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Author Topic: Am I the only one? (sound frequency hearing levels)  (Read 2771 times)

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Offline xlibman

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Re: Am I the only one? (sound frequency hearing levels)
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2016, 11:48:04 pm »
I bet that people living in cities suffer from hearing loss much earlier, because they constantly have to deal with loud noises non-stop from vehicles on busy roads. >.<

Could someone have issues hearing a certain mid-range frequency due to hearing too many loud noises around those frequencies and still hear low or very high frequencies fine? If for example someone was always exposed to loud white noise I mean.
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Re: Am I the only one? (sound frequency hearing levels)
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2016, 08:33:26 am »
I tried the test again with one ear at a time, and the results I got are still consistent; that is, where the sound appeared to pan to the right, I heard a dip in volume when playing it just in my left ear.

However, I also found that while the dips always seem to occur at roughly the same points, the effect seems to vary slightly depending on exactly how the headphone cups are positioned on my ears. So I have some suspicion that at least some of this is due to the headphones. If I manage to find a different set to test, I'll report the results of those.

Another thing I discovered: the waveform this video plays seems to be altered a bit, presumably due to the lossy audio compression. So I can hear aliasing noise (or some other artifact) at frequencies above and below my actual threshold of hearing, which makes it confusing to tell the actual range. When I generate and play raw, uncompressed sine wave tones in Audacity at those frequencies I don't get this noise. The spectrograms of the raw sine tones vs. the ones in the video also appear different even though the waveforms look and sound more or less the same. Finally, it's possible that the high frequencies are actually filtered a bit when the video is encoded for quality reasons (again, to suit the audio encoding scheme used).

So, I think a more accurate test would require a video using only uncompressed or losslessly-compressed audio.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2016, 08:35:16 am by Travis »
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Re: Am I the only one? (sound frequency hearing levels)
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2016, 08:38:19 am »
Yeah I recommend using some of the audio files on the other site. That said, I bet even at 320kbps Mp3 quality, someone might notice some artifacts, even if minimal. Youtube quality is often very crappy.
The most accurate test would have to be a WAV/FLAC file or something.
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Offline p2

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Re: Am I the only one? (sound frequency hearing levels)
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2016, 08:59:43 am »
Are you super old maybe...?

Another posibility is these stupid sound systems you use against mice and stuff...
You almost cant hear them as they are working on pretty high frequencie but when having them around for too long it affects your hearing abilities, too.
and because you almost can'T hear some of those sounds, they sound like 10dB but actually are at 60dB or something like that...
(for your hearing ability, they're similar to living next to a busy street, despite the fact you just almost dont hear it because of the higgh frequencies)
maybe your neighbors used such a thing for a few years?
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Offline Travis

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Re: Am I the only one? (sound frequency hearing levels)
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2016, 09:34:34 am »
I'm 34, and I don't know of any of those ultrasonic mice repellents ever being used around me.

I tried the clips on the noiseaddicts site DJ posted. 14 kHz appeared to be the highest I can hear, except for on the 21 kHz clip only, I hear a faint, lower hum that definitely doesn't sound like 21 kHz. I got a similar effect with certain frequencies in Audacity above 20 kHz, but not the same ones. I still think there's some kind of aliasing going on.

So I set the project sample rate to 96 kHz instead of the usual 48 kHz (don't know if my sound card can actually do 96 kHz, but figured I'd give it a try), and the weird phantom tones at frequencies above what I can hear disappeared.

Then I realized that the faint clicks that happen when a sound starts and stops seemed to be having a psychological effect of making me think I was hearing the tone when I really wasn't (because the clicks were cluing me in to when the tone started and stopped), so I went through a series of tones in Audacity with quick fade-outs at the end to avoid the clicks. Then, if I could tell that the tone stopped with my eyes closed, I decided I could hear the sound. So now, finally, it looks like roughly 15,300 Hz is the frequency where I begin to have trouble reliably recognizing the tone, at least with the headphones I'm using.

And I thought determining my hearing range was going to be a simple task. :P
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Offline xlibman

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Are you super old maybe...?

Another posibility is these stupid sound systems you use against mice and stuff...
You almost cant hear them as they are working on pretty high frequencie but when having them around for too long it affects your hearing abilities, too.
and because you almost can'T hear some of those sounds, they sound like 10dB but actually are at 60dB or something like that...
(for your hearing ability, they're similar to living next to a busy street, despite the fact you just almost dont hear it because of the higgh frequencies)
maybe your neighbors used such a thing for a few years?
It's possible that certain sounds we hear daily at work or home could have done it, although I rarely hear very high-pitched noises. Maybe they're there but I can't hear them much or it's caused by low-frequency sounds such as machinery or car engines?

In any case, though, my main problem is hearing what people says around me while other noises are occuring, eg if I am pushing an empty shopping cart on cement and someone behind me says hi, I probably won't understand it, while if I am pushing 3-4 shopping carts at once, I will not even hear him at all. That issue has been going on since much earlier than my frequency hearing loss, though.
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Offline p2

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Why would you push 3-4 shopping carts full of cement around at the same time...? Also as far a I remember u didnt have legs and arms like John Cena, so how do you do it?  O.O

is it because of an actual hearing problem? Or is it rather a problem with distinguishing sounds?
If it is the second, u could try watching movies while listening to music ;) Sounds stupid, but it might help u improve at that point ^^
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Offline xlibman

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I meant empty shopping carts rolling on a cement floor, not full of cement lol. And my job involved pushing shopping carts in large amounts, and when they're empty they're very noisy when pushed around on top of an uneven surface like concrete or asphalt.
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Just saying, this looks REALLY cool through a spectrogram. Also, the Shepard Tone looks absolutely awesome, and isn't as bad on your ears.

You aren't the only one. Looking it up, it appears this has been noticed before, and under spectrogram there is absolutely no volume changes as you described. I then analyzed the sound coming out of my speakers, and for me, it is pretty consistent. Therefore, I assume it is our ears, perhaps due to fatigue. Also, your ears desensitize to higher pitches first, so I guess volume loss is the beginning signs of that.
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Offline Travis

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I don't consider myself that great at trying to understand speech with too much noise, either. I often have trouble working out unfamiliar syllable/accent patterns even in crystal-clear speech, for that matter. (But I also get kind of OCD about trying to understand every single word, which means rewinding a TV show a million times and then giving up and turning on the closed captioning just to figure out one particular word. Very annoying, but that's a whole different story. :lol:)

I've to the conclusion that (at least in my case) the odd dips in sound level I'm hearing are likely just my headphones. Whether that's considered normal or a result of headphone age/wear I have no idea, but I got different results when listening with desktop speakers. Also, reading around, it seems that my cutoff frequency of around 15 kHz is considered more or less normal for my age.

Oh yes, the Shepard tone is pretty cool. :)

One more random tidbit I thought I'd throw in: According to Wikipedia, there are animals like certain bats and whales that can hear beyond 100 kHz but not below 1 to 10 kHz, which means they probably can't hear human speech at all. :D
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Offline xlibman

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My main issue really, ever since I am like 14-15, maybe even before, is understanding what people say while there is full of noise around. Maybe I got Sensorineural deafness, which can apparently appear right at birth or later.


And yeah there are animals that can hear sounds of very high frequencies, which is why they can communicate with each others from far away, while we won't hear anything.
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Offline Travis

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I know this is an old topic, but here's an interactive page that makes it much easier to investigate hearing thresholds and such than that YT frequency sweep clip: http://www.szynalski.com/tone-generator/

You can slide the frequency around at will to look for dips/peaks in the sound. It might also be useful for getting an idea of frequency response and setting up equalization for your sound setup and such.

I notice the same apparently rather sharp peaks and dips with my (somewhat pricey) headphones, and the upper limit of my hearing still seems to be centered right around 14.5 kHz. I get a different set of peaks/dips on my dirt-cheap desktop speakers, and in fact it seems the latter actually sound more flat (though not perfectly so), at least as far as sine waves go. O.O No idea if it's my hearing or something wrong with my headphones or if maybe it's actually normal. I'm still trying to research this. One thing I'm starting to think which complicates matters is that there's a big difference between what a “perfect” frequency response measuring tool reads and what we actually hear, as I'm pretty sure the frequency response of our ears is anything but flat. Probably by design, even—for instance, in normal hearing the most sensitive hearing range is said to be at around the frequencies that are crucial in speech/communication, which probably isn't a coincidence.
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Around 12 KHz there's a dip that ends around 12.2 KHz or so. But the dip is only noticeable at low volume. After 13.9K I hear nothing. Also what I noticed is that 2.5K to 3.5K or so is louder.

Something I wonder is if sensory issues caused by autism spectrum disorder or other things like that can affect what frequencies you can hear.
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