The Listening Room

How is your project going to sound?

The Listening Room offers clients the opportunity to experience acoustic environments before they have been realised. Our new facility offers clients exceptional insight into the acoustic advantages of different scenarios, constructions and room treatments, enabling options to be evaluated in a way that words cannot compete with.

Examples of applications include:

  • Listening to a simulated performance in an auditorium before it has been built
  • Traffic from a proposed road
  • Aircraft flyover from a new runway

How does it work?

The room utilises the latest in 3D sound reproduction technology, and a 13 speaker array to provide a fully immersive sound experience.

The room is isolated from external sounds and includes a low noise ventilation system. Internal reflective surfaces within the room are eliminated to ensure the sounds being recreated are not interfered with by room reflections. Accurate calibration and measurement of the full audio system enables confidence in the level and frequency spectrum of the sounds being evaluated.

An immersive experience

The interaction between sound and vision is important to the evaluation of aural experiences. To enable listeners to be fully immersed in the experience a Virtual Reality (VR) headset is used. Virtual models or 360 degree photos are used to ensure the visual experience matches the auralization.

Measurable success

The Listening Room is a natural extension of the MDA developed IRIS measurement system which captures and evaluates 3D sound fields. IRIS measurements can be used by The Listening Room to simulate real spaces as well as evaluate the effectiveness of the reproduction system.

Vibration Platform

Explaining vibration effects to clients can be a challenge, so we looked into an exciting new way to communicate this. We installed a calibrated vibrating platform in the Auckland office Listening Room, complementing the 3D sound reproductions and virtual reality rig. Our Listening Room now offers a truly immersive acoustic experience and clients are now able to experience vibrations as they would in the real world.

Environmental noise sources, like construction machinery, trains, and trucks produce both noise and vibration in nearby buildings. When listening to these, it can be difficult to separate noise from vibration - especially at low frequencies where we feel sound more than we hear it. With the new vibration rig, we are able to reproduce vibrations accurately and realistically, giving us a valuable tool for making design decisions about amenity, and understanding the crossover between vibration and low-frequency noise.

Project Case Study - Auckland War Memorial Museum

We asked Xigo, Project Managers for the Auckland War Memorial Museum to comment on their experience of the Listening Room:

''Marshall Day Acoustics was commissioned by the Auckland War Memorial Museum to prepare an acoustic study of the south atrium space in order to test potential acoustic treatment options. This involved the use of a tool called ‘Listening Room’ providing the client the opportunity to sit in a Virtual Reality modelled version of the south atrium space. This enabled virtual modelling of acoustic scenarios within the space, that were able to be played alongside the application of differing levels of acoustic treatment.

The ability for the client to gauge the effectiveness of these scenarios was exceptional. The study enabled the client to nominate the exact level of acoustic performance to be incorporated into the building design and provided them with the required reassurance regarding a 'pivotal public experience environment' within the museum.'' - James Brodie, Senior Project Manager at Xigo

Find out more

For more information on how the Listening Room can be used to benefit your next project, contact Malcolm Dunn or Shaun King.