Research Output
Soundscapes and repertory grids: comparing listeners’ and a designer’s experiences.
  This paper reports on establishing whether listeners have the same listening experience as the person who designed the sound. Surprisingly, there is little or no evidence as to whether what is designed to be heard is what is actually heard. The study reported here is a qualitative study into these two experiences. Research approach – A repertory grid technique was adopted using listener and designer generated constructs. One designer and 20 listeners rated 25 elements within a surround sound recording created by a soundscape generative system. The listeners’ modal response was compared to the designer’s. Findings/Design – The results suggest that it is perfectly feasible to compare designers and listeners experiences and to establish points of agreement and disagreement. Research limitations/Implications – Only UK-based university students and staff participated in the study, which limited generalisation of the findings. Originality/Value – Demonstrates an ontology of sound based on user experience rather than designer’s whim. This approach is based upon long-term experiences and our conceptualisation of sound Take away message – Comparing listeners’ experiences could allow designers to be confident with their sound designs.

  • Date:

    28 August 2012

  • Publication Status:


  • DOI:


  • Library of Congress:

    QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    621.389 Computer engineering


McGregor, I., & Turner, P. (2012). Soundscapes and repertory grids: comparing listeners’ and a designer’s experiences. In P. Turner, S. Turner, & I. McGregor (Eds.), ECCE 2012 (131-137).




Soundscape; repertory grid; listeners; designers; listening;

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