Do You Hear What I Hear?

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Do you hear what I hear is a relatively famous song that is played at Christmas time. But one day during my Senior year in High School one of my teachers put us to the test. He played the different teen buzz sounds, or "mosquito" sounds to see if our class could hear them. Each noise had a certain age that should be able to hear it.


The first tone, the 8000 kHz, everyone should be able to hear no matter how old you are. As expected, all of us in the class could hear the tone. Then he played the 10,000 kHz which everybody under 60 should be able to hear. Once again, everybody in the class could hear the noise. Then he played he 12,000, 14,000, and 15,000 kHz tones, which correlates to everybody under the ages of 50, 49, and 39 respectively. As predicted, the class of 18 year-old's could hear the noise, but many commentated on how faint the last tone had been. Finally my professor played the 16,000 kHz tone which people under the age of 30 should be able to hear. Much to my surprise, I couldn't hear it, and not one of my classmates could either. The entire class was 18 years old or younger, and no one could hear the tone. I was floored by the fact that nobody could hear the noise we are suppose to hear at our age. So while many people think that the new wave of ringtones could be these "mosquito" ringtones, the small sample of my class shows that even those who are suppose to benefit might not be able to.


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Very interesting article. One of my teachers in high school did that same exact test. Something to think about is how different generations, when they were our age, would compare to us in this test. My hypothesis is that older generations would be able to hear the high pitched sounds better than our generation because they did not have headphones and ipods.

Wow, your topic is very interesting. I think it is very sad to think that as the technology gets more innovative, people get some negative impacts. In old days, where there were no mp3 player, people hear sounds better. However, nowadays, most people listen to headphones everyday and sometimes they peak the volume up to maximum, which cause them to slowly degrade their hearing abilities. Overall, great post!

This is something new to me. Yet I think the result is expected since the hearing system change as you grow up. Like any other part of the body, our hearing will work better when we were young and haven't gotten much exposed to noises that can damage the ear. I have to agree that headphones can be one of the major causes of losing hearing earlier in life.

I had a teacher do this test with our class in high school too and I remember being so fascinated with him not being able to hear a pitch that we all heard, as well as when I couldn't hear one but a few others could. I definitely think that hearing abilities will be steadily worse because of new technologies that make music louder, etc., and the pitches will be harder to hear for some even if they are "supposed" to be able to hear them.

I remember when everyone in my middle school and high school used to set the mosquito tone as their ringtone. However, I'm guessing the reason many of us cannot hear the tone we are supposed to hear is because many of us today listen to loud music through head phones which can damage our ear. I think that our generation and the generations after us will start to have worse hearing based on the newer technologies that are being created that can damage our hearing.

I took this test while sitting at a table with my roommate. I could hear almost all of the noises, but she dropped off a few levels before me. It makes sense to me, because when she's listening to music, it is always extremely loud! I feel that I'm one of the few teens that is conscious of their iPod sound level. It is pretty scary to think we might be setting ourselves up for early hearing loss! I loved that you included the video for everyone to test their hearing!

This is a very interesting article. I have always wondered about the effects of loud noises on our hearing abilities, but never really looked into it. I think it would be interesting to see the effects of headphones on the abilities of teenagers today. Since everyone seems to always be listening to music it would be very intriguing to see how far our audition abilities are from where they should be. Overall, it was a good article and and very applicable to our lives.

I really enjoyed this article. I think that with the fast-growing advance in mp3 players and other portable music devices, more and more people are using them on a daily basis. To avoid outside noises, the volume of these are raised to levels that are dangerous and affect our hearing in the long run. I also could barely hear the level an 18 year old is supposed to hear which proves that our generation might have much lower hearing standards than in the past.

This is a very interesting look into what people can hear. I thought that I had pretty good hearing, however I could not hear the sound that I was supposed to hear if I was under 25! This is something I will definitely have to take into account when I am near any of the high-decible noises mentioned on the chart. I think a major problem for this generation is the amount of time we spend listening to headphones at a very high level. I wonder if people's hearing will go down over the years because of this?

So cool! Good topic. My boyfriend and i just spent the last five minutes on a different site testing what we could hear. It definitely works, he's 28 and he couldn't hear a few of the tones that I could. I wonder how people use this in everyday life.

I love that you incorporated the mosquito ringtone into this! Good idea! I know many older people don't even think it exists because they can't hear it! But it is interesting to see that an iPod at full volume can be louder than a hair dryer! Wow! Nice facts!

Very interesting topic choice! I know my physics teacher did the same thing when we were studying sound. In my class, however, I was the only one who couldn't hear the noise. Nice to know there were people in your class who couldn't hear it either, I was a little worried!

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This page contains a single entry by hendr757 published on February 16, 2012 7:32 PM.

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