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A simpler formula for summing or averaging dB values in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets

A familiar challenge is working with dB from a series of overall values, e.g. time logged LAeq or 1/3-octave spectrum, is you cannot arithmetically sum or average them.


The classic formula involves converting each cell from dB to Pa, summing the Pascal, and convert back to dB


=10*LOG(10^(E4/10)+10^(F4/10)+10^(G4/10)+10^(H4/10)+10^(I4/10)+10^(J4/10)+10^(K4/10))


Both Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets have an easier method, Array Formulas.


In MS Excel the below is equivalent


 

=10*LOG(SUM(10^(E4:K4/10)))

 

“This is an array formula, so it must be entered with Ctrl+Shift+Enter.” http://www.mrexcel.com/archive/Formulas/4130.html


In Google Sheets the formula is similia


=ArrayFormula(10*LOG(SUM(10^(E4:K4/10))))


Besides SUM(), other function like =AVERAGE() can be used on arrays





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