Select Page - image of a noise heat map for Los GatosRecently one of our clients shared with Clair and me a website for assessing how loud or quiet a location is. It was news to me that such a site existed, and I wanted to share it with our readers. We have grades or scores for schools, for crime, for quality of life – so why not a score for how quiet or loud a neighborhood or location is, too?

The website is  How Loud, and you can find it at

How Loud works something like a “heat map” but here the hot areas are the noisiest ones. The darker the blue (or perhaps black?), the quieter it is said to be.

Scores for quiet or calm versus noise

The lowest score possible appears to be 50, but I don’t see anything with that grade.

When I checked the noise level at the airport, Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport, at 1701 Airport Blvd, San Jose, CA 95110, it was a 65. Jim and I chuckled a little bit about that and wondered why it didn’t rank the lowest possible number?  The lowest scores I found were near the airport and both were at 63.

This works well to identify general areas and how quiet or noisy there are. When you zoom in to the micro level, such as a house directly on a busy road versus one next door or two doors down, I’m not sure it’s quiet as accurate. I checked a few pockets where I know homes on slightly busier roads versus more internal ones in the same neighborhood and the scores were the same. That isn’t accurate. It will be louder if your home is directly adjacent to the street with more traffic.

You’ll need a precise address to use How Loud

You must put in an exact address to find out the noise level score; it will not accept intersections,  you cannot click on a spot on the map and get the grade. That’s the main flaw with the website.

On the plus side,  you do not need to sign in to use it.

One more option – Noise-Map

I’m updating this post as we just discovered another site that measures noise pollution:
This one provides an average decibel reading. The focus appears to be on airplane sound with not a lot else getting factored in from what I can see.

Measuring noise pollution - Noise Map for Santa Clara County

There are many other causes of noise pollution, particularly intermittent ones, such as that from a shooting range that’s open only a few hours on the weekend, or motorcyclist groups enjoying scenic routes on the weekend.  We wrote about it on our main Valley of Heart’s Delight blog if you’d like more information: Measuring Noise Pollution.