We recently visited the Critical Listening Room at The University of Surrey’s Institute of Sound Recording (IoSR), at the kind invitation of Dr. Tim Brookes.
The ITU-R BS.1116 critical listening room is used by students and researchers to undertake experimental work involving audio measurement and subjective listening tests. ITU-R is the international standard for listening rooms, with strict criteria for low noise, controlled reflections, dimension ratios and reverberation time.
The room contains a loudspeaker mounting system that can be rigged with a large number of loudspeakers and is usually configured for 22.2 reproduction using 22 Genelec 8330A loudspeakers and 2 Genelec 7350A subwoofers.
The system includes distributed bass management and built-in time alignment and equalisation of level and frequency response.
Dr. Brookes explained that research focus for the room is timbral and spatial perception and the associated applications for audio control and measurement, working at the interface between the physics of electro-acoustics and the human perception of sound.
The technology was familiar to us at Anderson Acoustics – the 22.2 channel Critical Listening Room uses the same ambisonic and loudspeaker technology as our own 8.1 channel SonicRoom™.
Our SonicRoom™ is an auralisation facility which uses ambisonic technology and sound modelling to reproduce how buildings, places, spaces and products will sound before they are built. This allows architects, their clients and stakeholders to understand the acoustic impact of design decisions.
Our SonicRoom™ has various uses, including:
– assessing different types of internal finishes, and different room sizes and geometries
– assessing different sound insulation solutions including different glazing and wall specifications
– community engagement around transport or construction noise and mitigation
– soundscape design for place-making
Our Principal Consultant Luca Dellatorre explained “The IoSR Critical Listening Room is one of only a few purpose-built facilities in the UK with such low noise and controlled acoustics – a best-in-class solution for larger projects requiring a high degree of precision and fidelity. We believe that the benefits from listening to aid design choices should be available to wide range of projects. Our SonicRoom™ provides a similar function, providing a cost effective solution which allows auralisation technology to be exploited even for the smallest of projects.”
Many thanks to Dr. Brookes and colleagues for inviting us to experience the great work they are doing at the IoSR.