Noise Health. 2017 Mar-Apr;19(87):58-64. doi: 10.4103/nah.NAH_91_16.
PURPOSE: To determine the accuracy of smart devices (iPods) to measure intermittent noise and integrate a noise dose in the workplace.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In experiment 1, four iPods were each paired with a Larson Davis Spark dosimeter and exposed to randomly fluctuating pink noise in a reverberant sound chamber. Descriptive statistics and the mean difference between the iPod and its paired dosimeter were calculated for the 1-s data logged measurements. The calculated time weighted average (TWA) was also compared between the devices. In experiment 2, 15 maintenance workers and 14 office workers wore an iPod and dosimeter during their work-shift for a maximum of five workdays. A mixed effects linear regression model was used to control for repeated measures and to determine the effect of the device type on the projected 8-h TWA.
RESULTS: In experiment 1, a total of 315,306 1-s data logged measurements were made. The interquartile range of the mean difference fell within ±2.0 A-weighted decibels (dBA), which is the standard used by the American National Standards Institute to classify a type 2 sound level meter. The mean difference of the calculated TWA was within ±0.5 dBA except for one outlier. In experiment 2, the results of the mixed effects model found that, on average, iPods measured an 8-h TWA 1.7 dBA higher than their paired dosimeters.
CONCLUSION: This study shows that iPods have the ability to make reasonably accurate noise measurements in the workplace, but they are not as accurate as traditional noise dosimeters.