Sound quality of dishwashers: Annoyance perception

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributed


Every day we are exposed to noise emitting from different kind of products. This exposure elicits different psychological responses. This irritating, intrusive and distracting noise usually lead to annoyance feelings. Here, proper description of the perceived sound of a device is crucial. Understanding the key dynamics why we evaluate some product sounds being more annoying than another can help us to develop better sounding devices. Producers being obliged to declare the sound power levels of the products in recent years helped society enormously while the challenge pushed companies to produce quieter devices. Nowadays, it is observed that the officially declared sound power levels are converging to a limiting value, where not only the overall level but also another features of the product sounds are becoming important. Moreover, even though the sound power level description is a crucial unit, it cannot exactly characterize the human perception. There, psychoacoustical methodologies are gaining importance.

In this paper, dishwasher noise and noise generation mechanisms are investigated. Afterwards, annoyance estimations of dishwashers are obtained by five successive listening tests, each aims to understand a different important mechanism of annoyance estimations. Correlations between the annoyance evaluations and four psychoacoustical descriptors (loudness, sharpness, roughness and tonality) are investigated in detail to understand the annoyance estimation behavior of the subjects. It is found out that loudness and sharpness play an important role in dishwasher sound quality evaluations. However, the collinearity of these parameters are stressed out that they have to be used with care for further modelling. Effect of water splash noise is also found to be important, especially lying in 200 – 500 Hz region, where this region is subject to further improvements. Importance of time structure occurring due to the different rotational speed of the spray arms is also concluded based on the free interview results. The effect of time structure is also considered a part of possible future study. Lastly, effect of tonality is further discussed for washing and drying cycles since the effect in both cycles is found out to be different. These key points of the dishwasher sound quality perception are underlined which might help producers to have early-design stage decisions for better sounding devices, as well as giving insights for different inclusionary sound quality studies for similar type of devices.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-372
Number of pages4
JournalApplied acoustics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

External IDs

Scopus 85105272267
ORCID /0000-0002-0803-8818/work/142257051