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SoundPLAN – Sound Propagation Modeling Software

SoundPLAN – designing a sound environment

SoundPLAN is an acoustic ray tracing program for noise propagation prediction written by the German acoustical consulting firm, SoundPLAN GmbH. The software is an acoustical planning and modeling tool with a wide range of applications (Urban Planning, Environmental Assessment, Noise Analysis, Noise Control Optimization, Field Noise Mapping, OSHA / MSHA,….).

SoundPLAN is a three dimensional graphics oriented program. It hosts a digitizer and numerous digital data interface. The software produces color noise contour plots and tabulations of the input data and results. SoundPLAN also includes a wall / barrier design optimization utility and an industrial noise control module. Graphic displays help to visualize the benefit of noise control measures in terms of cost vs. noise level reduction.

SoundPLAN was introduced in the United States in 1992. It is an established program and has a long history of use throughout the world. Over 2500 copies of SoundPLAN have been sold in Asia, Western Europe and North America and there are now more than 5000 users. Training courses are offered, which cover noise modeling theory, application and operation of the software. Technical support includes both a North American and international “Hot Line”.

SoundPLAN is an unique modeling and presentation tools, that allowes to visualize the effects of noise propagation throughout plants, factories, theme parks or along road and railroad lines. Optimization funciton allow the consideration of cost vs. effect.  The software visualize the noise situation through an extensive graphical user interface.

SoundPLAN v8.1 Trial Software

Demo / Trial Software Download (422 MB) (To install the software as a full trial version please contact Navcon for a trial license – forschner (at) )

Top Feature for selecting SoundPLAN

  • traceable propagation models [The propagation models included in SoundPLAN are based upon consistent sets of empirical data. These models allow for noise predictions within a certain level of accuracy. However, it should be noted that although the physics of sound propagation are always the same, the source and propagation parameters can change dramatically. The various models in SoundPLAN allow the user to modify these parameters to match the acoustic environment being analyzed.]
  • versatile definition of the sources input [frequency spectrum, time schedule or idle pattern, directivity, mitigation factors, etc.]
  • numerous control and QA features for the verification of input geometry and source data.
  • documentation feature to annotate the input, the data processing or the results (e.g., specific input object, Geo-File/ layer, Situation, Calculation, detailed result tables,..)
  • graphic tools for the visualization and presentation of the input and output data (i.e., Did the analysis consider this source, the road, this loudspeaker, this building, etc.?), the acoustical hot-spots (i.e., the nature of the problem), the conflicts (i.e. comparisons with governing regulations) and the benefits of various noise mitigation measures.
  • noise control optimization features [Which is very important from a financial perspective, e.g., cost versus benefit ratios. For example, 5 dB reduction for a source may cost $30,000 or $60,000 but the overall benefit is insignificant unless other source are reduced in the same way].

SoundPLAN & SoundPLAN Essential


SoundPLAN comes in two flavors – the full SoundPLAN software and the SoundPLAN essential software.  Depending on the type and complexity of your noise modeling project the SoundPLAN essential software maybe all you require.  The SoundPLAN essential software will allow you to model general environmental model from typical oil drilling operation, HVAC noise from buildings, a mining operation, wind energy projects, traffic noise and more.

SoundPLAN essential was developed for the occasional user of smaller noise projects. The software allows the modeling of road, rail and industrial noise sources. It has basic DXF and ArcView data import capabilities. It also allows the usage of aerial picture for digitizing geometry or the presentation of results. The software comes with an on-line manual and is protected with a USB hardlock key.  Depending on the number and size of your project the SoundPLAN Essential software may be a good way to get started.  The software gives you all the capabilities to develop noise contours for simple projects and if you decide to upgrade to the full version the cost for SoundPLAN essential would be pro-rated.

The full version of SoundPLAN software has more capabilities in regards to data management, optimization, modeling, graphic features and the processing small, medium, larger & more complex projects.  The data management capability is very important because even for a small project it may be necessary to develop various alternatives, iterations or configuration to determine the worst or best case, the optimum noise control, etc.  The data management can get very import to reduce redundancy, to streamline the data processing or improve the project transparency for review purposes.

The SoundPLAN Manager controls the project and global software settings and the control to start the main sub-programs:

  • Library (Source, material, assessment information)
  • Geographical-Database (Model generation – geometry & acoustic parameters, Project Management and Organizaiton)
  • Calculation Kernel (Setup of computation, running the noise or air pollution prediction, Indoor Noise Prediction)
  • Documentation (Results Tables, Documentation)
  • Spreadsheet (Generation of Comparison Tables, Assessment and Post-Processing Results)
  • Expert System Industry Noise (Design cost effective noise mitigation)
  • Wall Design (Design cost effective noise barrier – walls & berms)
  • Graphics (Maps, Colored Noise Contours, 3D Noise Contour Graphic, 3D Topographic Map..)
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