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The goal of psychoacoustics is to understand how people perceive and experience sound. This can be at a low level; for example, we might want to understand how accurately you can locate a sound source, or we might want to measure the smallest change in sound level you can detect. We can also work at a higher level; for example, we might want to understand the emotional response to sound in your everyday environment, or we might want to evaluate annoyance due to noise pollution. We carry out mainly high-level applied psychoacoustic research aimed at solving practical problems. The results of our research are used in designing better environments, more appealing products and more effective regulation. We have done significant work on soundscapes, where we led a large project to characterise human perception of everyday sound and develop ways of improving the sound of the built environment. We have also worked to understand product sound quality: what makes one kettle sound more pleasant than another?

Below are examples of some of the projects we have worked on and areas in which we carry out research:


Environmental noise and vibration

Perception of sound in rooms


Product sound quality

Psychoacoustics contact

Please contact Bill Davies at