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1) Audio Quality

1.2 Sound

Sound is an adjective, a noun or a verb, used to identify or describe the perceptional characteristic of an audio signal - most often by describing the hearing sensation it invokes. The four other main sensory inputs vision, touch, smell and taste influence the hearing sensation in real time. But the most powerful sound influencer is memory. Already starting in the embryonal phase, the human brain 'learns' how to listen to audio signals, developing preferences for timbres, rhythm, patterns, sound colour, word recognition. As the brain actively controls the bio-mechanic processes in the middle and inner ear, we also literally train our auditory system to be as effective as possible. This means that the way we hear is greatly influenced by our hearing experience - including the developing of preferences for musical styles. Because no individual is the same, the same audio signal will invoke different hearing sensations ('sound') for different individuals.

Where audio characteristics describe physical characteristics of an audio signal, the adjective, noun and verb 'sound' most often describe perceptional features such as 'warmth', 'transparency', 'definition'. However, sometimes also physical characteristics are used in conjunction with the word 'sound' - eg. 'speed of sound'.

In this white paper we will use 'audio' as adjective to pertain to physical characteristics, and 'sound' as an adjective, noun and verb to pertain to perceptional characteristics. If exceptions of the use of the words 'audio' and 'sound' occur, the context will be clarified in the accompanying text.

Sound
(adjective, noun, verb) describes the subjective hearing sensation produced by stimulation of the human auditory system of an individual listener by an audio signal, transmitted through the air or other medium.

Sound source
(noun) designates the origin of an audio signal.

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