Relationships between prior experience with fan noise and fan noise ratings in laboratory listening tests



In the assessment of noise annoyance and sound quality, judgments made in the laboratory can be influenced by the prior experience that a participant had with the specific type of sound under test. In field tests for noise annoyance, prior experience and individual noise sensitivity are often part of the data collection but they are not always reported for sound quality evaluations in the laboratory. In this paper, data from listening tests dealing with the perception of fan noise was re-analyzed with respect to the individual prior experience participants had with fan noise in their life. The answers to a short questionnaire showed that the prior experience of the participants with fan sounds was quite different. For the investigated 30 fan sounds, five categories of every-day situations could be identified, in which fan sounds had been most commonly heard by the participants. The frequency how often fan sounds had been heard and the overall annoyance by fan sounds in daily life differed considerably between the participants. However, the exploration of the present data did not reveal a strong link between the individual prior experience and the results of the listening tests when averaged across participants with same ratings.