What is it about?

What are the effects of room acoustics on vocal fatigue within the existing scientific research? This systematic review analyzed 4,072 research articles according to specific inclusion criteria. Following review, a total of 12 publications were included for critical appraisal. There was a limited number of studies that examined the association between room acoustics and vocal fatigue. The main room acoustic measures that significantly influenced vocal fatigue were higher levels of noise, lower reverberation time, and subjective room acoustic perceptions. Across the studies, there was inconsistency surrounding the measures of self-reported vocal fatigue. This lack of consensus is a hinderance to research regarding the construct of vocal fatigue.

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Why is it important?

The most common measure of self-reported vocal fatigue was the standardized Vocal Fatigue Index, while other studies used unvalidated or less focused questionnaires. Additionally, self-reports of room acoustics were relied upon in some of the included studies instead of objective acoustic measures. For more robust insight into the relationship between room acoustics and self-reported vocal fatigue, future studies should focus on gathering objective room acoustic measures. Four studies examined the role of classroom acoustics on self-reported vocal fatigue in teachers. When taken together, these classrooms had noise-levels that were above previously published norms. Additionally, there was a significant association between classroom noise and self-reported severity of vocal fatigue in teachers.

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This page is a summary of: The Effects of Room Acoustics on Self-reported Vocal Fatigue: A Systematic Review, Journal of Voice, January 2023, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2022.12.024.
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