On its way from its source to the auditory canal, sound is affected by the room and its furnishings as well as by the shape of the head and the outer ear. These factors influence the way in which the sound will be perceived.
When the sound has entered the ear and been received by the auditory sense, physiological and psychological factors affect how we perceive it. Individual preferences modify our final assessment of the sound.
The hearing experience is multi-dimensional, with several different components of the sound being significant for how it is perceived. Sound level, reverberance and clarity are a few examples. Even psychological factors such as attitude to sound and stress resilience play a part.