Sound Power Testing


Sound Power

Product noise is an ever-increasing concern for regulators and consumers. The ability to quantify and manage product noise is a growing advantage for manufacturers and suppliers. Sound power testing quantifies the entire sound energy emitted by a source and is not dependent on orientation or distance. These measurements provide manufacturers a way to insure regulatory compliance while at the same time allowing manufactures to leverage a competitive advantage for end users. 

Engineers and acousticians need this data to accurately design complex systems that will comply with regulatory needs and customer expectations.

Directive 2000/14/EC (relating to noise emission in the environment by outdoor equipment) is the European Union's legal requirement that regulates outdoor equipment noise emissions. Sound power measurements are a key component in complying with this directive. 


In-situ measurement of sound power using the intensity method is described by ISO 9614, ANSI S12.12 and/or AHRI 230. NOAL employs these standards as required. 

NOAL technicians arrive on site with specialized, precise, calibrated instruments. The geometry of the source is defined and an enveloping grid is constructed. Sound intensity levels are acquired on a point-by-point or scanning basis then amalgamated with sophisticated software which is then used to calculate the total power as well as important measurement quality indicators. The result of a sound power test is a reportable sound power level often expressed as dB Lw or dBA Lw.


Sound power measurements are used when a product's or environment's acoustic issues are a concern and/or selling point. An accurate sound power level can be used to ensure compliance with a regulatory body and as a marketing tool to establish a competitive edge.

Industrial and Commercial Product Development

Accumulating sound power data on products allows a manufacturer to provide key specs to buyers and designers who use their products. Just like horsepower or torque, product developers must to be able to describe all aspects of their product including sound power. In the European Union some products must comply with Directive 2000/14/EC which regulates the sound power of outdoor equipment. Manufacturers display sound power levels to advertise their product's advantage and/or in order to comply with a third-party regulator.

Building Design 

Sound power levels are essential to architects and acousticians when designing noise control of their building mechanicals and HVAC systems. Knowing sound power levels helps set, then satisfy, customer expectations and third-party regulations. 

Industrial Noise Control/Hearing Conservation Programs

Industrial buyers may need to monitor their environment's overall noise load by measuring each component in the area and selecting products whose sound power has been evaluated.  Sound power source ranking of industrial machinery can be used if a hearing conservation program has been required by OSHA or if industrial noise levels are a concern. When considering employee noise dose exposure sound power levels can be used to choose products that will not combine to exceed doses enforced by OSHA. 


Sound power testing is used to obtain sound levels that are essential for architecture, consumer and industrial products, outdoor equipment, manufacturing, and many other industries. 


With 30 years of experience in acoustical testing and consulting, NOAL provides “above and beyond” service by interpreting, diagnosing, and problem solving your specific sound issues. NOAL's hard-working team is easy to work with and takes pride in making your job go smoothly.