They say you stop hearing high-pitched noises as you age.

I top out at 17,000 Hz on this test of high-pitched hearing. Encouragingly, my nine-year-old tops out at the same level. Then again, this may explain why he never seems to hear me…

[Slight caveat: it’s possible my soundcard and/or speakers max out before 18000 Hz, which could also explain why we don’t hear anything on the high ones.]

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7 Responses to 17000Hz

  1. ozzy says:

    Get a dog, he will let you know (by his absence of response) when your speakers crap out.

  2. I’ve seen two different applications of the fact that younger people can hear higher frequencies:

    * High-pitched ringtones so kids can receive calls on their cellphones without their teachers knowing about it.

    * The Mostquito: an “ultrasonic teenage deterrent is the solution to the eternal problem of unwanted gatherings of youths and teenagers in shopping malls and around shops. …trials have shown that teenagers are acutely aware of the Mosquito and usually move away from the area within just a couple of minutes.”

  3. That’s pretty interesting. I stopped hearing things around 21khz, after that I didn’t hear anything at all. It’s also interesting that it starts out really loud, then gets progressively softer at every level but by what seems like an exponential degree. I have heard of the cell phone ringer, but it wasn’t loud enough for me to “hear” if there was something else going on in the room. I wonder what causes the “degredation” as we age.

  4. Ann Bartow says:

    It’s the faltering eyesight that is traumatizing my golden years…

  5. jim says:

    I’m 58 and maxed out at 12K (that is, I could hear 12 but not 13). So you have a ways to go yet.

  6. Michael says:

    18000 Hz without trouble on another computer. Who knows what the limit might be….

  7. I can hear the pure tones up to 20k without any trouble (I’m 46), but the mosquito warble is only noticable by the way it puts my teeth on edge. I’ve got tinnitis from working around computers all of my adult life, so it’s possible that I’m mentally filing the cellphone sound as “yet another annoying computer sound” and ignoring it.

    When I was younger, I could hear up to somewhere around 22-23k, which led to many many arguments with the IT people at the companies I worked for, because they couldn’t hear the stupid flyback transformers on the tubes I had to work in front of. These days my hearing is bad enough so that the sound of a system fan will successfully mask the electronics hum coming from video cards and the voltage converters on motherboards.

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