Sound quality characteristics of refrigerator noise in real living environments with relation to psychoacoustical and autocorrelation function parameters

J Acoust Soc Am. 2007 Jul;122(1):314-25. doi: 10.1121/1.2739440.


Psychoacoustical and autocorrelation function (ACF) parameters were employed to describe the temporal fluctuations of refrigerator noise during starting, transition into/from the stationary phase and termination of operation. The temporal fluctuations of refrigerator noise include a click at start-up, followed by a rapid increase in volume, a change of pitch, and termination of the operation. Subjective evaluations of the noise of 24 different refrigerators were conducted in a real living environment. The relationship between objective measures and perceived noisiness was examined by multiple regression analysis. Sound quality indices were developed based on psychoacoustical and ACF parameters. The psychoacoustical parameters found to be important for evaluating noisiness in the stationary phase were loudness and roughness. The relationship between noisiness and ACF parameters shows that sound energy and its fluctuations are important for evaluating noisiness. Also, refrigerator sounds that had a fluctuation of pitch were rated as more annoying. The tolerance level for the starting phase of refrigerator noise was found to be 33 dBA, which is the level where 65% of the participants in the subjective tests were satisfied.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Auditory Perception*
  • Auditory Threshold
  • Emotions
  • Housing*
  • Humans
  • Korea
  • Loudness Perception
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Noise / adverse effects*
  • Oscillometry
  • Perceptual Masking
  • Pitch Perception
  • Pressure
  • Psychoacoustics*
  • Refrigeration / instrumentation*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sound Spectrography
  • Time Factors