Equal-loudness-level contours for pure tones

Yôiti Suzuki, Hisashi Takeshima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

172 Citations (Scopus)


Equal-loudness-level contours provide the foundation for theoretical and practical analyses of intensity-frequency characteristics of auditory systems. Since 1956 equal-loudness-level contours based on the free-field measurements of Robinson and Dadson [Br. J. Appl. Phys. 7, 166-181 (1956)] have been widely accepted. However, in 1987 some questions about the general applicability of these contours were published [H. Fastl and E. Zwicker, Fortschritte der Akustik, DAGA '87, pp. 189-193 (1987)]. As a result, a new international effort to measure equal-loudness-level contours was undertaken. The present paper brings together the results of 12 studies starting in the mid-1980s to arrive at a new set of contours. The new contours estimated in this study are compared with four sets of classic contours taken from the available literature. The contours described by Fletcher and Munson [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 5, 82-108 (1933)] exhibit some overall similarity to our proposed estimated contours in the mid-frequency range up to 60 phons. The contours described by Robinson and Dadson exhibit clear differences from the new contours. These differences are most pronounced below 500 Hz and the discrepancy is often as large as 14 dB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)918-933
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Aug

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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