As acousticians, we know (or like to think!) that the sound around us affects us in ways that most people don’t realise. Whether it’s reverb in your classroom that means you can’t hear the teacher properly, or in the shower making you think you’re a great singer, the acoustic spaces around us have a pretty profound effect on the way we experience life, that often goes unnoticed.
This makes you wonder what the ideal acoustic specification for a space is. What’s the best reverb time for music, or the best noise level for concentrating, or perhaps being creative? This is the question that Ravi Mehta, Rui Zhu and Amar Cheema undertook to answer in their 2012 paper; “Is Noise Always Bad? Exploring the Effects of Ambient Noise on Creative Cognition”.1