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Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #25
The most important frequencies of speech for comprehension are the 1-3 khz range, which is, oddly enough, the part of the spectrum our ears are most sensitive too. 

Because we're the most sensitive in this range, it's also the first to experience damage from noise exposure, leading to the need to ask everyone to repeat what they say.

That last part isn't true at all - it's higher (much higher) frequencies that go first - and they die almost completely. Contrary to popular belief, it's not just age either. The fact that people lose 16kHz+, 14k+, 12k+ etc etc as they get older is not an aging process - it's noise exposure. In rural societies where noise exposure is minimal, you can find people in their 60s and older who can hear 18kHz!

When lower frequencies (e.g. 1-4kHz) are damaged, it's much less a "frequency dependent" phenomenon, and less to do with pure sensitivity. Rather, a lot of the active and non-linear processes of the ear begin to break down. That's one of the reasons that even very good hearing aids aren't perfect. It's not (as the hearing aid manufacturers would have you believe) that you should raise the audio above the (now elevated) threshold, then everything will be fine - it's that the remaining hearing above threshold is not as selective as it once was.

Well, that's my understanding of it anyway - there may be newer work that suggests otherwise.


Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #26
Heh, after a year and a half of oblivion, this lonely post of mine (one of my very first, btw) has at last got a little bit of attention. :-)

Most of these mechanisms have turned useless in our modern society, even hair is useless now. But i guess evolution won't remove it within the next few hundred years.

However "useless" hair may be, evolution will never remove it unless suddenly bald men became so attractive to women that having hair on the head would be yucked on by all of them. Or, if in some future society bald people turned out to survive some kind of threat better than haired people do (maybe a hair-pulling, man-eating alien). ;-)
It is a common misconception to think that evolution removes 'useless' traits eventually.  It only does so when, apart from being useless, they become burdensome (physically or energetically).


Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #27
Evolution has pretty much come to a standstill for us human.  Even the once "unfit" are now able to survive due to medical advances, etc.

That's an interesting point though, because we tend to think of 'evolution' as a process that works towards progress and improvement.  This may not be the case-- you can see levels of ignorance are skyrocketing; it's become an evolutionary winner in the socioeconomic arena.  After all, the most effective form of birth control is education...

... but this has little to do with psychoacoustic audio compression

Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #28
Evolution has pretty much come to a standstill for us human.  Even the once "unfit" are now able to survive due to medical advances, etc.

Continuing down the off-topic road. I can't remember where I read it, but I did read that the natural selection in the evolutionary process depends more on how we (or animals) choose our sex partners than who survives or not. And that selection is still in effect. I do prefer women with hair, so I'm not to blame if mankind suddenly becomes hairless

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