Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The Super Bowl: A Sound Experience

Date:
January 29, 2001
Source:
American Insitute of Physics -- Inside Science News Service
Summary:
The acoustics of this year's Super Bowl could have a big impact on the fans attending. According to acousticians, the design of the stadium can make all the difference in the audience's sound experience.

COLLEGE PARK, MD (January 25, 2001) - For the biggest football event of the year, much of the experience for fans who are heading to Raymond James Stadium will be how the game sounds. Fans' enjoyment of games can be "about the subjective experience of noise," says Dallas based acoustical consultant David Marsh, who has worked on the acoustical design of a number of stadiums including the soon-to-open NFL Broncos' new stadium, in Denver. "Whenever people go to large assembly spaces, acoustics is something they notice." Marsh says the design of a particular stadium, and how noisy the crowd gets, can make a big difference in how fans in the stands will experience this year's Super Bowl.

Marsh says an advantage of the Raymond James Stadium is that it is open air, which cuts down on reverberations that can interfere with one's ability to understand announcements and other speech produced by the sound system. Reverberation is when sound persists even after the source of the sound has stopped. Reverberation time is a measure of how long it takes a sound to completely die away - technically the time it takes for the sound level to drop by 60 decibels (db).

Marsh and his colleagues use reverberation time as one means of determining acceptable acoustics for a particular space. Unlike open-air stadiums, Marsh says, enclosed stadiums often have reverberation times on the order of 10 seconds, which makes speech difficult to understand. With an open-air stadium, reverberation is nearly non-existent because sound dissipates into the air. However, echoes caused by sound reflected off of distant surfaces must still be dealt with.

Designers like Marsh try to minimize the affects of echoes and reverberation by shaping and treating building surfaces. Sound reflects off of hard, smooth objects like light reflects off a mirror. Designers try to angle echo-producing surfaces so the sound reflects toward surfaces designed to absorb sound. In stadiums, Marsh says, designers often use fiberglass and other porous materials to absorb sound.

Crowd noise is another issue for stadiums. During moments of high excitement at an NFL football game, crowd noise levels typically range between about 95 to 105 dB with occasional peaks approaching 110 dB. This range is equivalent to the loudness of a car horn 10 feet away, on the low end, up to the loudness of an accelerating motorcycle a few feet away. The sound system, Marsh says "must be at least 10 db louder in order to be understood over that noise." This can be a problem when crowds get really loud. Marsh says he's heard of crowds getting as loud as 115 db - a level that can damage a person's hearing if exposed for any length of time. Under these conditions it is not practical for a sound system to produce intelligible sound and any attempt to do so would be a public safety risk.

Marsh says crowd noise will pose a significant challenge to sound system operators come Sunday in Tampa, when crowds are expected to reach record numbers. However, if the stadium acoustics and sound system are designed well, most fans will be relatively unaware of either as they enjoy the game.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Insitute of Physics -- Inside Science News Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Insitute of Physics -- Inside Science News Service. "The Super Bowl: A Sound Experience." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 January 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/01/010125103954.htm>.
American Insitute of Physics -- Inside Science News Service. (2001, January 29). The Super Bowl: A Sound Experience. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/01/010125103954.htm
American Insitute of Physics -- Inside Science News Service. "The Super Bowl: A Sound Experience." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/01/010125103954.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) British scientists have developed a prototype graphene paint that can make coatings which are resistant to liquids, gases, and chemicals. The team says the paint could have a variety of uses, from stopping ships rusting to keeping food fresher for longer. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins