Sound and noise affect our sense of taste


Research shows that noise suppresses our ability to taste saltiness and sweetness – while deep tones sometimes enhance bitter flavours.  Below, Professor Charles Spence from the University of Oxford describes the latest research in the field.

“Experiments conducted both in laboratories and in restaurants clearly show that factors such as acoustics, background music and noise levels influence how we experience what we eat and drink. And we simply cannot ignore the findings,” says Charles Spence, during a recent interview on

“If your restaurant has a lot of steel and glass, and you haven’t done anything to improve the acoustics, then diners will be eating their meals surrounded by noise. So if you are a passionate chef, how can you permit meals to be spoiled by noise and inconsequential music?”

Poor acoustics can cost stars

The article with Charles Spence is part of a theme about acoustics in restaurants. The article also includes an interview with Morten Vilsbæk, chairman of the Danish Food Critics’ Association (Danske Madanmeldere). In the interview, he says that if the noise in a restaurant mars the enjoyment of the food, the overall restaurant rating may suffer as a result.

The theme at also shows how Danish and international restaurants successfully create calm and peaceful atmospheres by using Troldtekt acoustic solutions. Black-painted Troldtekt ceilings were chosen for example when the Danish top restaurant Noma set up a pop-up restaurant for 10 weeks in Sydney.


  • Troldtekt A/S is a leading developer and manufacturer of acoustic ceiling and wall solutions.
  • Since 1935, wood and cement have been the main natural raw materials in our production, which takes place in Denmark in modern facilities with a low environmental impact.
  • Troldtekt’s business strategy is founded on the Cradle to Cradle design concept, which plays a key role in securing environmental benefits towards 2022.


Peer Leth, CEO, Troldtekt A/S: +45 8747 8130 //   
Tina Snedker Kristensen, Head of Marketing and Communications, Troldtekt A/S: +45 8747 8124 // 

According to Charles Spence, professor of experimental psychology at Oxford University, acoustics, noise, and background music have a significant impact on the way our senses perceive what we eat and drink.
If noise mars the dining experience, the restaurant’s overall rating may suffer as a result according to Morten Vilsbæk, chairman of the Danish Food Critics’ Association.
Culinary excellence, Danish designer furniture and black-painted Troldtekt acoustic panels were the key ingredients that Noma used for its pop-up restaurant near Sydney.