This study systematically determined the transmission and receiving sensitivities of over twenty transducers. Four types of sensitivities were evaluated for both transmission and receiving sensitivities. These are found to be different from each other and the reversibility or reciprocity conditions exist only in exceptional cases. Using their observed behavior as the basis, we critically examined the calibration methods developed to characterize them, including those based on laser interferometry and the acoustic reciprocity principle. Serious flaws in some of the reciprocity methods are uncovered, which can be rectified by using the Hill–Adams method. Four procedures emerged as workable calibration methods for contact ultrasonic and acoustic emission transducers. However, current experimental uncertainties limit the upper frequency to 2 MHz.
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