ECE 401: Electroacoustical Engineering

Course Blurb

Why is there a course in acoustics in an electrical engineering department?

Sound waves follow the same fundamental "rules" as light and electromagnetic waves. Thus, if you know engineering, you probably already know more acoustics than you think. Just as there are electrical and mechanical "equivalents" (damping and resistance, force and voltage, etc.) there are also acoustical elements that allow you to draw "circuit diagrams" for acoustic devices such as microphones and musical instruments. Of course, there are also differences (e.g., sound must propagate in a gas, and typical wavelengths are not necessarily small compared to the size of the devices). These differences provide a little counterpoint to our main theme.

Instructor: Bill Sethares

Synopsis: The course will cover the fundamentals of acoustical systems from an engineering perspective.

Text: "Acoustics" by Beranek and/or "Fundamentals of Acoustics" by Kinsler and Frey.



1) Terminology (SPL, intensity, impedance)

2) The wave equation

3) Electro-mechanical-acoustic analogies (lumped acoustic elements, equivalent circuits)

4) Sound radiation

5) Microphones

6) Loudspeakers (Thiele/Small parameters, closed and ported boxes, horns)

7) Sound in enclosures/ room acoustics

8) Musical Instruments (equivalent circuits, radiation patterns, excitation and impedance considerations)

9) Perceptual aspects of the human auditory system

For more about the instructor, click here.