The Book of Acoustics

Chapter 2.0 Essential measurements

Summary of chapter 2.0


Key Lessons

  1. Understand the purpose of the space before taking measurements.
  2. Tools for measurement range from simple calculators to more advanced software used by professional acousticians.
  3. Valuable clues about acoustic issues can be gathered by asking the people currently using the space.
  4. Four of the most common interior acoustic measurements are reverberation time, speech intelligibility, sound level, and sound absorption.
  5. All objects, materials and people have acoustic properties which should be accounted for when assessing an acoustic environment.

Terms & Concepts

  • Acoustic treatment
  • Reverberation time
  • Sabine’s formula
  • Sound pressure (dB)
  • Frequency level (Hz)
  • Speech
  • Intelligibility
  • Noise rating (NR)
  • Sound absorption
  • Absorption coefficient

Major insight:

Before you can select a suitable treatment, you need to identify the acoustic properties of the space as well as any acoustic issues detracting from its function.


The Book of Acoustics

This is a handbook for architects and interior designers who want to create acoustically beautiful spaces that make people feel happier, healthier and more productive.