Auditory Masking

Noise is everywhere nowadays. Often, one cannot carry on a simple conversation because it is impossible to hear or to be heard over the din of competing background sounds. What hinders communication in these cases is auditory masking. By definition, auditory masking is the ability of one sound to make another sound hard to hear. This entry briefly describes the laboratory techniques for measuring auditory masking, the effects of major factors and their interactions, and the possible causes of auditory masking.


In the research literature on auditory masking, the sound to be detected is referred to as the signal, and the interfering sound is the masker. Audibility of the signal in the presence of the masker is measured through many experimental trials. A typical procedure involves ...

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