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Assessment of the masking effects of birdsong on the road traffic noise environment

Hao, Y; Kang, J; Wortche, H; (2016) Assessment of the masking effects of birdsong on the road traffic noise environment. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America , 140 (2) pp. 978-987. 10.1121/1.4960570. Green open access

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Abstract

This study aims to explore how the soundscape quality of traffic noise environments can be improved by the masking effects of birdsong in terms of four soundscape characteristics, i.e., perceived loudness, naturalness, annoyance and pleasantness. Four factors that may influence the masking effects of birdsong (i.e., distance of the receiver from a sound source, loudness of masker, occurrence frequencies of masker, and visibility of sound sources) were examined by listening tests. The results show that the masking effects are more significant in the road traffic noise environments with lower sound levels (e.g., <52.5 dBA), or of distance from traffic (e.g., >19 m). Adding birdsong can indeed increase the naturalness and pleasantness of the traffic noise environment at different distances of the receiver from a road. Naturalness, annoyance, and pleasantness, but not perceived loudness, can be altered by increasing the birdsong loudness (i.e., from 37.5 to 52.5 dBA in this study). The pleasantness of traffic noise environments increases significantly from 2.7 to 6.7, when the occurrence of birdsong over a period of 30 s is increased from 2 to 6 times. The visibility of the sound source also influences the masking effects, but its effect is not as significant as the effects of the three other factors.

Type: Article
Title: Assessment of the masking effects of birdsong on the road traffic noise environment
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1121/1.4960570
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1121/1.4960570
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10043937
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