The perceived annoyance of urban soundscapes

Adam Craig, Don Knox, David Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Annoyance is one of the main factors that contribute to a negative view of environmental noise, and can lead to stress-related health conditions. Subjective perception of environmental sounds is dependent upon a variety of factors related to the sound, the geographical location, and the listener. Noise maps used to communicate information to the public about environmental noise in a given geographic location are based on simple noise level measurements and do not include any information regarding how perceptually annoying or otherwise the noise might be. This study involved subjective assessment by a large panel of listeners (N¿=¿200) of a corpus of 60 pre-recorded urban soundscapes collected from a variety of locations around Glasgow City Centre. Binaural recordings were taken at three points during each 24 hour period in order to capture urban noise during day, evening, and night. Perceived annoyance was measured using Likert and numerical scales and each soundscape measured in terms of arousal and positive/negative valence. The results shed light on the subjective annoyance of environmental sound in a range of urban locations around Glasgow, and form the basis for development of environmental noise maps, which more fully communicate the effects of environmental noise to the public.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


  • environmental noise
  • noise maps


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