Ow! That Hz

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I heard this story on the NPR Story of the Day podcast a couple of weeks back and then a friend sent me an article from the NYTimes yesterday.

The gist is, in the UK, “inventor Howard Stapleton” discovered that teenagers can hear frequencies that many adults can’t and so he decided to turn those frequencies against them. Dubbed the “Mosquito teen repellent,” the frequency would be emitted at irregular intervals and would prove to be really irritating to teenagers and they would leave the premises.

The twist, however, is that teenagers have turned this invention on it’s head and are using it to send text messages undetected in class to one another. Most teachers can’t hear the tone and the virtual note passing is successful.

I thought I was done with the story until I ran across this while surfing tonight. Blogger Ochen K has the original mosquito sample as well as a series of test frequencies for your listening (ear shattering) pleasure.

For me it stops hurting at around 20,000Hz, whereas my wife is fitting in perfectly with our over-30 demographic.

What frequencies can you hear?

5 Responses to “Ow! That Hz”

  1. heather says:

    I can hear up to 14000Hz

  2. marco says:

    I can hear up to 16000Hz.

  3. Michelle says:

    I can still hear it at 15000, but it doesn’t hurt anymore. At 16000 I just hear a faint hum.

    Damn, I guess I’m old.

  4. Cathryn says:

    I can hear 16000Hz well, but can still hear a faint tone up to 19000Hz. I guess I have dog hearing.

    Also, Randy – you’re such a dad with your dad joke of “Ow! That Hz” … and yes, I laughed out loud.

  5. becky says:

    this was really cool. my mom and i were just talking about being able to hear certain frequencies the other day. she can hear up to 1100, and i can hear up to 1800.