When something oscillates about a static position it can be said to vibrate. The vibration of a speaker diaphragm produces sound, but usually vibration is undesirable. Common examples of unwanted vibration are the movement of a building near a railway line when a train passes, or the vibration of the floor caused by a washing machine or spin dryer. Floor vibration can be reduced with vibration isolators.
Vibration is monitored with an accelerometer. This is a device that is securely attached by some means to the surface under investigation. The accelerometer produces a tiny electrical charge output, proportional to the surface acceleration, which is then amplified by a charge amplifier and recorded or observed with a meter. The frequencies of interest are generally lower than sound, and range from below 1 Hz to about 1 kHz.