Have you ever been to a restaurant that was noticeably loud? The type where you can barely hear your friends and the server can barely hear your order over the cacophonous noise? If you have – and I would bet you have been to at least one of these restaurants – you know how annoying it is. And in extreme situations, you may even be worried that the noise level could damage your hearing.
What can you do in these situations? If the noise is outrageous, you may consider speaking with a manager about the noise level. However, this may do little to fix the problem long-term, and it often does nothing to give you a quieter meal right at that moment. You may also want to cross that restaurant off your list of establishments you want to return to.
When you do want to go out for a meal, however, it can be a challenge to know where you can go that will be quiet enough for you to enjoy your food and conversation in peace. Enter SoundPrint.
SoundPrint is a phone app that allows you to measure the noise level at a restaurant and share it with other app users. This way, you can assess noise levels at various cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants before visiting them in person, and you can make your choices accordingly.
Here’s how the SoundPrint app works:
If you go to a venue you have seen on SoundPrint and the noise level differs from what has previously been reported, you can take a new decibel reading and submit it. You can also add comments that other app users can see.
If you use the SoundPrint app at a restaurant and notice that the decibel reading is very high, you may also want to inform a manager so they can take steps to lower the noise level. High noise levels can be dangerous to your hearing health, especially if you are exposed to them for long periods of time. This can pose a danger to both patrons and employees.
As more people begin to use SoundPrint and other similar tools, it will become easier to find public places with lower noise levels – and hopefully, venues will take notice and take steps to lower their noise levels to be more welcoming.
If you would like more information about tools that can help you make informed decisions about your hearing health, please contact our audiology office today. We are happy to help!