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HEAD News Herzogenrath (Germany), March 09, 2015
Realistic simulation of driving situations
New SoundSeat for assessing vehicle interior noise
Noise in the interior of a vehicle often correlates with vibrations that have a direct influence on the perception and judgment of the noise. The perceptive auditory assessment of this noise is therefore a multi-dimensional task requiring a multi-modal playback of the stimuli. A listening test therefore not only requires authentic playback, but also the consideration of psychological and cognitive aspects. This can be achieved by offering test subjects an authentic context related to the sound.
For multi-modal playback of vehicle interior noise, HEAD acoustics has developed the new SoundSeat. This calibrated 4-channel playback system allows a realistic playback of airborne sound components as well as vibration from the steering wheel and the seat. In combination with the proven H3S simulation system for interactive, realistic acoustic simulation of driving situations, interior noise of vehicles is presented in an authentic context. Systems like this allow target sounds to be defined in consultation with decision-makers and test subjects even before building a prototype. This greatly reduces the effort in the development process for building prototypes and performing real test drives to assess the driving experience; all of which results in significant cost savings.
The SoundSeat allows test subjects to operate it as if they were driving a real vehicle (accelerating, braking, shifting gears), where noise and vibrations adapt to the corresponding driving situation (vehicle speed, revolution speed, engine load). The interactive control and playback of modified sounds and sound design concepts allow subjects to obtain a realistic overall impression in real time and to perform direct comparisons of variants.
The airborne sound components are played back binaurally via headphones with the correct equalization. For optimal vibrational excitation, shakers are mounted under the seat and in the steering wheel. The H3S simulation is controlled via high-quality pedals for the accelerator and brakes, and a gearshift lever. Furthermore, a touchscreen with a swivel arm is mounted on the operating console for convenient operation of H3S, e.g. for switching between different noise variants. During the simulated drive, H3S can display visual scenery as well as the current rpm and speed values on a large screen placed centrally behind the steering wheel.
The SoundSeat consists of a seat and operating console and also a 19" rack. For easy transport, the console divides in the middle and is fitted with caster wheels. The electronics in the 19“ rack use silent components in order to ensure an undisturbed sound experience. A powerful computer serves as the central control unit and is ideally suited for running the H3S simulation software. For aurally accurate headphone playback, the audio signals are output via a labP2 unit and the vibration signals via a labO2 unit and amplifier.
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About HEAD acoustics GmbH:
HEAD acoustics has developed into one of the world's leading specialists in the fields of sound and vibration analyses and optimization. For more than 25 years HEAD acoustics has developed products and solutions for artificial head recording and playback technology, exceptional acquisition and analysis software and techniques, and communication measurement technology.
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