UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


Chunyang Xu

VR-based Soundscape Evaluation

Soundscape has been growing as a research field since it was first introduced in the 1960s. Different from only reducing noise, soundscape concentrates on better overall comfort of acoustic environments. Soundscape evaluation is a vital component in sound environment research involved with physical, psychological, social, cultural and architectural aspects.

Virtual Reality (VR) is boosting the development of urban planning including the technical revolution of sound environments. Especially, since the advent of portable immersive virtual reality devices with higher computational speed, audio-visual perception in sound environment planning has studied by numerous research. One of significant applications of VR-based soundscape reproduction is that people could perceive the virtual urban environments in advance. The VR-based soundscape evaluation can provide an alternative tool with stronger immersion for citizens benefiting the future creation, planning and rebuilding of urban spaces. 

The VR-based soundscape evaluation aims to establish a reliable and standardised system investigating the issues in soundscape recordings, auralisation and reproduction towards a more comfortable and happier sound environment. The main challenge of current research is how to accurately and efficiently reproduce soundscapes under audio-visual VR conditions.