A surprising number of people are trying to make audio measurements with typical portable DMM’s. And the readings are often grossly wrong without even realizing it. True RMS measurements are not trivial. In effect, the meter has to accurately measure the “area under the curve” and time average it—see True RMS Measurements for more information. This proves to be rather difficult across a wide range of frequencies if you want to maintain reasonable accuracy at high frequencies and not have the reading “hunt” up and down at low frequencies. The fact is, most DMM’s priced under a few hundred dollars that claim “True RMS” are really only accurate around 60hz—i.e. power line frequencies. Some will measure sine waves accurately across the audio band, but many will not even do that. I have a $150 “True RMS” Extech meter--a relatively well regarded brand--that’s off by nearly 6 dB at 20 Khz compared to 60 hz on a sine wave and is a joke above 1 Khz on non-sinusoidal waveforms. And really complex rapidly changing waveforms like white/pink noise or real music drive such meters crazy. To do it right, you need expensive true RMS circuitry and the ability to optimize the sample rate and averaging for the waveform being measured. Good high end bench DMM’s, like the Agilent 344xx series, let you set these parameters. They also read directly in dB. I use a 6 1/2 digit Agilent true RMS bench DMM that's extremely accurate and flat from 10 hz - 100 Khz for exact levels and other measurements. It has resolution down to 0.1 microvolts so it can even be used to measure noise."