If I wanted to measure the noise outside of my house, in decibels, let's say I want to take a reading every second for one month and record these measurements in a file: a CSV file or something of the like. How could I do this, and what equipment would I need?

Please assume I have a very limited budget. Thanks.

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it really has nothing to do with sound design, it's a consumer/neighbour dispute issue, best addressed to your local authority, as they will likely have recommendations [& will very often only accept data from those recommendations]
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 11, 2018 at 17:39
  • Sorry, maybe I don't understand who this forum is intended for. However, my project has nothing to do with a consumer/neighbour dispute. It regards how to measure and record sound intensity/noise data - so that it may be visualised and analysed by software.
    – user24908
    Jun 11, 2018 at 21:01
  • If I want to measure how loud something is, but not actually record the sound, can such devices be bought cheaply and can they log data?
    – user24908
    Jun 11, 2018 at 21:10
  • @24ma13wg it's called a decibel meter. There are some that can log measurements but you're talking about over 2.5 million samples. Not likely to find something cheap. Jun 12, 2018 at 7:04
  • If we were to take the term 'measure' quite loosely, nothing's stopping you from connecting a cheap mic to an A/D converter and then an arduino to do the calculations and the logging. But that would not be a proper measurement since the mic is not a reference mic and calibrating it would be impossible without very expensive equipment. Jun 14, 2018 at 14:53

1 Answer 1


You can get cheap dB meters that will record sound levels to a file. I use this one, which costs ~€50. Because it's cheap, the software is not good (I had to change the Windows region/language settings to English to get the software to work), but it'll do what you want. This meter has to be powered via USB for long-term measuring.

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