Effects of flow gradients on directional radiation of human voice

Ville Pulkki, Timo Lähivaara, Ilkka Huhtakallio

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In voice communication in windy outdoor conditions, complex velocity gradients appear in the flow field around the source, the receiver, and also in the atmosphere. It is commonly known that voice emanates stronger towards the downstream direction when compared with the upstream direction. In literature, the atmospheric effects are used to explain the stronger emanation in the downstream direction. This work shows that the wind also has an effect to the directivity of voice also favouring the downstream direction. The effect is addressed by measurements and simulations. Laboratory measurements are conducted by using a large pendulum with a loudspeaker mimicking the human head, whereas practical measurements utilizing the human voice are realized by placing a subject through the roof window of a moving car. The measurements and a simulation indicate congruent results in the speech frequency range: When the source faces the downstream direction, stronger radiation coinciding with the wind direction is observed, and when it faces the upstream direction, radiation is not affected notably. The simulated flow gradients show a wake region in the downstream direction, and the simulated acoustic field in the flow show that the region causes a wave-guide effect focusing the sound in the direction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1173-1181
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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