I wrote about UNI-T UT353 Sound Level Meter a few month ago as I thought it could be a neat way to measure fan noise on some TV boxes and mini PCs in an objective way. I finally ended up buying Benetech GM1352 model instead for $13.9 on DX, but I did not really use so far, since I did not get a new device with fan. I’ve now had the chance to try it as Voyo VMac Mini comes with a fan.
Let’s just go through some of GM1352’s key features first:
- Noise Levels & Accuracy – 30 to 130 dB with +/- 1.5 dB accuracy (94dB @ 1 KHz)
- Frequency Range – 31.5 to 8 KHz
- Measurement features – MAX/MIN & Data hold
- Display – 1.7″ LCD display with backlight
- Buttons – Power/Backlight, MAX/MIN/Normal selection, HOLD
- Power Supply – 3x AAA batteries (included)
- Dimensions – 15.7 cm x 5 cm x 2.8 cm
- Weight – 81 grams
Now that we got that out of the way, I’ve done some measurements inside a quiet room, with fans, an airplane flying over my house, etc… When possible, I placed the microphone two to three centimeters from the noise source.
Here are the results of my little experiment.
|Noise Level (dBA)|
|Voyo Vmac Mini||52.3|
|Tower PC idle||58|
|Tower PC high load||67.5|
|Plane over the house||68|
|Running Tap Water||86|
My main PC is really noisy, so if you have numbers in the 58 dBA range with the mic at 2 to 3 cm from the fan, it’s already pretty loud. Voyo VMac Mini fan is much quieter, but at 50.2 dBA, it will still annoy some people, although it does not run all the time. It’s a little noisier than the fan on Beelink BT7 mini PC, which I found to be pretty quiet, but some people found it really loud.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.
Isn’t the device able to produce reasonable readings? Avoiding dB and use Sone instead?
I did not know about Sone and Phon. Some background on that site too: http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculatorSonephon.htm
If I’m close enough there will be differences. The quick tests I’ve done this morning appear to match reality, taking into account I’m more interested in relative results than actual raw numbers.
@Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft) Well, I question the results due to Decibel being a logarithmic unit and impractical measurements — too close. But since people love numbers your readers might be happy anyway 😉 Since not only me but a lot of our customers hate noise and you show a Mini PC above… we’ve made some experiences with reducing noise originating from Mac Minis. Every new generation has a more sophisticated fan built in but under permanent heavy load the fan gets active and can be annoying… when placed on the table. Using VESA mounts and placing it behind the display… Read more »
Noise is a odd one because it can be more than the fan. A small box with fan can transfer vibration to the surface it is on. Also accustic echo As you know, rubber feet can help a little or sitting it on some types of mouse mat or cork coaster. Do not onstruct air flow either. Consider the fire risk. In a office health and safety, fire standards apply. A good free air flow works wonders as does keeping it clean of dust. When I worked in government offices most problems were bad enviroment design and bad airflow in… Read more »
My MacBook Pro would damage that unit because the fans run so loud!
Did the test again with the Voyo VMac Mini (Celeron N3450), I find the fan harder to trigger, and when it does the measurements are quite lower: about 49 dBA. I’ll have to check the Pentium N4200 version again.
The Pentium box appears to be a little more noisy at 50dBA compared to 49dbA for N3450 box.Maybe because I opened it, or simply because some “natural” variation occur between each device. However, it was 52.3 dBA the other day…
OK… I see… I have to take into account variable fan speed.
I did a stress test with AIDA64, and the fan noise went back to ~52+ dBA, with some bursts up to 57.6 dBA.