Annoyance by transportation noise: The effects of source identity and tonal components

Kim White*, Adelbert W. Bronkhorst, Martijn Meeter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Aircraft noise is consistently rated as more annoying than noise from other sources with similar intensity. In three experiments, it was investigated whether this penalty is due to the source identity of the noise. In the first experiment, four samples were played to participants engaged in a working memory task: road traffic noise, an Airbus 320 flyover, and unidentifiable, transformed versions of these samples containing the same spectral content and envelope. Original, identifiable samples were rated as more annoying than the transformed samples. A second experiment tested whether these results were due to the absence of tonal components in the transformed samples. This was partly the case: an additional sample, created from the A320 flyover by filtering out major tonal components, was rated as less annoying than the original A320 sample, but as more annoying than the transformed sample. In a third experiment, participants either received full disclosure of the generation of the samples or no information to identify the transformed samples. The transformed sample was rated as most annoying when the A320 identity was disclosed, but as least annoying when it was not. Therefore, it was concluded that annoyance is influenced by both identifiability and the presence of tonal components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3137-3144
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number5
Early online date5 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


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