Acoustic-Perceptual Correlates of Voice Among Steam Train Engineers: Effects of Noise and Hearing Protection

Supraja Anand, Desi Gutierrez, Pasquale Bottalico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Occupational voice users are at a higher risk for developing voice disorders due to their vocal demands, such as prolonged periods of work-related voice use and nonideal environmental factors, such as speaking above background noise. The current study focused on the effects of background noise and hearing protection on acoustic-perceptual correlates of voice among steam train engineers. Fourteen participants phonated vowel /a/, read a phrase, and described a map under different noise and hearing protection conditions. Relative sound pressure level, relative fundamental frequency, and perceived vocal effort and disturbance decreased in the presence of hearing protection for all noise conditions. In contrast, these acoustic measures increased in the absence of hearing protection supporting Lombard effect. Overall, results of the current study provide insight into possible risks to vocal health in workers exposed to high levels of background noise and use hearing protection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-373
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Voice
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2023


  • Fundamental frequency
  • Hearing protection
  • Noise
  • Sound pressure level
  • Steam train engineers
  • Vocal effort and disturbance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN


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