:Automotive industries are finding increasing importance in focusing on the sound quality of a vehicle to maintain a competitive advantage. While vehicle background noise is reduced for the sake of greater customer satisfaction, the need to create an exhaust sound that is pleasing to the customer becomes more prominent. Vehicle pass-by sound measurements obtained using a single microphone have limited use in quantifying the specific nuances that are important to the customer. Objective metrics are needed which translate subjective customer requirements into vehicle design specifications. However, knowledge of characteristics representing the desired quality of the sound is inadequate. Ideally these metrics can be placed into the hands of vehicle design engineers earlier in the design phase thus allowing the exhaust engineer more freedom to produce a “quality” exhaust sound.The focus of this study was to define a technical exhaust sound specification using objective sound quality measures linked by statistical correlation to customer preferences. Acquisition of the subjective data involved blind paired-comparison evaluations of binaural vehicle drive-away noise (dominated by exhaust) recordings and adjective-pair ratings of the individual recording characteristics.