Euronoise 2018 – A cochlea in the floor carpet caught my eye

Euronoise 2018 was a great acoustic event, and we at Acoustic Bulletin are proud to have covered 6 sessions on room acoustics in particular. This is the last post written by our development engineer, Heléne Sallenhag – she has covered the session 18:3 – Voice accommodations in room acoustics and noise.

How much would you spend to eat at this restaurant? (Pasquale Bottalico)

Pasquale Bottalico had an interesting talk about acoustics in a restaurants and what and how that affects us, both physically and mentally. A survey was carried out among students. What annoys you the most in a restaurant? It concludes that noise might disturb us nearly as much as the level of service (25% resp. 28%).

The analysis used the segmented linear model, were an estimated change-point is found.

According to another study made by Tang in 1997 the occupants start to raise their voice when the noise level exceeds 69 dB. This study found that the change-point for Disturbance were at approximately 52 dB, same as the willingness to stay and to spend money. So even before you start to raise your voice due to noise, there is a sense of disturbance going on and your willingness to stay and spend money decreases.

On the effects on teachers and children of using or not using sound-field systems in elementary school classrooms (Viveka Lyberg-Åhlander)

Viveka Lyberg-Åhlander presented the study on the effect of using sound-field systems in elementary school, which she is performing together with Susanna Whitling, Suvi Karjalaninen and Heike von Lochow.

One conclusion was that the teachers liked system A because they heard themselves. The students liked system B better as the sound came from the front. Children with hearing impairment might need longer time to adapt.

Sound reflections that support teaching and learning (Jonas Christensson)

As always Jonas Christensson has a high speed in his presentation but accompanied with clear slides the mission is clear: We ought to try to create a classroom that can support the reflections the same way as in the forest to give both a good teaching and good learning environment. In the forest the consonants are supported and carried to the receiver, without being interfered by the low frequency noise. Then we will have classrooms with good speech intelligibility and the information carried by consonants in higher frequencies will not be masked by the low frequency vowels.

Visualization of voice levels for improving the sound environment in preschools (Ueno Kanako)

Pre-schools and schools for smaller children always fight the battle of noise due to children’s activity and their uninhibited speech. Ueno Kanako presented a part of a study where the aim was to reduce noise levels in preschools in Japan. An application for tablet computers was developed. The app could visually describe the volume of the children’s voices, with three different animals, the ant, the rabbit and the lion.

The children did an individual trial, to understand their own voice level better, and therafter the tablet was placed in the room so all the children could see it during their activities. The children enjoyed the use of the tablet and the knowledge of their own voice.

The conclusions were that the tool was effective to create an awareness of one’s own voice and for the children to know the strength of their voice volume.

Interrelationship between subjective and instrumental voice and noise data in vocally demanding workplaces (Annika Szabo Portela)

The aim of this study, presented by Annika Szabo Portela from Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, was to investigate if it is reliable to self-rate the amount of voice use and perceived disturbing noise in comparison to instrumental measurements. The test was done during one week and in both work and leisure time by 40 women. 20 of them had a work-related voice disorder and 20 were a control group. All of them had vocally demanding jobs, and rated estimated speaking time and perceived disturbing noise 4 times per day. Conclusions were in line with earlier findings that this type of self-rating can be reliable if done in a structured way.

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