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ISO 532-1

1st Edition, June 2017

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Acoustics - Methods for calculating loudness - Part 1: Zwicker method

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Description / Abstract:

This document specifies two methods for estimating the loudness and loudness level of sounds as perceived by otologically normal persons under specific listening conditions. The first method is intended for stationary sounds and the second method for arbitrary non-stationary (time-varying) sounds, including stationary sounds as a special case.

The methods can be applied to any sound recorded as single-channel measurements using a microphone, or as multi-channel measurements, for example by means of a head and torso simulator (see Annex D). Since most important technical sounds are time-varying, a model of time-varying loudness is preferable.

The methods are based on the Zwicker algorithm.[14] The method for stationary sounds is provided for reasons of continuity and also offers the use of measured one-third-octave-band levels as input. The more general method for arbitrary sounds calculates the specific loudness pattern based on measured time signals by applying a signal processing model that is directly related to physiological and psychological characteristics of the human hearing system. Loudness is calculated from the specific loudness pattern. It has been shown that this method provides a good match to the results of many loudness experiments using synthetic and technical sounds.

No prior knowledge about the properties of the sound (e.g. broadband or narrowband noise, tonal content) and no user interactions are required for the fully automated application of the method.

The evaluation of the harmful effect of sound events is outside the scope of this document.
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