Noise Measurement

Our Noise Measurement Articles

The doseBadge and optimus red sound level meters at the 2014 Glastonbury FestivalNoise measurement specialist Richard Wilson of the The Event Safety Shop, along with a number of colleagues, measured and monitored occupational noise levels at the 2014 Glastonbury Festival to ensure that the noise exposure of festival staff and concession workers was in-line with the Noise at Work Regulations.

To carry out the measurements, Richard and his team used the Cirrus doseBadge Noise Dosimeters and optimus red sound level meters.

The sheer size of Glastonbury covering some 900 acres as the largest greenfield festival in the world, posed a challenge with Richard employing some innovative tactics to ensure his noise measurements were accurate and valid.

With 200,000 festival goers and approximately 60,000 staff on site, Richard also had to use all of his negotiation skills to enforce compliance and understanding of noise levels as a serious health issue.

Richard commented “Recent changes to the Noise at Work regulations meant that they now apply to festivals so my work begins with a visual survey of the site to pinpoint where we see a need for ear protection in noise hot spots and estimate how many staff will need ear plugs or other protection. We aim to have over 70% compliance as a general rule of thumb at any one time and this would cover everyone from festival staff, traders and concession employees.”

“Using the data, we create a noise map of the site and then work up red, amber and green zones which range from constant noise levels that require mandatory ear protection to be worn, through to warnings of intermittent excess noise or low risk areas.”

“With this kind of situation we have to negotiate and persuade, but we also understand it is problematic if bar staff wearing ear plugs can’t hear the customers properly. The data we collect from the doseBadge and using the optimus red sound level meter gives us the evidence we need to make the case and we are able to show the high level readings and come up with a solution.”

Read more about how the doseBadge and the optimus red sound level meters helped Richard stay on top of noise levels at Glastonbury 2014.

Join us in measuring noise from fireworks this November

Join us in measuring noise from fireworks this November

Back in November 2011, some of the Cirrus staff carried out some noise measurements at firework displays on and around Bonfire night.

You can read more about this on this blog post.

This generated a lot of interest and discussion and so we’re going to repeat the exercise in 2013 and we’d like to gather as much data as possible.

If you’re attending a fireworks display this November and you have access to a sound level meter, we’d like to ask you to make some measurements.

The information that we’re interested in gathering is:

  • Time & Date of the measurement
  • Approximate location
  • Measurement duration
  • LAeq,t
  • LAFmax
  • LCPeak

We would prefer measurements made within crowds or groups of people where possible so the measurements are representative of the noise that you are being exposed to.

If you’re at any other events during November 2013 where fireworks are being used, such as Thanksgiving on the 28th November or Diwali on the 3rd November and you can take some measurements, please let us have the information from these as well.

The more information we can gather, the better!

Please send any measurement data to me by email at preferably as a simple list of information or in an excel spread sheet. If you’ve got large data files, let me know and I’ll send you a link to upload your measurement data.

Towards the end of November we’ll collate the measurement data and write up a report. Any questions or comments, please let me know.

Happy measuring!

Bridlington Town Crier David Hinde's World Record Attempt

Bridlington Town Crier David Hinde’s World Record Attempt

Noise measurement experts Cirrus Research were called upon to record a Guinness World Record (GWR) bid for the World’s loudest shout!

Bridlington Town Crier David Hinde hoped to claim the record of the World’s Loudest Shout, currently held by Northern Ireland school teacher Annalisa Flanagan, shouting the word “Quiet” at 121 Decibels (dB).

To put this into perspective, it would be the equivalent of a pneumatic drill or if you were to listen to this level of prolonged shouting, you would exceed the UK worker’s daily noise exposure limits in just 7 seconds.

David asked Cirrus Research to be his official independent verifiers on the day with the sound data and video footage for submission to GWR. Cirrus Research used its Optimus Green sound level meter; ideal for the job with its unique audio recording function, voice tagging and simultaneous measurement & data logging system.

The current record of loudest town crier has been held since 1991 by Gloucester Crier Alan Myatt recorded at 112.8dB. GWR has since changed its criteria so unfortunately this defunct GWR category can no longer challenged*.

Regardless, James Tingay, Marketing Manager of Cirrus Research who took the important recordings on the day, said: “We were able to give a very exact recording of the attempt using the Optimus Green and whilst David didn’t quite manage to break the existing loudest shout World Record, he can claim to be the loudest town crier in the UK, beating the old 112.8 dB record with an ear splitting 114.8dB!.”

David added: “I was delighted to have beaten the Town Crier record which has been standing for so long and I was amazed my voice was unaffected the following day!”

The attempt took place on Saturday August 17th at Sewerby Hall in Bridlington.

*GWR used the same assessment Criteria for The World’s Loudest Town Crier Category but had decided that they wanted to make the record more publically accessible so had maintained the 1994 Record for World’s Loudest Shout but discontinued their endorsement of the ‘World’s Loudest Town Crier Record’.

The Measure Newsletter Issue 4 Summer 2013

The Measure Newsletter Issue 4 Summer 2013

The latest issue of The Measure, the Cirrus Research newsletter is now available to download.

In this issue we’ve covered:

  • A case study from Jersey Opera House featuring the Optimus Red sound level meter
  • Updates to the Trojan Noise Nuisance Recorder
  • Meet the Noise Doctor
  • What’s the noisiest job in the UK?
  • New type approvals for the Optimus sound level meters in Spain & France
  • The updated Optimus product selector
  • Measuring noise in the dark

Download the latest version here.

What's the UK's Noisiest Job?
Airport Ground Staff, Teachers and Racing Drivers amongst the UK’s noisiest jobs

New research to identify the noisiest jobs in the UK has revealed that millions of Brits are being exposed to dangerous decibels in the workplace.

Sound experts at Echo Barrier, a company which provides noise management solutions across a number of industries, have identified 10 occupations where noise poses a serious health problem.

Top of the list is the airport ground staff who direct jet engines in landing and take-off and are subjected to noise levels of up to 140 decibels (dB), more than 1000 times the sound energy at the noisiest of music events.

Close behind are Formula One Drivers such as Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher, who, when seated in the cockpit right in front of the engine deal with noise levels reaching 135 dB.

At number three are construction workers, who are exposed to noise all day long on building sites around the UK. The loudest tool used is the hammer drill which registers an ear-shattering 120dB.

Peter Wilson, technical director at Echo Barrier, said the research, carried out ahead of International Noise Awareness Day, should help raise awareness among the general public of the issue of noise and the risks it poses.

Continue reading »

When the audience sits in the beautiful auditorium of Jersey Opera House, they have very little idea of the technology that goes into giving them the ultimate live show experience.

Whether they have come to see stand-up comedian Kevin Bridges or a full stage production of New Jersey Nights, the quality and right level of sound are absolutely crucial.


Photo: Joshua McDowell

Jersey Opera House Technical Manager Chris Wink has used Cirrus products for a number of years to monitor and record sounds level within the auditorium for both quality and H&S regulations. When he needed to upgrade he chose the Cirrus Optimus Red sound level meter.

It gives Chris and his team the very latest digital technology and industrial design, proving ideal for his specific type of noise measurement needs in a work place that relies on pitch perfect sound for every performance.

“Obviously we need to comply with all the health and safety regulations but we also need to respond to customer comments about the quality of sound during performances,” explained Chris.

“Jersey Opera House is in use for approximately 70% of the year – for at least 4 days every week - and features every type of show from full on rock bands to one-man performances. In every show the sound is critical for the audience’s enjoyment. We have to comply with all the guidelines and we want to make sure the noise is at a comfortable level for the audience, for example, if it’s a children’s show then we want to ensure that noise levels are much lower than for an adult audience.”

Find out more about how Jersey Opera House uses the optimus red sound level meter to manage and monitor noise levels.

Click here to download the full Case Study.


Photo: Stephane Gimenez


What is the Noise Doctor?

The Noise Doctor is a range of advice, products and support services put together by Cirrus Research, the experts in noise measurement instruments.

At Cirrus, we’re often asked questions such as:

“What is the best sound level meter for me to meet the Noise at Work Regulations?”,

“Why do I need to get my sound level meter calibrated?”

“Can I get training on using my sound level meter?”

The Noise Doctor is here to answer your questions and to help you find whatever you need.

Find out more about the Noise Doctor and ask your question on our website at or on our main website at

Follow the Noise Doctor on Twitter @TheNoiseDoc and see the Noise Doctor in action at the 2013 Safety & Health Expo, Stand F20.

This post is an answer to a question that was posted on our blog recently.

The questions was “Is it possible to calculate the overall dB(A) value from a set of 1:1 octave band values?”.

The answer to this is yes, but there are a couple of requirements in terms of how the data has been measured.

The first is that the octave band data values should have been measured at the same time using a real-time octave band sound level meter such as the CR:162C optimus red or CR:171A optimus green instruments.

The second is that the octave bands have been measured as Leq (rather than sound level). This is important as it allows us to gather all of the noise energy together to calculate an overall dB(A) value. Continue reading »

Control of Noise at Work RegulationsWhat do the regulations require you to do?

The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 require employers to prevent or reduce risks to health and safety from exposure to noise at work. Employees have duties under the Regulations too.

The Regulations require you as an employer to:

  • Assess the risks to your employees from noise at work
  • Take action to reduce the noise exposure that produces those risks
  • Provide your employees with hearing protection if you cannot reduce the noise exposure enough by using other methods
  • Make sure the legal limits on noise exposure are not exceeded
  • Provide your employees with information, instruction and training
  • Carry out health surveillance where there is a risk to health.

The Regulations do not apply to:

  • members of the public exposed to noise from their non-work activities, or making an informed choice to go to noisy places;
  • low-level noise that is a nuisance but causes no risk of hearing damage.

Employers in the music and entertainment sectors had until the 6th April 2008 to comply with the Noise Regulations 2005. They had to continue to comply with the Noise at Work Regulations 1989, which the 2005 Regulations replaced for all other workplaces. Continue reading »

A Sound Level Meter with Calibrator

Sound Level Meter with CalibratorEach time you use your sound level meter, it should be calibrated using an acoustic calibrator. This can help you ensure that your instrument is measuring correctly and that you are complying with the requirements of any standards, regulations or guidelines that you are working to.

Most noise standards, regulations and guidelines require that your sound level meter is calibrated before it is used. If you don’t follow these requirements, any measurements that you make could be questioned and called into doubt. Continue reading »

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