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Acoustics in production

Close-up of professional studio microphone with colourful, 3D printed listening dummy behind

People think of  Digitalization and "Industry 4.0" mainly in terms of autonomous machines, collaborative robots, and the internet of things. But there is more to it! From the angle of acoustics, these two terms mean nothing but a whole new dimension of communication that manifests itself, e.g., in virtual teams, mobile workplaces, video meetings, human-machine interaction and, in most of these cases, speech communication in noise.


New types of teams and new means of digital communication place new demands on leadership, presentation and negotiation skills, and offer new perspectives for boosting the innovative power of companies. The close collaboration of humans and machines poses new challenges for speech synthesis, speech recognition, and sound design as well as for smart approaches to noise and related health issues.

Research scope

Our R&D activities are highly application-oriented and interdisciplinary. Sound is everywhere, and so must be innovations of sound. Within this conceptual framework, we focus particularly on noise, sound design, digital communication, and digital leadership training. At the heart of our work is the signal that represents the oldest acoustic means of communication among human beings and that is still very directly linked to the ancient emotion and decision-making areas inside our brains: the human voice. That is, we try to learn from the acoustics of the human voice (and speech), e.g., how noise reduction measures can become even more efficient, how sound design solutions can be optimally tailored to specific product features, users and cultures, and how we can effectively boost the charismatic impact of entrepreneurs and our leaders of today and tomorrow (the latter activities take place within the SDU spin-out company AllGoodSpeakers ApS).


Research topics

  • Human-machine/robot interaction (synthesis and recognition of speech, emotions, etc.)
  • Human-human interaction (e.g., speech enhancement, digital communication tools)
  • Noise analysis and reduction
  • Sound design of machines, products, and robots
  • Stimulation of creativity and innovation (esp. public-speaker and leadership assessment and training based on Acoustic Voice Profiling®)

Research group


Find selected projects here:

  • FKK-funded project on " Improving Second Language Pedagogy at the Prosody-Pragmatics Interface Using Human-Robot Interaction, Read more
  • Velux-funded research project on Hate Speech, Read more
  • DFF-funded international project on Exploring a new technology for measuring speech rhythm: The cross-linguistic testing, fine-tuning, and application of the MARRYS helmet.
  • Persuasiveness & Creativity (PERCY), Read more

Press/Media presence (selection)

  • Derfor skal maskiner lære at tale som Steve Jobs, Read more
  • Prismodtager giver stemmer til strengeinstrumenter, Read more
  • W-wie-Wissen, German national TV, Read more


Find latest publications here:

  • Neitsch, J., & Niebuhr, O. (2020). On the role of prosody in the production and evaluation of German hate speech. Proceedings 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody, Tokyo, Japan, 710-714, Read more

  • Niebuhr, O. (2020). "Space fighters" on stage - How F1 and F2 vowel-space dimensions contribute to perceived speaker charisma. In A. Wendemuth, R. Böck, & I. Siegert (Eds.), Studientexte zur Sprachkommunikation (Vol. 95, pp. 265-277). Dresden: TUP Press, Read more

  • Diekjobst, K., & Niebuhr, O. (2019). Mellow the Cello! Determining Correlations between Human Voices and Instrument Voices as a New Source for Innovating Cello Strings. Proc. 1st International Seminar on the Foundations of Speech: Pausing, Breathing and Voice, Sonderborg, Denmark, 73-75, Read more

  • Fischer, K., Niebuhr, O., Jensen, L. C., & Bodenhagen, L. (2019). Speech melody matters: How robots profit from using charismatic speech. ACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction 9(1), Read more



Assoc. Professor Oliver Niebuhr Tel. +4565507649 /

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Last Updated 17.12.2020