A sound level meter is used for acoustic (sound that travels through air) measurements. It is commonly a hand-held instrument with a microphone. The best type of microphone for sound level meters is the condenser microphone, which combines precision with stability and reliability. The diaphragm of the microphone responds to changes in air pressure caused by sound waves. That is why the instrument is sometimes referred to as a Sound Pressure Level (SPL) Meter. This movement of the diaphragm, i.e. the sound pressure deviation (pascal Pa), is converted into an electrical signal (volts V). While describing sound in terms of sound pressure (Pascal) is possible, a logarithmic conversion is usually applied and the sound pressure level is stated instead, with 0 dB SPL equal to 20 micropascals.
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