Absorption Class – Classification of sound absorbers into Sound Absorption Classes A-E. Class A absorbers affords 90% absorption, Class B 85% and so on.
Acoustics – The study of sound. In terms of room or space, the term refers to the properties or qualities of a room or building that determine how sound is transmitted in it.
Articulation Class (AC) – Indicates the speech privacy performance of a ceiling in an open plan environment, such as a space divided by half height screens. A rating below 150 indicates poor speech privacy performance; a rating above 180 indicates good performance.
Articulation Loss of CONSonants (%-Alcons) – Alcons is the measured percentage of Articulation Loss of Consonants by a listener. % Alcons of 0 indicates perfect clarity and intelligibility with no loss of consonant understanding, while 10% and beyond is growing toward bad intelligibility, and 15% typically is the maximum loss acceptable. Consonants play a much more significant role in speech intelligibility than vowels. If the consonants are heard clearly, the speech can be understood more easily.
Background Noise – An important concept in setting noise regulations, background noise is any environmental noises such as speech, scraping chairs, humming ventilation, traffic, machinery and equipment, sound from corridors, adjoining rooms, playgrounds.
Flutter echo – Occurs when noise bounces in rapid sucession between parallel surfaces (walls or floors and ceilings) in a room.
Frequency (f) – Measured in Hz (hertz), frequency is the rate per second of a vibration constituting a wave. The higher the value, the lighter the tone (bass – treble). The frequency of speech lies primarily between 125 and 8000 Hz, while audible sound lies between 20 and 20 000 Hz.
Cocktail Party Problem – Refers to the difficulty of understanding speech in noisy social settings.
The Lombard Effect – As people in a room talk louder and louder until they are shouting, there comes a point when the noises inundate each other and no-one can understand what each other is saying.
Noise – A sound, especially one that is loud or unpleasant or that causes disturbance. Noise is unwanted sound.
Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) – The Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) is a scaled representation of the amount of sound energy absorbed upon striking a particular surface – an NRC of 0 indicates perfect reflection; an NRC of 1 indicates perfect absorption. Due to the formulas used values larger than one are possible, and common. NRC is most commonly used to rate general acoustical properties of acoustic ceiling tiles, baffles, and banners, office screens, and acoustic wall panels.
Privacy – Acoustic Privacy or Speech Privacy between working places in open plan offices is expressed with the Articulation Class (AC).
Rapid Speech Transmission Index (RASTI) – RASTI is a way of measuring speech intelligibility. It is measured at two frequencies, 500 and 2000 Hz, by placing a loudspeaker, which transmits sound from the location of the person speaking, and a microphone where the listeners are situated. (See also Speech Transmission Index – STI).
Reverberation Time, (T or RT) – The time it takes for the sound pressure level to fall by 60 dB after the sound has been turned off. Measuring the reverberation time allows us to calculate the total sound absorption. The reverberation time varies according to the frequency.
Sabine’s Formula- The physicist Wallace Clement Sabine (1869-1919) created the well known Sabine formula (T=0,16V/A), showing the relationship between reverberation time (T s), room volume (V m³) and the amount of absorption (A m²).
Sound Absorbers – Materials that absorb sound energy and convert it into other forms of energy. They improve room acoustics by removing sound reflections, thus reducing the noise and the reverberation time.
Sound Absorption – Means that sound energy is converted into mechanical vibration energy and/or heat energy. Sound absorption is expressed as the sound absorption coefficient α or the sound absorption class (A-E) according to EN ISO 11654 or NRC/SAA according to ASTM C 423.
Sound Absorption Average (SAA) – Single value for the sound absorption according to ASTM C 423, including the third octaves in the frequency range 200-2500 Hz.
Sound Absorption Class – Classification of sound absorbers into Sound Absorption Classes A-E, according to EN ISO 11654, including frequencies 200-5000 Hz.
Sound Insulation – The ability of a building element or building structure to reduce the sound transmission through it. The sound insulation is measured at different frequencies, normally 100-3150 Hz. Airborne sound insulation is expressed by a single value, Dn,c,w ,Rw or R’w. Impact sound insulation is expressed by a single value Ln,w or L’ n,w .
Sound Pressure Level (dB) – The pressure variations caused by sound waves in air are called sound pressure. The lowest sound pressure level which can be heard is 0 dB, known as the hearing threshold. The highest level which can be tolerated is called the pain threshold and is around 120 dB.
Sound Strength (dB) – Measured in dB (deciBel). dB is measured at different frequencies. dB(A) (or LpA) is a single-figure value used to describe the total sound strength for all frequencies in a way similar to the sensitivity of the ear. dB(C) (or LpC) particularly focuses on low frequencies and better reflects how a sound is perceived by people with impaired hearing.
Speech Intelligibility – Speech Intelligibility refers to how clearly speech can be heard and understood. It is mostly dependent on three things; the level of background noise, reverberation time and the shape of the room. Different methods are used to evaluate speech intelligibility, the most common ones are RASTI, STI and %-Alcons.
Speech Transmission Index (STI) – Similar to the RASTI method but a more complete form of measuring speech intelligibility by measuring all octave bands in the frequency range 125-8000 Hz.