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  • Hearing test / Mosquito ringtone

    Since you all have studio monitors and appropriate audio software, here is a special hearing test for you.

    You may or may not know about the 'Mosquito' ringtone for teenager's wireless phones. This is a 17 khz sinusoidal tone that younger people can hear, but older people can't. This is due to presbycusis, which is the normal loss of acute hearing that occurs with advancing age. Some teens are using this ringtone to be notified about incoming text messages on their cell phone without having older people noticing, like teachers for instance.

    To test yourself, here are some high frequency tones that you can playback in your studio monitors. See if you can hear them.

    However, higher frequencies cannot be well represented in 44100 Hz. It is useless to go higher than 19 khz in this format since there is not enough sample to generate the waveform correctly, which creates lower harmonics. I have linked 2 sets of wave files. The first one is for the lazy ones and is in 44100 Hz and can be played in any player, but stops at 19 khz. The second is sampled in 192000 hz and go up to 21khz. However, these ones must be played in a player that can handle such an high audio resolution. For myself, I use Sonic Foundry Soundforge 6.

    The zip files are really smaller since zipping sinusoids gives amazing compressing ratios.

    44100 Hz / 16 bits
    http://pages.infinit.net/crazyedo/tones/14khz.wav (431K)
    http://pages.infinit.net/crazyedo/tones/15khz.wav (431K)
    http://pages.infinit.net/crazyedo/tones/16khz.wav (431K)
    http://pages.infinit.net/crazyedo/tones/17khz.wav (431K)
    http://pages.infinit.net/crazyedo/tones/18khz.wav (431K)
    http://pages.infinit.net/crazyedo/tones/19khz.wav (431K)
    http://pages.infinit.net/crazyedo/tones/LowResAudioFiles.zip (24K)

    192000 Hz / 24 bits
    http://pages.infinit.net/crazyedo/tones/HighResAudioFiles.zip (50K)

    For myself, I can hear 17 Khz quite easily, 18 Khz just a bit, but above that, I am lost. I am 30 years old.
    My 9 year old daughter could hear the 20 Khz without a problem. Above that, I don't know if the bottleneck was her ears or the frequency response of my monitors (Yorkville YSMP1).

    A good way to be sure a person can hear the tone is to lower the volume and bring it back to see if the person can tell when the tone is there and when its not. Do not use stop and play on the player since it will cause clicks in the speakers.

    Have fun, and share your results,

  • #2
    I can hear up to 17, but not over. I am 26.


    • #3
      What were you using to hear them? Monitors, headphones?
      What model?

      Through some of my cheap headphones, nobody could hear the 17 khz tone. although they could all hear it through my studio monitors.


      • #4
        yeah i can hear up to 17 easily and can hear 18 at high volume and 19 hardly at all with volume cranked. Im just using my computer speakers. which are some logitech surround sound speakers.
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        • #5
          I only listened to up to 19KHz to this point.
          I can hear them all but the 15KHz is apparently an anomoly because what I hear there is a higher pitch than any of the other samples.
          That could well be due to upper register hearing loss I have, along with tinnitus.
          Still Kickin' cancer's ass....Blue Water Sailors of the Vietnam WarHCGB Trooper #246Psalm 19 SocietyI can't really imagine experiencing the desire for multiple women; one has proven to be taxing enough as it is.Thanks Offy


          • #6
            I just listened on some crap pc speakers at work. I can barely hear 17k. Sounds like ringing in my head. I'll try again on my studio monitors at home later tonight.
            MindCycle Studios


            • #7
              So I didn't touch the volume on my speakers. It was set at a lower volume and I easily talk on the phone all day long while it's on in the back ground. I heard all of them, but I am lucky. I wear earplug all the time and somehow made it through my younger years without killing my hearing.

              While this is a fun exercise, I don't think it is anything but that...fun. It doesn't make somebody a better or worst engineer. In fact, I know of some well know LA engineers who can't hear over 15 kHz, which makes me thinks...so an assistant could use the 17 kHz ring rather than turning a ringer off. (joking)
              Zach Winterfeld
              Mercenary Audio


              • #8
                Originally posted by Merc Zach
                While this is a fun exercise, I don't think it is anything but that...fun. It doesn't make somebody a better or worst engineer.

                Good point. It is interesting though. I did this same sort of test a few years back. I'm pretty sure I need to start wearing earplugs more often...
                MindCycle Studios


                • #9
                  I heard them all well through my cheap headphones at work.

                  next, I tried with the headphones on the desk and could hear up to 18.

                  I'll try my monitors when I get home.

                  If I left the 14 on loop, I bet my co-workers would notice it


                  • #10
                    I could hear up to 17khz and im 20. Guess I need to start wearing some earplugs, lots of duck hunting and loud jams.


                    • #11
                      I could hear up to 19 pretty much...definitely 18 here at home on a set of KRK Rokit 8's. At 19 I heard a very quiet initial tone, but then it pretty much blended in with the incredibly noisy soundcard I have here.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Merc Zach
                        which makes me thinks...so an assistant could use the 17 kHz ring rather than turning a ringer off. (joking)

                        There's a few people at my college who use it, including someone I work with... drives me nuts.
                        Prying open my third eye.


                        • #13
                          I'm 32 and could hear all of the 16 bit wav files on crappy little walkman style headphones but I had to turn the volume up on 18k and 19k...so I clearly have a drop off happening in the 17k range. There's a more effective hearing test where they sweep frequencies between each ear at a set amplitude which really shows what your hearing response is.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by stage7
                            There's a few people at my college who use it, including someone I work with... drives me nuts.

                            Yeah, listening to a 17 kHz sine wave is about as fun as shoveling horse S$%T.

                            Plus some of these real young kids get a million calls and messages. I think I would have to hurt someone.
                            Zach Winterfeld
                            Mercenary Audio


                            • #15
                              Interesting results. Looks likes 17 khz - 19 khz is definitely the critical range.

                              I have an older friend, which is 46, that can't hear the 16 khz at all. Hard to believe since it is drilling my ears badly when I play it. But he does not hear it at all.

                              Also, when I crank up the volume in attempt to hear the 18 khz file, my 9 year old daughter puts her hands on her ears because it's really too loud for her.

                              Makes you think about earplugs. I bought a pair a month ago, the musician ones, molded to my ear with those special audio filters to keep the frequency range somewhat even. These are about 150$. But I guess buying good earplugs that you are actually gonna wear is one of the best deal you can make in the music buisness nowadays.

                              Anyone tried the hi-res files to see if you can go past 19 khz?