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Subjective and Objective Rating of Airborne Sound Insulation – Living Sounds

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AIM. The aim of the study was to determine which standardized single-number quantities of airborne sound insulation best predict the subjective ratings of living sounds.

METHODS. Fifty nine subjects participated in the listening experiment consisting of the subjective evaluation of 54 sounds. The subjects rated the loudness, disturbance and acceptability of recorded neighbour sounds transmitted through walls which were simulated by audio filters. Six living sound types (two spectrally-different music sounds, speech, guitar, baby cry and dog bark) and nine walls (Rw 's from 48 to 75 dB) having various frequency characteristics were investigated. Twelve single-number quantities of ISO 717-1 and ASTM E413 were determined for the nine walls. The squared Pearson's correlation coefficients (R 2) between the subjective ratings and the single-number quantities were determined.

RESULTS. Considering all six sound types together, the best predictors of loudness were STCno8, STC and Rw . The best predictors of disturbance and acceptability were STCno8, STC, R speech and Rw . Significant differences were found between different sound types, which emphasized the importance of sound's spectrum. Surprisingly, Rw + C 50– 3150 was only a slightly better predictor of subjective ratings than Rw or STC in case of bass-rich music sounds.

IMPLICATIONS. This study does not support the inclusion of the 50-80 Hz third octave bands to the single-number quantity to be used for the objective rating the sound insulation against airborne living sounds.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 2014

More about this publication?
  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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