Reverberation time and audibility in phased geometrical acoustics using plane or spherical wave reflection coefficients

J Acoust Soc Am. 2019 Apr;145(4):2681. doi: 10.1121/1.5095862.


Room acoustics parameters are typically predicted using some form of geometrical acoustics for large rooms. For smaller rooms, phased geometrical acoustics improves results for lower frequencies. The use of a spherical wave reflection coefficient improves the results further, yet the exact impact on room acoustics parameters is not fully known. This work predicts the reverberation time in medium-sized rooms (27 m3 < V < 300 m3) using phased geometrical acoustics. The difference between the use of plane and spherical wave reflection modeling is analyzed for a variety of boundary conditions, including non-uniform distribution of absorption. Since calculated differences are greater than the conventional just-noticeable-difference of 5% for reverberation time, laboratory listening tests are performed to confirm audibility of the modeled differences. Two narrow band noise stimuli (octave bands with central frequency 125 and 250 Hz) with a duration of 1 s were used for comparisons of 18 acoustic scenarios by means of a three-alternative forced choice method. More than half of the listeners could hear the differences in all 36 cases. Statistically significant results (chi-squared test was used) were found in two-thirds of the cases, corresponding to those with longer reverberation times.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't