Design: The Hum

Urban man lives with a hum always in his ears. During his working hours, he is subjected to the distant noise of traffic, the whistle of the air conditioner, the hum of the fluorescent lighting. At home, the washing machine and the dishwasher rumble, radios blare.

Thunderous Chirp. Far from being alarmed, acoustical engineers today are in favor of the low steady hum. "There should be an unobtrusive noise, constant and surflike," says Robert B. Newman, a partner in the Cambridge. Mass., acoustical engineering firm of Bolt, Beranek & Newman, Inc. Without...

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