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At first glance it all seems pretty trivial and easy. But only to a degree of estimation measurements. The real measurements are made more difficult since iPhone is not intended for professional measurements and consequently microphone shape does not comply to standardized one. All this leads into a need to use the silent (anechoic) room method of measurements. This method works in a way that the iPhone is placed into the silent room and then sound source is added to produce a special sound field called free-field. It is a field that we would encounter if we were outside where there are no reflections and no walls.
Silent rooms are a standard in the field of measuring sound power and we have them in Slovenia also. A typical silent room costs multiple ten thousands of euros to make and then also expensive to maintain. Luckily the partner company Brüel & Kjær developed a solution that is cheaper and is called silent chamber. The main difference is size – in all aspects. Since the chamber is smaller than the room, it limits the dimensions of the tested object as well. But for our purpose it means a professional laboratory environment that accommodates the iPhone perfectly.
Set-up created and maintained a steady and well defined sound field within the chamber to which two iPhones were exposed – the iPhone 4 and 4s.
The results were interesting and surprising at the same time. The dynamics of the iPhone was pretty impressive, but linearity and repeatability were far beyond our expectations. Good characteristics and all the practical conclusions we were able to draw from these measurements gave us an idea to develop an iPhone application that works just a sound level meter with all the important settings and functions.
Click here to learn more about NoiSee: http://ims.si/noisee/.