User perceptions of sound quality

Implications for the design and use of audio-based mobile applications

Maria Uther, Adrian P Banks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This study sought to investigate the effect that contextual cues (in particular, device type and content type) have on the perception of sound quality. A sample of 49 participants were tested on different mobile devices sizes (small- iPhone, medium- iPad Mini and large- iPad) which had identical sound output characteristics within in different usage contexts (generic content vs. musical training app contexts). Results showed that the users’ perception of generic sound types was affected by device type, with iPhones appearing to have better sound quality compared to larger devices. On the other hand, within application contexts, the application type seemed to affect user perceptions more, with the rhythm training application rating poorer on sound quality, picture quality and likelihood of future use as compared to the pitch training application (although this may be due to the perceived increased difficulty). Together, these findings demonstrate the influence of device and content cues (when actual physical qualities are controlled) on user sound perception. Interestingly, differences in perceived sound quality was not accompanied by an overriding preference for that device as compared to other devices. Instead, considerations such as ease of use seemed to drive considerations for uptake of applications.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Human-Computer Interaction
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • Audio quality
  • User perceptions
  • Mobile applications

Cite this

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title = "User perceptions of sound quality: Implications for the design and use of audio-based mobile applications",
abstract = "This study sought to investigate the effect that contextual cues (in particular, device type and content type) have on the perception of sound quality. A sample of 49 participants were tested on different mobile devices sizes (small- iPhone, medium- iPad Mini and large- iPad) which had identical sound output characteristics within in different usage contexts (generic content vs. musical training app contexts). Results showed that the users’ perception of generic sound types was affected by device type, with iPhones appearing to have better sound quality compared to larger devices. On the other hand, within application contexts, the application type seemed to affect user perceptions more, with the rhythm training application rating poorer on sound quality, picture quality and likelihood of future use as compared to the pitch training application (although this may be due to the perceived increased difficulty). Together, these findings demonstrate the influence of device and content cues (when actual physical qualities are controlled) on user sound perception. Interestingly, differences in perceived sound quality was not accompanied by an overriding preference for that device as compared to other devices. Instead, considerations such as ease of use seemed to drive considerations for uptake of applications.",
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User perceptions of sound quality : Implications for the design and use of audio-based mobile applications. / Uther, Maria; Banks, Adrian P.

In: International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 22.10.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Banks, Adrian P

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N2 - This study sought to investigate the effect that contextual cues (in particular, device type and content type) have on the perception of sound quality. A sample of 49 participants were tested on different mobile devices sizes (small- iPhone, medium- iPad Mini and large- iPad) which had identical sound output characteristics within in different usage contexts (generic content vs. musical training app contexts). Results showed that the users’ perception of generic sound types was affected by device type, with iPhones appearing to have better sound quality compared to larger devices. On the other hand, within application contexts, the application type seemed to affect user perceptions more, with the rhythm training application rating poorer on sound quality, picture quality and likelihood of future use as compared to the pitch training application (although this may be due to the perceived increased difficulty). Together, these findings demonstrate the influence of device and content cues (when actual physical qualities are controlled) on user sound perception. Interestingly, differences in perceived sound quality was not accompanied by an overriding preference for that device as compared to other devices. Instead, considerations such as ease of use seemed to drive considerations for uptake of applications.

AB - This study sought to investigate the effect that contextual cues (in particular, device type and content type) have on the perception of sound quality. A sample of 49 participants were tested on different mobile devices sizes (small- iPhone, medium- iPad Mini and large- iPad) which had identical sound output characteristics within in different usage contexts (generic content vs. musical training app contexts). Results showed that the users’ perception of generic sound types was affected by device type, with iPhones appearing to have better sound quality compared to larger devices. On the other hand, within application contexts, the application type seemed to affect user perceptions more, with the rhythm training application rating poorer on sound quality, picture quality and likelihood of future use as compared to the pitch training application (although this may be due to the perceived increased difficulty). Together, these findings demonstrate the influence of device and content cues (when actual physical qualities are controlled) on user sound perception. Interestingly, differences in perceived sound quality was not accompanied by an overriding preference for that device as compared to other devices. Instead, considerations such as ease of use seemed to drive considerations for uptake of applications.

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