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Human Noise Perception

Noral D. Stewart noral at ix.netcom.com
Sat Nov 9 19:17:44 EST 1996

Eshet wrote:
> Hello to all.
> i'm interested in the transition from noise spectrum to the level of
> annoyance. I have measured noise spectrum in dBSPL and i want to find out if
> that noise cause damage to whom who listens to it.
> i know that there are graphs and tables for it, but i am looking for a well
> defined algorithm and maybe a computer program for the calculation.
> also, are there any formulas, instead of graphs for calculating dB(A) out of
> dBSPL.
> Thanx.
> Itay (yaele at post.tau.ac.il)

This may be more appropriate for posting in alt.sci.physics.acoustics.  
I will forward it there.

Computing A-weighted sound level from octave band or third octave 
data is simply a matter of applying the proper weighting to each band, 
dividing each band result by 10, taking the antilog of each, summing all 
the band antilogs, then taking the log of the sum and multiplying by 10.

Annoyance and physical damage are two different effects of noise.  
A third is interference with activity such as speech or sleep.  The most 
certain physical damage is that to hearing from exposure to very loud 
noise.  Activity interference can occur at lower levels.  Annoyance 
results partially from activity interference.  However, it can also 
result from deterioration of the acoustical quality of the environment 
that can occur at very low levels.  There is much research on these 
aspects of noise in the literature.  Try the Journal of the Acoustical 
Society of America, Journal of Sound and Vibration, or Acustica.

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