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Hearing, the Determining Factor for High-Fidelity Transmission

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1 Author(s)
Fletcher, Harvey ; Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc., New York, N.Y.

This paper gives the requirements for ideal systems for the transmission of speech and music. These requirements are based on: 1. Measurments of the threshold and frequency limits of the hearing of more than 500,000 people at the New York and San Francisco World's Fairs; 2. measurements of the discomfort level of sound; 3. measurements of room noise in a wide variety of locations; and 4. measurements of the frequency limits and the maximum and minimum levels of speech, orchestral music, and various instruments of the orchestra. From this information and from judgment tests it is concluded that substantially complete fidelity in the transmission of orchestral music is obtained by use of a system having a volume range of 65 decibels and a frequency range from 60 to 8000 cycles per second. Substantially complete fidelity for the transmission of speech is obtained by a system having a frequency range from 100 to 7000 cycles per second and a volume range of 40 decibels. Preliminary experiments comparing a single-channel system and a two-channel stereophonic (auditory perspective) system showed that stereophonic transmission with an upper frequency limit of 5000 cycles per second was preferred to single-channel transmission with an upper limit of 15,000 cycles per second. A definite improvement was obtained in the stereophonic system by using three channels instead of two.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IRE  (Volume:30 ,  Issue: 6 )