Speakers comfort and voice use in different environments and babble-noise. What are the effects on effort and cognition?

Viveka Lyberg-Åhlander, Heike von Lochow, Jonas Brunskog, Susanna Whitling, Erling Nilsson, Jonas Christensson

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Teachers often report voice problems related to the occupational environment, and voice problems are more prevalent in teaching than in other occupations. Relationships between objectively measurable acoustical parameters and voice use have been shown. Speakers have been shown to be able to predict the speaker-comfort of an environment. Teachers with voice problems use the room differently than their voice-healthy controls. The aim of this study was to investigate what vocal changes speakers do in different acoustical environments and noise conditions. Nine female speakers, voice patients, and voice-healthy were exposed to four controlled, acoustical “environments” mounted in the same room: 1. stripped; 2. wall- and ceiling mounted absorbents; 3-4 as 2 but with extra ceiling absorbents and in two positions. The speakers were recorded with voice-accumulator and simultaneous voice recordings and spoke freely for 3-5 min in three noise conditions in each setting: silence, classroom noise (60 dBA), and day-care noise (75 dBA). Questionnaires on effort needed were completed by speakers and listeners. There was a co-play between the rooms and the subjectively assessed vocal- and listening effort and also a correlation to cognitive aspects. Listener assessments and the data from the voice accumulator will be presented. This knowledge may contribute to the area of classroom acoustics and speakers’ comfort in general.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3482
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note



  • Acoustic noise rating
  • Room acoustics
  • Environmental noise
  • Acoustical measurements

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