviews

Finding the best on the market at any point in time could be a really stressful task considering the number of decibel meters available. In order to save you the stress of this back-breaking task, we literally checked out every decibel meters worth checking out and came up with the five best on the market. Here is a clear listing of the five that we selected:

BAFX Decibel Meter – Budget Pick

BAFX Decibel Meter comes with very notable features such as its sound measurement which ranges from 30 to 130 dB and a frequency response of between 8.5 Hz to 30 Hz. It is highly suitable for use by professionals and comes at a considerably lower cost too.

For outdoor measurement, it has been found to get the most precise results. A handy size and a backlit display which is very easy to read rounds up its main features.

Key Features

  • The margin of error of 1.5 dB
  • Measurement range of 30-130dB
  • 9V battery with a maximum lifespan of 30 hours
  • Backlit display and very portable size
What we like
  • Very high measurement range
  • Comes with foam wind guard that helps to ensure accuracy during outdoor measurements
  • Easy to use for both professionals and DIY enthusiasts
  • It is relatively cheap

What we don't like
  • Has limited functionality
  • Maximum battery lifespan of only 30 hours
  • Without the foam, you may have issues getting precise values outdoors

Verdict

BAFX Decibel Meter is relatively easy to use and more importantly, it is pretty accurate and can be used by professionals and amateurs alike. It also has one of the best prices on the market considering the features that it comes with. In essence, this makes it one of the best possible purchase decisions to make.


VLIKE LCD Audio Decibel Meter – Best Choice for Durability

One of the first noticeable features of the VLIKE LCD Audio Decibel Meter is its highly durable appearance/feel. This decibel meter is designed to last very long and it comes with great features as well.

With a standardized range and accuracy and frequency meeting up with standard regulations, this is just about all you need. Similarly, this model works on double-A batteries.

Key Features

  • Measuring scope range from 30 to 130 dB
  • Backlight feature with auto power on and off
  • Automatic shifting function and digital display
  • Manufactured using composite material injection molding process
What we like
  • Made with high-quality composite material
  • Easy to operate
  • Suitable for both professional and home use
  • Simple functioning thanks to the double-A batteries that it makes runs on

What we don't like
  • Sometimes, varied readings may be gotten
  • The instruction manual isn’t very explicit
  • Some users complain about the fact that it isn’t rechargeable

Verdict

If you are looking for a really simple decibel meter, VLIKE LCD Audio Decibel Meter might just be exactly what you need. It makes use of double AA batteries which are easy to procure and can be taken out when not in use.

For outdoor work, this decibel meter would be great. Thanks to the fact that it is manufactured with high-quality composite materials.


Extech Digital Sound Level Meter – Best Choice for Professionals

With a design solely aimed at high accuracy and sensitivity, the Extech 407730 Digital Sound Level Meter remains one of the best decibel meters on the market.

Thanks to its high precision, this device is mainly used by professional sound engineers.

It is also pretty easy to carry around thanks to its very portable size and lightweight. It measures sound up to 2 decibels accuracy and 0.1-decibel increments.

Key Features

  • Measurement range of 40-130 dB
  • Automatic power-off feature and Max hold function
  • 2dB accuracy alongside 0.1dB resolution
  • This sound level meter weighs only about half a pound
What we like
  • It is easy to use
  • Relatively cheap to proceed
  • Comes with both “A” and “C” ratings for use
  • Comes with metal tripod mounting thread to ensure stable positioning on a tripod

What we don't like
  • Some users have complained about the auto power-off feature
  • Removing the battery cover could be a bit difficult
  • The foam windsock that can be found at the end comes off after a while

Verdict

Extech 407730 Digital Sound Level Meter is literally an all-rounder and comes with all the features that are required by professionals. This does not, however, imply that it cannot be used by amateurs/ DIY enthusiasts since its ease of use is great. Similarly, its size makes it easy to carry around which implies that it is very handy as well. As a professional who could require a decibel meter at any time, this might be what you need.


Parts Express Mini Digital Level Meter – Top Choice for Portability

Parts Express Mini Digital Level Meter comes at just below 6 inches in length making it perfect for fitting in toolboxes and pockets. One-button operation makes for very easy handheld measurements and an auto power-off feature helps you save your battery power. With a large ¾” backlit display feature, you can easily see sound level readings even in the dark.

Key Features

  • One-button operation for taking measurements easily
  • Backlit ¾” display that shows readings clearly
  • Comes with an automatic power-off feature
  • Threaded insert for fitting in standard tripod mount
What we like
  • Comes with an automatic power-off feature that saves battery
  • Easy to use
  • Threaded insert that helps to hold tripod mount
  • Relatively cheap to procure

What we don't like
  • Some users have complained about the on/off switch
  • The battery strength could be better
  • There’s a chance of getting manuals in Chinese instead of English

Verdict

For basic sound measurement, Parts Express Mini Digital Level Meter comes in very handy thanks to the great features that it possesses. In addition, it is pretty cheap and easy to handle making it suitable for use by both professionals and amateurs or DIY enthusiasts.

If you are looking for a decibel meter that you could make use of both out at work and in your house, then this might just be great for you.


RISEPRO Decibel Meter – Top Choice for All-round Use

This decibel meter model is suitable for use for various purposes and a range of places; work, home, and even casual uses. With a measurement scope of 30 to 130 dB and an accuracy of +/- 1.5 dB, RISEPRO Decibel Meter makes for an appropriate sound measurement device. It has a whole lot of other great features as well and comes in a protective pouch.

Key Features

  •  Measurement range of 30-130 dB
  • Auto power-off feature, as well as data, hold feature
  • Maximum recorded reading and minimum recorded reading features
  • Accuracy of up to +/-1.5 dB
What we like
  • Easy to calibration and use
  • Has a very wide range of application
  • Very high level of accuracy
  • High-frequency range of 31.5 to 4 kHz

What we don't like
  • Cannot measure sounds outside of its measurement scope
  •  Some users have claimed to first experience a lag lasting 3-4 seconds
  • Some users have complained about inaccurate readings

Verdict

RISEPRO Decibel Meter is designed to be used by a wide range of people and for a wide range of purposes. Therefore, it is designed to be very easy to use by almost anybody, its ease of use is enviable.

Professionals, DIY enthusiasts, homeowners, and just about anybody can make use of this device. This implies that if you are looking for a decibel meter that would not cause you any stress in terms of usage, this might be what you need.


man uses decibel meter near refinery

How to Choose the Best Decibel Meters – Buyer’s Guide

Given that you have some money to spend on a decibel meter, the next step would be exactly how to get the best value for your money. In order to do this, you would, of course, have to focus on a number of factors.

Knowing the factors to consider when purchasing a decibel meter is one of the major determinants of how great whatever you end up with would be. If you prioritize the correct factors, you would obviously get the best on the market and vice versa.

The best decibel meter is usually subjective, which implies that it depends on who is purchasing. While a decibel meter may be basic to an individual, it may be the best for another.

Irrespective of this, however, here are some major factors to consider when selecting the best decibel meter on the market:

Price

The first step to making a great purchase is to have a budget, having a budget served to guide you and narrows down your search to an extent. With a budget, you would clearly be going for the best within the price range or limits that your budget automatically set for you.

Similarly, this act would prevent you from incessant spending and help you control the urge to want to go for something else outside of your budget.

Also, it would reduce the number of decibel meters you would need to check out seeing that you wouldn’t have to contend with the entire product base available on the market.

Purpose of Purchase

The purpose for which you are making your purchase is one of the factors that come in as major while you are making your decision. Since you most definitely have a reason for wanting to get decibel meter already, this literally works as the background to your purchase.

When do you want to use it? How often do you intend to use it? These are questions that have to be answered under your purpose of purchase before going ahead to make a choice.

If these are not answered, you would be making a choice blindly and this could go on to affect your usage of your decibel meter later in the future.

Screen

Given that you are dealing with a digital piece of equipment, the only way to get readings would have to be via some screen of sorts. This is why a decibel meter’s screen is very important when considering the type to purchase.

Apart from the screen dimension and clarity, it is also important for the decibel meter to come with some display light especially since you could make use of it at night sometimes. The size of the screen also determines the font size of the readings that you get.

Going for a decibel meter with large screen dimensions would aid reading of values gotten after measurement and this is highly advised.

Range

The range of your decibel meter refers to the measurement scope that it comes with. Basically, most decibel meters usually have a range of between 30 dB and 130 dB. This is basically the standard range for most professionals and DIY enthusiasts.

However, if you are aware that you would be needing something with a larger range, you would need to be very careful when making your choice.

It is advisable to have an idea of the sound level you intend to deal with in order to effectively select the best decibel meter there is to select. Similarly, the accuracy of your decibel meter is very essential as well.

Battery Power

All devices that make use of a battery, especially in a situation whereby it isn’t a rechargeable one may have problems with battery power or capacity. Most decibel meters make use of 9V batteries, however, the key is finding one that has a very large battery power or capacity.

This is because you might need it outdoors for extended time periods of time without an opportunity to change batteries. For a standard decibel meter, you should look for one that can last at least 30 hours more.

Also, you should ensure it comes with battery saving features such as auto power off. This would prevent having to remove the battery all the time in order to save power.


engineers check the volume of the generator

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many dB is Too Loud?

Basically, the sound intensity detection for humans is between 0 and 150 decibels, however, any sound about 80 decibels could be very damaging to the human hearing range.

Therefore, a sound that is above 80 decibels is too loud. It has been that sound levels above 100 decibels can result in dizziness and discomfort.

How do you calibrate a dB meter?

Most dB meters usually come with an automatic calibration that the manufacturer has pre-programmed. It makes the sound detection process very easy.

All you have to do is place the calibration over the microphone and the device would self-calibrate. Upon calibration, the levels would show as being equal.

How are dB Levels Measured?

Decibel levels are gotten when a sound is detected by the device after passing through the microphone. The factors that affect the sound level include the pressure and sound intensity which are basically the factors being measured. Upon detection of these factors, a sound level can then be determined.


Criteria We Used for Decibel Meters Review

During our decision-making process for the 5 best decibel meters, we used a number of factors to isolate them and they include the following:

1. Price/Budget

This was basically the first criteria that we considered. Knowing that different people would definitely have different budgets, it was essential to include decibel meters that would easily fit into a range of budgets.

In addition, we selected those whose price tags matched the amount of value that they had to offer to guarantee that you get maximum value for the money you would be spending on the purchase.

This implies that we went through the features of each decibel meter. And then decided whether or not it was actually worth the price tag attached. After doing this, we also made sure that there was at least one-decibel meter that would fit into every single budget.

2. Features/ Specifications

Features are everything when it comes to devices like this. The more features/ the more advanced these features are, the better the value you would get from it provided these features are indeed useful to you.

In the case of decibel meters, a higher sound measurement range implies more functionality. Similarly, improved battery life implies that you can use it for longer time periods without having to switch out batteries.

All these and more are a piece of the specification being referred to here. More often than not, the features also go a long way in determining the price tag that the manufacturer would attach to their decibel meter. More advanced features imply a higher price.

Measuring the noise on the road

3. Durability

Often times, decibel meters are used in various cases including construction cases and otherwise to determine sound levels,  there is, therefore, a probability that this piece of equipment might drop.

This is why it is essential that decibel meters be of the best quality, be made from suitable materials and should be highly durable. This remains one of the main factors that guided the eventual selection of our top 5 decibel meters on the market.

Similarly, the manner in which the decibel meters was constructed was also considered since this is one of the main determinants of how strong the decibel meter would be.

While considering the durability, we also took note of the warranty period of the decibel meters since a product with long warranty periods is a clear indication of great quality.

Manufacturers who know that their products are not of very high quality rarely ever put significant warranty periods since there is a certain guarantee that the product might get faulty very early in the usage time.

4. Reviews and Ratings

This is one of the factors that we took extremely serious during the selection process. We were really interested in knowing what people had to say about the decibel.meters. If they liked it, why did they like it and if they didn’t, why not?

All these were considered and we compared review to review since if you have about 20 people talking about the same thing, there is a very high probability that there is an element of truth to it.

Reviews are oftentimes the opinions of people who have actually used the product. So it’s essential to treat them as important.

However, we also kept the fact that some reviews can be purchased at the back of our mind which is why we cross-reference what buyers were saying about these decibel meters with our own findings as well. By doing this, we could be certain that we were getting accurate information.

5. Ease of Use

Irrespective of how any features a piece of equipment might possess, if it isn’t easy to use or operate, buyers would have a very hard time getting value for their money.

While selecting decibel meters based on the factors mentioned above, we also ensured that these decibel meters, despite the many amazing features that they might possibly be very easy to use.

This was done by looking out for features such as automatic power off, large measurement scopes, comprehensive instruction manual, as well as a hand-held feature. All these features make decibel meters very easy to operate and guarantee great user experience.

Also, improved ease of use easily implies a higher level of accuracy in terms of readings gotten since the user would be highly proficient.


Conclusion

Decibel Meters are basically for measuring sounds irrespective of where you use it. This implies that selecting a great one is essential in order to make sure that it would turn out perfect for whatever function that you have in mind.

This review expressly offers you the 5 best decibel meters to select from, and if you intend to go ahead to get one yourself, the buyer’s guide is all you need to make an amazing purchase decision.

Similarly, the frequently asked questions section helps to answer most of the common questions that you might have in mind while the criteria we used in selecting our own decibel meters give you a further insight into making the best choice.

Given all these instructions, you can stay rest assured that you cannot go wrong with your purchase choices.

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