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PZT-air (porous PZT) and PZT-polymer (polymer impregnated porous PZT) piezocomposites with varying porosity/polymer volume fractions have been manufactured. The composites were characterized in terms of hydrostatic charge (d/sub h/) and voltage (g/sub h/) coefficients, permittivity, hydrostatic figure of merit (d/sub h/.g/sub h/), and absolute sensitivity (M). With decreasing PZT ceramic volume, g/sub h/ increased, and d/sub h/.g/sub h/ had a broad maximum around 80 to 90% porosity/polymer content. The absolute sensitivity was also increased. In each case, PZT-air piezocomposites performed better than PZT-polymer piezocomposites. Hydrophones constructed from piezocomposites showed slightly lower measured receiving sensitivities than calculated values for piezocomposite materials, which was due to the loading effect of the cable and the low permittivity associated with the piezocomposites.