An exploratory study on proposed new sounds for future products

Youyi Bi, Tahira Reid, Patricia Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Car designers are interested in understanding what attributes of naturally occurring, generated and modified sounds make them more or less desirable to endusers. In this research, we investigated millennials' perception of proposed next-generation car sounds and other product sounds. An auditory perceptional test was conducted to determine sound preferences in which people were presented with a current sound, a very different sound and something in between the two. Intentional sounds and consequential sounds were considered in six contexts. Because of the focus on next-generation cars, responses from millennials are of particular interest. The very different sounds were inspired by the musical preferences of the millennial generation. The influence of visual information and perceived functionality on the sound preferences was also examined. Forty university students and staff volunteered to participate in the test. The results showed that millennials preferred traditional sounds in most contexts and their sound preferences aligned with certain sound evaluations and verbal descriptions. Participants' verbal descriptions of the sounds provided interesting insights into the relationship between the sound evaluations and participants' perception of the sounds. In several cases, the order in which the pictorial and textual cues of context were presented impacted how people rated the sounds. These results may shed light on how to integrate millennials' preferences into the design of future product sounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-260
Number of pages17
JournalNoise Control Engineering Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Building and Construction
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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