Apparently, a lion’s roar clocks in at 114 decibels, while a vacuum cleaner emits 75. A refrigerator pumps out 55 decibels as it hums quietly in the corner, and a jet engine blasts out 140.
Just one question: what the hell is a decibel? We’ve all heard the term, but how do we make sense of it?
Easy: download Decibel. This ingenious app from developer Vlad Polyanskiy is the perfect example of a tool you don’t know you need until you’ve got it.
Quite simply, Decibel lets you measure noise with your phone, and it has a number of vital applications in your daily life.
For example, you can use it for health purposes. Decibel features a noise dosimeter, helping you to manage your daily exposure to keep it within safe limits. It contains a hearing test, too, with a rich audiogram and the option to export your data to Apple Health.
Or you can use it for work. Decibel comes with a full audio spectrum analyzer for analyzing sound in studio and performance spaces, giving you precise and detailed information on the acoustic qualities of any environment.
This analyzer boasts fft, octave RTA, and a spectrogram, while its closest competitor manages just 10% of that functionality. It’s calibrated using a Nor140 decibel meter, too, so the accuracy is professional grade.
Decibel is also a great tool to just muck around with and learn about how ambient noise affects how you perceive the world with your other senses. It lets you geotag sound level readings, and even create noise level overlays for photos and videos, giving them an extra level of immersion.
You can download Decibel for free right now on the App Store. There’s a paid subscription, but 99% of the app’s functions are available for free.