CAREER: Importance of Late-Sound-Field Properties and Listener Envelopment to Room Acoustic Quality and Design

Project: Research project

Project Details


The overall research objective of this Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) project is to investigate the relationship between late-sound-field acoustics and perceived overall acoustic quality (OAQ) in performing arts venues. Late-sound-field acoustics are particularly important to the perception of listener envelopment (LEV), the sense of being immersed in the sound field. However, no universally accepted measure of LEV currently exists. The specific objectives of this project are to: A) Develop a quantifiable measure of LEV, B) Explore how this new LEV measure varies for auditoriums of different sizes, and C) Determine the relative significance of LEV and other established room acoustics characteristics to OAQ. The research will employ a combination of two methods: simulated sound-fields and binaural recordings evaluated by human subjects, and experimental measurements obtained in a total of nine American and European concert halls with varying size and OAQ.

The results of this work will provide the acoustical design and research community with an accurate methodology to measure LEV and will determine the relative importance of LEV to OAQ, as compared to well-accepted room acoustics measures. These results will allow for more efficient design of music performance venues and reduce the need for costly renovations. This project will increase the number of US students participating in room acoustics research and will provide research opportunities at a primarily undergraduate institution. These opportunities will improve the quality of the educational experience of undergraduate students, particularly females, and will also promote their professional development. Grade-school students will be exposed to the topic of sound, as well as a female role-model, in conjunction with the Connecticut Science Center's outreach program. In addition, self-contained acoustics experimental and learning kits will be created in collaboration with the Acoustical Society of America for middle-school student science education.

Support for the award is being provided by the Office of International Science and Engineering's Europe and the America programs and the Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation Division's Dynamical Systems within the Directorate for Engineering.

Effective start/end date9/25/125/31/19


  • National Science Foundation: $460,814.00


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