Thursday, 21 January 2010

Wearable sound baffles

Is it possible to use the principles of anechoic chambers to absorb sound in clothing? Could pleating and smocking techniques that use soft warm materials but also increase surface area, dampen surrounding sound and improve ability to have a conversation in noisy environments?

Rob Oldfield currently doing a PhD in 3D sound at Salford university advises:"Urban soundscapes often have quite a lot of low frequency sound but it is usually the higher frequency (1000Hz-10000Hz) sound that we humans find the most annoying (that's because they are the frequencies similar to speech and we are most sensitive to them).Concentrate on trying to make the higher frequencies lower because these are more annoying anyway (alarms, whistles, screeching breaks)

Your idea of the pleating/smocking is really good because this is a good way to absorb sound (usually if you imagine something that is good for keeping you warm/insulating, it will also be good at absorbing sound too) So you could be on to a winner with that, thicker material and bigger pleats will be better for lower frequencies and will absorb more sound in general. "

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