Understanding the Lombard Effect

James Whitlock

New Zealand Acoustics, 25(2), pp.14- 17 . (2012).

The Lombard Effect continues to breed noisy spaces, and as the current trend towards open plan spaces (particularly offices and classrooms) continues, understanding this effect so we can predict activity noise levels in reverberant spaces becomes all the more crucial. In this paper, we review previous work on experimental testing of the Lombard Effect in children and adults and the resulting prediction model.  We highlight the limitations and unexpected outcomes of that work and investigate a new testing method that will lead us towards more robust real-life Lombard Effect data, which can be used to refine our prediction model.