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A-weighting
A-weighting is the most commonly used of a family of curves defined in the International standard IEC 61672:2003 and various national standards relating to the measurement of sound pressure level. A-weighting is applied to instrument-measured sound levels in an effort to account for the relative loudness perceived by the human ear, as the ear is less sensitive to low audio frequencies. It is employed by arithmetically adding a table of values, listed by octave or third-octave bands, to the measured sound pressure levels in dB. The resulting octave band measurements are usually added (logarithmic method) to provide a single A-weighted value describing the sound; the units are written as dB(A). Other weighting sets of values – B, C, D and now Z – are discussed below. The curves were originally defined for use at different average sound levels, but A-weighting, though originally intended only for the measurement of low-level sounds (around 40 phon), is now commonly used ...
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Acoustic Weighting Curves (1)
A-weighting is the most commonly used of a family of curves defined in the International standard IEC 61672:2003 and various national standards relating to the measurement of sound pressure level. A-weighting is applied to instrument-measured sound levels in an effort to account for the relative loudness perceived by the human ear, as the ear is less sensitive to low audio frequencies. It is employed by arithmetically adding a table of values, listed by octave or third-octave bands, to the measured sound pressure levels in dB. The resulting octave band measurements are usually added (logarithmic method) to provide a single A-weighted value describing the sound; the units are written as dB(A). Other weighting sets of values – B, C, D and now Z – are discussed below. The curves were originally defined for use at different average sound levels, but A-weighting, though originally intended only for the measurement of low-level sounds (around 40 phon), is now commonly used f ...
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Weighting Filter
A weighting filter is used to emphasize or suppress some aspects of a phenomenon compared to others, for measurement or other purposes. Audio applications In each field of audio measurement, special units are used to indicate a weighted measurement as opposed to a basic physical measurement of energy level. For sound, the unit is the phon (1 kHz equivalent level). Sound Sound has three basic components, the wavelength, frequency, and speed. In sound measurement, we measure the loudness of the sound in decibels (dB). Decibels are logarithmic with 0  dB as the reference. There are also a range of frequencies that sounds can have. Frequency is the number of times a sine wave repeats itself in a second. Normal auditory systems can usually hear between 20 and 20,000 Hz. When we measure sound, the measurement instrument takes the incoming auditory signal and analyzes it for these different features. Weighting filters in these instruments then filter out certain f ...
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ITU-R 468 Noise Weighting
ITU-R 468 (originally defined in CCIR recommendation 468-4, therefore formerly also known as CCIR weighting; sometimes referred to as CCIR-1k) is a standard relating to noise measurement, widely used when measuring noise in audio systems. The standard, now referred to as ITU-R BS.468-4, defines a weighting filter curve, together with a quasi-peak rectifier having special characteristics as defined by specified tone-burst tests. It is currently maintained by the International Telecommunication Union who took it over from the CCIR. It is used especially in the UK, Europe, and former countries of the British Empire such as Australia and South Africa. It is less well known in the USA where A-weighting has always been used. M-weighting is a closely related filter, an offset version of the same curve, without the quasi-peak detector. Explanation The A-weighting curve was based on the 40 phon equal-loudness contour derived initially by Fletcher and Munson (1933). Originall ...
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Sound Level Meter
A sound level meter (also called sound pressure level meter (SPL)) is used for acoustic measurements. It is commonly a hand-held instrument with a microphone. The best type of microphone for sound level meters is the condenser microphone, which combines precision with stability and reliability. The diaphragm of the microphone responds to changes in air pressure caused by sound waves. That is why the instrument is sometimes referred to as a sound pressure level meter (SPL). This movement of the diaphragm, i.e. the sound pressure (unit pascal, Pa), is converted into an electrical signal (unit volt, V). While describing sound in terms of sound pressure, a logarithmic conversion is usually applied and the sound pressure ''level'' is stated instead, in decibels (dB), with 0 dB SPL equal to 20 micropascals. A microphone is distinguishable by the voltage value produced when a known, constant root mean square sound pressure is applied. This is known as microphone sensitivity. T ...
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Decibel
The decibel (symbol: dB) is a relative unit of measurement equal to one tenth of a bel (B). It expresses the ratio of two values of a power or root-power quantity on a logarithmic scale. Two signals whose levels differ by one decibel have a power ratio of 101/10 (approximately ) or root-power ratio of 10 (approximately ). The unit expresses a relative change or an absolute value. In the latter case, the numeric value expresses the ratio of a value to a fixed reference value; when used in this way, the unit symbol is often suffixed with letter codes that indicate the reference value. For example, for the reference value of 1 volt, a common suffix is " V" (e.g., "20 dBV"). Two principal types of scaling of the decibel are in common use. When expressing a power ratio, it is defined as ten times the logarithm in base 10. That is, a change in ''power'' by a factor of 10 corresponds to a 10 dB change in level. When expressing root-power quantities, a change in ''am ...
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Equal-loudness Contour
An equal-loudness contour is a measure of sound pressure level, over the frequency spectrum, for which a listener perceives a constant loudness when presented with pure steady tones. The unit of measurement for loudness levels is the phon and is arrived at by reference to equal-loudness contours. By definition, two sine waves of differing frequencies are said to have equal-loudness level measured in phons if they are perceived as equally loud by the average young person without significant hearing impairment. The Fletcher–Munson curves are one of many sets of equal-loudness contours for the human ear, determined experimentally by Harvey Fletcher and Wilden A. Munson, and reported in a 1933 paper entitled "Loudness, its definition, measurement and calculation" in the ''Journal of the Acoustical Society of America''. Fletcher–Munson curves have been superseded and incorporated into newer standards. The definitive curves are those defined in ISO 226 from the International Or ...
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Equal-loudness Contours
An equal-loudness contour is a measure of sound pressure level, over the frequency spectrum, for which a listener perceives a constant loudness when presented with pure steady tones. The unit of measurement for loudness levels is the phon and is arrived at by reference to equal-loudness contours. By definition, two sine waves of differing frequencies are said to have equal-loudness level measured in phons if they are perceived as equally loud by the average young person without significant hearing impairment. The Fletcher–Munson curves are one of many sets of equal-loudness contours for the human ear, determined experimentally by Harvey Fletcher and Wilden A. Munson, and reported in a 1933 paper entitled "Loudness, its definition, measurement and calculation" in the ''Journal of the Acoustical Society of America''. Fletcher–Munson curves have been superseded and incorporated into newer standards. The definitive curves are those defined in ISO 226 from the International O ...
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Fletcher–Munson Curves
An equal-loudness contour is a measure of sound pressure level, over the frequency spectrum, for which a listener perceives a constant loudness when presented with pure steady tones. The unit of measurement for loudness levels is the phon and is arrived at by reference to equal-loudness contours. By definition, two sine waves of differing frequencies are said to have equal-loudness level measured in phons if they are perceived as equally loud by the average young person without significant hearing impairment. The Fletcher–Munson curves are one of many sets of equal-loudness contours for the human ear, determined experimentally by Harvey Fletcher and Wilden A. Munson, and reported in a 1933 paper entitled "Loudness, its definition, measurement and calculation" in the ''Journal of the Acoustical Society of America''. Fletcher–Munson curves have been superseded and incorporated into newer standards. The definitive curves are those defined in ISO 226 from the International Organ ...
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Noise Health Effects
Noise health effects are the physical and psychological health consequences of regular exposure to consistent elevated sound levels. Noise from traffic, in particular, is considered by the World Health Organization to be one of the worst environmental stressors for humans, second only to air pollution. Elevated workplace or environmental noise can cause hearing impairment, tinnitus, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, annoyance, and sleep disturbance. Changes in the immune system and birth defects have been also attributed to noise exposure. Although age-related health effects (presbycusis) occur naturally with age, in many countries the cumulative impact of noise is sufficient to impair the hearing of a large fraction of the population over the course of a lifetime. Noise exposure has been known to induce noise-induced hearing loss, tinnitus, hypertension, vasoconstriction, and other cardiovascular adverse effects. Chronic noise exposure has been associated with sleep disturba ...
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Noise Dosimeter
A noise dosimeter (American English) or noise dosemeter (British English) is a specialized sound level meter intended specifically to measure the noise exposure of a person integrated over a period of time; usually to comply with Health and Safety regulations such as the Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) 29 CFR 1910.95 Occupational Noise Exposure Standard or EU Directive 2003/10/EC. Noise Measurement Noise dosimeters measure and store sound pressure levels (SPL) and, by integrating these measurements over time, provide a cumulative noise-exposure reading for a given period of time, such as an 8-hour workday. Dosimeters can function as personal or area noise monitors. In occupational settings, personal noise dosimeters are often worn on the body of a worker with the microphone mounted on the middle-top of the person’s most exposed shoulder. Area monitoring can be used to estimate noise exposure when the noise levels are relatively constant and employees are not mobile. I ...
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Loudness
In acoustics, loudness is the subjective perception of sound pressure. More formally, it is defined as, "That attribute of auditory sensation in terms of which sounds can be ordered on a scale extending from quiet to loud". The relation of physical attributes of sound to perceived loudness consists of physical, physiological and psychological components. The study of apparent loudness is included in the topic of psychoacoustics and employs methods of psychophysics. In different industries, loudness may have different meanings and different measurement standards. Some definitions, such as ITU-R BS.1770 refer to the relative loudness of different segments of electronically reproduced sounds, such as for broadcasting and cinema. Others, such as ISO 532A (Stevens loudness, measured in sones), ISO 532B ( Zwicker loudness), DIN 45631 and ASA/ANSI S3.4, have a more general scope and are often used to characterize loudness of environmental noise. More modern standards, such as Nord ...
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Noise Measurement
In acoustics, noise measurement can be for the purpose of measuring environmental noise or measuring noise in the workplace. Applications include monitoring of construction sites, aircraft noise, road traffic noise, entertainment venues and neighborhood noise. One of the definitions of noise covers all "unwanted sounds". When sound levels reach a high enough intensity, the sound, whether it is wanted or unwanted, may be damaging to hearing. Environmental noise monitoring is the measurement of noise in an outdoor environment caused by transport (e.g. motor vehicles, aircraft, and trains), industry (e.g. machines) and recreational activities (e.g. music). The laws and limits governing environmental noise monitoring differ from country to country. At the very least, noise may be annoying or displeasing or may disrupt the activity or balance of human or animal life, increasing levels of aggression, hypertension and stress. In the extreme, excessive levels or periods of noise can ...
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