Preferences of concert hall acoustics are explored with preference mapping. The investigation is performed on previously gathered data from individual vocabulary profiling of nine concert halls and three pieces of symphonic music, namely, excerpts of compositions by Beethoven, Bruckner, and Mozart. Individual preferences are regressed onto a latent three-dimensional sensory space obtained by multiple factor analysis of descriptive sensory data. Overlaying individually estimated preference surfaces onto one another produces preference maps which illustrates both the overall preference of the stimuli as well as differences between individual listeners. A comparison of the maps between music motifs illustrates how each music signal affects the weighting of different acoustical qualities in preference judgments. Differences in preferences between individuals are pronounced in the excerpts of Beethoven and Bruckner, while the responses are more homogeneous for Mozart music motif. Overall, proximity is identified as the main aspect associated with preference, but also loudness, envelopment, and bass are important. A correlation analysis of objective parameters and subjective perceptions substantiates the importance of lateral sound energy for good concert hall acoustics. Particularly, the lateral early energy fraction at high frequencies is found to be associated with the perception of proximity, and hence, also with preference.
- concert halls, preference mapping, room acoustics