MEMS digital microphone and Arduino compatible microcontroller: an embedded system for noise monitoring



Noise assessment and monitoring are essential parts of an acoustician’s work since it helps to understand the environment and propose better solutions for noise control and urban noise management. Traditionally, equipment to carry out this task is standardized, and, eventually, expensive for the early career professional. This work develops a high-quality (and cost-effective) prototype for an embedded noise monitoring device based upon a digital I2S MEMS microphone and an Arduino compatible microcontroller, named Teensy. Its small size and low power consumption are also advantages designed for the project. The system captures and processes sound in real-time, computes A and C frequency-weighted equivalent sound levels, along with time-weighted instant levels with a logging interval of 125 ms. Part of the software handles the audio environment, while the biquadratic IIR filters present in the Cortex Microcontroller library are responsible for the frequency- and time-weightings — using floating-point for enhanced precision. The prototype results were compared against a Class 2 Sound Level Meter, rendering very similar results for the tested situations, proving a powerful and reliable tool. Improvements and further testing are also being conducted to refine its functioning and characterization. Ultimately, the prototype achieved promising performance, confirming as a solution for noise monitoring.