SC-04-09 meeting, New York, 2018-10

Report of the Meeting of the SC-04-09 working group on assessment of acoustic annoyance of the SC-04 subcommittee on acoustics, held in New York, 2018-10-18

This organizing meeting was convened by David Josephson to launch a new AESSC working group on assessment of acoustic annoyance. Members present from equipment manufacturing and software companies, acoustics consultants, public planners and researchers were joined by teleconference by two members from NASA Langley Research Center and one from DoT Volpe Lab. Several others who had expressed interest will join the discussion on the email reflector.

In attendence were D Josephson, J Britto, E Brixen, H Wittek, A Pinto, G Hill, B Lin, J Berryman, J Page, R Cabot.

The patent policy was announced to the attendees. The introductions of attendees were made and the agenda was approved.

New projects:

This effort identifies practices for estimation of annoyance of man-made sounds in the presence of background sounds, for automotive/aircraft, consumer, professional and land use planning applications. It includes intentionally generated sounds such as music and sporting events, and unintentional sound such as transportation system noise. It is to include auditory masking, not only integrated sound pressure. It considers relative disturbance but does not set thresholds for acceptability. It does not consider health impacts of sound.

Use cases for a “noisiness” criterion of interest to members were reviewed, including transportation system noise, leakage from sporting and musical events, product noise intrusiveness in home and office environments and acoustic ecology in general. AES TC on Acoustics and Sound Reinforcement has been working on acoustic spill from outdoor events into the community. We expect to incorporate some of the research being completed in that TC. There is a long history of research in noisiness vs loudness with little recent progress.

The chair introduced the concept of a measurement and assessment protocol based on the time-varying loudness method of Moore and Glasberg, published in JAES and soon to be advanced as ISO 532-3. Many of the underlying Journal papers have been uploaded for use by SC members in the AESSC documents directory, and sample code is available from the auditory perception group at Cambridge. Initially there was resistance to the use of such metrics because they are computationally expensive – this is no longer a concern, with realtime processing being practical on small embedded computing devices. Two primary components of annoyance – additional loudness due to amplitude fluctuations over time and spectral contrast with ambient noise – were identified as areas where existing annoyance protocols may be lacking. To close these gaps, work is underway both on a protocol for understanding temporal and spectral contrast with background/ambient sound and on integration of exposure. There are many existing protocols across other standards-generating organizations, but most have evolved to suit specific noise sources and use cases. While amplitude comparisons across different models of essentially similar devices are practical with existing standards, we don’t know the acoustic characteristics of new devices or vehicles. It’s important to understand the mechanisms as broadly as possible with an emphasis on physiological and tested psychoacoustic criteria.

Members are encouraged to upload relevant research documents to the SC-04-09 document page. Credentials for access are granted by the AESSC Standards Manager – those wishing to join the group should notify If other standards are required for analysis and incorporation please identify them and we will try to add them to the repository. Access is a little simpler if you are already an AES member, but possible even if you are not. There is no charge for participation but companies benefiting from the work of this working group are encouraged to become AESSC Standards Sustainers, see


Nothing to report.

New business:

There was no new business.

The next meeting will be held in Dublin, Ireland 2019-03, in conjunction with the AES 146th convention.

AES - Audio Engineering Society