Highest Tone You Can Hear

as we all know hearing (especially your ability to hear higher freqs) degrades with age and also if you listen to loud music/noise/whatever constantly or for long periods.

so, take some wave editor and generate tones… (assuming your speakers are capable of playing up to 20 KHz, which i think they shoud) see what is the highest freq tone you can hear

Just curious… :)

i have abused walkman players for long time :) as i love to listen different music, get ideas, inspirations etc… i hope that havent damaged my ears too much :)

anyway, i could hear up to 18 KHz tone max

post you results please! :)

especially you hardcore DJ-s ;)

EDIT: actually i can hear up to 18,6 KHz if i turn the volume up… dunno if its my speakers (logitech z-2200) or me…

hey this sounds fun! i will test on my sennheiser hd-590’s when i get home from work!

damn dude, this makes me sad :( i was hoping to hear at least 18,000 like you… . but it looks like my limit is around 16,100… i’m a complete music freak though… i listen to it at fairly loud levels in the car all the time, and when i worked for this one insurance company i wore headphones for about 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 5 years… plus more listening at home. AND i used to go to raves a lot for about a 1 year period of time, plus i was getting into DJ’ing for a couple of years so i had my monitors going plus headphones loud over that… damn i’ve f****ed up my ears and i’m only 24 :(

so in doing this test, i just saw that soundforge can create DTMF tones… which i am now learning is touch tone telephone tones… so i went http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DTMF to look up DTMF on wikipedia… because i have always been curious about if it would be possible to reproduce these tones with other methods, and still have them work on the phone… my idea is to get a really good singer, who can accurately produce the frequencies necessary, and record them, splice some wav files together , and then play it on the telephone to see if it would dial… anyone think that would work or am i just crazy?

Somewhere around 19 kHz last time I checked, with a dip around 18 kHz if I remember correctly. Both ears aren’t the same either. I might try it again some time, though it’s bloody painful.

about the test, I’m at work, so I will try it later

about the wav-to-phone idea:
there are several ways to “hack” phone calling methods.

in my old bedroom, I had a impulse phone (a phone which does not produce DTMF tones, instead it produces that tlack-tlack-tlack sounds), so I was unable to place calls on digital lines.

So I used to place calls with my mobile phone with the loud-speaker option active: I just made the number on the mobile phone, having it’s loudspeaker on the microphone of the other phone.

On analog lines, it was also possible to use the switch of the phone (the one where you put the receiver to stop the call) to make that tlack-tlack-tlack.

So your method could even work, but I think that DTMF are composite sounds which are impossible to reproduce with woice.

I tried a sine-production going up from 1hz to 22khz in five minutes.
During preview i could hear tones going up… what i notices at a certain rate in the higher scales was the tone got to sound softer and the my left side got louder and then the tones balanced up again…

Which would indicate i have a slight difference in hearing impairance between my right and my left ear (my right ear is more damaged than my left ear) also my ears are impaired worse at a certain frequency range as the volume seemed to go up again when the frequency went up… until it went softer again.

The differences between my left and right ears occur between the 40 seconds and 1 minute and then later after 1 minute 12 or something the differences come back but take a longer time… as if the impairement is somewhat modulated.
When the 3.12 zone passes it seems as the tonedistinguishing stops… but when i stop the sound and play it again at 3:32 i can perfectly hear the high tone.
My hearing stops around 3:45 / 3:46 minutes.
When analasying that range i came to a top frequency of 16660 hz with an average of 16634 hz. I’m 31 years old… So if you can hear only 16Khz when you’re 24 years old, i think there is a good reason to be concerned.

When i lower the master volume of my PC to bearably hearable tone of the lower frequencies, my hairing stops at 15720Hz (around 3:21) and this is probably the true indication of my hearing impairment.

This following link to the next hearing-test only tells you if your hearing is good or impaired (slight / moderate or severely) but the way they do it seems more practicle than how most test-sites do this (as they only do frequency but don’t balances db output):


dont be so sad…

the good thing is that we can still compose without ultra high freqs and trust mixing/mastering to specialized engineer who has spent all his life with earplugs :) (no kidding, one mixing/mastering engineer told that he even wears earplugs when he is walking down the street to save his ears)

and of course medicine is developing constantly…

EDIT: but yes, we have to pay attention to saving our ears.

And i recommend to use comp with scilent fans and to mix with more or less decent monitors so the sound is clear and well audiable without the temptation to turn up the volum knob too much…

I did a quick test using test tones from a CD added to the book about recording.

On my AKG K271 Studio headphones I could hear bwteen 30 and 16000 hz, but next frequency recorded on that CD was 20000hz, so I don’t know if I can hear for example 18000hz.

yeah i should really work on that one… right now my geforce fx 5800 is so loud all the time, it even has this high pitched whine all the time, i took it to a LAN party last week and somebody complained about how loud it was, and he put on a set of those really big earmuff’s (like to protect your hearing while you are using heavy machinery) just so he didn’t have to hear it!

yea i know what you mean :)
right ow my comp is really geting on my nervs also with that noise… gives me that annoying feeling that i dont hear my speakers clearly on lower volumes. But luckily i will build new comp in a couple of months. And i’ll be damned if i wount use scilent case and scilent fans this time :)

This thread is freakin me out. I’ll try when I get home. I know I did some quick construction two summers ago and we were forced to have a professional hearing exam done. All I remember is she said the slight loss I had could easily just be what I was born with, so it wasn’t anything bad at all. But I’ve been to a lot of concerts since then and play my 212 amp in my small room way too loud sometimes… :( so we’ll see.

Edit: Okay I tried it. Could hear 30 - 18700, but my left ear only about 18400, so that kinda blows. Um…doesn’t this also really get affected by the volume at which you try to hear these tones is set at? Or should it not matter and I can just crank it when I don’t think I can hear anything?

You can always raise the volume on your speakers and be capable of percepting a very high tone-frequency, but it will not tell you if you have a true hearing impairement and how severe it is.

The purpose of hearing impairment testing is that the volume is being put at a level that you hardly can hear the tones on your headphones.
And you should use special headphones that leaves out environmental audio (closed cups) that’s why most online tests that you can use have a disclaimer telling you to do the real testing at a hearing-center as they not only have those headphones, they have closed chambers where you sit inside and have no influence from outside noise whatsoever.

There should be a certain distance between you and the audio-source to distinguish the various tones that’s why multiple volume level testing is done.
If you aren’t capable of distinguishing the tone, the volume level will be raised by the testing equipment (i don’t know by how many db’s) and the machine will sound the tone again.

The less times the testing equipment has to raise the volume (thus decreasing the virtual distance between you and the audio-source), the better your hearing.

If you set the volume at a level that you can barely hear a tone of 1hz, but you still can hear it…

How much is the highest frequency you can hear in that situation?
I don’t think you will reach 18Khz at all.

this is true… because i tried turning both my headphones and monitors up loud, and there was just a cutoff where i could definitely hear the tone VERY WELL at 16,000, and at about 16,100-16,125, i just couldn’t hear ANYTHING. it was really sad :(

io, this sounds like a technical limitation. Could it be that your soundcard/mixer/etc… cuts off the frequencies above 16khz?
If so, then your ears are probably not that bad.

Little suggestion: If you like to hear music loud, then notch the frequencies around 8 khz to save your ears. Ears are specialized for speech and therefore they are most sensible around 8khz.

omg i hope so! i didn’t even think about that. i did just install the hercules muse 5.1 because i was trying out all my different soundcards … that’s the one i used for the test, maybe i should try a couple others!!!

the human voice range is in around the 500-1000hz range though, why would 8khz be optimum for voice?

It also helps to leave the room for a while and let your ears rest. Put on a high test tone before you leave, and come back after a few minutes and you might ‘hear’ it easier, giving you an awkward and somewhat painful sensation.

anything above 18400 hz is inaudible for me.
but concerning my age and what my ears went thru, this is quite satisfactory. :)