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
Continue reading Coffee shops provide great acoustics for creativity
Have you ever covered your ears with your hands to protect yourself from loud noise? That’s the closest to natural hearing protection that we’ve got, but just how much does it reduce the sound pressure level reaching your ear? And what’s the best method? This experiment aims to find out.
Continue reading Natural Hearing Protection: Hands?
Solent Acoustics has recently taken delivery of an impedance gun kit from Microflown, used for the in-situ measurement of sound absorption coefficient.
The kit contains the impedance gun itself, which is constructed of a loudspeaker and PU Probe (for the measurement of both pressure and particle velocity), and a Scout V2 USB data acquisition system. Software provided by Microflown allows for the calculation of acoustic absorption coefficient from the measurement of pressure and particle velocity, which also allows for measurement of acoustic intensity.
Continue reading Microflown Impedance Gun
Around 10% of all adults in the UK suffer from tinnitus, with some reporting depression, sleep deprivation, and anxiety, which are having a considerable negative impact on their quality of life. There is currently no direct cure for tinnitus, most treatments are for other medical conditions that may be causing tinnitus as a side effect, or using relaxation techniques and noise masking to block its effects temporarily. Although for many patients tinnitus can dull over time, for some the condition only gets worse with age.
Continue reading Experimental Tinnitus Treatment
It may be common knowledge that cupping your hand around your ear can help to amplify sounds, making speech more intelligible or making a distant whisper just a little louder, but what does the hand do to the ear to make it easier to hear these sounds?
Continue reading Cupped Hand Amplification
To better understand the difficulties of living with various types of hearing loss we have created this simple comparison using a piece of music and an audiobook, that explores the differences between broadband hearing loss, notches (or noise induced hearing loss), old age, and tinnitus.
Continue reading Experiencing Hearing Loss
Some very interesting work by Dr. Kathleen Campbell is revealing that there may be potential to produce an orally induced drug that could act as a preventative to hearing loss.
Continue reading Can a pill prevent hearing loss?