Optimal Humidity for Listening?

1]Can water vapor have a noticeable influence on sound?

2]Do water molecules in their gaseous form diffuse sound energy?

3]Will banishing water vapor from the listening room ameliorate the sound quality that the eardrum resonates to?

4] What is the optimal percentage of humidity in the listening room?

Living in a sultry climate, the outdoor humidity is around 80% late evening and near 100% at dawn. Air conditioning alone reduces the indoor humidity to a mere 70%. With the use of a dehumidifier, one can control the amount of water vapor in his listening room.


I have never done any formal tests on your topic. But, some humidity is good in a listening environment for a couple of reasons. Static buildup is usually less in a room with higher humidity. Also some speaker cones can have a longer life if they are not in a very dry environment for an extended period of time. If I were to venture a guess as to what the effect of high humidity would be on the sound, I would say that since the humid air is denser than non-humid air by virtue of the added water, that the SPL(efficiency) would be somewhat higher. Since the water in the air has changed phase(for the most part), it is no longer a liquid and should not behave as a diffusing media. In fact, as you may know, sound travels more efficiently under water than it does above water. Whether this characteristic translates into humidity is not known to me.