A comparison of measured room acoustics metrics using a spherical microphone array and conventional methods

David A. Dick, Michelle C. Vigeant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The traditional microphone configuration used to measure room impulse responses (IRs) according to ISO 3382:2009 is an omnidirectional and figure-8 microphone pair. IRs measurements were taken in a 2500-seat auditorium to determine how the results from a spherical microphone array (an mh acoustics Eigenmike-em32) compare to those from the traditional microphone setup (a Brüel & Kjær Type-4192 omnidirectional microphone and a Sennheiser MKH30 figure-8 microphone). Measurements were obtained at six receiver locations, with three repetitions each in order to first evaluate repeatability. The metrics considered in this study were: reverberation time (T30), early decay time (EDT), clarity index (C80), strength (G), lateral energy fraction (JLF) and late lateral energy level (LJ). Before calculating these quantities, the IRs were filtered to equalize the frequency response of the microphones and sound source. For the spherical array measurements, the omnidirectional (monopole) and figure-8 (dipole) patterns were extracted using beamforming. In terms of repeatability, the average standard deviation of the three measurements at each receiver location averaged across all metrics, receivers, and octave bands was found to be 0.01 just noticeable differences (JNDs). The analysis comparing the measurements from the two microphone configurations yielded differences which were less than 1 JND for the majority of metrics, with a few exceptions of EDT and C80 slightly above 1 JND. Based on this case study, these results indicate that spherical microphone arrays can be used to obtain valid room IR measurements, which will allow for the development of new metrics utilizing the higher spatial resolution made possible with spherical arrays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-45
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Acoustics
StatePublished - Jun 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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