New App Reveals Baltimore’s Quietest and Loudest Restaurants

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SoundPrint, HASA partner to launch data collection in greater Baltimore

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We are huge supporters of the Baltimore foodie scene, and want to enhance and support its growth by providing another resource for diners who may be hard of hearing, or simply want an environment that’s conducive to conversation

The Baltimore food scene now has another factor to consider when choosing where to dine: noise level. SoundPrint, known as the “Yelp for noise,” is a New York-based mobile application that partnered with Baltimore’s Hearing and Speech Agency (HASA) to launch the app’s data collection. The partnership seeks to serve the greater Baltimore community by providing the average decibel levels of a restaurant so customers can determine the best spots for conversation. Following a soft launch, the app is officially live.

“Many people don’t have a concept of healthy noise levels,” said Greg Scott, founder SoundPrint. “This can be a problem both for conversation, and for hearing health.”

Scott was inspired to create the app after finding other consumer review sites to lack accuracy in sound readings, which made it difficult at times to hear and connect with his dates in New York.

“We are huge supporters of the Baltimore foodie scene, and want to enhance and support its growth by providing another resource for diners who may be hard of hearing, or simply want an environment that’s conducive to conversation,” said Erin Stauder, executive director of HASA. “There is a tendency for people who are hard of hearing to simply avoid going out to restaurants; we see this as a way for these individuals to still enjoy the social event of dining out, without having to worry about noise level,” she said.

The app allows customers to use a real-time sound meter to take a 15-second reading of the decibel level of a restaurant or bar. The crowdsourced readings make up a sound profile for each venue. Users can filter restaurants based on how loud or quiet they are, much like you’d use filters to search for a restaurant on Yelp.

Several hundred sound readings were taken across neighborhoods in Baltimore in April following the app’s soft launch. This data makes up Baltimore’s “Quiet List” and “Loud List,” of individual restaurants, as well as the quietest and loudest neighborhoods. These lists follow below.

To download the app, search for SoundPrint in the Apple app store. To learn more about hearing health, visit http://www.hasa.org.

The following lists were curated using several hundred SoundPrint data captures taken during peak restaurant hours, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

The Quiet List – Quietest Restaurants in Baltimore

1. Ban Thai Restaurant (N. Charles/Mt. Vernon)
2. Dalesio's (Little Italy)
3. Himalayan Bistro (South Baltimore)
4. Kiku Sushi (South Baltimore)
5. Da Mimmo (Little Italy)
6. Lumbini Restaurant (N. Charles/Mt. Vernon)
7. La Tavola (N. Charles/Mt. Vernon)
8. Ikaros (Greektown)
9. Charleston Restaurant (Fells Point)
10. Dooby’s (N. Charles/Mt. Vernon)

The Loud List – Loudest Restaurants in Baltimore

1. R. House (Hampden)
2. Holy Frijoles (Hampden)
3. Homeslyce (N. Charles/Mt. Vernon)
4. Rye Street Tavern (South Baltimore)
5. Mick O'Shea's (N. Charles/Mt. Vernon)
6. Alexander's Tavern (Fells Point)
7. Papi's Tacos (Fells Point)
8. Clavel (Hampden)
9. The Brewer's Art (N. Charles/Mt Vernon)
10. The Boathouse Canton Waterfront Grill (Canton)

Quietest Neighborhood for Dining in Baltimore: Little Italy (Quiet, avg. 63 dBA)

Loudest Neighborhood for Dining in Baltimore: S. Baltimore – Riverside/Fed Hill/Locust Point (Very Loud, avg. 81 dBA)

Other insights: 

  • Restaurants in Baltimore generally have Moderate noise-level until 8 p.m. when it transitions into Loud based on average dBA. 
  • Initial data indicates Baltimore may be one of the most noise-friendly restaurant cities, but more robust data is needed to verify. 

Decibel Guidelines 

  • Quiet = 70 dBA or below (safe for hearing health, conducive to conversation)
  • Moderate = 71 – 75 dBA (safe for hearing health, manageable for conversation)
  • Loud = 76 – 80 dBA (likely safe for hearing health, conversation is difficult)
  • Very Loud = 81+ dBA (unsafe for hearing health, conversation is very difficult)

About HASA
One of Baltimore’s oldest nonprofit organizations, HASA's mission is to support prevention, treatment and advocacy initiatives related to communication. Services include hearing aids, hearing health programs, speech-language evaluation and therapy, special education, school-related language and literacy programs, interpreting, and sign language classes. For more information, please visit http://hasa.org or call (410) 318-6780.

About SoundPrint
SoundPrint has been described as the “Yelp for noise” where you can find venues by how quiet or noisy they are. Want to find a quiet restaurant, bar, or café where you can actually hear your date, colleague, client or partner? Or a quiet place to study or relax? Or find a restaurant that is bumping with noise and excitement? Ever wonder if a place is too loud that it may be endangering your hearing? It can be very difficult to subjectively measure environmental noise. SoundPrint’s own decibel meter allows you to measure the sound level of a venue and submit (crowdsource) that data to the database. This is very useful for patrons, managers and employees to monitor and protect their hearing from noise-induced hearing loss. https://www.soundprint.co/.

Media Contacts:
Lorianne Walker
Abel Communications for HASA
lwalker@abelcommunications.com
410-688-1330

Madeline Caldwell
Abel Communications for HASA
madeline@abelcommunications.com
443-862-1429

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Lorianne Walker
Abel Communications for HASA
+1 443-961-2643
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