equal-loudness contour

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A plot determined by loudness matching of tones, varying in frequency across the audible range, with the intensity levels in decibel sound pressure level (dB SPL) that cause them to sound equally as loud to a listener as a standard comparison tone. For a standard comparison tone with a frequency of 1,000 hertz presented at an intensity of 60dB SPL, a tone with a frequency of 100 hertz may sound equally loud and therefore attain a loudness level of 60 phons at about 80dB SPL, and so on. It was introduced in 1933 by the US acoustical scientist Harvey Fletcher (1884–1981) and the US engineer Wilden A. Munson (1902–82) and is also called a Fletcher-Munson contour or an isophonic contour.

Subjects: Psychology.

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