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Perception of sound quality of product sounds. A subjective study using a semantic differential

: Hülsmeier, D.; Schell-Majoor, L.; Rennies, J.; Par, S. van de

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Davy, John (Ed.):
43rd International Congress on Noise Control Engineering, Inter.noise 2014. Proceedings. Online resource : Improving the World through Noise Control; Melbourne, Australia, 16-19 November 2014
ISBN: 978-0-909882-04-4
Paper 112, 9 pp.
International Congress on Noise Control Engineering (Inter-Noise) <43, 2014, Melbourne>
Conference Paper, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IDMT ()

How can quality of product sounds be measured? This question was investigated on basis of shaver, vacuum cleaner and spray sounds, which were matched in loudness according to DIN45631 and were separately presented to subjects. Using open questions, the perception of the sounds was determined and a list with word pairs was created as a basis for a semantic differential. The sounds were presented to subjects in a listening booth and were rated separately for each product group. The data were analysed by means of polarity profiles and factor analyses. Groupings could be found for sounds and word pairs. For the word pairs, one factor representing quality could be found for each product group. This factor, the factor loadings and the answers of the subjects were used as basis for a linear model. The results indicate that spectral and temporal properties of spray sounds correlate with perception of quality. Stationary spray sounds were rated with a high quality in contrast to spluttering sounds. Vacuum cleaners need to sound powerful and functional to be perceived as top quality. Precise, cutting and fast sounds were perceived as top quality for shavers. The results are discussed on basis of auditory models.