You can install sound level meter apps on your phone, but most of the useful apps are not free. For the price they charge for it, I might as well get a dedicated device that may provide more accurate readings.
I chose the UNI-T UT353BT as it is within my budget (S$30), and it is the only listing that has ratings when I search for a sound level meter.
The iENV app is basic since it is meant to be functional. Nothing fancy in terms of design or features.
The UT353BT measures 150 x 52 x 27 (mm) and weighs 116g. There are four buttons on the device and a 32 x 26 (mm) display with LCD backlight.
- Power: Turn on or off the device. Press and hold to turn on/off Bluetooth.
- Fast/Slow: Fast sampling time of 125ms and slow sampling time of 1s.
- Max/Min: Show the maximum or minimum value of the reading.
- Hold/BL: Freeze the value of the reading. Press and hold to turn on/off the backlight.
Three AAA battery is needed to power it, and it is included in the packaging. With Bluetooth enabled, the battery can last you about 12 hours. The device will power down after five minutes of inactivity.
- Noise: 30 ~ 130dB
- Accuracy: ± 1.5dB
- Resolution: 0.1dB
- Sampling Rate: 125ms (fast), 1000ms (slow)
- Frequency Response: 31.5Hz ~ 8kHz
As you can see, the environmental noise in my house is around 60dB, which is normal, according to this article from the Center for Hearing and Communication titled current environmental noise levels.
In case you are wondering the Razer Core X Chroma produces about 50dB of noise. My new computer produces 65dB of noise when powering up and 55dB in a steady state.