Today I want to share with you an app called SoundPrint, which is an app for finding quiet spaces to eat and socialise.
You can install the app on your phone (iPhone and Android), and it’ll pop up a list of places nearby where other SoundPrint users have done a brief sound test. The venue database is from Foursquare, a site where I’m a superuser and still an active user of its Swarm app.
Using the SoundPrint app
You don’t have to register an account if you’re just browsing to find a venue. However, if you want to contribute your own sound checks, then you can register an account. A sound check is as simple as holding your phone up for 15 seconds to measure the noise levels, and then telling SoundPrint where you are. You can also specifically recommend places for SoundPrint’s ‘Quiet List’ if they are particularly quiet, and submit noise complaints for very loud venues. SoundPrint will try to reach out to such venues with suggestions for how they can become quieter.
Venues are categorised as ‘quiet’, ‘medium’, ‘loud’ and ‘very loud’ with the number representing the decibels (dB) recorded by user’s sound checks. It’s worth noting that the repeated or prolonged exposure to noise above 85 dB can lead to hearing loss.
I found out about SoundPrint from Samantha Baines’ excellent book ‘Living With Hearing Loss and Deafness’ (sponsored link). I saw it whilst out Christmas shopping and subsequently borrowed from our local library. I’m partially deaf and wear hearing aids, and this book has lots of helpful tips, both for deaf people and their friends and family.
That being said, SoundPrint isn’t just for people who have hearing loss. If you are autistic, then you may benefit if you find noisy places overwhelming. I can see my wife using this app as well, as though she has good hearing, she struggles in noisy environments.