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Spring Peeper
it's like the sound of the swallow giving the signal of the spring
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Submitted by:  lil_romio
Total Downloads:  828
Release Date:  Jul 20th, 2007
File Size:  342KB
Rating:  No Rated | 0 rate(s)

Tags: peeper  sound  spring 
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Who Knows How High Your Hearing Goes? The Mosquito Ringtone Knows…

My slam on audiophiles earlier today leads me next to a recently-read column by Ken C. Pohlmann in the January 2008 issue of Sound & Vision Magazine (which I've just discovered via the site's search engine was predated by a more in-depth, and excellent, technical analysis by David Ranada 1.5 years prior), which encouraged me to explore the 'mosquito ringtone' phenomenon I'd been reading about on-and-off for the prior several years. For those of you not 'in the know', many teenagers are supposedly loading up their cellphones with high-frequency ringtones that, while audible to their young and nimble auditory systems, are undetectable by 'old-timers' (specifically: teachers).

I was reminded, as I read Pohlmann's piece, of the fact that to this day, I'm able to hear the high-frequency whine of security systems in jewelry stores...a tone of whose existence I wasn't able to convince my parents in my youth. With my lingering security system perception as a suggestion of possible elderly high frequency retention, I hit the Free Mosquito Ringtones website that Pohlmann's writeup highlighted. Check it out; it includes a number of sample clips at various high-pass cutoff frequencies which you can download (duh) or stream directly from the site. Your results, of course, are dependent not only on your ears (and brain) but also on your sound system and speakers, and on any spectrum-masking aspects of the ambient environment. But (excuse me while I brag) I was able to discern tones all the way up to 18.8 kHz when played back through the sound system of my Windows XP Pro-powered Apple MacBook, headphone jack-connected to my Klipsch speaker set (who knows what low-pass filtering in that particular audio chain might have adversely affected my results). This was the case even though the website claimed that only folks below 24 years of age should be able to hear waves that high...and I'm 41 years (and almost 8 months) old.

In retrospect, given past experience, maybe I shouldn't be so surprised at my success. Then again, that was over seven years ago...How'd you do (and how old are you)?

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