Perceptual significance of seat-dip effect related direct sound coloration in concert halls

H. Tahvanainen, A. Haapaniemi, T. Lokki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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In concert halls, the spectrum of direct sound (here 0 to 15 ms) is influenced by the seat-dip effect that causes selective low frequency attenuation. The seat-dip effect has been considered to be detrimental to the acoustic quality of halls, yet there is little evidence about the perceptual significance of the effect. This paper studies the discrimination and preference of seat-dip effect related changes in the direct sound, with realistic auralization of multichannel anechoic orchestra recordings in halls measured with the loudspeaker orchestra. Comparisons are made with a free-field direct sound and direct sound magnitude changes typically associated with the seat-dip effect. Overall, the differences were not significantly audible, except with a subgroup of participants in one out of four halls, and two out of three comparisons. Furthermore, participants' preference for the uncolored direct sound was significant in the halls with less reflected energy, but non-significant in the halls with more reflected energy. The results imply that for most seats in adequately reverberant halls, typical seat-dip effect related coloration in the direct sound can be perceptually negligible.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1560-1570
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Concert hall acoustics
  • Room acoustic analysis
  • seat-dip effect


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