Frequency dependence of vertical whole-body vibration perception – is your car rattling or humming?



Humans perceive whole-body vibration in many daily life situations. Often they are exposed to whole-body vibration in combination with acoustic events. Sound and vibration usually stems from the same source, for example concerts or travelling in vehicles, such as automobile, aircrafts, or ships. While we can describe acoustic stimuli using psychoacoustic descriptors such as loudness or timbre, the description human perception of whole body vibration frequently has been reduced to comfort or quality in the past. Unlike loudness or timbre, comfort and quality are dependent on the overall context. Especially in vehicles expectations might differ lot between different vehicle classes. Previous studies have evaluated a large range of suitable descriptors for whole-body vibrations that are independent of context. They suggest that certain descriptors are driven to a large extend by the frequency content of the vibration. This study systematically investigates the influence of frequency content on the perception of whole-body vibration varying frequency content and intensity of the vibrations. The results verify the frequency dependence of specific descriptors and identify the respective frequency ranges.