Objective and Perceptual Sound Quality Analysis of Internal Combustion Engine and Electric Vehicles

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

SAE International

Conference Name

WCX SAE World Congress Experience


The sound quality of automotive interiors is one of the critical factors regarding customer satisfaction. As electric vehicles (EVs) rise in popularity rapidly, the known literature on sound qualities of internal combustion engine (ICE) automotive interiors has become less relevant. Because of this, comparing and contrasting EV and ICE vehicle's sound qualities is extremely important to have the proper foundation for studying automotive noise quality in the future. In our study, we aim to benchmark the major differences between an EV and an ICE automobile regarding interior sound quality. This study aims to understand basic sound engineering characteristics and how they differ between the two types of vehicles. We also analyzed the preferences that the public has when it comes to the two types of cars. To get as much data as we could in our time-constrained project, we tested both types of vehicles in two different environments, which were an uncontrolled road (Bluff Street) and a controlled track (the GM Mobility Research Center). We also tested three different positions in the car, including the driver's seat, passenger seat, and rear middle seat position. The interior sound was then recorded using the SQobold sound acquisition device and the Head Acoustics AACHEN Head as the microphone. Three recordings of every type of test were taken in order to confirm consistent and accurate results. We then compared and contrasted the data in ArtemisSuite, a sound analysis software. We determined the major differences between the cars, particularly in loudness and sharpness. The final step was jury testing, in which the subjective samples compare well with our conclusions regarding sound quality metrics.

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