Acoustic parameters were analysed in nine auditoria and multi-purpose conference rooms in the University of Extremadura. Parameters related to the reverberation time, background noise, and intelligibility (both physical measurements of different parameters [Definition (D-50) and STI] and speech tests used to study the subjective response of listeners) were studied. The measurements were compared with some recommendations from the literature and, considering that speech was the main use of the studied rooms, with the intelligibility results. Some different recommendations for reverberation times taken from the literature were analysed. The intelligibility results obtained from the measurements were also compared with the intelligibility results that were determined by the speech tests.
Blank handgun shots, party balloon bursts, and a pneumatic compressor with a small-diameter nozzle were used as sources of sound in the assessments of reverberation time, T. The two first sources were of impulse type, while the third one resembled a noise signal source. In this work, 532 values of T were experimentally obtained in four rooms of different volumes and compared. The T values for 1/3 octave frequency bands were found to be independent of the sound source. Reverberation times for the A-frequency-weighting filtered signals were close to one another for the shots and balloon bursts, while those obtained using the compressor nozzle were significantly shorter. The latter effect can be attributed to the relatively high share of high frequency waves in the sound generated by the nozzle. The results show that balloon bursts can be used as handgun shot substitutes in the assessments of reverberation times. While the nozzle noise is rather unsuitable for this purpose, it can be applied in the assessments of T for high frequency waves, up to the ultrasound range. Such acoustic climate information may be useful in designing spaces for high frequency sound-sensitive individuals, e.g. animal shelters.
A set of sound power assessments was performed to determine measurement precision in specified conditions by the comparison method in a reverberation room with a fixed position array of six microphones. Six blenders (or mixers) and, complementary, a reference sound source were the noise sources. Five or six sound power calculations were undertaken on each noise source, and the standard deviation (sr) was computed as “measurement precision under repeatability conditions” for each octave band from 125 Hz to 8 kHz, and in dB(A). With the results obtained, values of sr equal 1.0 dB for 125 Hz and 250 Hz, 0.8 dB for 500 Hz to 2 kHz, and 0.5 dB for 4 kHz and 8 kHz. Those can be considered representative as sound power precision for blenders according to the measurement method used. The standard deviation of repeatability for the A-weighted sound power level equals 0.6 dB. This paper could be used for house or laboratory tests to check where their uncertainty assessment for sound power determination is similar or not to those generated at the National Metrology Institute.
A theoretical method has been presented to describe sound decay in building enclosures and to simulate the room impulse response (RIR) employed for prediction of the indoor reverberation characteristics. The method was based on a solution of wave equation having the form of a series whose time-decaying components represent responses of acoustic modes to an impulse sound source. For small sound absorption on room walls this solution was found by means of the method of variation of parameters. A decay function was computed via the time-reverse integration of the squared RIR. Computer simulations carried out for a rectangular enclosure have proved that the RIR function reproduces the structure of a sound field in the initial stage of sound decay suffciently well. They have also shown that band-limitedness of the RIR has evident influence on the shape of the decay function and predicted decay times.
Reverberant responses are widely used to characterize acoustic properties of rooms, such as the early decay time (EDT) and the reverberation times T20 and T30. However, in real conditions a sound decay is often deformed by background noise, thus a precise evaluation of decay times from noisy room responses is the main problem. In this paper this issue is examined by means of numerical method where the decay times are estimated from the decay function that has been determined by nonlinear polynomial regression from a pressure envelope obtained via the discrete Hilbert transform. In numerical experiment the room responses were obtained from simulations of a sound decay for two-room coupled system. Calculation results have shown that background noise slightly affects the evaluation of reverberation times T20 and T30 as long as the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is not smaller than about 25 and 35 dB, respectively. However, when the SNR is close to about 20 and 30 dB, high overestimation of these times may occur as a result of bending up of the decay curve during the late decay.