Vorsis Study: Is the Loudness War Over?

August 18, 2011


New Bern, NC - Aug 18, 2011 - A study conducted by Vorsis, the audio processing arm of Wheatstone, surveyed radio station engineers, managers and programmers to determine the importance, value and leverage of audio processing for a station's competitive edge.

The survey was sent to four different independent mailing lists covering radio engineers, managers and programmers. Wheatstone databases were not used, and an independent research company, Alethea Research, conducted the actual study. The sample was split evenly between large, medium, and small market stations (ADI 1 to 25, 26 to 100 and 101 to 200). It was weighted more toward FM stations (AM only: 11.1 percent, FM only: 51.2 percent, AM and FM: 36.6 percent).

The first question asked which qualities were important to a station's on-air sound. The winning answer was not louder, but rather cleaner.

Vorsis Study Results

Cleanliness is now more important than loudness.


The Vorsis finding is that audio processing technology has advanced to the point where virtually any audio processor can make any station loud. Vorsis says loudness is a given, and will not make a station stand out like it used to.

Louder was the fifth (of seven) highest choice at 35.8 percent. Cleaner was chosen 71.4 percent of the time, with fuller, more definition and brighter scoring in between.

Other parts of the study considered spectral balance, processing adjustment patterns and creating an audio signature.

Read the entire report online.


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