RE: SPL vs. SLM (help?)

Hi folks,

I am not sure if these two things are of one or the same kind please?:

Sound Pressure Level

Sound Level Meter

Basically, I would like to be able to measure the volume of the music coming out of my (monitor reference) speakers both in the sweet spot and also from various regions of my music room. I always thought such a device was termed a DECIBEL-OMETER, though of course this may just be a slang term?

The reason I ask is because there seems to be a massive range in terms of price per device (ie. £4.99 thru £79.99!). Is there a specific significant distinction between the functionality of an SPL vs. SLM device please? For what I need it to perform, I would have thought spending between ten and fifteen quid might be a justifiable figure. The only other task I might use it for would be on gigs to test the volume of the band at a sound-check (ie. by standing at the bar or otherwise back of the venue).

Many thanks in advance for any kind assistance offered . . .


Paul David Seaman (UK)

DECIBEL-OMTER… :slight_smile:

Decibel Meter, maybe

As long as you realise the very cheap ones may not be very accurate, but would be ok for comparisons.

Also the amount of functions offered like “Frequency weighting” and “response time” will be limited.

Otherwise they are all pretty much designed to do the same job…

Thanks Split,

So the difference in price is more to do with the functionality and (I assume) it’s build quality.




Would either of these be suffice please?:

Both are accurate withing +/-1.5dB although they are within the entry level models.



the quality of the microphone is probably the limiting factor to price, the actual electronics are cheap.
Also how closely the device conforms to the a,c,z or whatever responses. a and c are the most common. weighted to follow the human ear response, c probably being more useful for loud SPL measurement.
Depending on the actual need and frequency of use would influence the purchase.
If you need to measure sound level for regulatory purposes then a more accurate and calibrated device would be advised.
If just for your own curiosity then a cheaper device would probably be fine.
Hope that helps :slight_smile: