Psychoacoustic characteristics of different brake creep groan classes and their subjective noise annoyance in vehicle and half-axle tests

Severin Huemer-Kals*, Máté Tóth, Jurij Prezelj, Martin Zacharczuk, Peter Fischer, Karl Häsler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Brake creep groan is a severely annoying noise and vibration phenomenon. Especially on the Asian market, customer feedback about creep groan is common, indicating creep groan’s impact towards the quality impression of a car. Hence, treatment of these stick–slip-related creep groan phenomena is necessary. As numerous design conflicts exist for brake and axle, a complete mitigation of the phenomenon is often not possible. A reduction of creep groan’s annoyance by changing the noise’s level and characteristics is therefore typically aspired. One approach towards this goal could include the usage of psychoacoustics: This work deals with psychoacoustic characteristics of different creep groan classes. Low-frequency groan, high-frequency groan, and transition groan classes are compared regarding loudness, sharpness, roughness, fluctuation strength, and tonality. Standard statistic methods as well as machine learning approaches are applied on signals from vehicle tests and half-axle tests. Test results depict the different characteristics of each creep groan class. By mapping the results to the subjective rating of trained test drivers, the annoyance of different classes is compared. Low-frequency groan, dominated by longitudinal axle vibrations, is found to be least annoying. This low annoyance is best depicted by the psychoacoustic parameters loudness and roughness. Presented results allow an optimization of brake system design to reduce creep groan’s annoyance, leading to higher customer satisfaction and a more goal-oriented treatment of this NVH problem.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-71
JournalAutomotive and Engine Technology
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2023


  • Creep groan
  • Psychoacoustics
  • Disk brakes
  • Signal processing
  • Subjective annoyance

Fields of Expertise

  • Mobility & Production


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