Reliability of estimating the room volume from a single room impulse response

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Abstract

The methods investigated for the room volume estimation are based on geometrical acoustics, eigenmode, and diffuse field models and no data other than the room impulse response are available. The measurements include several receiver positions in a total of 12 rooms of vastly different sizes and acoustic characteristics. The limitations in identifying the pivotal specular reflections of the geometrical acoustics model in measured room impulse responses are examined both theoretically and experimentally. The eigenmode method uses the theoretical expression for the Schroeder frequency and the difficulty of accurately estimating this frequency from the varying statistics of the room transfer function is highlighted. Reliable results are only obtained with the diffuse field model and a part of the observed variance in the experimental results is explained by theoretical expressions for the standard deviation of the reverberant sound pressure and the reverberation time. The limitations due to source and receiver directivity are discussed and a simple volume estimation method based on an approximate relationship with the reverberation time is also presented.