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Ceiling baffles and reflectors for controlling lecture-room sound for speech intelligibility.

Authors
  • Yang, Wonyoung
  • Hodgson, Murray
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2007
Volume
121
Issue
6
Pages
3517–3526
Identifiers
PMID: 17552704
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Reinforcing speech levels and controlling noise and reverberation are the ultimate acoustical goals of lecture-room design to achieve high speech intelligibility. The effects of sound absorption on these factors have opposite consequences for speech intelligibility. Here, novel ceiling baffles and reflectors were evaluated as a sound-control measure, using computer and 1/8-scale models of a lecture room with hard surfaces and excessive reverberation. Parallel ceiling baffles running front to back were investigated. They were expected to absorb reverberation incident on the ceiling from many angles, while leaving speech signals, reflecting from the ceiling to the back of the room, unaffected. Various baffle spacings and absorptions, central and side speaker positions, and receiver positions throughout the room, were considered. Reflective baffles controlled reverberation, with a minimum decrease of sound levels. Absorptive baffles reduced reverberation, but reduced speech levels significantly. Ceiling reflectors, in the form of obstacles of semicircular cross section, suspended below the ceiling, were also tested. These were either 7 m long and in parallel, front-to-back lines, or 0.8 m long and randomly distributed, with flat side up or down, and reflective or absorptive top surfaces. The long reflectors with flat side down and no absorption were somewhat effective; the other configurations were not.

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