The Society recognizes outstanding achievement in acoustics with several awards. The prestigious Gold Medal is presented annually to an individual whose contributions to the field of acoustics and to the Acoustical Society have been unusually distinguished. Other awards include the R. Bruce Lindsay Award to an ASA member under the age of 35 who has made important contributions, and Technical Area Awards which include the Silver Medal in particular fields of acoustics, the Interdisciplinary Silver Medal, the Wallace Clement Sabine Medal, the Pioneers of Underwater Acoustics Medal, the Trent-Crede Medal, and the von Békésy Medal .The Society also presents Distinguished Service Citations and elects Honorary Fellows. The Acoustical Society nominates candidates for the A. B. Wood Medal and Prize of the Institute of Acoustics (United Kingdom).

Gold Medal

The Gold Medal is presented in the Spring to a member of the Society, without age limitation, for contributions to acoustics. The first Gold Medal was presented in 1954, on the occasion of the Society’s Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Celebration, and biennially until 1980. It is now an annual award.

  • 1957 – Harvey Fletcher
  • 1961 – Georg von Békésy – For his deft proficiency in the experimental art which has laid open the ear and resolved the mysteries of its inner workings.
  • 1965 – Hallowell Davis – For his many contributions to our understanding of the workings of the hearing mechanism; for his versatile concern with bioacoustics, psychoacoustics, audiology, physiology, and otolaryngology; and for his service to the Society.
  • 1992 – Ira J. Hirsh – For contributions to the understanding of the auditory process.
  • 1994 – David M. Green – For contributions to knowledge, theory, and methodology in audition.
  • 2014 – Brian C. J. Moore – For leadership in research on human hearing and its clinical applications.
  • 2017 – William M. Hartmann – For contributions to research and education in psychological acoustics and service to the society.
  • 2018 – William A. Yost – For research on binaural hearing, pitch and modulation perception and for service to the acoustics community.
  • 2020 – Judy R. Dubno – For contributions to understanding age-related hearing loss and for leadership in the acoustics community.

 R. Bruce Lindsay Award

 The R. Bruce Lindsay Award, formerly called the Biennial Award, is presented in the Spring to a member of the Society who is under 35 years of age on 1 January of the year of the Award and who, during a period of two or more years immediately preceding the award, has been active in the affairs of the Society and has contributed substantially, through published papers, to the advancement of theoretical or applied acoustics, or both. The award was presented biennially until 1986. It is now an annual award and consists of $3000, and a complete set of the The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.

  • 1950 – J. C. R. Licklider
  • 1966 – David M. Green – In recognition of his many contributions to the body of knowledge of psychological acoustics, stressing the importance of the analytic model in understanding the basic processes of audition; with particular recognition of his major role in demonstrating the relationships between detection theory and auditory perception.
  • 1994 – Robert P. Carlyon – For contributions to knowledge concerning the auditory processing of spectrally and temporally complex sound.
  • 1995 – Beverly A. Wright – For contributions to the understanding of auditory processing of complex sound.
  • 2001 – Andrew J. Oxenham – For contributions to the measurement of peripheral auditory nonlinearity, and to understanding its effects in normal and hearing-impaired listeners.
  • 2014 – Matthew J. Goupell – For contributions to the understanding of binaural processes in acoustic and electrical hearing.

Silver Medal in Psychological and Physiological Acoustics

  • 1977 – Lloyd A. Jeffress – For extensive contributions in psychoacoustics, particularly binaural hearing, and for the example he has set as a teacher and scholar.
  • 1981 – Ernest Glen Wever – For establishing the field of cochlear electrophysiology and advancing knowledge of middle and inner ear function.
  • 1987 – Eberhard Zwicker – For prolific contributions to the understanding of fundamental auditory properties and for environmental, technological and clinical applications.
  • 1990 – David M. Green – For outstanding experimental and theoretical contributions to hearing research and its methodology.
  • 1994 – Nathaniel I. Durlach – For pioneering contributions to research concerning binaural hearing, intensity perception, hearing aids, tactile aids, and virtual reality.
  • 2001 – Neal F. Viemeister – For contributions to the undertanding of temporal and intensive aspects of hearing.
  • 2002 – Brian C. J. Moore – For contributions to understanding human auditory perception, especially the perceptual consequences of peripheral frequency analysis in normal and impaired listeners.
  • 2004 – H. Steven Colburn – For contributions to psychological and physiological aspects of binaural hearing.
  • 2006 – William A. Yost – For contributions to understanding pitch perception, sound source localization, and auditory processing of complex sounds.
  • 2015 – Roy Patterson – For contributions to understanding pitch and timbre perception, and for computational modeling of auditory representations.

von Békésy Medal

  • 1985 – Jozef J. Zwislocki – For landmark contributions to our knowledge of the hydromechanical, neurophysiological, and perceptual mechanisms of the auditory system.
  • 1995 – Peter Dallos – For contributions to the understanding of cochlear processes.
  • 1998 – Murray B. Sachs – For contributions to understanding the neural representation of complex acoustic stimuli.
  • 2010 – William S. Rhode – For discovering nonlinear basilar-membrane responses and for contributions to cochlear-nucleus functional circuitry.
  • 2012 – M. Charles Liberman – For discoveries regarding coding of sound by the auditory nerve in normal and impaired hearing.
  • 2018 – David Kemp – For the discovery of otoacoustic emissions and contributions to cochlear biophysics and the detection of hearing loss

Helmholtz-Rayleigh Interdisciplinary Silver Medals

Two or more Technical Committees may nominate candidates whose work overlaps more than one technical area. In 1995 this award was designated the Helmholtz-Rayleigh Interdisciplinary Silver Medal.

  • 1991 – W. Dixon Ward – For furthering knowledge of auditory perception in psychological and musical acoustics and increasing the understanding of the etiology of noise-induced hearing loss.
  • 1999 – Jens P. Blauert – For contributions to sound localization, concert hall acoustics, signal processing, and acoustics standards.
  • 2001 – William M. Hartman – For research and education in psychological and physiological acoustics, architectural acoustics, musical acoustics, and signal processing.
  • 2017 – Blake S. Wilson  – For contributions to the development and adoption of cochlear implants
  • 2019- Barbara G. Shinn-CunninghamFor contributions to understanding the perceptual, cognitive, and neural bases of speech perception in complex acoustic environments

William and Christine Hartmann Prize in Auditory Neuroscience

The William and Christine Hartmann Prize in Auditory Neuroscience was established in 2011 through a generous donation by Bill and Chris Hartmann to the Acoustical Society of America to recognize and honor research that links auditory physiology with auditory perception or behavior in humans or other animals. The first prize was awarded at the Spring meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in Montreal (2-7 June, 2013).

  • 2013 – Tom C. T. Yin – Auditory Neuroscience Prize Lecture: “Physiological and behavioral studies of sound localization.”
  • 2014 – Egbert de Boer – Auditory Neuroscience Prize Lecture: “The role of physics in inner-ear physiology and auditory perception.”
  • 2015 – Laurel H. Carney – Auditory Neuroscience Prize Lecture: “Relating physiology to perception: The case of the notched-noise masker.”
  • 2016 – Alan R. Palmer – Auditory Neuroscience Prize Lecture: “Bridging the chasm: Animal physiology and human psychophysics”
  • 2017 – Cynthia F. Moss – Auditory Neuroscience Prize Lecture: “Active listening in 3D auditory scenes”
  • 2018 – Shihab Shamma – Auditory Neuroscience Prize Lecture: “Cortical mechanisms underlying perception in complex auditory scenes”
  • 2019 – Glenis Long – Auditory Neuroscience Prize Lecture: “Differences and similarities of peripheral auditory systems”
  • 2020 – Edwin R. Rubel