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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel

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Posted by peterb a while back, what's the highest frequency mosquito ringtone you can hear?

8 kHz
10 kHz
12 kHz
14 kHz
15 kHz
16 kHz
17 kHz
17.4 kHz
18 kHz
19 kHz
20 kHz
21 kHz
22 kHz

Does the ringtone you can hear match your age?

No, it's off by around 10 years
No, it's off by around 20 years
No, it's off by around 30 years
No, it's off by 40 years or more

Having played the ringtones, what have you attracted to you?

Small children
Other (please comment)

What poll question would you ask about mosquito ringtones?

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That really pissed off my guinea pig.

I'm 20 and the highest I can hear is 20khz, but only when the speaker's volume is the highest it can go. I can hear 19khz at normal speaker volume.

Mrs Gnomepants can hear up to 17Khz. She is a year younger than me. She went to all sorts of loud music events in her youth, I didn't. I did however frequently listen to my Walkman as a youth.

Dear God what an unpleasant sound.

Hearing over 20kHz for a human is basically impossible, no matter how young.

Pretty much everything above 17kHz is garbage to us anyway, which is why it generally gets rolled off (gradually from 15k) in audio mastering. And, it's not so much because people can't hear it (because, though I can't hear a sine wave above 17kHz, I can hear drastic compositional differences in minute .25 dB steps all the way up to 19k). It's because, unless you have really insanely good quality tweeters, the typical consumer speakers can't even reproduce them. Certainly not a cell phone or computer speaker.

And, regarding this I have to wonder what exactly this "technology" is. I, um, have three here in the studio. :)

Yes yes yes, but what frequency can you hear up to? ;-)

I did wonder about speaker response being the reason I could only hear up to 12kHz, although I did retry on my Etymotics with what seemed to be a similar response. I was even doubtful that the frequency files were correct, although Lu said she could hear higher. Hence the poll!

And where were you when I needed microphone advice?!

Huh... yeah, at your age you should be able to hear up to at least 15kHz fairly flat (less 3-6 dB). I could hear 17kHz clearly with my Etymotics (4P) earbuds in, though it was down about 15dB (guessing) at that point. On my Adam loudspeaker system (which have very accurate ribbon tweeters) I couldn't hear 17kHz unless I cranked the hell out of it. Typical room noise tends to drown it out (and it's pretty quite in here).

Sorry! I didn't know you were asking for microphone advice. I've been on and off a lot lately, and sometime I just give up on trying to catch back up. But I probably wouldn't have been a ton of help to you unless your budget were at least over $700US or so. Most of the mics I use on various projects are between $400-$1500US. And then they work best with a really nice outboard mic pre which can get real pricey.

That said, the the podcast type stuff, I prefer the Shure SM-7 (not 57!) with something like the AEA Ribbon Pre. That as an amazing combo for voice, and practically anything else that is being "spot miked".

I think I'll listen again with the Etymotics, as I don't remember testing it 100%/properly.

I went for the Samson C03U, USB microphone. Whatever I try I just can't get the recorded sound to be loud enough (relative to music I'm recording at the same time on the PC), or at least that's my feeling. I can't adjust the levels to be too high on the recording software otherwise it just sounds awful, but I've found the best medium I can for the moment (check out the latest podcast for a flavour of it).

I can very easily hear all of those, and none seem even particularly high.

Or I could be a bat. Because on the internet no one knows if you are a bat.

Do you like blood or fruit? (that is what bats eat... right?)

It is pretty amazing you can hear so high. I did wonder if my lack of decent hearing was due to the speakers, but after trying what are purportedly very good headphones it did not seem to make much difference. As above though, I need to try again.

My main reason for running the poll was to see whether people could actually hear above the 12kHz range, but patently they can!

Honestly I think there is something odd about the interactions of those files and my soundcard/speakers. Not only can I hear those notes, but they don't really sound "high" to me. I wonder if something odd is happening and my system is putting out a lower tone.

I also wonder if the same thing is happening to other people.

Ok, there is definitely something odd about that website. I run the same tones on another system and cannot hear anything above the 12hz. Nothing, no drop off. 12hz, loud and clear 14hz, absolute silence. I suspect that the system may not be playing those sounds.

That is precisely what happens for me, which made me wonder whether they were legitimate.

On reflection though I was downloading the MP3s, and do not MP3s cut off after a certain frequency?

I also understood that one aspect of the MP3 compression scheme was to cut out high and low frequencies that a typical listener could not hear anyway.

I will have a browse of the site when I am at home, and check what other file formats were availabubble.

They do have them as .wav and .ogg, but if those are just conversions of the .mp3, they will also be missing the highs and lows.

I've tried the WAVs, and I can hear to around 14 - 15kHz. I'm using Winamp and you can spot in the frequency analyser that it thinks there's a tone there up to about 19kHz, then it vanishes (not sure if Winamp's analyser stops at 18 though...).

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