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Tonal-Range and Sound-Intensity Preferences of Broadcast Listeners

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2 Author(s)
Chinn, H.A. ; Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc., 485 Madison Avenue, New York 22, N.Y. ; Eisenberg, P.

This paper reports the findings of an investigation to determine the tonal-range and sound-intensity preferences of a representative cross section of radio-broadcast listeners. As contrasted to former studies that have been undertaken to detemine the theoretical or ideal requirements for the transmission and reproduction of broadcast program material, this undertaking ascertained the tonal range and sound intensity that the average listener considered most pleasant; that is, the method of reproduction the listener would select for use in his home when listening for enjoyment. Almost 500 subjects, in small groups, took part in the tests and all together, over 10,000 individual preferences were indicated. In addition to the "average" listeners, tests were undertaken with a group of professional musicians whose training presumably qualified them as critical listeners, and with a group of frequency-modulation listeners. A wide variety of program material, including popular, light-classical, and classical music, male and female vocals, and male and female spoken and dramatic speech, was presented at three tonal ranges. These were arbitrarily designated as narrow, medium, and wide. The exact frequency ranges used are shown in Fig. 1. The trend was consistent throughout the investigation. The main conclusions of the study are: (a) Listeners prefer either a narrow or medium tonal range to a wide one. However, the exact choice of bandwidth varies to some extent, within these limits, for different types of program content.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IRE  (Volume:33 ,  Issue: 9 )