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Engineering Projects


The Objective : To determine if when the time delay and volume of sound reaching the ears is changed, then the perception of the source of the sound will change.


Two microphones were set 10 cm apart on anechoic foam.

In test A, a beeping sound was played every fifteen degrees on a semicircle with a one foot radius around the mics.

In test B, the beeps were played every six inches in a direct line from the mics.

The recorded sound waves were converted into graphs on a computer, which compared the left mic to the right mic.


The amplitude and time delay differed when the origin of the sound changed.Test A supported that time delay can be used reliably to perceive the direction of a sound's source.

However, test B did not support volume as a directional source clue because there was no pattern to which mic had a greater amplitude.


Sound perception (on headphones exclusively) can be accurately manipulated in a few steps:

1.Make an exact copy of the track (track A and track B)

2.Decide what direction you want the sound to come from

3.Find the appropriate time delay

4.Play track A in one ear, wait the time delay, then play track B in the other.

This project is a study of how sound is perceived and how to accurately manipulate its perception.

Science Fair Project done By Aley Barnum