1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What is the best air density for sound quality.

  1. Nov 22, 2012 #1
    Because obviously too much density gives terrible sound quality, like in water. So is the answer simply the density of our lower atmosphere because that is where our ears evolved? Or has this been tested and found to be a specific density?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 22, 2012 #2
    Sound propagates very well in water, far better than in air. War ships rely on this.
  4. Nov 22, 2012 #3
    It's not so obvious. What experiment do you have in mind when you say this?
    Listening to music with your head under water?
  5. Nov 22, 2012 #4
    Sorry, i mean according to OUR ears. In general. I mean you wouldnt prefer to listen to a stereo underwater would you? sounds muffled
  6. Nov 22, 2012 #5
    Yes, according to our ears, but it's important how do you transfer the sound from water to ears. It usually goes from water to the air in the ear channel. This interface is a major factor.
    And the ear membrane is supposed to work in air.

    If you send the sound with an underwater transducer and and receive it with a hydrophone, you may have very good quality sound (little distortion, if the devices are good).
    So it's more a problem of receiver not matching the medium. Of course, part of the problem is due to the density difference between water and air so you are right, on some level.
  7. Nov 22, 2012 #6


    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    Every air pressure which allows you to live in should work. With air, you get the same pressure everywhere in your ear and no sudden density drops where they are not intended.
  8. Nov 23, 2012 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Greate idea for a new hifi product. Once the market is saturated with gold plated Oxygen free homeopathic audio cables perhaps you could sell a special extractor fan that "slightly reduces/increases the air pressure in your house to optimise listening quality" :-)


    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook