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My ears max out at 15kHz and I'm only 31...how depressing.
My ears max out at 15kHz and I'm only 31...how depressing.
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Old 27th March 2011, 09:14 AM   #1
GregH2 is offline GregH2  Australia
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Default My ears max out at 15kHz and I'm only 31...how depressing.


Out of interest I gave myself a hearing range test by hooking a speaker to my sig gen. Couldn't hear a thing above 15kHz. The amazing thing is the way my hearing just cuts out. No quieter and quieter or anything. Full volume at 14kHz then silence at 15.

Why am I trying to get a 100kHz square wave out of my amplifier when I can't even hear 15?

There's a good question

Year's worth of loud nightclubs and concerts has taken its toll.
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Old 27th March 2011, 09:16 AM   #2
pinkmouse is offline pinkmouse  Europe
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My ears max out at 15kHz and I'm only 31...how depressing.
I suspect more people have this problem than will admit to it. Mine are only good to 12K now, but that is after a good few years in Rock 'n Roll.
Rick: Oh Cliff / Sometimes it must be difficult not to feel as if / You really are a cliff / when fascists keep trying to push you over it! / Are they the lemmings / Or are you, Cliff? / Or are you Cliff?
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Old 27th March 2011, 09:35 AM   #3
gamgee123 is offline gamgee123  Croatia
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Maybe your speakers cuttof at 15...not a happy thought but much better than ears...
also, there is one other thing that could be...sometimes, cerumen (ear wax) production can increase and partialy or completely block some part of ear canal. I don't mean any disrespect by this, it is normal thing that sometimes can happen due to various reasons, and it usually happens deeper inside the ear canal so that regular hygiene practice cannot remove it...
It's simlpy solved with large syringe and very diluted lukewarm H2O2, but you should not do that by yourself! It's not a DIY thing, not enough force will not do the job, and too much force can damage your eardrum. Go see a doctor and ask for advice/help. After I did it, I thought "I can hear the grass growing" in the park and everything sounded "sparkly" and chock full of high frequency...maybe all is not lost yet...
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Old 27th March 2011, 10:48 AM   #4
Johnny2Bad is offline Johnny2Bad  Canada
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High Frequency (HF) hearing loss as you age is normal, nothing to get worried about. As for your particular hearing, 15K is fine ... it's not going to adversely affect your enjoyment of music, which, for me at least, is the point. There is relatively little energy above 15K in most program material and it's nowhere near the characteristic identifying harmonics of instruments and voice.

If you think about it, even if an upper harmonic of some instrument should fall at 9K or 14K, the next is at 18K and 28K ... so you and most others are in the same boat, even if they have relatively good hearing in comparison.

Audiologists have casually said 1K per decade is a fairly common level of HF loss, although I find that a bit steep based on my own personal experience. I'm in my 50's and 16K is no problem, compared to 18K in my 20's. I seem to recall my public schoolday hearing tests also maxing out around 18~19K.

It is far more worrying when hearing loss extends into the mid frequencies where it affects your ability to discern conversation, and that typically is workplace or occasionally a hobby/lifestyle issue. The rest I would not lose sleep over.

As for why an amplifier might want higher bandwidth, that comes down to issues over in-hearing range performance where wider bandwidth proves to be beneficial, or a tweeter material may exhibit a tendency to resonate at HF so there is going to be perhaps an incentive to move that above the hearing range.

Design issues are not always simply a situation of forgetting about the primary hearing band ... (the late) Allen Wright designed his preamps to have response two decades above the audible band ... that's out to 2 Megahertz. He had his reasons, and explained them to anyone interested, although they boil down to that he felt it improved in-band performance in an audible fashion.
" ... Go back to the beginning of a technology before the priesthood was established; that was the time when people were communicating information, not proving why there needs to be Priests. This is why the old texts tend to be so good. ..."

Last edited by Johnny2Bad; 27th March 2011 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 27th March 2011, 11:47 AM   #5
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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My ears max out at 15kHz and I'm only 31...how depressing.
Similar thread here too,
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Old 27th March 2011, 01:07 PM   #6
nightanole is offline nightanole  United States
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I liked it when all my friends thought they where loosing the top end because they couldnt hear a "mosquito app" on their cell phone. Sure enough no one could hear this magical ring that only young kids but not the teacher could hear. I looked up the phone and it has a hard limit of 15khz. So i downloaded a tone generator app and said "here 15khz, ya here it?", "ya it plays fine", "ok here is 16khz", "nothing even when you hold it to your ear"...
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Old 27th March 2011, 01:43 PM   #7
GregH2 is offline GregH2  Australia
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Thanks all,

It's good to hear your perspectives and know I'm not the only one, pardon the pun.

Take care of your ears everyone!

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Old 27th March 2011, 04:42 PM   #8
kevinahcc20 is offline kevinahcc20  United States
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If you want to better evaluate your hearing use either well isolated high quality headphones or good earbuds along with sound protective muffs with an SNR of 30dB to isolate from outside noises. Download a sine wave generator that can give reliable tones flat out to 20kHz. If you look at Fletcher Munson curves (or more up to date ISO) you will need to dial up the gain at frequency extrremes to compensate for normal lower sensitivity of hearing. At threshold hearing levels sensitivity at 15kHZ is about 15dB poorer than at 2kHz to 4kHz where sensitivity is highest in normal ears. If it turns out you are down by 30 or 40 dB instead of 15 at 15kHz chock it up to normal effects of ageing plus any overexposure to high noise levels you have sustained. Most important is to listen from now on at sane levels and wear ear protection to preserve what you still have.
Kevin(ahcc20)...I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy!
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Old 27th March 2011, 05:03 PM   #9
Andrew Eckhardt is offline Andrew Eckhardt  United States
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The upshot to this is you can build yourself one of those ultrasonic rodent repellent systems so that it repels Really Big rodents!
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Old 27th March 2011, 05:44 PM   #10
18Hurts is offline 18Hurts  United States
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I read somewhere that a store owner did something like that,

The teens/20 somethings were hanging out by his store after he closed and trashing the area. He installed and hid several piezo tweeters and played 20 KHz test tones where they would hang out. Problem solved!

My buddies kids did the "mosquito ring tone" thing but I can hear it. They decided to quit the mosquito tone if we would quit playing 20 KHz when relaxing. Thankfully, 20 KHz tone generators are much cheaper than 20 Hz ones.
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