Intercultural differences in the perception of HVAC sound quality in car cabins: From conventional to electric vehicles

Massimiliano Masullo, Katsuya Yamauchi, Minori Dan, Federico Cioffi, Luigi Maffei

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In electric-powered cars, the production of which is increasing, the HVAC system is responsible for most of the noise inside the car’s cabin, causing significant discomfort for passengers. Moreover, the noise produced by the HVAC affects the perceptible sound inside the car cabin, significantly impacting the perceived quality of the vehicle. It is thus essential to investigate and quantify people’s preferences concerning HVAC noise. Our previous research revealed differences in the HVAC noise between hybrid electric (HEV) and internal combustion engine (ICEV) vehicles. A sub-sequent factor analysis revealed that the adjectives used to describe the sounds can be grouped into two main dimensions: Aesthetic and Loudness. The present paper highlights the results of a listening test that aimed to identify possible differences in the perception of HVACs’ sound quality between Italian and Japanese subject groups, for ICEV and HEV, in different functioning conditions. Results revealed that the most remarkable difference emerges at high air flow rates, where the Japanese group perceived the quality of sound and annoyance, respectively, to be significantly lower and significantly higher than the Italian group.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number11431
    JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
    Issue number23
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2021

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • General Materials Science
    • Instrumentation
    • General Engineering
    • Process Chemistry and Technology
    • Computer Science Applications
    • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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