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What Frequencies Can Be Heard? September 2, 2006

Posted by healthyself in 000 Hz, 10, 10000 Hz, 120000 Hz, 15102 Hz, 16000 Hz, 16961 Hz, 17959 Hz, 20, 20 Hz, 200, 20000 Hz, 200000 Hz, 45, 45 Hz, 45000 Hz, 5 Hz, 50 Hz, 85, 85000 Hz, Animal Research, Biological Activity, Blogroll, Cell phone safety, Communication, Ear, Electromagnetic pollution, Electromagnetic waves, Electrosensitivity, Electrosmog, Emergency Medicine, EMF Research, EMF's, EMR, High Frequencies, high voltage transmission lines, Low Frequencies, Medical Research, Microwave exposure, nerves, neurons, Noise, pressure, Risk Factor, sensations, Sound, transmission, Vibration, Waves.

..”the human ear is capable of detecting sound waves with a wide range of frequencies, ranging between approximately 20 Hz to 20 000 Hz. Any sound with a frequency below the audible range of hearing (i.e., less than 20 Hz) is known as an infrasound and any sound with a frequency above the audible range of hearing (i.e., more than 20 000 Hz) is known as an ultrasound. Humans are not alone in their ability to detect a wide range of frequencies. Dogs can detect frequencies as low as approximately 50 Hz and as high as 45 000 Hz. Cats can detect frequencies as low as approximately 45 Hz and as high as 85 000 Hz. Bats, who are essentially blind and must rely on sound echolocation for navigation and hunting, can detect frequencies as high as 120 000 Hz. Dolphins can detect frequencies as high as 200 000 Hz. While dogs, cats, bats, and dolphins have an unusual ability to detect ultrasound, an elephant possesses the unusual ability to detect infrasound, having an audible range from approximately 5 Hz to approximately 10 000 Hz.”



1. matt - September 11, 2006

what is the frequency that adolescents can hear but adults can’t

2. cellphonesafety - September 11, 2006

It is the Mosquito Ring Tone, but some adults can hear it.* Mosquito
* 15102 Hz pure sine wave
* 16000 Hz pure sine wave
* 16961 Hz pure sine wave
* 17959 Hz pure sine wave
“The NY Times published a story on the Mosquito Ringtone this morning. Allegedly inaudible to adults, this 17Khz ringtone has become popular among teens looking to be able to send and receive text messages surreptitiously in class. They even included a sample of the ringtone, so you could determine for yourself whether it’s audible or not.”

“…The mosquito is a very dirty tone, with lots of noise in it. Perhaps that’s because it’s been converted to MP3, or perhaps it’s not a pure sine wave.”


Apparently most adults can not hear anything above 13 Hz. These ringtones are at 15 Hz, 16 Hz, 17 Hz, and 18 Hz. It is apparently a dirty or noisy sound that can hurt your ears after some listening.

I hope our kids will be able to hear 13 Hz by the time they are adults after the battering their ears are getting!

“NPR and The New York Times have recently noted the appearance of a high-pitched ‘adult-proof’ cellphone ring tone. The idea is that kids would employ this ring tone to indicate that a text-message has arrived, in situations like high-school classes where text-messaging is frowned-upon. Since the ability to hear high-frequency sounds declines with age, the teachers can’t hear the ring tones. Or so the story goes.”

“The ring tone at the NPR site is a relatively pure tone at 15 kHz (that’s 15 kilohertz, which is pretty darn high). The ability to hear of course depends on how loud the sound is; this ring tone was at 85 dB. Sure enough, the audiology literature suggests that your average 40-49 year old can hear 15 kHz just fine. The threshold of audibility for [adults]….. for a 15 kHz signal is, on average, 90dB, plus or minus about 10 dB.”

Now I gather that the ring tone was an offshoot of an earlier product, the Mosquito, a loud pulsed high-frequency sound designed to keep teenagers from loitering around convenience stores. NPR reported that sound as being at 17 kHz. 17 kHz is REALLY high. Sakamoto et al. show that the average 10-19 year old can hear 17 kHz at 80 dB. I can hear 17 kHz, barely, at 90 dB or more. Sakamoto et al suggest that the average [older]…can only hear 17 kHz if it is as loud as 120 dB or so…


What no one seems to be talking about these days, is that 85 decibels used to be the limit that a factory could have as a sound of their machines because after an hour or so it would start to destroy hearing. How loud are the commericials at the movies? And you better stay away from convenience stores…not only because of the donuts….

Want to check your hearing out?


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4. tim - April 21, 2008

what level should a 19 year old be able to hear.

5. Caroline Barnard - April 22, 2010

Hi there, last night at around 10:30 while all snug & cozy in bed & lay in in stripes & colours, if i can call it that.. something i dont recall ever hearing b4.. more like frequencies if i can call it that? I have no clue wot a frequency sounds like, but thats the word i kept seeing in my head (it’s difficult to explain it).. they were in 2 stripes & even had colours in my head.. grey & silver!! i fell asleep a while later & dreamt that i was walking in an open field/park type thing & this UFO not very big, with an orange flashing light was hovvering around, as if to tease me..

6. bestiaree - November 30, 2011

so simple with the kids.

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