Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
We're launching a new website soon and would love your feedback. See the new design


Acoustics research at Southampton covers a wide spectrum of work ranging from fundamental science to real-world applications. Our aim is to carry out research that has a high impact for the scientific community, industry and to improve quality of life.

The Institute of Sound and Vibration Research at Southampton has played a major role in pioneering acoustics research over the last 50 years. In 2006, this was recognised by the achievement of a Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for improving the quality of life for the profoundly deaf and reducing noise pollution.

We maintain a balanced portfolio of research funds provided by public and private sponsors. Our researchers engage widely in national and international collaborative work with major industrial stakeholders and other leading research institutions. 

The jet engine is a major source of aircraft noise (This photograph is reproduced with the permission of Rolls-Royce plc, copyright © Rolls-Royce plc 2012)
Jet engine

Our key areas of research include engineering noise control, transport noise, vibroacoustics, underwater sound, ultrasonics, audio engineering and sound perception.

Aircraft noise and railway noise are major sources of environmental noise. For several decades we have focussed our research on the prediction and control of these noise sources. More recently major university research centres on aircraft noise have been established at Southampton with backing from Rolls-Royce and Airbus.

Underwater bioacoustics research
Underwater bioacoustics research

Underwater sound or high-frequency ultrasound is crucial for communication and navigation of certain species. It can also be beneficial to humans - gaining a better understanding of our oceans and aiding medical imaging.


Experimental measurements with a multi-channel loudspeaker array
Multi-channel loudspeaker array

Our audio and virtual acoustics research aims to create new technologies for the capturing, transmission and rendering of audio material, which will contribute to the development of the future generation of professional and consumer audio devices.

Vibro-acoustics concerns the coupling of acoustic waves and structures. Our research addresses noise control problems such as vibration from railways and practical problems such as detecting leaks from buried pipes.

Institute of Sound and Vibration Research
Institute of Sound and Vibration Research
ISVR Consulting
ISVR Consulting
The ISVR Advanced Courses in Noise Control and Aeroacoustics
The ISVR Advanced Courses in Noise Control and Aeroacoustics

Research Areas

Ultrasonics and Underwater Acoustics

Virtual Acoustics and Audio Engineering

Structural Dynamics and Vibro-acoustics

Aircraft Noise and Aeroacoustics

Railway Noise and Vibration

The large anechoic chamber at ISVR
The large anechoic chamber at ISVR

Anechoic chamber

An anechoic chamber is a room in which the walls, floor and ceiling are lined with sound absorbing material, usually foam or glass-fibre wedges. Sound measurements are not influenced by the room surfaces, and an anechoic room is an ideal environment for many standard tests. The Large Anechoic Room at ISVR is one of the largest in the country.



 R.J. Mitchell wind tunnel  

In addition to the large R.J. Mitchell wind tunnel, we also have two smaller wind tunnels, all of which can be used for measuring aerodynamic noise. 

ISVR open-jet wind-tunnel
ISVR open-jet wind-tunnel

ISVR open jet wind tunnel

This is a low-turbulence, low-noise open-jet wind-tunnel facility housed in the ISVR anechoic chamber for the measurement of aerodynamic noise.

Doak high-pressure jet laboratory

The newly commissioned Doak-jet facility is a state-of-the-art facility for conducting laboratory scale jet-noise experiments, and has been used recently for a measurement program testing novel bleed valve designs.

Doak high-pressure jet laboratory
Doak high-pressure jet laboratory

High-performance computing

We have access to high-performance computing facilities within and outside the University. Southampton hosts one of a total of nine worldwide Microsoft Institutes for High Performance Computing. 

Other faciltities include: Large reverberant chamber, small reverberant chamber, AB Wood lab and three listening rooms.

Equipment: WAS 3000 Acoustic horn (160dB/10000w acoustic power horn); Acoustic Telescope; various acquisition systems microphones and hydrophones.

If you are interested in joining us either to study or to become part of our research team please select the relevant link below for further information.

Funded PhD Opportunities

Postgraduate Taught Courses

Current job vacancies at the University of Southampton 

Share this research area Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings