Review Article|Articles in Press

Updated Acoustic Normative Data through the Lifespan: A Scoping Review



      To assess the recent literature for voice acoustic data values reported for individuals without voice disorder through the lifespan as a means to develop an updated normative acoustic data resource for children and adults.


      A scoping review was conducted using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) Checklist. English language, full-text publications were identified through Medline (EBSCO & OVID), PubMed, APA PsycINFO, Web of Science, Google Scholar, and ProQuest Theses and Dissertations Global.


      A total of 903 sources were retrieved; of these 510 were duplicates. Abstracts of 393 were screened, with 68 full-text review. From the eligible studies, citation review yielded 51 additional resources. Twenty-eight sources were included for data extraction. For the normative acoustic data extracted for males and females across the lifespan, lower fundamental frequency for adult females was observed and few studies collected semitone range, sound level range, or frequency range. Data extraction also indicated a predominately gender binary reporting of acoustic measures with few studies reporting gender identity, race, or ethnicity as variables of interest.


      The scoping review yielded updated acoustic normative data that is of value for clinicians and researchers who rely on this normative data to make determinations about vocal function. The limited availability of acoustic data by gender, race, and ethnicity creates barriers for generalization of these normative values across all patients, clients, and research volunteers.

      Key Words

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Journal of Voice
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Stemple JC
        • Roy N
        • Klaben BK.
        Clinical voice pathology: theory and management.
        6th ed. Plural Publishing, San Diego, CA2020
        • Colton RH
        • Casper JK
        • Leonard R.
        Understanding voice problems: a physiological perspective for diagnosis and treatment.
        4th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA2011
        • Pemberton C
        • McCormack P
        • Russell A.
        Have women's voices lowered across time? A cross sectional study of Australian women's voices.
        J Voice. 1998; 12: 208-213
        • Britto AI
        • Doyle PC.
        A comparison of habitual and derived optimal voice fundamental frequency values in normal young adult speakers.
        J Speech Hear Dis. 1990; 55: 476
        • Yamazawa H
        • Hollien H.
        Speaking fundamental frequency patterns of Japanese women.
        Phonetica. 1992; 49: 128-140
        • Krook MIP.
        Speaking fundamental frequency characteristics of normal Swedish subjects obtained by glottal frequency analysis.
        Folia Phoniatrica. 1988; 40: 82-90
        • Berg M
        • Fuchs M
        • Wirkner K
        • et al.
        The speaking voice in the general population: normative data and associations to sociodemographic and lifestyle factors.
        J Voice. 2017; 31: 257.e13-257.e24
        • Plexico LW
        • Sandage MJ.
        Influence of glottal fry on acoustic voice assessment: a preliminary study.
        J Voice. 2017; 31: 378
        • Ordin M
        • Mennen I.
        Cross-linguistic differences in bilinguals’ fundamental frequency ranges.
        J Speech, Lang Hear Res. 2017; 60: 1493-1506
        • Patel RR
        • Awan SN
        • Barkmeier-Kraemer J
        • et al.
        Recommended protocols for instrumental assessment of voice: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association expert panel to develop a protocol for instrumental assessment of vocal function.
        Am J Speech-Lang Pathol. 2018; 27: 887-905
      1. Titze IR. Workshop on acoustic voice analysis: summary statement. 1995.

        • Kempster GB
        • Gerratt BR
        • Abbott KV
        • et al.
        Consensus Auditory-Perceptual Evaluation of Voice: development of a standardized clinical protocol.
        Am J Speech-Lang Pathol. 2009; 18: 124-132
        • Xue SA
        • Fucci D.
        Effects of race and sex on acoustic features of voice analysis.
        Perceptual Motor Skills. 2000; 91: 951-958
        • Xue SA
        • Deliyski D.
        Effects of aging on selected acoustic voice parameters: preliminary normative data and educational implications.
        Educ Gerontol. 2001; 27: 159-168
        • Procter T
        • Joshi A.
        Cultural competency in voice evaluation: considerations of normative standards for sociolinguistically diverse voices.
        J Voice. 2020; 36: 793-801
        • Awan SN.
        Analysis of Dysphonia in Speech and Voice (ADSV): an application guide.
        Pentax Med. 2011;
        • Boersma PW
        • Praat D.
        a system for doing phonetics by computer.
        Glot International. 2001;
        • Garrett RKM.
        Cepstral- and spectral- based acoustic measures of normal voices.
        The University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee2013
        • Tricco AC
        • Lillie E
        • Zarin W
        • et al.
        PRISMA extension for scoping reviews (PRISMA-ScR): checklist and explanation.
        Ann Int Med. 2018; 169: 467-473
        • Peters MDJ
        • Godfrey CM
        • McInerney P
        • et al.
        Chapter 11: Scoping Reviews.
        in: Aromataris E Munn Z JBI Manual for Evidence Synthesis. 2020
        • Page MJ
        • McKenzie JE
        • Bossuyt PM
        • et al.
        The PRISMA 2020 statement: an updated guideline for reporting systematic reviews.
        Int J Surg. 2021; 88
        • Peters MDJ
        • Godfrey CM.
        Guidance for conducting systematic scoping reviews.
        Int J Evidence-Based Healthcare. 2015; 13: 141-146
      2. Boone DR, McFarlane SC, Von Berg SL, et al. The voice and voice therapy. 2005;(10th Edition)

        • Maturo S
        • Hill C
        • Bunting G
        • et al.
        Establishment of a normative pediatric acoustic database.
        Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012; 138: 956-961
        • Goy H
        • Fernandes DN
        • Pichora-Fuller MK
        • et al.
        Normative voice data for younger and older adults.
        J Voice. 2013; 27: 545-555
        • Sapienza CM.
        Aerodynamic and acoustic characteristics of the adult African American voice.
        J Voice. 1997; 11: 410-416
        • Walton JH
        • Orlikoff RF.
        Speaker race identification from acoustic cues in the vocal signal.
        J Speech Hear Res. 1994; 37: 738-745
        • Sussman JE
        • Sapienza C.
        Articulatory, developmental, and gender effects on measures of fundamental frequency and jitter.
        J Voice. 1994; 8: 145-156
        • Cox VO
        • Selent M.
        Acoustic and respiratory measures as a function of age in the male voice.
        J Phon Audiol. 2015; 1: 105
        • Murry T
        • Brown WS
        • Morris RJ.
        Patterns of fundamental frequency for three types of voice samples.
        J Voice. 1995; 9: 282-289
        • Andrianopoulos MV
        • Darrow KN
        • Chen J.
        Multimodal standardization of voice among four multicultural populations: fundamental frequency and spectral characteristics.
        J Voice. 2001; 15: 194-219
        • Blomgren M
        • Chen Y
        • Ng ML
        • et al.
        Acoustic, aerodynamic, physiologic, and perceptual properties of modal and vocal fry registers.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 1998; 103: 2649-2658
        • Traen RJ.
        Multi-dimensional voice program norms for aging female voices.
        Rush University, 2005
        • Ferrand CT.
        Harmonics-to-noise ratio: an index of vocal aging.
        J Voice. 2002; 16: 480-487
        • Lee L
        • Stemple JC
        • Kizer M.
        Consistency of acoustic and aerodynamic measures of voice production over 28 days under various testing conditions.
        J Voice. 1999; 13: 477-483
        • Cummings MC.
        Normative acoustic and aerodynamic measures of voice production on three, four, and five-year-olds and voice quality following laryngotracheoplasty in children diagnosed with laryngotracheal stenosis.
        Univeristy of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH1994
        • Vorperian HK
        • Kent RD
        • Lee Y
        • et al.
        Corner vowels in males and females ages 4 to 20 years: fundamental and F1-F4 formant frequencies.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 2019; 146: 3255
        • Awan SN
        • Novaleski CK
        • Yingling JR.
        Test-retest reliability for aerodynamic measures of voice.
        J Voice. 2013; 27: 674-684
        • Eichhorn JT
        • Kent RD
        • Austin D
        • et al.
        Effects of aging on vocal fundamental frequency and vowel formants in men and women.
        J Voice. 2018; 32: 644.e1-644.e9
        • Torre IIIP
        • Barlow JA.
        Age-related changes in acoustic characteristics of adult speech.
        J Commun Disord. 2009; 42: 324-333
        • Awan SN
        • Mueller PB.
        Speaking fundamental frequency characteristics of white, African American, and Hispanic kindergartners.
        J Speech Lang Hear Res. 1996; 39: 573-577
        • Xue A
        • Mueller PB.
        Speaking fundamental frequency of elderly African-American nursing home residents: preliminary data.
        Clin Linguist Phon. 1996; 10: 65-70
        • Xue SA
        • Neeley R
        • Hagstrom F
        • et al.
        Speaking Fn₀ characteristics of elderly Euro-American and African-American speakers: building a clinical comparative platform.
        Clin Linguist Phon. 2001; 15: 245-252
        • Awan SN.
        The aging female voice: acoustic and respiratory data.
        Clin Linguist Phon. 2006; 20: 171-180
        • Altenberg EP
        • Ferrand CT.
        Fundamental frequency in monolingual English, bilingual English/Russian, and bilingual English/Cantonese young adult women.
        J Voice. 2006; 20: 89-96
        • Stathopoulos ET
        • Sapienza C.
        Respiratory and laryngeal function of women and men during vocal intensity variation.
        J Speech Lang Hear Res. 1993; 36: 64-75
        • Watts CR
        • Ronshaugen R
        • Saenz D.
        The effect of age and vocal task on cepstral/spectral measures of vocal function in adult males.
        Clin Linguist Phon. 2015; 29: 415-423
      3. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. 2007. Scope of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology [Scope of Practice]. Available from

        • Anna Paula V-B
        • Karine S
        • Anna Martha Vaitses F
        • et al.
        Acoustic measures of Brazilian transgender women's voices: a case–control study.
        Front Psychol. 2021; : 12
        • Plexico LW
        • Sandage MJ
        • Kluess HA
        • et al.
        Blood Plasma Hormone–Level Influence on Vocal Function.
        J speech Lang Hear Res. 2020; 63: 1376-1386
        • Morton ME
        • Easter S
        • Brown M
        • et al.
        Potential risks for healthcare disparities among individuals with voice and upper airway disorders: a systematic review.
        J Voice. 2021;
        • Brockmann-Bauser M
        • Drinnan MJ.
        Routine acoustic voice analysis: time to think again?.
        Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2011; 19: 165-170
        • Pierce JL
        • Tanner K
        • Merrill RM
        • et al.
        A field-based approach to establish normative acoustic data for healthy female voices.
        J speech Lang Hear Res. 2021; 64: 691-706