Acoustics: Sound Fields and Transducers


  • Leo L. Beranek, Multi award-winning and world-renowned acoustical consultant, author and former professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA
  • Tim Mellow, Director, Mellow Acoustics Ltd., Farnham, UK,

Acoustics: Sound Fields and Transducers is a thoroughly updated version of Leo Beranek's classic 1954 book that retains and expands on the original's detailed acoustical fundamentals while adding practical formulas and simulation methods.

Serving both as a text for students in engineering departments and as a reference for practicing engineers, this book focuses on electroacoustics, analyzing the behavior of transducers with the aid of electro-mechano-acoustical circuits. Assuming knowledge of electrical circuit theory, it starts by guiding readers through the basics of sound fields, the laws governing sound generation, radiation, and propagation, and general terminology. It then moves on to examine:

  • Microphones (electrostatic and electromagnetic), electrodynamic loudspeakers, earphones, and horns
  • Loudspeaker enclosures, baffles, and waveguides
  • Miniature applications (e.g., MEMS in I-Pods and cellphones)
  • Sound in enclosures of all sizes, such as school rooms, offices, auditoriums, and living rooms

Numerical examples and summary charts are given throughout the text to make the material easily applicable to practical design. It is a valuable resource for experimenters, acoustical consultants, and to those who anticipate being engineering designers of audio equipment.

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Research scientists and engineers working in acoustics; Mechanical, electrical, audio and architectural engineers; Physicists; Acoustical consultants.


Book information

  • Published: September 2012
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-391421-7


"It contains more recent and additional material, including material that is difficult to find elsewhere.…this highly recommended book is a treasure of information and problem-solving technique for both the novice and expert in the areas of acoustical transducers and fields."--Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, September 2013
"Even to those that already own a copy of the 1954 edition, I would recommend acquiring a copy of the revision.  It has sufficient new material and it is a pleasure to read to justify that cost.  To those starting out in the fields of room acoustics or electro-acoustics or those wishing to extend their existing knowledge, it would be invaluable…very well worth the current list price."--Acoustics Bulletin, January/February 2013, Vol. 38, No 1, page 51
"…a modern expansion and re-working of Acoustics, the 1954 classic reference…updated throughout and focused on electroacoustics with the needs of a broad range of acoustics engineers and scientists in mind, this new book retains and expands on the detailed acoustical fundamentals included in the original while added practical formulas and simulation methods for practicing professionals."--Acoustics Today, October 2012, page 48 Review, January 9, 2013
"…this reference work could be regarded as the counterpart to the advanced, computational acoustic engineering software such as Comsol now becoming popular, providing much of the grounding for these multi discipline, coupled modelling programs…It is a welcome surprise to see Leo Beranek’s Acoustics so exhaustively revised."--Audio Review, January 9, 2013
"Beranek and Mellow…offer engineering students a textbook on acoustics that can also serve as a reference for experimenters and consultants. They assume knowledge of electric circuit theory."--Reference and Research Book News, December 2012

Table of Contents

1. Introduction and terminology
2. The wave equation and solutions
3. Electro-mechano-acoustical circuits
4. Acoustic components
5. Microphones
6. Electrodynamic loudspeakers
7. Loudspeaker systems
8. Cellphone acoustics
9. Horn loudspeakers
10. Sound in enclosures
11. Room design for loudspeaker listening
12. Radiation and scattering of sound by the boundary value method
13. Radiation and scattering of sound by the boundary integral method
14. State variable analysis of circuits
APPENDIX I Frequency-response shapes for Loudspeakers
APPENDIX II Mathematical formulas
APPENDIX III Conversion factors
Design Summaries