Relative contributions of specific frequency bands to the loudness of broadband sounds

Walt Jesteadt, Sara M. Walker, Oluwaseye A. Ogun, Brenda Ohlrich, Katyarina E. Brunette, Marcin Wróblewski, Kendra K. Schmid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Listeners with normal hearing (NH) and sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) were asked to compare pairs of noise stimuli and choose the louder noise in each pair. Each noise was made up of 15, two-ERBN (equivalent rectangular bandwidth) wide frequency bands that varied independently over a 12-dB range from one presentation to the next. Mean levels of the bands followed the long-term average speech spectrum (LTASS) or were set to 43, 51, or 59 dB sound pressure level (SPL). The relative contribution of each band to the total loudness of the noise was determined by computing the correlation between the difference in levels for a given band on every trial and the listener's decision on that trial. Weights for SNHL listeners were governed by audibility and the spectrum of the noise stimuli, with bands near the spectral peak of the LTASS noise receiving greatest weight. NH listeners assigned greater weight to the lowest and highest bands, an effect that increased with overall level, but did not assign greater weight to bands near the LTASS peak. Additional loudness-matching and paired-comparison studies using stimuli missing one of the 15 bands showed a significant contribution by the highest band, but properties other than loudness may have contributed to the decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1597-1610
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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