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Objective Characterization of Audio Sound Fields in Automotive Spaces

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The properties of sound fields in cars are of great interest. A considerable part of the daily noise exposure of many people is obtained while driving. The car compartment today is also the primary music listening environment for many people, and many people spend considerable amounts of money on car audio equipment. Audio for the car environment requires different engineering tradeoffs than for the home environment. The cognitive aspect for car audio equipment may be larger than for domestic equipment. The car is for many the most important status symbol. Also, the presence of noise while listening to voice and music results in different system criteria. Consequently, understanding the electroacoustics and room acoustics of the car audio environment is important. Audio system design criteria have to be set by and for measurements. Most conventional acoustic measures are of interest in the car acoustics measurement but emphasis is shifted to the sound pressure at the listener's position. The audio measures have to be modified because of the special listening circumstance due to the small size of the compartment. The field offers many opportunities for further research in order to find objective measures that describe the listening experience well.

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