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The analysis of snoring sounds has been in focus for the past two decades. Conventional approaches by fast Fourier transformation face various limitations and demonstrate the necessity for alternative methods of investigation. Psychoacoustic analyses which are common for environmental noise analyses propose a potential approach. The present study investigates the psychoacoustic qualities (loudness, sharpness, roughness) of three different real snoring sounds (primary snoring, PS; Upper airway resistance syndrome, UARS; obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, OSAS) and their alterations under increasing, artificially created sound pressure levels (SPL) from 60-85 dB. PS and UARS were detected to obtain a greater loudness as well as a higher increase under increasing SPL than OSAS. The sharpness was higher in PS and UARS, remaining stable under rising SPL compared to OSAS. The intensities of roughness were at higher levels for PS compared to URAS and OSAS, with an increase of all snoring sounds under rising SPL. By merging the psychoacoustic qualities, an individual acoustic fingerprint can be created to differentiate the three types of snoring. A potential application is proposed for the analysis of snoring sounds during polysomnography as well as for an adequate evaluation of the annoyance by snoring sounds.


Michael Herzog, Thomas Bremert, Beatrice Herzog, Werner Hosemann, Holger Kaftan, Alexander Müller. Analysis of snoring sound by psychoacoustic parameters. European archives of oto-rhino-laryngology : official journal of the European Federation of Oto-Rhino-Laryngological Societies (EUFOS) : affiliated with the German Society for Oto-Rhino-Laryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. 2011 Mar;268(3):463-70

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PMID: 20859635

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