It is often necessary to estimate or compare the detectability or significance of noises. A review and development of the underlying psychoacoustics of noise detection and threshold phenomena are presented. Particular attention is paid to noises of arbitrary spectral shape. Various measures of human auditory frequency selectivity are contrasted, including critical band, critical ratio, auditory filter, and active process considerations. Estimation techniques based on weighting are compared with those given by detection criteria applied to more sophisticated auditory modeling. Some definitive recommendations are made.
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