Predicting the perceived Quality of impulsive Vehicle sounds

Invited paper

Marius Höchstetter

BMW Group

Wednesday 3 june, 2015, 11:00 - 11:20

0.7 Lisbon (47)

A key element in the designing process of vehicle sound is the evaluation of the customers’ perception and cognitive expectation on acoustic quality. As the human auditory perception comprises multiple dimensions, the degree of fulfilling the individual’s requirements on acoustic quality is a complex task. In this respect, the perception of impulsive sounds is particular important since those are the sounds the customers listen to at their first contact when visiting a dealership. The present study shows psychoacoustic metrics that allow predicting their perceived sound quality. In a first step, significant psychoacoustic parameters were derived from verbal descriptors assessing the sound quality of door handle snapback. Then, paired comparison tests and categorical scale judgments were carried out for door closing and indicator snapback sounds. Based on these results, linear regression analysis revealed a significant predictive accuracy for two psychoacoustic parameters. The first is the classical percentile loudness <latex>$N_5$</latex> (see DIN 45 631) and the second is the newly considered measure duration of sharpness. Their relative contribution depends on the considered sound type. Whereas loudness appears to be the major predictor for the indicator snapback sound, the duration of sharpness has a large contribution when predicting the acoustic quality of door closing sounds. The influence of these parameters was confirmed in additional experiments measuring quality of sounds where these parameters were explicitly varied. In summary, the data show that a linear combination of these parameters with signal specific adjustments on their significance can serve as a good basis for the qualitative assessment of vehicle sound quality.

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