Subjective experience of speech depending on the acoustic treatment in an ordinary room

Emma Arvidsson, Erling Nilsson, Delphine Bard-Hagberg, Ola J.I. Karlsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)


In environments such as classrooms and offices, complex tasks are performed. A satisfac-tory acoustic environment is critical for the performance of such tasks. To ensure a good acoustic environment, the right acoustic treatment must be used. The relation between different room acoustic treatments and how they affect speech perception in these types of rooms is not yet fully under-stood. In this study, speech perception was evaluated for three different configurations using ab-sorbers and diffusers. Twenty-nine participants reported on their subjective experience of speech in respect of different configurations in different positions in a room. They judged sound quality and attributes related to speech perception. In addition, the jury members ranked the different acoustic environments. The subjective experience was related to the different room acoustic treatments and the room acoustic parameters of speech clarity, reverberation time and sound strength. It was found that people, on average, rated treatments with a high degree of absorption as best. This configura-tion had the highest speech clarity value and lowest values for reverberation time and sound strength. The perceived sound quality could be correlated to speech clarity, while attributes related to speech perception had the strongest association with reverberation time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12274
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics


  • Acoustic comfort
  • Acoustic design
  • Reverberation time
  • Room acoustics
  • Sound quality
  • Sound strength
  • Speech clarity
  • Speech perception


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