Experimental determinations of the acoustic properties of the subglottal airway, from the trachea below the larynx to the lungs, may provide useful information for detecting airway pathologies and aid in the understanding of vocal fold auto-oscillation. Here, minimally invasive, high precision impedance measurements are made through the lips (7 men, 3 women) over the range 14–4200 Hz during inspiration, expiration, and with a closed glottis. Closed glottis measurements show the expected resonances and anti-resonances of the supraglottal vocal tract. As the glottis is gradually opened, and the glottal inertance decreases, maxima in the subglottal impedance increasingly affect the measured impedance spectrum, producing additional pairs of maxima and minima. The pairs with the lowest frequency appear first. Measurements during a cycle of respiration show the disappearance and reappearance of these extrema. For a wide glottal opening during inspiration, and for the frequency range 14–4200 Hz, the impedance spectrum semi-quantitatively resembles that of a single, longer duct, open at the remote end, and whose total effective length is 37 ± 4 cm for men and 34 ± 3 cm for women. Fitting to simple models of the subglottal tract yields mean effective acoustic lengths of 19.5 cm for the men and 16.0 cm for the women in this study.

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