“What the beep? Why Digital Sounds Are So Annoying” features lab work on amplitude envelope

Life’s Little Mysteries writer Anthony McGovern wrote a story exploring why the sounds frequently used in electronic devices (i.e. alarm clocks, microwave ovens, etc) are so annoying, and ways to improve their use in the future.  The article featured some of our research (done in conjunction with collaborator Dr. Jeanine Stefanucci) demonstrating that products using percussive tones are more desirable than similar products using the traditional artificial-sounding “beeps” frequently employed.  For a quick overview of amplitude envelope, see here