3 faulty sound sensors? or user error?

Hello, I'm a new to the forum but I've been tinkering with the Arduino for almost 2 years now (on and off). I just want a working sound sensor. The first one I had came with the Arduino kit (ZITRADES), and sat around for a while until I put it to use. When I did test it It didn't respond hardly at all to sound. It would give me an analogRead of anywhere from 0-1023 as I adjusted the potentiometer but never straying more then +/- 5 away from where it was set even as the noise clearly changed the value never changed to match it. I'm not sure how a working sound sensor works since I've never had one that worked. I thought it was supposed to go from 0 (pindrop) -1023 (Metallica concert). Instead it just floats around whatever number I set the potentiometer to, such as 500 (+/- 5) or 40 (+/- 5). I'm not even sure if the potentiometer is supposed to effect the voltage I thought it was just the mic's sensitivity being adjusted, this is acting like a potentiometer just regulating 5V with slight jumping that doesn't seem to happen based on noise. One of the real strange things is that once it was set to analogRead 40 when I blared the music the sensor value went lower more often then it went higher. When I would blow hard on the mic would make a semi-significant jump. I ordered two more sound sensors from a different brand on amazon (this one). Both have the same issue. These were even worse. I have pictures of these though they were in bad condition when they were shipped. The PCB has some sort of corrosion at the solder points very visible. I don't know if that's normal but it wasn't on the first sound sensor. I thought these sensor were just kind of plug and play is there something I'm missing?

You have a circuit that is ment for a digital output to sense a certail level. (potmeter)
I guess what you want is a circuit that will return the volume level (analog).
Take a look at: SparkFun Sound Detector - SEN-12642 - SparkFun Electronics
(See the chematic: amplify → rectify → envelope)

Elib55, can you supply a schematic of how you connected it, and perhaps your code to check?

const int SENSOR = 0; // sensor connected to pin 0 
int val = 0; // stores the value connected to sensor

void setup() { 
  Serial.begin(9600); // opens serial port to communicate with CPU
                      // data gets sent back to computer at 9600
                      // bits per second
}

void loop() { 
  val = analogRead(SENSOR); // read the value of the sensor
  
  Serial.println(val); // print the value of the sensor to the
                       // serial port
  delay(100); // delay 100 milliseconds between each send
}

I have other codes both that I have made and that have been made by others and I still get nothing. The schematics are just

5v to 5v gnd to gnd AnalogOut to A0

Not much to go wrong with the code. On the PCB itself is not much but a sensor and an opamp for amplifying.

Only thing i can think of is: 1: The signal is not amplified enough. So it's just a few millivolts change when there is a sound. 2: The delay of 100ms is long for audio signals. You can easily miss the signal.

the LM393 is a comparator - not very will suited to be used like an "ordinary" op-amp. There is no enveloping, so reading is done at a random point of the signal. If a schematic can be found, it may be possible to alter the circuit to meet your needs. but again..: go for an alternative with the complete hardware for SPL measurement

Okay, so from what I understand, I bought the wrong variation of sound sensor? I tried moving the delay down to 10 on the code so it checked the value more often, but it never strayed far away from the set amount even during loud long noise. I hooked it up in the usb of my car and blared the music as high as it could go (this was before reading the forum posts) and got next to nothing.

Why do I see other people use these same sensors with success? (the ZITRADES that is, the other two are newer to the market)

Are all three of these sensors bad? The signal just isn't amplified enough? Not good for the purpose?

I'll definitely look into the one you suggested me if I have to get another. I just don't want to have to get another and have 4 total and only 1 that works. I have other projects that need money invested and if I get a fourth sensor and it doesn't work I think I'll quit Arduino altogether. okay maybe that was an exaggeration.

elib55:
Okay, so from what I understand, I bought the wrong variation of sound sensor? I tried moving the delay down to 10 on the code so it checked the value more often, but it never strayed far away from the set amount even during loud long noise. I hooked it up in the usb of my car and blared the music as high as it could go (this was before reading the forum posts) and got next to nothing.

Why do I see other people use these same sensors with success? (the ZITRADES that is, the other two are newer to the market)

Are all three of these sensors bad?
The signal just isn’t amplified enough?
Not good for the purpose?

I’ll definitely look into the one you suggested me if I have to get another. I just don’t want to have to get another and have 4 total and only 1 that works. I have other projects that need money invested and if I get a fourth sensor and it doesn’t work I think I’ll quit Arduino altogether. okay maybe that was an exaggeration.

Did you try the analog sensor? Did it work as expected?
I also have 3 similar sound sensors (bought 2 and borrowed another) that work as you described, which is not what I need.