Skip to main content

Poll

In the following list, what is the highest frequency you can hear?

  • 24 kHz
    6 (3.3%)
  • 22 kHz
    17 (9.4%)
  • 20 kHz
    28 (15.6%)
  • 19 kHz
    38 (21.1%)
  • 18 kHz
    42 (23.3%)
  • 17 kHz
    15 (8.3%)
  • 16 kHz
    22 (12.2%)
  • 14 kHz
    7 (3.9%)
  • 12 kHz
    0 (0%)
  • Can't hear any of these
    5 (2.8%)

Total Members Voted: 297

Topic: What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear? (Read 14816 times) previous topic - next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
  • 2Bdecided
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Developer
What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear?
Guidelines for testing:

You can generate test tones in Cool Edit (or any other suitable program), and listen to them via your sound card and audio set-up. Alternatively, you can use the sweep and suggestions here:

http://ff123.net/sweep.html


If you choose to generate your own tones, it's best to use a 48kHz sampling rate for most sound cards. You can select the sample rate after clicking "New" in Cool Edit.

I'd suggest you try a 1kHz tone first, set the volume as loud as you can stand it (without causing distortion in your equpiment). Once set, don't change the volume.

Use decent audio equipment if you can, but even if you can't, please try this anyway, because I'm interest in how many people can hear high frequencies with the audio equpiment they have - this isn't just for golden ears and audiophiles! If you're using speakers, it may help to move your head around a little.

As you increase the frequency, you should still be able to hear a tone, only higher. It can sound quite strange as it goes beyond the limit of your hearing - kind of a sense of there being something there, but then this vanishes as you move the frequency even higher. This is normal. However, if you start to hear increased noise, or a tone getting lower in pitch as you increase the frequency, then your audio equpiment may be doing strange things, and you are not really getting any high frequencies out at all! So, if this happens, don't respond! (Otherwise you could say you heard something at 50kHz!)


If you find that the highest frequency you can hear is 19.5kHz, then you should respond 19kHz (because that's the highest frequency in that list that you would be able to hear).

If you find that the highest frequency you can hear is 23kHz, then you should respond 22kHz (for the same reason).


As always, comments would be great too - what equipment are you using, were you surprised by the result, do you think this is a stupid test etc etc!


Cheers,
David.

P.S. - I have a good friend who can only hear 5kHz, so don't be ashamed, whatever your answer!

  • Jan S.
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear?
Reply #1
I don't bother doing the test.
The last time I tried it the pitch went lower when I reached 19kHz or something like that... 
Too bad I would really like to know.

What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear?
Reply #2
19 kHz, but I'm quite sure its due to my cheap equipment !

  • Trelane
  • [*][*][*][*]
  • Developer
What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear?
Reply #3
I reached just over 19 khz before I couldn't hear the tone. My equipment: Stereo-Link SL1200, Panasonic RP-HT355 headphones. With my speakers (Klipsch ProMedia 2.1), I can't hear anything above 17 khz. If you're looking for age statistics, I'm 19 years old.

  • dev0
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Developer
What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear?
Reply #4
22khz

I can hear the complete sweep.wav on my equipment and don't have CoolEdit to do more sophisticated tests.

<edit>
Age: 16
</edit>

dev0
  • Last Edit: 07 November, 2002, 02:12:45 PM by dev0
"To understand me, you'll have to swallow a world." Or maybe your words.

  • ErikS
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear?
Reply #5
Wow. That was weird. When going up above 16kHz my SB Live started playing tones like in a melody when increasing the pitch further. Almost like Jingle Bells, but not quite... So I vote "null".

What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear?
Reply #6
I've voted 20 kHz, but I can hear nearly the complete file... only the last half second or so I hear nothing
Maybe 21 kHz?!
I've no CoolEdit to make further tests...

My equipment is a Yamaha YMF744B based soundcard (Guillemot Maxi Sound Gamer if I remember right) connected via line out (analog) to my Technics SU-A808 with Canton speakers

  • Annuka
  • [*][*][*][*]
What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear?
Reply #7
18 kHz, but I am getting older... 27 years now
I was able to hear 20 kHz at age 18.

  • B
  • [*][*][*]
  • Members (Donating)
What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear?
Reply #8
I already did the sweeptest once, could hear a little bit over 18 kHz (about 18.5 kHz).

Age: 30

What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear?
Reply #9
Left ear hears to 15.4kHz, right ear to 15.7kHz. But I can "feel" the sound in my right ear to just over 16kHz, so I voted 16. I used Sound Forge to generate tones in a 48kHz-sampling-rate file: a few seconds of tone, then 1/2 second fade to silence, then a few seconds of digital silence. I could feel the transition from tone to silence in my right ear, but not my left.

Equipment: Turtle Beach Santa Cruz, Sony MDR-V6 headphones.

Age: 19
  • Last Edit: 07 November, 2002, 05:59:38 PM by SometimesWarrior

  • Emanuel
  • [*][*][*][*]
What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear?
Reply #10
17Khz but crappy equipment: buillt-in ESS Maestro 2E in my portable, and Koss Portapro headphones. I'm not sure how high frequences the soundcard can reproduce. In the >18 Khz area it is producing clicks.
Age: 29

Edit: Sorry, voted "null" by mistake
  • Last Edit: 07 November, 2002, 08:22:26 PM by Emanuel

  • chicoselfs
  • [*][*][*]
What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear?
Reply #11
I with lots of patience and absolut silence can ear @ 22Hz, but i can't ear nothing from more or less 19hz to 21.89hz, but from there i ear something until 23.20hz. 22 years
Made in Portugal

  • mithrandir
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear?
Reply #12
I used to think that I could only hear to 16-17KHz or so. But then I discovered a problem with my testing equipment.

I discovered that the frequency response on my Sennheiser HD-600s are hardly flat above 5KHz. Look at the graph. 16KHz+ signals look like they are shoved down 10, 15, 20dB. If I "can't" hear very high frequency signals, are my ears to blame or can I attribute that to my headphones? I don't have the answer because I cannot verify the accuracy of the graph. But the graph is from Headroom, who is a popular retailer of headphone products.

  • Megaman
  • [*][*][*]
What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear?
Reply #13
It depends heavily on the quality of your equipment.I can hear a Cool Edit Pro frequency sweep until 17.5KHz but with extremely lousy speakers (if you look at them from the audiophile point of view).They are Creative speakers that came with my Creative Multimedia Kit (from 1996!).Better than the average comp speakers but still lousy.

I also have an old amp with big speakers (Phillips , from the 70's!) hooked to my line out , they cut off at about 12-13KHz , really crappy.

I'm 26
Never went to a disco until I was 21 (most discos kill your ears!)
Never went to a gig until Metallica came over here.I was pretty close to the stage.If I ever had some "golden hearing" abilities , that evening ruined it all , a definitely deafening experience >_<

  • shimage
  • [*][*]
What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear?
Reply #14
i dunno what it is (no sound card on this computer to test with.... when i get to one, i'll vote), but when i was at my parent's house this past winter, i couldn't abx a 15 kHz lowpass, so....

What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear?
Reply #15
Quote
P.S. - I have a good friend who can only hear 5kHz, so don't be ashamed, whatever your answer!

On the bright side, he could never have heard my ex-wife  .  OTOH, I would think that if your upper frequency threshold is 5kHz (while it's certainly not a question of being ashamed of anything), it is at least suggestive of a possible medical condition.  If I couldn't hear above 12-14 kHz on one of these tests, I would see an audiologist and maybe an ENT and figure out why...

I'm 38, and I can hear test tones up to ~18 kHz.  However, I can't consistently ABX music with a lowpass of 15 kHz from the original or passages with higher lowpass.  I've tried it several times using the "Mustang Sally" clips at http://ff123.net/samples.html and I've successfully ABX'd it in two out of about five times.
Yeah, when you call my name
I salivate like a Pavlov dog...

  • fewtch
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear?
Reply #16
I'm not convinced it matters much... most musical content is in the midrange, or upper bass regions for some types of music.  Provided a person can hear average conversation from a normal distance, they can probably still enjoy music no matter what.

My father has some *serious* hearing loss at age 69... I do feel for him (without a hearing aid conversation is impossible, and you still have to shout a bit even when he's wearing it)... but somehow, he can still enjoy music!  Granted, anything better than a $50 AM/FM radio is overkill, but he doesn't complain.
  • Last Edit: 08 November, 2002, 02:32:05 AM by fewtch
Bring back dynamic range... www.loudnessrace.net

  • MusicLover
  • [*][*][*][*]
What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear?
Reply #17
I don't know what is my ability, I didn't test myself...
But I heard, that a man can only hear frequencies under 8000Hz (due to one source), and 12000 due to another...

  • KikeG
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Developer
What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear?
Reply #18
I can hear "normally" up to 18 KHz, and up to 18.5 KHz at very high levels. I'd say that over 16-17 KHz you do not "hear" the tones, but instead "feel" something nasty, that hurts, like a blade, in your head.

To people that hear up to 22 KHz: do you feel this, or other things? If you don't feel this, maybe you're just hearing aliasing or distortion from your soundcard/speakers.

About the sweep.wav test, I'd better generate isolated short tones with begining and end quickly faded in and out, because in a sweep at these frequencies it is very easy that due to continuous high frequencies and levels your ear "saturates", and hear tones or things that are not present in the signal, or the opposite, that with the ear "saturated" you are temporarily less sensitive to high frequencies, and/or these false tones mask what you can really hear.
  • Last Edit: 08 November, 2002, 03:39:20 AM by KikeG

  • Pearson
  • [*][*]
What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear?
Reply #19
I just made a quick test with the sweep through my cheapo noname sound card and Grado SR60 headphones, and was able to hear up to just under 19 kHz.

Age: 29

  • 2Bdecided
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Developer
What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear?
Reply #20
Quote
Quote
P.S. - I have a good friend who can only hear 5kHz, so don't be ashamed, whatever your answer!

On the bright side, he could never have heard my ex-wife  .


LOL!!!

But seriously - he's 65 - I think it's OK at his age - though I know some people this age can hear up to 12kHz. There's an interesting paper that suggests childhood ear-infections, in combination with noise exposure, contribute to hearing loss. The damage is multiplied if you have both.


Quote
I can hear "normally" up to 18 KHz, and up to 18.5 KHz at very high levels. I'd say that over 16-17 KHz you do not "hear" the tones, but instead "feel" something nasty, that hurts, like a blade, in your head.


This describes the experience at the edge of my hearing (15-17kHz) very well.


I find these results very interesting (I hope others do too - please vote if you haven't already!) - we know the mp3 designers assumed that anything over 16kHz was unimportant (Brandenburg - "mp3 and AAC explained" - see the www.mp3-tech.org developers papers archives). In my experience, if you can hear up to x kHz, then you will be happy with an x-2 kHz low pass (approximately), but no lower. This is only a guess, but it suggests that many of the people voting in this poll would not be happy with mp3 for this reason (maybe in addition to other reasons!).


Also, it suggests that DVD-audio or SACD would provide no advantages in terms of extended frequency response (at least for pure tones) in the spectral domain for anyone here using their existing audio equpiment. If there is an audible advantage, it must be for some other reason (e.g. imagined, improved temporal resolution, less distortion below 20kHz etc etc - insert your favourite theory here!).


Finally, the results are interesting, because they don't fit with general assumptions that you can read in many textbooks. Though the idea is quite dated, 16kHz is still often quoted as the typical limit of human hearing (20kHZ when very young). Either we're all very young here, or very gifted!


If you have any friends who might be interested, please point them to this poll - I wonder if they are "gifted" too?!


Cheers,
David.
http://www.David.Robinson.org/

  • Lev
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear?
Reply #21
I can hear just up to 19khz, which is pretty good, considering I am 24, and have been dj'ing at least 2 nights a week for the last 7 years! And out clubbing probably at least another 1.

Waffle:
I did worry about my hearing, but after having tests that showed only a slight decrease after 8khz, it was deemed comparable to anyone of my age, which is good news.

My mum, on the other hand, who has never been to a concert, and very rarely sat in loud pubs / clubs can't hear past 11khz (she is 50).

I was thinking of buying some earplugs for the long term safety of my tympanic membranes, but this has encouraged me to listen to loud music even more, as opposed to cutting back -- may as well make the most use of my ears whilst they still function well 

Although I do eat oodles of vitamin tablets, and plenty of Ginseng / Ginkgo... Rumours are these things slow the process of hearing degeneration.

Speaking to someone else about this, he said he had found a statistic somewhere that for every year a person lives in London, 400hz comes off the top of his hearing range (due to the constant noise).... Although this would mean that everyone would be deaf after 5 decades, so obviously is not quite right, it is good food for thought. B)

  • Gabriel
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Developer
What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear?
Reply #22
I'd like to point that we might not be representative of the population.
It is likely that most of us are protecting hearing better than other people:
We try to avoid loud music, and if we have to go in a noisy place, we try to go out often in order to have breaks.
Some of us might even be using ear protection in noisy places.

  • mvdb
  • [*]
What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear?
Reply #23
Once you have done this test, try doing it again with music playing at the same time

...and indeed, wa are all *very* young  B)

  • Pio2001
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Global Moderator
What Is The Highest Frequency You Can Hear?
Reply #24
Quote
I discovered that the frequency response on my Sennheiser HD-600s are hardly flat above 5KHz.

This graph is not the frequency response of your headphones, so don't worry.

http://headroom.headphone.com/layout.php?t...&subTopicID=122

Quote
we took what are, in our opinions, the ten best sounding headphones, measured them, averaged the data all together, and used that composite data as the ideal headphone against which all individual headphone data is compared. Thus when you see a frequency response graph on a headphone product page, what you are actually viewing is how that particular headphone's frequency response differs from an ideal headphone
  • Last Edit: 08 November, 2002, 06:41:54 AM by Pio2001