6 Best SPL Meters for Studio in 2023

Sound level meters, also known as spl (sound pressure level) meters, are useful in a wide variety of circumstances.

For example, engineers and environmental technicians used them in commercial, residential or industrial settings to ensure that machinery is not above prescribed limits.

But they can also be exceptionally useful in a studio setting, either in a professional studio or a home studio setup.

For instance, many people will want to know what the background level of noise is on their environment, so that they can minimize unwanted sound and make fine adjustments.

You might also want to know how loud your speakers, monitors or instruments are so that you can calibrate them properly. In these situations, a sound level meter is invaluable.

The basic operation of all spl meters is pretty much the same across the board. However, there are a few features which can help you to differentiate between different models.

For example, you might be looking for enhances accuracy or precision, better ease of use or just a more attractive display mode.

All of the products featured in this comprehensive top list will work just fine for studio settings and might help elevate your music recording potential to the next level.

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Gain Express

[amazon box=”B01MZ0IUGY”]

Digital devices are the only way to go when it comes to sound level meters, and this may be one of the best spl meter for studio settings.

You really can’t go wrong with this [amazon link=”B01MZ0IUGY” title=”SPL Meter By Gain Express” link_icon=”amazon” /]. It has a wide range of sound measurement, picking up sounds as low as 30 dB and stretching up to 130 dB.

This is also a technologically advanced product. It is fully compatible with almost every type of computer operating software, including windows 7, 10 and Vista.

It has a data recording feature, which is very helpful if you want to track how the ambient noise levels in your studio change over time, and this data is easily displayed using the attached software.

This also has a bunch of other top of the range features, including an accuracy of ±1.5 dB and a fast frequency response up to 35 kHz.

Also, because it is certified to the relevant international standard, you can be sure that this sound level meter is properly calibrated and ready to go.

Pros
  • High accuracy of ±1.5 dB and a wide range
  • Fast frequency response
  • Certified to international standard
  • Backlit screen
  • Data recording software is widely compatible with PC operating systems
Cons
  • Calibrated to a low frequency source sound, which may not be ideal for all speakers/instruments
  • Standard digital display

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VLIKE LCD – MS6708

[amazon box=”B01N2RLJ32″]

This spl meter comes from another reputable manufacturer and features many of the same specs that the previous model had.

For instance, the measurement range is equally large, stretching from 30 to 130 dB, and the accuracy is also equal at 1.5 dB.

The resolution of the digital display is slightly superior at 0.1 dB, but this could be misleading because it suggests that the accuracy of the device is greater than it actually is.

The [amazon link=”B01N2RLJ32″ title=”VLIKE LCD – MS6708″ link_icon=”amazon” /] is made from tough and durable composite materials, made using an inventive injection moulding process, which means that this device is equally suitable for harsh outdoor environments and comfy studios.

This device has a pretty large array of options. For example, it features an A/C mode and a frequency shifting mode.

It also has a backlit screen, allowing it to be used in dark locations, as well as an anti-slip casing design.

Pros
  • High accuracy of ±1.5 dB and a wide range
  • Fast frequency response and intuitive controls, allowing you to easily judge overall sound levels
  • Made from durable, high-quality composite materials
  • Backlit screen
  • Anti-slip design
Cons
  • Calibrated to a low frequency source sound, which may not be ideal for all speakers/instruments
  • Standard digital display with no computer compatibility or ability to export/record data

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BAFX Products – 3370

[amazon box=”B00P1D84N6″]

This product from BAFX has a very simple, functional design. It has all the basic features you require, without any of the fancy, extraneous stuff you might find on more expensive models.

This simplicity makes it one of the best spl meter for studio users.

It has the same range, accuracy and precision as the previous two models, with the 100 dB range being a common industry standard.

It does have some internal storage and can record up to 4700 data points.

This means it is useful for investigating long-term sound trends, which can be displayed using the software that is included in the package. Note that this software is only suitable for use with windows computers.

The precision of this [amazon link=”B00P1D84N6″ title=”BAFX 3370″ link_icon=”amazon” /]model is greater than most of its competitor, because you can select what measurement range you want to use.

There is also an auto-select function that will do this for you, and the machine will tell you if the sound you want to measure falls above or below the suggested range.

One of the major advantages of this product is that it comes with a one-year warranty.

This should give you greater peace of mind as a customer, because if it develops a fault develops a fault you can return it to the manufacturer free of charge.

Pros
  • High accuracy of ±1.5 dB and a wide range
  • Number of possible measurement ranges
  • Can store up to 4700 data points in internal storage
  • Made from durable, high-quality composite materials
  • Anti-slip design
Cons
  • Software only compatible with Windows computers
  • Old-fashioned button design

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Pyle – SPL25

[amazon box=”B005E8MV64″] [amazon link=”B005E8MV64″ title=”Pyle – SPL25″ link_icon=”amazon” /] is one of the best spl meter for studio users, because it is specially designed to appeal to musicians.

It might not have the wide range of sound measurement that some other products have (it extends from 60 to 160 dB), but what it lacks in range it more than makes up for with other features.

For instance, this product is ultra-affordable and easy to use.

You don’t have to worry about fancy calibrations or software installations with this spl meter, you can just plug in a battery and put it to work straight away.

This is a convenient and reliable product that comes with its own travel pouch, and a one-year warranty as standard.

Pros
  • High accuracy of ±1.5 dB and a wide range
  • A/C frequency weighting
  • Comes with a one-year warranty
  • Made from durable, high-quality composite materials
  • Anti-slip design
Cons
  • Narrower range than some competitor products
  • Old-fashioned button design

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Galaxy Audio – CM140

[amazon box=”B0007XH9PY”]

This is a premium product that is primarily intended for the professional musicians and sound recording market.

It has a much more refined design than many of the rugged models which can be put to use outdoors. One of the advantages of this device is its small size.

The [amazon link=”B0007XH9PY” title=”Galaxy Audio – CM140″ link_icon=”amazon” /] is very portable and can packed away with ease. It can measure sounds up to 160 dB with great precision and accuracy.

The digital screen is easy to read and the menus are easy to navigate using the physical buttons.

The in-built condenser microphone has a strong linear frequency response, which is exactly what you need if you are looking to optimize a studio recording set up.

You need to consider if you are willing to pay a bit extra for guaranteed quality and precision. If you are then this may be the best spl meter for you.

Pros
  • High accuracy of ±1 dB and a wide range (up to 140 dB)
  • A/C frequency weighting and auto-range feature
  • Easy to navigate and use
  • Sleek, refined and portable design
Cons
  • Premium product with a premium price tag
  • Not suitable for outdoor use

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REED – R8060

[amazon box=”B018KSIV5E”]

If you want the very best spl meter for studio use that money can buy, then look no further than this high-quality offering from Reed.

It has all the tricks and treats that you want in an ideal spl meter.

For example, it offers superior accuracy to most other models, at 1.4 dB. This slight gain might not be important for many users, but for very selective ears it can make all the difference.

Also, as well as displaying the sound level in digital format, the screen also displays the changes in sound level in barograph format, which is easy to read.

The [amazon link=”B018KSIV5E” title=”REED – R8060″ link_icon=”amazon” /] is specially engineered to meet the requirements for IEC Type 2 spl meters, which is a great mark of quality.

It has great dynamic frequency response, meaning that it retains accuracy and precision even when measuring complex signals.

It has 3 distinct measurement ranges, and it has handy min/max function which allows it to keep track of the minimum and maximum sound levels it hears in a period of time.

When you combine these circuitry and hardware features with the credibility of the manufacturer, it is clear to see why this is a winning product.

Pros
  • Extremely high accuracy of ±1.4 dB and a wide range (up to 130 dB)
  • 3 distinct measurement ranges
  • Keeps track of min/max sound levels
  • Digital gauge’ display
  • Sleek, refined and portable design with a windshield cover
Cons
  • Premium product with a premium price tag
  • May drain batteries quickly

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How To Correctly Choose The Best SPL Meter For Your Studio

Spl meters are used in a wide variety of professions and walks of life. People may use them to assess the noise of traffic, gauge the vibrations of machinery, or even monitor their own snoring!

That’s why many of the spl meters that you will see on the market are not targeted towards musicians or home studio enthusiast.

This is a relatively niche use of spl meters, but a very important one. One of the first choices you will have to make is whether to go for a general purpose spl meter, or one specifically designed for use in a studio setting.

Usually, general purpose meters are more affordable, more durable, and they will suffice for most cases.

But if you want excellent accuracy and fast dynamic response capabilities, then you may have to pay a bit more to get a product specifically designed for recording studios.

There are lots of features and specs to look out for in spl meter. The three most quoted specs will be the accuracy, the resolution and the range.

The range refers to the minimum and maximum sound levels that the meter can accurately detect.

If you plan on blaring your music then you may need a large range (e.g. from 30 dB to 130 dB), otherwise you should concentrate on precision and accuracy.

Accuracy is a measure of how much error is in the measured value. Generally, they should be accurate to at least ±2 dB.

There are lots of other miscellaneous features that are nice to have. For example, look for models that have auto-range functions or can keep track of minimum/maximum sound levels.

You might also want a model which has good internal data storage, so you can store sound level info.

Check for compatibility and associated software so that you can display this data on a graph.

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Conclusion

Spl meters can help bring your studio game to the next level.

Knowing the exact decibel output levels of your speakers and instruments can allow you to calibrate, adjust, and generally fine-tune your studio setup.

The products featured in this top list reflect some of the best spl meter for studio use that you can currently buy.

They have more commonalties than differences. For example, they all feature a wide measurement range, high accuracy, precision, and ease of use.

Using the information given in this article, combined with your own preferences and priorities, you should be able to choose a top-quality model.

Juan Stansbury
Juan Stansbury

I'm Juan Stansbury, author and owner of Homerecordio – your ultimate destination for everything about homerecording. With hands-on experience, courses, workshops, and industry research, I offer tips on selecting the best equipment, and mixing and mastering your recordings to achieve professional-quality results at home. Join me on this journey to explore the world of homerecording and music production.

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