What is acoustics?

Acoustics is the science of sound and someone who studies acoustics is called an acoustician.

There are many kinds of sound and many ways that sound affects our lives. For example, we use sound to talk and sound is important for designing musical instruments, concert halls, surround sound stereo and hearing aids. Sound can also be used to find oil and gas, to study earthquakes and climate change, and to make sure that the baby in a mother’s womb is healthy. There are the sounds humans can hear, but there are also sounds that only some animals can hear, like a dog whistle.

There are a lot of different acoustics fields of study. If you study acoustics, you might study the production, control, transmission, reception, or effects of sound on people or animals. 

Fields of Acoustics

Since there are many different areas of study and practice within acoustics we have condensed materials into 6 main content areas.

What is Sound?

What do acousticians do?

There are many different kinds of acousticians! Here are some examples:

  • bioacoustician might research bird populations to determine whether or not man-made noise changes their behavior.
  • An audiologist can diagnose hearing impairments.
  • A hearing scientist can conduct research about hearing loss prevention.
  • An architectural acoustician could design an opera house so that people in the audience can enjoy the music to the fullest.
  • noise specialist could do work to reduce noise caused by airplanes, cars and trains.
  • An underwater acoustician might design sophisticated sonar hardware to explore the ocean floor.
  • A biomedical acoustician could develop medical equipment to destroy kidney stones.

Career Profiles

Acousticians include engineers, physicists, speech and hearing scientists, architects, biologists, psychologists, linguists, mathematicians, oceanographers, computer scientists, and musicians. Read different career profiles in acoustics.

Careers in Acoustics