Sound has a profound impact on our lives, including how we communicate. There are four main ways that sound affects us: physically, emotionally, cognitively, and behaviourally.
Physically, sound affects our bodies because we are 70% water, which makes us good conductors of sound. Our hearing is our primary warning sense. Any sudden or unexpected sound can trigger a fight or flight response, which can increase the heart rate and change our breathing.
Emotionally, sound can change our mood and emotions both positively and negatively. Music is a well-known example of how sound can affect our emotions, but other sounds, such as bird song or the sound of the ocean, can also have a calming or soothing effect. On the other hand, loud or abrasive sounds can be unsettling or stressful.
Cognitively, the sounds around us can impact how well we work or think. Loud or distracting sounds, such as music or conversation, can make it difficult to concentrate or focus. On the other hand, a quiet and peaceful environment can help improve productivity and cognitive function.
Behaviourally, we may tend to move away from unpleasant sounds and towards pleasant ones. Noise can also cause stress and negatively affect our behaviour, making us less sociable and approachable.
Understanding how sound affects us can help us design our environments in ways that enhance the positive effects and minimise the negative ones.
The subject of room acoustics is often seen as intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. While it does have some complex scientific and mathematical elements, there are also some basic principles that can help you understand how sound works and how to address any acoustic problems in your space. In this article, our Global Acoustics Ambassador answers some of the most commonly asked questions about acoustic design to demystify the topic and give you a better understanding of how to solve your acoustic issues.
First of all, in order to understand a room’s acoustics, it’s important to understand how sound travels.