Sound

Sound

New Study Examines How Face Masks Affect Speech Recognition in Background Noise

Researchers at Villanova University found that in low levels of background noise (for the purposes of recognizing spoken sentences immediately after presentation), face masks have a small effect related to speech production without a mask, and some masks have no effect. In high levels of background noise, the effects of different mask types become more apparent.

Homemade cloth masks and N95 respirators had the largest impact on speech recognition while surgical masks had no effect.

Reference

Read more

Taking a Leaf Out of Morland’s Book

The megaphone—first seen in historical artifacts from Ancient Greece and in Native-American artistic depictions of a chief, is a tool used even today to equalize the proverbial sound field. Samuel Morland and Athanasius Kircher are credited to have independently “invented” the modern acoustic version of this useful device around the seventeenth century 1

Read more

Bored Out of My Mind

Hi! I am a hearing aid and I am bored out of my mind.

It took years, no decades, for me to hone the skills to be a discriminating listener. At first, I could tell when sound was coming from the front versus other directions. Then, I could tell when you were speaking from when the fan was whirring or traffic was zipping by.

It took a lot of hard work but I even learned how to pull out the voice of whomever was speaking with you from the random noises in the background. 

Read more

Tinnitus? Or Notched or Sloped Hearing Loss?

Tinnitus is a heterogenous phenomenon that includes a range of sound percepts, patient reactions, and patient characteristics. It is also not uncommon for patients to complain of tinnitus, but based upon further inquiry to determine their chief complaint is actually hearing loss.


Read more

Trapping the Tiniest Sound

Phonons are the smallest unit of the vibrational energy that makes up sound waves. Like their light counter-parts (photons), phonon are not matter exactly but are considered particles in a sense.

Read more

Shocking Tinnitus Treatment Approaches

A number of attempts are underway to use neural stimulation to modulate tinnitus perception, including sound stimulation paired with somatosensory stimulation. The effectiveness of these treatments has been variable. It is well described in the literature that cochlear implants can often provide some level of tinnitus suppression, when the implant is being utilized. However, the invasiveness of the procedure and risk for further damage to the cochlea, make its application for tinnitus management alone currently implausible.

Read more

The Sound of Change

You know what is creating a lot of acoustic vibrations (call it noise or sound) in the news? It’s the entirely novel sound that the new electric Harley Davidson, named the Livewire, will make. 

Making an electric motorcycle was perhaps the handshake with the future that the company was looking for. However, with this bold step came, what must have been a philosophical challenge the likes of which the company may have rarely encountered. 

Read more

How Loud is a Professional Football Game?

As part of its efforts to educate the public about the risks of exposure to loud sounds at home and in communities, the CDC National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) has procured one-page advertisements in official printed sports programs for the National Hockey League (NHL), the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Football League (NFL).

Read more

Are We Breaking the World’s Most Powerful Pair of Glasses?

Have you seen the movie "Finding Dory"? In one of the many exciting sequences, the protagonist Dory needs the help of Bailey the beluga whale to navigate through a maze of pipes. In a later, and even more exciting sequence, Bailey helps Dory keep track of a moving truck in which Dory's friends Nemo and Merlin inadvertently became captured.

Read more

Trees in a Forest, Winds on Mars

Is there sound if a tree falls in the forest but there is no one there to hear it?

It is time to modernize this question by asking if there is sound if wind blows on Mars and Elon has just not landed there yet.

Turns out NASA’s InSight lander is a nice surrogate for the symbolic human supposed to be there for sound to happen. It sent back sounds generated by Martian winds captured by its seismometer to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Read more