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Acoustic measurements are needed to characterize the acoustic properties of materials, assemblies, or equipment. According to the required accuracy, various methods are available.

One thing must be clear from the beginning: A measurement result is only valid for a given setup (e.g., for certain dimensions and construction scheme of a material, even sometimes for specific time spans). A measurement result without any proper description (e.g., type, dimensions, environment of the sample) is simply useless! A so-called measurement report made of a simple numerical value or graphic must not be accepted. The relevant acoustic measurement standards provide a measurement procedure as well as a list of things to be reported.

Mastering the Measurement Conditions

Measurements can be affected by many factors, ranging from the type of measuring equipment to the laboratory or test site characteristics to the mounting conditions of the specimen under test, not to mention the operator’s skills!

In order to master the measuring conditions, one usually needs an acoustic laboratory. There are standards defining the requirements for a laboratory for sound reduction index and impact sound purposes [68, 69], as well as in ISO 354 for sound absorption determination [73] and in ISO 3740 series for sound power determination [75].

In addition, the specimen under test must be mounted according to the standard’s requirements. In the olden days, this was often described in the relevant measurement standard; nowadays, there is a tendency to try to define the mounting conditions in a separate standard usually titled “test code for X.”

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