Room Acoustics, Fifth Edition: 5th Edition (Hardback) book cover

Room Acoustics, Fifth Edition

By Heinrich Kuttruff

© 2009 – CRC Press

392 pages

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pub: 2009-05-26
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About the Book

Since publication of the first edition in 1973, this professional and scientific reference has become the standard work in the field, providing detailed analysis of the state of the art in room acoustics.

It outlines the theory and practice of sound behaviour in enclosed spaces. Particular emphasis is given to the properties and calculation of reverberation, the most obvious acoustical feature of a closed room. Further key topics include the mechanisms of sound absorption and psychoacoustical factors, from which design parameters and figures of merit are derived. Two chapters are devoted to practical questions such as measurement techniques and the procedures of room acoustical design. The interaction between a room's acoustic properties and its electroacoustic systems is also considered, and refined systems for optimizing listening conditions in a room are presented.

This edition includes a new list of symbols, and updated sections include the measurement of the impulse response including a discussion of distortions, sound propagation as a diffusive process and scattering by wall irregularities.


‘The author strikes a balance between theory and practice as both come through in this text. Overall, this book comes across as highly readable and the material is practical enough to be readily applicable.’Noise Control Engineering Journal

Table of Contents

Some Facts on Sound Waves Sources and Hearing

Basic Relations, the Wave Equation

Pane Waves and Spherical Waves

Energy Density and Intensity, Radiation

Signals and Systems

Sound Pressure Level and Sound Power Level

Some Properties of Human Hearing

Sound Sources


Reflection and Scattering

Reflection Factor, Absorption Coefficient and Wall Impedance

Sound Reflection at Normal Incidence

Sound Reflection at Oblique Incidence

A Few Examples

Random Sound Incidence

Reflection from Finite-Sized Plane Surfaces

Scattering by Wall Irregularities


The Sound Field in a Closed Space (Wave Theory)

Formal Solution of theWave Equation

Normal Modes in Rectangular Rooms with Rigid Boundaries

Non-Rigid Walls

Steady-State Sound Field

Frequency and Spatial Averaging

Decaying Modes, Reverberation


Geometrical Room Acoustics

Enclosures with Plane Walls, Image Sources

The Temporal Disturbation of Reflections

The Directional Disturbation of Reflections, Diffuse Sound Field

Enclosures with Curved Walls

Enclosures with Diffusely Reflecting Walls, Radiosity Integral

Reverberation and Steady State Energy Density

Basic Properties and Realisation of Diffuse Sound Fields, Energy Balance

Mean Free Path and Average Rate of Reflections

Sound Decay and Reverberation Time

The Influence of Unequal Pate Lengths

Application of the Radiosity Integral

Sound Propagation as a Diffuse Process

Coupled Rooms


Sound Absorption and Sound Absorbers

The Attenuation of Sound in Air

Unavoidable Wall Adsorption

Sound Asorption by Membranes and Perforated Sheets

Resonnace Adsorbers

Helmholtz Resonators

Sound Absorption by Porous Materials

Audiences and Seat Absorption

Miscellaneous Objects

Anecjoic Rooms


Subjective Room Acoustics

Some General Remarks on Reflections and Echoes

The Perceptibility of Reflections

Echoes and Colouration

Early Energy: Definition, Clarity Index, Speech Transmission Index

Reverberation and Reverberance

Sound Pressure Level, Strength Factor

Spaciousness of Sound Fields

Assessment of Concert Hall Acoustics


Measuring Techniques in Room Acoustics

General Remarks on Instrumentation

Measurement of the Impulse Response

Examination of the Impulse Response

Measurement of Reveberration


Sound Absorption—Tube Methods

Sound Absorption—Reverberation Chamber

Scattering Coefficient


Design Considerations and Design Procedures

Direct Sound

Examination of the Room Shape

Reverberation Time

Prediction of Noise Level

Acoustical Scale Models

Computer Simulation



About the Author

Heinrich Kuttruff is Emeritus Professor at the Institute of Technical Acoustics at Aachen University, Germany.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Methods & Materials