Can you hear 20 Hz when you reach 50 or 60+?

lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I can't hear naturally beyond 12k, meaning, without trying. It would be too distracting if I had to focus on that range.

OTOH, I don't feel like I am missing anything. It occurs to me that, maybe I never did hear above 12k.

It also occurs to me that speakers in general have gotten a lot better. Even the budget lines of many, are contenders. Tweeters have gotten so good, that I am now into all of the tiniest percussion accents to where I sometimes pick a band (or genre, for that matter) based on it's percussionist/s section. Take Latin jazz, for example. There is so much cool sounds going on in the background, and the tonal quality is incredible.

Main point being, if not being able to hear beyond say, 10khz is a handicap, I am ok with it. I have not enjoyed audio as much as I do now in my life that I am aware of, unless it's just another of those 'hindsight' tricks, that aging also plays on us. Anything else? Being born in a time of well exercised imaginations, due in part to lack of technology as part of that learning curve, I can pretty much bank on that to fill in the missing bits. We're hearing the resonant harmonics of the friction of a bow on a violin. If music didn't match our aged hearing as well as it does, we would not be driven to listen so obsessively.

Good time to be alive.
Yeah but what about the thread subject of 20hz area frequencies? I seem to remember you still might do okay at that end....
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
Yeah but what about the thread subject of 20hz area frequencies? I seem to remember you still might do okay at that end....
I meant to say and forgot but yeah, Running test tones I could still hear my subs reporting down to 20hz and they aren't even rated that low the way mine are tuned.

Headphones. . .sub bass of any sort is a weird thing with those, especially between open and sealed versions. Since I have dedicated subwoofers, it would not occur to me to test it there.
 
Ren Kitchener

Ren Kitchener

Junior Audioholic
I can't hear naturally beyond 12k, meaning, without trying. It would be too distracting if I had to focus on that range.

OTOH, I don't feel like I am missing anything. It occurs to me that, maybe I never did hear above 12k.

Good time to be alive.
That was very nicely written MrBoat.

12 kHz is exactly my limit too. I tried to increase the volume at 15 kHz - even with turning my head side to side, I couldn't detect it's presence. As a check, using the same equipment, one of my nephews could hear 20 kHz with ease (but he can't afford a 'high end' system yet).

However, I think I do miss the 'airyness' from the higher frequencies - but this could simply be 'kHz numbers' influencing my memory - the 1980's is a long time ago to remember an 'auditory sense'.

I may repeat the tests with my nephew, but this time, at the lower frequencies...
 
Ren Kitchener

Ren Kitchener

Junior Audioholic
I meant to say and forgot but yeah, Running test tones I could still hear my subs reporting down to 20hz and they aren't even rated that low the way mine are tuned.

Headphones. . .sub bass of any sort is a weird thing with those, especially between open and sealed versions. Since I have dedicated subwoofers, it would not occur to me to test it there.
Yes, I used over-ear headphones MrBoat (which I think are vented) - I wanted to prevent the possible trick of 'hearing', by feeling the vibrations through the body and/or hair. So headphones seemed to be a good idea - which resulted in the 30+ Hz limit for me.
 
Last edited:
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
That was very nicely written MrBoat.

12 kHz is exactly my limit too. I tried to increase the volume at 15 kHz - even with turning my head side to side, I couldn't detect it's presence. As a check, using the same equipment, one of my nephews could hear 20 kHz with ease (but he can't afford a 'high end' system yet).

However, I think I do miss the 'airyness' from the higher frequencies - but this could simply be 'kHz numbers' influencing my memory - the 1980's is a long time ago to remember an 'auditory sense'.

I may repeat the tests with my nephew, but this time, at the lower frequencies...
If the tweeters in the speakers you used in the '80s had a cone, you weren't hearing 20KHz- they really don't handle extremely high frequencies and that's why dome tweeters came about. Also, the dispersion from a cone is a function of its diameter, so 1-1/2" and 2" tweeters are very limited.
 
Ren Kitchener

Ren Kitchener

Junior Audioholic
If the tweeters in the speakers you used in the '80s had a cone, you weren't hearing 20KHz- they really don't handle extremely high frequencies and that's why dome tweeters came about. Also, the dispersion from a cone is a function of its diameter, so 1-1/2" and 2" tweeters are very limited.
I have to come clean here highfigh - my first serious speakers in the 80's was a second-hand pair of KEF Cadenzas (in excellent condition). They sounded awesome...until the roll surrounds disintegrated (through age rather than use). Then came some Yamaha NS10's, which were better suited for my room at that time.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
I have to come clean here highfigh - my first serious speakers in the 80's was a second-hand pair of KEF Cadenzas (in excellent condition). They sounded awesome...until the roll surrounds disintegrated (through age rather than use). Then came some Yamaha NS10's, which were better suited for my room at that time.
The surrounds were rubber, right? I have almost never seen those go bad unless they were in direct sunlight or near chemicals.
 
Ren Kitchener

Ren Kitchener

Junior Audioholic
The surrounds were rubber, right? I have almost never seen those go bad unless they were in direct sunlight or near chemicals.
It's a while back highfigh, but I think the passive resonator surrounds were foam (at least my model had foam surrounds) - these perished and split, until the spider was all that was left to hold the 'cone' in. Plus, direct sunlight is a strong possibility. I have now found some 8" equivalents to the Cadenza drivers, so a solid Black-Walnut enclosure of an equal size to the Cadenza, is being planned....after my amplifier is finished.
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
That was very nicely written MrBoat.

12 kHz is exactly my limit too. I tried to increase the volume at 15 kHz - even with turning my head side to side, I couldn't detect it's presence. As a check, using the same equipment, one of my nephews could hear 20 kHz with ease (but he can't afford a 'high end' system yet).

However, I think I do miss the 'airyness' from the higher frequencies - but this could simply be 'kHz numbers' influencing my memory - the 1980's is a long time ago to remember an 'auditory sense'.

I may repeat the tests with my nephew, but this time, at the lower frequencies...
I had traditionally EQ'd down the highest frequencies slightly, from say, 8-16k and used to find the highest shhhhh of the cymbal crashhhh somewhat shrill or annoying, along with other rather edgy higher frequency sounds. Seemed too that a lot of unintentional distortions lived up in those higher reaches as well. I am sure a lacking of higher quality with some speakers I used to listen to had something to do with it, but even today, I find myself still a bit sensitive to the highest audible frequencies. This would often come across as 'brightness' of the type that would turn me off to Klipsch speakers.
 
rojo

rojo

Audioholic Samurai
I'm in my mid 40's. I hear 20 Hz with headphones. I can hear down to 13 Hz with them.

Some may insist that it's harmonic distortion that I hear, but what I hear sounds an octave below 26 Hz. It's quiet -- a vague pressure on my ear canals, but the pressure is consistent. At 12 Hz there's no longer consistent pressure, just ultra quiet flaps. 15 Hz sounds like driving while someone has a rear window open. 20 Hz sounds like EDM or a suspenseful movie score.

Can hear, but I have trouble discerning pitch that low. If you were to play a 30 Hz tone, then play 13 Hz, 15 Hz, and 18 Hz, I doubt I could choose the one that's exactly an octave below 30 Hz without knowing my choices and logical inference. It'd be an interesting experiment though.

But I can only hear up to 12.5 kHz.
 
Last edited:
Auditor55

Auditor55

Audioholic General
I read that the older you are, the less of the top end you can hear (I'm at 13 kHz at a push), but on the plus side, you can hear lower frequencies. So, I did some tests using my Agilent sinewave generator, into a good set of AKG headphones, that are claimed to go down to 15 Hz.

I soon found out that with a poor THD headphone amplifier, you can hear down to 20 Hz, but it's not 20 Hz that you hear, it's the harmonic distortion. So I used the direct output of the Agilent. in this case, I genuinely could not hear down past 33 or 35 Hz.

Are there any older folk here (or younger) that can hear a sinewave below 35 Hz? Of course, you can indeed 'feel it' from a good loudspeaker. If so, I may need better headphones or a good 'spring-clean'...
20 HZ is about the limit of human hearing at any age. Anything below is considered infrasonic.
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic Field Marshall
I am no evolutionary biologist, but, to me the FM/loudness contour curves indicate that this is a evolutionary adaptation to protect hearing.

One of the reasons i do a lotta music listening in multichannel (take a break from stereo) is because i crank it up less in multichannel. The enveloping and immersion can be obtained at much lower spl levels than stereo. Of course, higher resolving speakers and gear help crank it up less as well.
Until a week ago my recorded music listening pleasure was, for the most part, from Apple Music via an Airport Express delivering 16/44.1 to the optical S/PDIF input of a 20 year old Sony Pre-Pro. The Sony went silent and was replaced with a new Parasound P6 Preamplifier. Now, the Airport Express is connected to the Parasound's optical input and, I've got to tell ya, listening at low volume is presenting detail from music that I was not getting from the Sony at high volume levels. This is a pleasant and unexpected surprise. I also enjoy multi-channel SACD from my OPPO but I have not had your experience with it, that's to say, I do not sense detail at low volume as I might when volume is turned up.
 

newsletter
  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
Top