The components of spatial impression in concert halls


  • G.A. Soulodre McGill Univ., Montreal, Que., Canada
  • J.S. Bradley


architectural acoustics, sound fields, early lateral energy, informal listening tests, listener envelopment, reverberant energy, spatial impression, apparent source width


Spatial impression is usually loosely described as the sense of being enveloped by the sound or as an increase in the apparent width of the source. In a previous study by the authors (1993), the findings of Barron (1971) and Keet (1968) were verified in experiments using sound fields consisting of a direct sound and a few early reflections. The results confirmed that the apparent width of the source increases with increasing early lateral energy. It was also found however that although a broadening of the source was evident for these simple sound fields, listeners never felt enveloped (surrounded) by the sound. In a series of informal listening tests, it was found that a sense of listener envelopment could be obtained by including late arriving or reverberant energy in the sound fields. Furthermore, the addition of reverberant energy was found to reduce the listener's ability to discriminate the effects of early lateral energy. Several subjective experiments were conducted to explore these issues. The results indicate that spatial impression has two distinct components: apparent source width (ASW) and listener envelopment(LE)

Additional Files



How to Cite

Soulodre G, Bradley J. The components of spatial impression in concert halls. Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 1994 Sep. 1 [cited 2024 Apr. 14];22(3):51-2. Available from:



Proceedings of the Acoustics Week in Canada