General Question

princessa's avatar

What are two factors that can affect the clarity of an echo?

Asked by princessa (113points) February 22nd, 2010


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7 Answers

TheBot's avatar

Hmmm, I would have to say the density, shape, and orientation of the surface on which the sound bounces before coming back to you.

You can also look at it from the source. Whether the original sound is clear or not.

lilikoi's avatar

Isn’t this the same person that asked homework questions yesterday?

Hmmm… maybe not. Well, absorptivity of surfaces, distance, smoothness of surface sound hits, angle at which sound hits surface…

TheBot's avatar

Only joined Fluther yesterday night lol! Couldn’t tell you.

Are HW questions forbidden here?

lilikoi's avatar

@TheBot Not formally….

TheBot's avatar

But how do yo really know for sure? I mean, some people can have a genuine interest in the factors that influence echo clarity. I am sure some people study for years and years to find out these things.

I guess what I don’t understand is why we should care about questions being HW questions to begin with? I know part of Fluther is answering questions,another is asking the questions, but also part of the experience I think, is learning from the answers to questions others have asked. See what I mean?

grumpyfish's avatar

A singular “echo” is a pretty rare occurrence, although could happen.

When you’re talking about a reflective (rather than absorptive) surface, the density of the material (a piece of paper can reflect high frequency sounds, but it takes something like lead to reflect low frequency noises) , the size and pattern of the variations on the surface (if you have something like a grille, it can create weird harmonics as the reflection interferes with itself). The shape of the surface can affect the echo—if it’s concave it’ll tend to focus the echo into a single point (like a whisper chamber), if it’s convex it’ll disperse the echo. A flat surface will tend to “slap” the echo back.

Any room that has parallel flat walls at head height can give you a “slap back” or flutter echo where the echo bounces off both walls and comes back to you, then echoes again.

In terms of clarity of reflections, “early reflections” are key to intelligibility—echoes received within the first millisecond or so increase clarity of speech, while “late reflections” (generally off high ceilings or back walls) reduce the clarity, but increase the interactions—it’s what makes a great concert hall rather than a good concert hall.

grumpyfish's avatar

@TheBot I prefer (and I speak as an individual fish, not as the site) for homework questions to be tagged with “homework” so they can be more easily identified, and so the answers are more towards guidance rather than simply providing answers to questions

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