How to Calculate Sound Attenuation

Written by richard jennings
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How to Calculate Sound Attenuation
You can calculate the sound attenuation between a source and recipient of a sound. (speaker image by CraterValley Photo from

Sound attenuation, as defined by Stoke's Law, is the loss of intensity -- or attenuation -- of a sound wave travelling through a Newtonian fluid, most commonly air. The described theory of sound attenuation was first derived by Sir George Stokes, while studying the dynamics of Newtonian fluids. These equations were first noted in joint papers that Stokes published with Claude-Louis Navier. Practical applications of sound attenuation calculations include the configuration of speakers in a home theatre system.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Sound attenuation calculator

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  1. 1

    Open a sound attenuation calculator in a web browser (See Resources).

  2. 2

    Type in the directivity coefficient.

  3. 3

    Type in the room constant.

  4. 4

    Type in the distance from source, in meters. The sound attenuation, noted in decibels, is automatically calculated and displayed in red.

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