Sometimes, it’s nice to get out of the house and treat yourself to a meal or a night out. However, the experience of going out can be quickly ruined when you discover your restaurant or bar of choice is packed and you can barely hear yourself speak, let alone the people you're with. For the ones who prefer a quiet night out, there is an app that can help.
SoundPrint is a new app that’s designed to let people rate restaurants,bars and cafes by how loud they are. Users can look at ratings before they go somewhere and can make decisions based on the noise level they want.
“Yelp for Noise”
SoundPrint has been described as “Yelp for noise” because it has a similar review and rating system, just more noise focused. SoundPrint users can visit locations and write reviews on the app.
The app also features a decibel meter, which helps to assess a restaurant’s noise level. The decibel readings can be used to accurately rate a location's noise level, ranging from quiet to very loud. The inclusion of a decibel meter helps to keep the information on the app accurate, so reviews aren’t skewed by one person’s idea of what constitutes as ‘loud’ or ‘quiet.’
Helping with Hearing Problems
Creator of the app, Greg Scott, is hard of hearing. Scott is not alone in this, as it’s estimated that around 15 percent of Americans (around 38 million people) also have at least some difficulties with their hearing. For people that already struggle to hear day-to-day conversations, a loud restaurant can be difficult. Time that is meant to be spent chatting with friends, colleagues, or family members could turn into a conversation-less dinner as loud crowds drown out any talking.
Staying focused in busy places can be a struggle, as people with hearing problems need to try to drown out background noises and to focus on one particular thing. Even locations with televisions on in the background can be challenging if the voices on the TVs are loud and distracting.
For Greg Scott, a New York City resident, the struggle was especially noticeable when he tried to find quiet places to go on dates. Searching for quiet places online led to few results, but Scott wanted to be able to hear his dates so he could connect with them properly. Scott said the app has helped his own dating life, and hopefully it can be of benefit to others too.
SoundPrint isn’t just helpful for people who want a quiet dining experience, but also for business owners. Owners of restaurants, bars, or cafes can look at the decibel ratings to discover how loud their business really is, and they can use this information to provide a better experience for their customers.
Perhaps they just need to turn down the volumes on their TVs or they need to provide more seating away from a noisy bar. Business owners that don’t suffer from hearing problems may not even notice their business has a problem, but SoundPrint can help them to solve it and bring in more business.
How to Get it
SoundPrint was released in May 2018 and it is currently available for iPhone users. An Android version of the app is not yet available because of some issues with the microphones and sound readings on Android phones. The company is working to develop this and they hope to eventually make it Android compatible too.
SoundPrint is also not available in all areas yet. It is available in major cities like New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Ann Arbor. The app’s website states “Other cities coming soon, including Nashville, Baltimore, Denver and more…” Since the app is still newly released, it will take some time for it to expand to more locations.
So far this app has helped a lot of people and it even helps people to discover trends in what tend to be the loudest and quietest types of locations. Greg Scott has found that Asian restaurants tend to be quieter, while American restaurants can be on the louder side of things. Of course, this isn’t always the case, but that’s where SoundPrint comes in.