- About the Companion Website: www.oup.com/us/ohss
- The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies
- New Keys to the World of Sound
- The Garden in the Machine: Listening to Early American Industrialization
- Turning a Deaf Ear? Industrial Noise and Noise Control in Germany since the 1920s
- “Sobbing, Whining, Rumbling”: Listening to Automobiles as Social Practice
- Selling Sound: Testing, Designing, and Marketing Sound in the European Car Industry
- Sound Sterile: Making Scientific Field Recordings in Ornithology
- Underwater Music: Tuning Composition to the Sounds of Science
- A Gray Box: The Phonograph in Laboratory Experiments and Fieldwork, 1900–1920
- From Scientific Instruments to Musical Instruments: The Tuning Fork, the Metronome, and the Siren
- Conversions: Sound and Sight, Military and Civilian
- The Search for the “Killer Application”: Drawing the Boundaries around the Sonification of Scientific Data
- Inner and Outer Sancta: Earplugs and Hospitals
- Sounding Bodies: Medical Students and the Acquisition of Stethoscopic Perspectives
- Do Signals Have Politics? Inscribing Abilities in Cochlear Implants
- Sound and Player Immersion in Digital Games
- The Sonic Playpen: Sound Design and Technology in Pixar’s Animated Shorts
- The Avant-Garde in the Family Room: American Advertising and the Domestication of Electronic Music in the 1960s and 1970s
- Visibly Audible: The Radio Dial as Mediating Interface
- From Listening to Distribution: Nonofficial Music Practices in Hungary and Czechoslovakia from the 1960s to the 1980s
- The Amateur in the Age of Mechanical Music
- Online Music Sites as Sonic Sociotechnical Communities: Identity, Reputation, and Technology at ACIDplanet.com
- Analog Turns Digital: Hip-Hop, Technology, and the Maintenance of Racial Authenticity
- iPod Culture: The Toxic Pleasures of Audiotopia
- The Recording That Never Wanted to Be Heard and Other Stories of Sonification
Abstract and Keywords
Since the late 1990s, leading automobile manufacturers have advertised the sonic qualities and interior tranquility of their vehicles with increasing zeal. This article focuses on the rise of a new tradition of testing car sound in the European automotive industry in the 1990s. It explores three issues: the way in which defining the “reality” of sound perception and differences between expert and lay listeners affects the dynamics of testing in car manufacturing, the reason that extensive testing of car sound does not automatically result in the design of new target sounds, and where this increasing significance of sound design in the consumer industry comes from. It clarifies how new sense-oriented ways of marketing and designing cars have prompted new ways of testing. Finally, the article shows that a mismatch can occur between testing and design of consumer products, providing insight into the consequences of this sonic sensitivity for traditions of testability.
Eefje Cleophas, Maastricht University, the Netherlands
Karin Bijsterveld is Professor of Science, Technology and Modern Culture at Maastricht University. She is author of Mechanical Sound: Technology, Culture and Public Problems of Noise in the Twentieth Century (2008), and co-editor of Sound Souvenirs: Audio Technologies, Memory and Cultural Practices (2009, with Jose van Dijck).
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