Sensory Evaluation of Sound provides a detailed review of the latest sensory evaluation techniques, specifically applied to the evaluation of sound and audio. This three-part book commences with an introduction to the fundamental role of sound and hearing, which is followed by an overview of sensory evaluation methods and associated univariate and multivariate statistical analysis techniques. The final part of the book provides several chapters with concrete real-world applications of sensory evaluation ranging from telecommunications, hearing aids design and binaural sound, via the latest research in concert hall acoustics through to audio-visual interaction. Aimed at the engineer, researcher, university student or manager the book gives insight into the advanced methods for the sensory evaluation with many application examples.
- Introduces the fundamental of hearing and the value of sound
- Provides a firm theoretical basis for advanced techniques in sensory evaluation of sound that are then illustrated with concrete examples from university research through to industrial product development
- Includes chapters on sensory evaluation practices and methods as well as univariate and multivariate statistical analysis
- Six application chapters covering a wide range of concrete sensory evaluation study examples including insight into audio-visual assessment
- Includes data analysis with several associated downloadable datasets
- Provides extensive references to the existing research literature, text books and standards
Table of Contents
Section I: Background. Introduction. Why Sound Matters. Sound, Hearing and Perception. Section II: Theory and Practice. Sensory Evaluation in Practice. Sensory Evaluation Methods for Sound. Applied Univariate Statistics. Applied Multivariate Statistics. Section III: Application. Telecommunications Applications. Hearing Aids. Car Audio. Binaural Spatial Reporduction. Concert Hall Acoustics. Emotions, Associations, and Sound. Audiovisual Interaction. Section IV: Annexes. Appendix A. Bibliography. Index.
Dr Nick Zacharov (FAES, C.Eng., M.Sc., B.Eng.(Hons.)) is a LEAD Technologist at FORCE Technology, SenseLab, Denmark, and widely recognised as one of the world’s leading authorities in the specialist field of quality assessment of sensory perception. With an academic background in electroacoustics, acoustics and signal processing, Nick has a broad industrial experience in the audio profession spanning from mobile phone audio to professional audio equipment design. His profound interest in audio quality is the cornerstone of his professional career. Having held engineering and managerial posts at Nokia, Genelec and DELTA, Nick co-founded SenseLab within DELTA in 2007, providing world-class listening tests and sensory evaluation services to the international audio community.
He has been an active member of the Audio Engineering Society, serving as chairperson, co-chairman of conferences and AES governor in additions to being a member of several other professional societies.
Nick has more than 90 publications to his name as well as several audio patents. Nick is also co-author of "Perceptual Audio Evaluation – theory, method and application", which is an acknowledged and widely used textbook in its field.
"This excellent book is the natural successor to Perceptual Audio Evaluation – Theory, Method and Application by Soren Bech and Nick Zacharov. The measurement of audio quality has traditionally ignored the true experience of listening, understandably relying heavily on easily repeatable quantification techniques that cannot fully represent the sensations experienced by untrained listeners in everyday situations. The Sensory Evaluation of Sound methodically guides readers through contemporary methods of evaluating sound from a sensory perspective, which goes well beyond standardized audio measurement techniques. Nick Zacharov is a well-established expert in the field and has approached contributors of similar calibre to provide information about real life applications and the underpinning theory so that sound, reproduction systems and room acoustics can be evaluated effectively. We will be using this text on our undergraduate and postgraduate sound design degrees, as it clearly describes and more importantly justifies why sound is important and how to effectively capture a wide variety of listening experiences. Nick Zacharov’s introduction provides an insightful synopsis of the field of sensory evaluation that is pertinent to anyone working with sound. Julian Treasure continues by highlighting how sound and its ubiquity affects human beings. More importantly he addresses the declining potential for silence, with its physiological, psychological, cognitive and behavioral consequences. It is possible to gain a thorough grounding in the field of listening tests from this text so that reliable experiments can be executed and reported using the superb guidance in the 15 highly informative chapters. This book should be essential reading for anyone working professionally in the field of sound and its many applications."
—Iain McGregor, Edinburgh Napier University, UK
"This book includes an impressive collection of high-quality research by top researchers in the field. It will serve both the newcomer and experienced researcher in sensory evaluation of sound as a very valuable update and addition to existing literature. A key feature is Part III: Applications where a range of best practice examples are included – this section will be highly appreciated by everybody working in the field! This book is a "must have" for any serious researcher or practitioner in the field."
—Søren Bech, Aalborg University, Denmark
"This book gives a very broad and detailed coverage of all aspects of the application of sensory methods, originally developed in the food industry, to sound. The issues and challenges of sensory sound evaluation are discussed together with an overview of both traditional and new methods of data collection and analysis. Nick Zacharov has done an excellent job in bringing together so many contributors renowned in the field."
— Anne Hasted, Qi Statistics Ltd, UK
"Sensory Evaluation of Sound would become an obligatory reference for sound and audio enthusiast and professionals. It is a book made by expert practitioners for practitioners with detailed information about several techniques and applications. Sensory Evaluation of Sound presents a curated selection of authors and topics edited by Nick Zacharov, written in a direct but accessible manner with clear, and sometimes provocative, ideas."
—Julián Villegas, University of Aizu, Japan
"Sensory Evaluation of Sound proves to be a very engaging book. Absolutely necessary and highly anticipated, it focuses on all aspects of sensory analysis in the sound field. This led the editor, Nick Zacharov, to gather numerous accredited experts as well as to extensively explore the techniques of other fields, thus providing the reader with an extraordinary set of methods and uses. In return, this gives the book a broader scope than sound field because it becomes a guide for very useful methods in many fields. Sensometrics, that is, statistics applied to sensory data, is largely highlighted. A relevant achievement is to make it an easy to use tool, providing users with the datasets and R scripts used in the examples. This book will definitely be appreciated by students, practitioners and researchers interested in sound evaluation."
—Mónica Bécue-Bertaut, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain
"One may think that perceptual evaluation is trivial. It is in truth more complex than it looks. Douglas Adams illustrated in one of his novels the problems that might occur if the research question is not properly defined: his characters ask a sapient being to compute the answer to the question about Life, the Universe, and Everything. The answer they obtain is exact but unusable: 42 is the answer. Evaluating audio quality can lead to a similar problem: ratings of audio quality will not be usable unless you know exactly what you are doing.
What is the research question we want to answer? Which stimuli should we use? What question should we ask our listeners (which is rarely the same question as the one we want to answer)? How should we choose our panel of listeners? These are just a few of the many questions that one should ask themselves when designing an audio quality evaluation experiment.
Until now, the Holy Bible for anybody who wanted to design a perceptual audio evaluation experiment, and certainly for me, was Søren Bech and Nick Zacharov’s book. Although there are several books about perception of sound, Søren and Nick’s book was the only one that discussed extensively the evaluation methods instead of the results of the experiments. Their book was a complete introduction to perceptual audio evaluation, as its name would suggest.
By gathering experts from many different audio evaluation domains, the reader of Sensory Evaluation of Sound can learn both the bases of theory of perceptual audio evaluation and its application to a number of specific fields such as hearing aids, car audio, or spatial audio.
Since the field of perceptual audio evaluation is still fairly young compared to that of food industry evaluation, a number of standards have been developed in the past few years. Sensory Evaluation of Sound therefore brings a much-needed update on Søren Bech and Nick Zacharov’s previous book by presenting these new standards. But the most interesting addition for me lays in the chapters on statistical analysis of the experiment’s results. The experiments we do in audio evaluation sometimes reach the limits of the example designs we see in statistics books. Nick’s book gives us here tools for analyzing some of these special conditions, in particular multi-attribute ratings with a repeated-measures design.
The second half of the book focuses on concrete applications of perceptual audio evaluation in different areas of audio research. For the past few years, I have been fighting for more permeability between the different areas of audio research. I am really happy to see here a step in the same direction: by presenting the problems of audio evaluation and the views of the researchers in different fields, it brings a new light on everybody’s research questions. For example, the questions and protocols of today’s telecommunications may well give an idea of tomorrow’s hearing aids quality evaluation: since the quality of those latter devices has strongly improved, researchers in the hearing devices industry have started to look further than the evaluation intelligibility, as discussed in the book. The case studies presented in this second part of the book are well detailed and will be immensely useful to anyone who intend to design one of these experiments."
—Laurent Simon, ORL Klinik, University Hospital, Zürich, Switzerland