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octave bands meaning


Sound waves have specific frequencies which determine the pitch of the sound. Octave bands are used to measure these frequencies and are critical in understanding the acoustic behavior of a room. In this article, we will discuss what octave bands are, how they are used, and why they are important.

octave bands graph

What Are Octave Bands?

Octave bands are groups of frequencies in which the highest frequency is twice the lowest frequency. In other words, octave bands divide the frequency range into equal parts. For example, the frequency range between 500 Hz and 1000 Hz is an octave band because the highest frequency, 1000 Hz, is twice the lowest frequency, 500 Hz. Similarly, the frequency range between 125 Hz and 250 Hz is an octave band.

How Are Octave Bands Used?

Octave bands are commonly used in acoustic measurements, such as sound level measurements and room acoustics. Octave band analysis is preferred over full-band analysis because it allows for a more detailed analysis of the sound energy at different frequencies. Octave bands are also useful in identifying the source of the sound, such as a specific instrument in music production.

octave bands explained

At Acoustic Fields, we can assist you with all of your music and voice requirements in small and large rooms. In small rooms, we have two major issues. We have lower frequency pressure that smothers and blurs certain octave bands. Unwanted room modes can also exaggerate certain octave bands. Reflections from the wall, floor, and ceiling surfaces can increase reverberation times to the point where speech intelligibility is blurred and confused. Fill out the information in this link and let’s get the process started.


Octave bands are groups of frequencies that are useful in acoustic measurements and room acoustics. They provide a detailed analysis of sound energy at different frequencies and help identify problem frequencies in a room. By using octave band analysis, the best acoustic treatment for a room can be determined.

Dennis Foley

I am an acoustic engineer with over 30 years’ experience in the business. My technology has been used in Electric Lady Land Studios, Sony Music of New York, Cello Music and Films founded by Mark Levinson, and Saltmines Studios in Mesa, Arizona, along with hundreds of others.

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