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hearing test - I am the fountain of affection
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clauclauclaudia
clauclauclaudia
Claudia
Tue, Jun. 20th, 2006 02:47 pm
hearing test

Yo, you college types (but everyone can play!)

Turn your volume *low* so you don't kill me for killing your eardrums, then take vvalkyri's poll.

I'd also be curious to know how well you can hear each of the three reference tones in nikolasco's comment here.

Despite the news coverage graphic showing the ring tone as being around 17 KHz, it appears to actually be 15,011 Hz. Which is why I ask about the three reference tones. I can hear the 15, but not the others, but I'd love to try the others on equipment where somebody has been able to hear them so I know whether it's my ears or my headphones (hey, my earbuds wouldn't even reproduce the lowest tone properly).

Yes, I hear the tone of a silent TV too.

Note that, as atrustheotaku comments, it's not an all or nothing "I can/can't hear this tone". Rather it's a decibel falloff, where the average person in their 30s can hear the 16KHz tone only when it's 22 decibels louder than the point at which the average person in their 20s can hear it. So. Take the poll. :)

Current Mood: curious curious

12CommentReplyShare

kathrynt
kathrynt
Kathryn
Tue, Jun. 20th, 2006 07:00 pm (UTC)

I can hear all three, although the 17 is about half the volume of the 15. I will go take the poll.


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bikergeek
bikergeek
Socially Awkward Penguin
Tue, Jun. 20th, 2006 07:09 pm (UTC)

Ditto, although they appear to be equal volume to me. I'm also 40 years old and my guess is that I have nontrivial hearing damage due to years of attending live musical performances, and about seven years of working in a steel mill. (Although five of that was an office job, visiting the plant only for about an hour each day.)


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clauclauclaudia
clauclauclaudia
Claudia
Tue, Jun. 20th, 2006 07:12 pm (UTC)

Thanks for the first post on the subject, by the way. Your comment threads are of course what led me to the other links, but too many linkies turns the post to soup. ;-)


ReplyThread Parent
hammercock
hammercock
The Hebrew Hammercock
Tue, Jun. 20th, 2006 07:19 pm (UTC)

I had already taken the poll, but hadn't listened to the other reference tones. This was my response after doing so:

I could definitely hear and be irritated by the 15 at the lowest speaker volume (1 out of 10). I could hear and was irritated by the 16 at 2/10 volume, though I might not have been able to pinpoint the source if I hadn't already known; at 3/10 volume I could tell and was much more irritated by it.

As for the 17, it's not so much that I could hear it, but that I felt sort of subliminally aware of and sickened by it. I only turned it as high as 6/10 volume, because after that the speaker buzz kicks in and overrides it.

Conclusion: My high-frequency hearing seems pretty intact, and these tones range from intensely irritating to outright headache-inducing and even somewhat queasifying. It's been a few minutes since I listened to them and I still feel a bit head-sick. On the flip side, I have a devil of a time trying to decipher human speech in a crowd or amongst other background noise. I'm 35, for the record.


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emmacrew
emmacrew
Emma
Tue, Jun. 20th, 2006 08:27 pm (UTC)

My laptop has crappy sound, so while the 15 sets my teeth on edge, and I'm not positive I can hear the other two.


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neon_epiphany
neon_epiphany
eden
Tue, Jun. 20th, 2006 08:41 pm (UTC)

I can hear 15 and 16, and though I can't hear anything on 17 I am struck by a profound uneasiness when I play the tone. Weird!


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tiamat360
tiamat360
Alexa
Tue, Jun. 20th, 2006 09:12 pm (UTC)

I could hear all three with my computer's sound set as low as possible, although I found the 16 and 17KHz were slightly louder than the 15KHz. I'm usually aggravated by these sorts of noises, and am also aggravated by squeaking cars, which sounds similar.

However, I just turned 20, so this is perhaps not very informative :P.


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clauclauclaudia
clauclauclaudia
Claudia
Tue, Jun. 20th, 2006 09:38 pm (UTC)

Well, there were far more 30-somethings in the poll than 20-somethings, so I still think it's a useful data point. I need to try this with speakers instead of headphones before I give up....


ReplyThread Parent
navrins
navrins
Navrins
Tue, Jun. 20th, 2006 09:43 pm (UTC)

Ow.

I hear all three of them loud and clear (and wish I'd lowered my speaker volume even more). I suspect I could go another 2kHz up.

And I'm well into my 30s.


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thespian
thespian
stephanie m. clarkson
Tue, Jun. 20th, 2006 10:48 pm (UTC)

this is going to sound odd; I hear the 15 and 17 fine, and with 'depth' (ie, I actually hear 3 tones that integrate into one). I can hear the 16 faintly, and only one tone - however, it sounds as though it's at the same volume from about 50% and volume higher (lower than that and I don't hear it at all; the sound is pass/fail for me). I don't quite understand why I would be 'missing' the middle tone, so I tried it with audacity, and running the kHz higher and higher. I can hear clearly from 14 to 22 (haven't checked any further), *except* for pure 16kHz tones. I'm wondering if that possibly stems from my tinnitis; I know I have occasional problems understanding women's voices, from that, however I can't think why the tinnitis would block out the one pitch.


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thespian
thespian
stephanie m. clarkson
Tue, Jun. 20th, 2006 11:02 pm (UTC)

to clarify; my tinnitis is in a range of pitches, which is why I find losing one pitch unusual. I should try to listen on a series of days sometime.


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scherzoid
scherzoid
John
Wed, Jun. 21st, 2006 04:47 am (UTC)

I can hear all three. I think. I don't have a pro quality soundcard in this computer, and there's enough background noise in this room to make a truly accurate determination impossible, even with headphones. Plus there's a really nasty aliased frequency of about 350 Hz audible in the 17 kHz sample. Not sure if it's my soundcard, or if it was recorded into the original sample.

Also, keep in mind that even without taking the effects of aging into account, the ear is naturally much less sensitive to very high frequencies than to lower ones. So you'll always have to turn up the 17 Khz tone in order to hear it at the same perceived loudness as the 15 kHz one. In acoustics this is called an equal-loudness contour, originally devised by Fletcher and Munson at Bell Labs in the 1930s (and later revised by Robinson and Dadson). There's a really neat interactive demonstration of equal-loudness contours at http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/~jw/hearing.html.


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