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NVH Terminology | NVH Terms | Popular NVH Glossary List In the 21st Century

NVH Terminology/NVH Glossary

NVH Terminology is a term for the interpretation of vehicle noise, vibration, and harshness, which contribute to varying degrees of discomfort to what people can hear and feel as they drive along, including wind noise, road noise, suspension bumps, and engine vibrations.

Continuation of NVH terminology is available in the following post:

Audible Range of Sound-NVH Terminology

Sounds that are in the range of 20 to 20,000 Hertz (Hz).

NVH Terminology - Audible range of sound - Pitch intensity sound - Soundwaves - NVH noise level

NVH Terminology – Audible range of sound – Pitch intensity sound – Soundwaves – NVH noise level



The vertical measurement between the top and bottom of a wave. Also, see magnitude.

Amplitude Sound Cycle - NVH Terminology

Amplitude Sound Cycle – NVH Terminology


Vibration amplitude - Sound waves - Vibration level

Vibration amplitude – Sound waves-Vibration level


An NVH concern produced by two sounds that is most noticeable when the frequency difference is 1 to 6 Hz.

Bead Seating

The process of seating the tire to the rim. If properly lubricated the bead seating occurs when the tire and wheel are assembled.

Compelling Force

A vibrating object acts upon another object that causes the other object to vibrate.

Vibration - Compelling force beat - Bead seating - Reliability analysis - Durability analysis


The path a wave travels before the wave begins to repeat the path again.


To reduce the magnitude of a noise or vibration.


A component is used to dampen noise or vibration. Foam and rubber are commonly used to dampen vibrations.

Damping System - Dampers - Suspension system - Dampen noise - Dampen vibration - Dynamic balance

Dynamic Balance

A procedure that balances a tire and wheel assembly in two planes. Dynamic balance removes radial and lateral vibrations.

Droning, High-Speed

A long-duration, non-directional humming noise that is uncomfortable to the ears and has a range of 50 mph (80.5 kph) and up.

Droning, Low-Speed

A long-duration, low-pitched noise that is non-directional and has a range of up to 30 mph (48 kph).

Droning, Middle-Speed

A long-duration, low-pitched noise that is non-directional and has a range of 30 to 50 mph (48 to 80.5 kph).

Droning - Nondirectional noise - Low pitched noise

An Electronic Vibration Analyzer

An electronic NVH diagnostic tool that measures frequency and amplitude.


The number of complete cycles that occurs in a given period of time.


An aggressive suspension feel or lack of give in response to a single input.

Harshness - NVH harshness and vibrational analysis - Lack of suspension feel


The unit of frequency measurement in seconds (a vibration occurring 8 times per second would be an 8 Hz vibration).


Steady, high-frequency noise. Vacuum leak sound.


A steady, low-frequency tone, sounds like blowing over a long neck bottle.


A mid-range frequency noise between drumming and whine. Also described as a hum.


The physical quality of sound that relates to the amount and direction of the flow of acoustic energy at a given speed.

Intensity - Direction flow acoustic energy

Lateral Run out

A condition where a rotating component does not rotate in a true plane. The component moves side-to-side (wobbles) on its rotational axis.

Lateral run out - Number of disturbances - Vibration order

Magnitude (Amplitude) – NVH Terminology

The amount of force or the intensity of the vibration. The magnitude or strength of a vibration is always greatest at the point of resonance.

Magnitude - Amplitude - Resonant - Resonance frequency - Intensity of vibration


Provides a path for sound waves to travel through.

Natural Frequency

The frequency that a component will vibrate the easiest. Normally, the larger the mass, the lower its natural frequency.

  • Engine block (2-4 Hz)
  • Tire and wheel assemblies (1-15 Hz) – proportional to vehicle speed
  • Suspension (10-15 Hz
  • Driveline (20-60 Hz)
  • Differential components (120-300 Hz)


The unpleasant or unexpected sound created by a vibrating object.

NVH Terminology - Noise - NVH noise - Types of noise - Car noise - Unexpected sound


The number of disturbances created in one revolution of a component.


The position of a vibration cycle relative to another vibration cycle in the same hertz rate (time frame).

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