Sound Steering

The requirement was to develop a ‘standard’ test for assessing power steering pump noise (and sound quality) in vehicles. Measurements needed to be objective so that the method would be suitable for evaluating dissimilar vehicles and different types of pump.

Noise is an important consideration when a consumer is selecting a new vehicle. It is therefore imperative that every aspect of the vehicle’s acoustic profile is thoroughly understood and refined.

From an end user point of view the assessment criterion is simply how much will the driver or passengers hear the pump noise in relation to the vehicle background noise. That is, will the pump produce, what may be called, audible tones with the vehicle in different operating conditions.


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Audio Equalisation Filter & Parametric Filtering

When working with audio signals a common requirement is to be able to equalise, cut or boost various frequency bands. A large number of hardware devices on the market provide this capability. The key aspect is that such filters are able to control bandwidth, centre frequency and gain separately. There are broadly two classes of filter used, a “shelving” filter and an “equalising “filter (also known as a “peak” filter). A shelving filter is akin to low pass and high pass filters. An equalising filter is like a bandpass or band reject filter.


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Interpretation of the Articulation Index

The Articulation Index or AI gives a measure of the intelligibility of hearing speech in a given noise environment. The metric was originally developed in 1949 in order to give a single value that categorised the speech intelligibility of a communication system. The basic interpretation of the AI value is the higher the value then the easier it is to hear the spoken word. The AI value is expressed either as a factor in the range zero to unity or as a percentage.


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