Thanks to a week-long survey, an app that measures noise levels in bars and restaurants proves what some diners have been complaining about for years: Bay Area restaurants are too loud. In fact, they’re right up there in decibels with those in Midtown Manhattan.
SoundPrint, an iPhone app founded by Oakland native Gregory Scott, incorporates a calibrated decibel meter as well as an interactive, searchable map of companies with ratings at www.soundprint.co. Restaurants and bars with green pins are labeled “quiet,” which means ambient sound on a typical night is below 70 decibels. Those marked in red are over 80 decibels – loud enough to cause hearing loss to someone who spends hours in the environment every day.