Lucas Industries Noise Centre has introduced a combustion noise meter which is designed to predict the contribution of the combustion process to overall diesel engine noise. The performance of the meter is evaluated using Cummins B series engines in naturally-aspirated and turbocharged form. Combustion noise levels predicted by the meter are compared to levels determined using traditional techniques. The effects of several engine operating parameters on combustion noise are investigated under both steady state and accelerating conditions. The meter reliably predicts changes in combustion noise levels, and is a useful tool for performance development engineers. Combustion noise is shown to be related to the maximum rate of pressure rise at the onset of combustion, but combustion noise is not reliably related to maximum cylinder pressures.