Ringtone Audible Only to Under-20 Year Olds

Woow!!! This has to be the coolest audio illusion of all times! Apparently, using the Mosquito device, UK pupils have recorded the ultra-high sound that is audible only to under-20-year-olds. Your hearing gets progressively worse around the age of 20, so if you play a sound on the edge of your hearing spectrum, unless you have perfect hearing, you won’t be able to hear it at all. As I understood, the audio file is somewhere between 18KHz – 20KHz. When I played it, I haven’t heard anything, and thought it was just another internet hoax, but then my 14 year old brother started yelling at me, to lower that sound cause it’s driving him crazy – and he was in lower apartment!! Another thing.. my dog also flipped out! Here is the audio file. Check it out and report your findings!

This effect works best if you put on your head-phones. If the player below doesn’t work for you, download the Mosquito High Freq mp3.

1. Use your headphones if you don’t hear it the first time.
2. Test this mp3 file on your little brother, sister or a dog.
3. Be carefull not to drive someone crazy with this.
4. Test Your hearing here.

271 Replies to “Ringtone Audible Only to Under-20 Year Olds”

  1. Wow… I just loaded the first file into goldwave (an audio editor), slowed the playback rate ever-so-slightly, and suddenly you can hear an intensly irritating oscillating whine all the way through it. Clever stuff!

  2. Well, it’s not exactly at 20 years old. I’m 26 and I hear it quite clearly. And I play in a band, and should be deaf (not really- unlike some bandmates (read: all of them) I use earplugs).

  3. lol! I heard the first and the last file. In the first file I didn’t hear anything. But in the last one I think i heard something! :P

  4. I’m 25 and I hear it. Interesting, it sounds like the tv when my dad think it’s turned off but it really isn’t. He does it all the time and drives me mad. He is actually just turning off the decoder, so the tv is getting no signal, which it makes it looks like it’s off, except for that damn crickety sound!! I should be more forgiving, it’s not his fault that my dad is old and deaf…

  5. Hey whats up with the last clip from ebaums world its some guy saying he likes porn… how wierd.. but i just turned 20 and i can hear some of the stuff.

  6. is this some kond of joke ??on the first 2 i can hear a high ton, is that it ?? the rest are just people talking and background noises or r u supost to hear a high tone there to ?? the 5 one is totally wierd talken some shit about gay porn wtf (joke to freak people out or what??) ??

  7. I’m 25 and can hear first one very slightly. Can the people who can hear it also hear that high-pitch CRT TVs put out? I always know when one is on, even if it’s in a different room.

  8. Well altough it is a good Illusion to say, but i guess are not correct about the age limit u mentioned. I m 23 yr old still i can clearly hear all the samples. But i’ll have to say that it was a good move, out from “opticals”. Keep it up. These samples are good collectables. thnx.

  9. I’m 44.

    Clip 1: I don’t hear the mosquitto.
    Clip 2: I don’t hear anything but an occassional click.
    Clip 3: just leads me to the rapidshare site. I didn’t download anything.
    Clip 4: is a Torrent file. I don’t have anything that plays it.
    Clip 5: Loud and clear
    Clip 6: I don’t hear anything but occassional clicks.

  10. Nice one. My little sister and I could both hear it, but my mom couldn’t.

    And you guys are all right, it’s the exact noise a regular TV puts off when it’s not playing something…. actually, it always makes the noise…

  11. I only did the first and second as I listen to high pitched sounds to my reciever (no I’m not a pro at it) and I can detect in to a really high range.

    That being siad.

    #1 I can hear the sound but it doesnt’ sound like what I’d consider high pitched, although winamp shows that. However the peoeple in the back laughing and the two clicks, are they supposed to be there do you know?

    #2. I though I could hear #1 so I turned it up then I read duh use earphones and… OUCH! that hurts. Didn’t do the rest.

    I’ve read some comments and what not and I don’t think I want to play that at work.

  12. Wow they should make little kids shows in that frequency somehow so people dont have to listen to them.

  13. Why is the fifth one for people under 20 years old? It’s just talking about porn! I’m omly 11, and I really thought it was inapropriate! And at the end when the guy said he loved gay porn, my volume wouldn’t turn down. And my family could have heard it! But the rest was cool.

  14. I apologise greatly. I didn’t know the content of the last one. Gonna remove it imedately. Thank you for your info, and please don’t be offended, and I also appologise for your embaressment. It won’t happen again.

  15. I’m 31 and I can hear all of them. When I played the first one with people talking in the background, I could hear the high pitch sound pierce my head right through, it made me cringe… Ouch

  16. I am 26, I can hear all three of these tones, It was a painfull even to them on just for a few seconds.

  17. I am 33 and I could hear them all – especially the first 2. I could hear the last one but it made me feel wierd.

  18. I’m 20, and I had a hard time hearing it due to my tinnitus. I had to turn the volume up before I could hear it, but I could feel it before then. The tone emitted matches the tone I hear in my head all the time, so if you want to know what I put up with every day… I’m not saying that I suffer from it.

  19. I’m 24, I do SQ (Sound Quality) competitions with my vehicle, I tend to hear stuff others dont, I also can hear the TVs, some of my computers give off the exact same whine (not the monitors) but when the monitors do I go nuts trying to fix them and everyones like “what are you talking about? I dont hear anything” I couldn’t hear anything but the people in the first one but the speakers on this computer aren’t that great, so I thew it in my truck, holy crap! it actually called some dogs!

  20. I’m 17 and heard all of them clearly. My brother is 25 and hears them all clearly. My parents walked in and didn’t hear a thing… i’m gonna try playing the third one (most annoying sound) in class so everyone will complain about the sound but the teacher won’t understand what’s going on =P

  21. Wow. I could hear the second and third ones very clearly after putting my volume up, ( I could hear them slightly before that), but the first one wouldn’t play (the play buttton wouldn’t show up). I’m 12, for those of you wondering.

  22. I am 32 and I hear all 3. When I was in high school we did a test of sound wave systems using a sine wave generator and a couple super speakers capable of pruducing ultra low and ultra high speakers to show the effects of what adults and kids could hear. When we did the tests 3 of us got singled out for being able to hear quite well, in fact more than the others. I was able to hear to a very extreme range and got almost to a point where a dog could still hear but not quite all the way. I have heard these sounds for years and have complained about monitors and certain electronics. I could even pick up hums off of transformers and dog reppelent toys even those little mosquito repellers can annoy me if it’s put up right to my head. So I thought this was pretty neat, and it’s nice to seethat even though my hearing has gone a little I still have pretty good hearing.

  23. This is awsome! Just how do you put it on your cell phone- (Need Directions) – like how do you get it as a ringtone using it as a download… If someone can give me a link or something Please. I have a SLVR. Thanks!

  24. I am 14 and I can hear them all and so can my 12 year old brother and my 7 year old sister. But my dad and grandma can’t hear it. I think my cat heard it.

    I did some research and it is audible to people 25 and under, normally.

  25. If you do some research… For the average person, you will be able to hear the sound until around 40 years of age. Anyone under 40 should be able to hear it. I’m 33 and i heard it fine, although who the hell wants that for a ringtone?

  26. im 15 and i could hear all of them, what i need to know is how you get these on my cell, i could put these to use

  27. Hey Seba 719 how could anyone use your age to stalk you on a website where you can post using a name you just made up? It would be stupid if you also put your real name, address, phone number, social security number, and bank account pin; just one would suffice to be classified as acting stupid though.

    In regard to the files: I am 15 and in file…
    1) heard a quiet whining (plus the background people)
    2) a very loud screech that made me cringe anf immedietly stop the plyer
    3) was kinda afraid after what happened in 2 but i couldnt hear anything when i played it; releif and dissapointment at the same time.

  28. This just proves that teenagers of today have bad hearing … or mainly just me.. I’m 17… I couldn’t hear anything in Frequency two. In Mosquito one.. I can kinda hear laughter and backgroun noise.. as if I were in a cafe or something.. and the third one wouldn’t download… So yeah I dunno.

  29. COOL IT WORKED and when I turned it up really loud the dog across the street started barking! Maybe it was just a coincidence, but still REALLY NEAT

  30. wtf thats reallllllly weird i could hear it my sis could hear it and it hurt our ears but my mum and dad and all the teachers at school couldnt cooool

  31. I really liked this one a lot. I thought it was really interesting.

    My dog was leaving the room when I played the third one and he turned around and sat next to me, growling. I stopped it and he layed down, now calm. I played it again. His ears began twitching quickly. I moved the computer closer to him, as soon as I did he hopped off the couch growling.

    I’m 13, and heard all of them. Very shrill, made me cringe. I’m interested in seeing what my mom says. But wow, seeing my dog act like that was insane. Good work.

  32. Do you people realize that this is IMMPOSIBLE? The freqency of a sound that old people cannot hear and young people can would have to be approx. 20KHz. The MP3 encoding does NOT play freqencies above approx. 15 KHz. That is one of its features that make the file size so small. To actually play a 20KHz sound it would need to come right out of a speaker with NO encoding. I sugguest you download the Open Source Program “Audacity” (I believe it is available at sourceforge) and generate a 20,000Hz Tone.

  33. I played the first one and it made me nausious and dizzy. Then I played the third one and I immediately jumped to the mute button. felt like my brain was melting and i thought my ears were bleeding lol. I’m 26.

  34. I’m 38 years old and I hear all of them with no difficulty. They are incredibly annoying. I guess this means that I have better than average hearing.

  35. that was easy to hear, the first one sounds like there might be cars in the background and there are definatleyy two women laughing. the third one really hurt my ears!

  36. Yeah, I’m almost 40 and I can hear #1 and #2 clearly, but #3 I can’t hear, but it gives me one heck of a headache. Might explain why I hate being around some electronics, it just makes me feel “oppressed”, but I could never explain it. Also I’ve always hated that stupid high-pitched tv whine.

  37. I’m 23 and i hear them all perfectly.
    My mom and dad (both a little over 40) can hear 2 and 3, but they can’t hear 1.
    It looks like the sound some TVs and video players make X_X but not so bad. A lot of those sounds annoy me sooo much x-x;

  38. I am 29yrs old.and I heard some voices on the 1st one,#2nothing,#3 nothing…my 4yr.old daughter said she heard all of them,the last 2 she heard a flute sound,she was down the hall way too..I dont hear nothing!!dam it!!very weird!

  39. I tried the first one and I’m really confused… I couldn’t hear it when I played it in iTunes, but then I tried opening it in Audacity and I could hear it. Maybe my settings alter the file in iTunes???

  40. that made my head hurt!
    the first one i heard the stupid noise and girls laughing
    the second noise i hear stupid buzzing
    the third i hear the noise…really loud

  41. i told my mom and step dad to listen to it and they said they didn’t hear it.Me and the rest of my siblings heard it though.

  42. Well, I can hear it, I’m 16. But my father can also hear it. He’s 46 and is almost completly deaf on one ear. But maybe it was just because the volume was turned up quite high.

  43. COOLEST THING EVER!!! I’ve always had good hearing, and each one of those horrible whining noises made me wish I didn’t. The dog, however, didn’t care.
    My fiance thinks I’m crazy, incidentally.
    I agree that it sounds like the noise a TV makes when the sound is turned down.

  44. Ouch! The first one REALLY hurt my ears. I could hear it really loudly. (I’m 14) Really cool though, I don’t think I ever heard a noise that high-pitched. If youre under 20, I warn you, this may cause serious damage to your ears (or atleast I think so…)

  45. Quote:


    on 6:00 PM
    I’m 25 and I hear it. Interesting, it sounds like the tv when my dad think it’s turned off but it really isn’t. He does it all the time and drives me mad. He is actually just turning off the decoder, so the tv is getting no signal, which it makes it looks like it’s off, except for that damn crickety sound!! I should be more forgiving, it’s not his fault that my dad is old and deaf…


    I’m 11.7, and so I don’t know about when I’m older yet, but my dad does the same thing! I can hear all three clips. I too, hear when the tv is on. Or old monitors. I wake up in the middle of the night just because of it, when I wouldn’t wake up if you dropped a book. It must have to do with that frequency… Also, my bro is 20, and he hears this. (Then again, he’s only been 20 for about a week…oh well.)

  46. I am about to turn 10, and the first one doesn’t hurt at all. I have very good ears and eyes. Even nose! I havn’t done the others yet.

  47. um. . . the REAL cutoff is 30. so i dont really get why some ppl over it can hear it. oh well. lucky you. i’m 14 and the noise was always being played in my class at school! REALLY ANNOYING! but it was a passing fad and no-one plays it anymore (here in the UK.) x X x

  48. OMG this is so cool I’m 13 and I can hear it really really loud. the 1st one isn’t quite as loud as thee rest but man the third one is so awsome. My ears are still ringing.

  49. Ohmigod my hearing is terrible.
    I’m 15. I only heard the first one.
    But on the others, my body responded to the sound (my ears hurt and my throat went weird) rather than my brain, so I think it’s only JUST out of my hearing range.

  50. im 13 and i hear all as a really loud. ive actually got the last 1 on my phone and i play wiht repeat on in class drives every1 nuts. they all like aaaaaaah my ears but the teachers hear nothing.

  51. Rediculous, computer speakers dont go that high in KHz, my parants can hear every sound that i can cuz theres a cutoff , we hear high pitch noises to a certain extent, no wonder so many ppl hear it. unless you have extravagant speakers that go well beyond the human hearing range (a rediculous extravagance) no one should hear what they ‘intend’ you t hear.

  52. I couldn’t hear #3 but it sure drove the dog crazy! And FYI, I’m 46. Guess it works. I’m gonna send it to both my daughters (21 & 25) and just ask them what they heard.


  53. I was able to here all dependingon where I was sitting in relation to my speakers for my pc. The first one had to be really loud for me to hear it but it is a really high pitched noise. It actually hurts my ears– all three sounds. And just so you know– I’m 27 years old and a female– I dont know if that makes a difference but I thought I would let you know.

  54. Well, I turn 44 a week from Saturday and I heard all three, but then again, I am paid to hear in the higher frequencies anyhow. I will say this however, it is not just dogs that go crazy over the sound. I have 2 grey tabby cats and both of them came running as soon as I started playing it.

  55. it does work, my mom couldn’t hear it, but I could! same as we have an waterelement in our kitchen, when its turned on, its only me and my sisters who can hear it, and my mom refuses to turn that damn thing off…

  56. I am 29 and I can hear all three…the last one I can actually feel in my head and face, very uncomfortable. Anyhow, interesting, thanks.

  57. I thought that this was sooo cool… at first I did not hear it, but then I turned up the sound, and my heart jolted. It was sooo cool.

  58. that is so weird i could hear this high squealing sound but its really quiet im 14 and my 3 year old sister kept covering her ears and telling me to turn it down

  59. So I went to this site:


    He’s got multiple frequency sound samples with which to test your hearing.

    I’m a 35 year old female, and have always been able to hear the high frequency CRT monitors put out — can be maddening.

    So I tried the samples out on headphones and on separate speakers to see if it was because of the headphones or speakers, but someone explain this one to me:

    I can hear -all- of the frequencies up to 22,000hz; _however_, it’s harder for me to hear the 15,000hz to 19,000hz range.

    BUT, above that — 20,000hz, 21,000hz, and 22,000hz — I can hear far MORE easily than the 15,000hz to 19,000hz range.

    So I guess my hearing is diminished in the 15,000hz to 19,000hz range, but is MUCH better in the 20,000hz to 22,000hz range? Very odd.

    Also, on the sound files on this site, the mosquito one is harder to hear — I mainly just hear the people in the background but hear an occasional flutter of what might be the high-frequency sound, the rest are extremely easy to hear with no issues.

    What gives there? I would like to try above 22,000hz — that was easy shmeasy.

  60. I’m 28 and I could hear all of them. My mother, 50s, could not, but my brother who is 26 could not either. I never realized until now that everyone else doesn’t hear the noise from the TV.

  61. Im fourteen and i could hear them all perfectly

    my grandfather who is 52 couldn’t hear anything

    im glad im not the only one who knows when the t.v is on…i’d alwaus be able to do that and my friends thought it was freaky lol

  62. I’m 27 and I heard them. the mosquito ringtone was easy to hear, the other two were at the edge of my hearing range and I had to get in really close to hear them. Before i actually identified the sounds i felt the change in pressure in my ears. I don’t know if it’s just me but I am extremely bothered by those high frequency pest repellents you can buy. someone up the street has one and every time i walk by it drives me up the wall.

  63. I’m 13 and heard the first and second one very easily, but the I had to turn the sound up a bit on on the third.

  64. Hey when I saw this I thought wow thats cool, but I tried in on my parents who like way over…I’ll say 40 ;p and they heard it I’m 19 and heard it so yer…but it its like on the news lately bout some councils putting those alarm things up that only under 20’s can here must use a different wave thingy

  65. I’m 12 and I heard them all and they played them on the radio and Dad thought I was tricking him cause he couldn’t hear it and now my ears hurt.

  66. i cant hear it..
    i can hear the first one, the voices of the people at the bg..

    i guess its bcoz im listening 2 my ipod everyday on my way to school..
    i’ll tell this to my friends..
    (mahina ata pandinig ng pinoy)

    i just turned 20 last sept..


  67. Well, at 54, could sorta hear something if I put my head close to the speakers, but after playing it three times, I’ve got a weird ache in my ears (which ring constantly anyway). Entertaining to try though.

  68. it definitely sounds like a television buzz…or that sound you hear while near some serious electronics…I’m 30 and hear both clearly i guess everyone hearing degenerates differently electronic buzz used to keep me up as a kid

  69. i thought u must be crazy to no be able to here the noise(of what might be coming from the wings that sounds like clashes) so i downloaded it and it no longer played clashes but a high feqence noice that on top of harming my ears i had my younger brother freaking out down stairs…my mom thought he was nuts!lol

  70. i am 37.. i can perfectly hear it and it drives me crazy.. i used to hear the same annoying sound in my childhood all the time when TV was on (old tube televisions) and the first computers had the same sound effect.. your could torture me with this over time

  71. *Shudders* I HATE that noise. I’m under 20 and I can hear it but my Dad can’t. also when I played it my dog was walking and she just stopped dead when she heard it and started looking at the computer.

  72. i’m 27, play in a band, attend too many loud concerts but i can hear it at low volume without earphones. i started using earplugs only recently (which i would recommend to anybody!)

    i FEEL -20, maybe that’s the trick ;)

  73. No one else in my family can hear this… I let my 6 year old sister listen and she couldn’t!

    I also can’t stand the sound TVs make. Sometimes I notice it and it drives me insane. Other times it doesn’t really bother me. People who can’t hear it are lucky! lol

  74. man..how can i hear it or download it.when i try save target option only a 300+ KB file is downloaded and that too is corrupt.
    when i click on ‘hear it’ i m directed to some other site.does somebody have an answer?

  75. OMG thats soo cool I tested it on my moms bf and he couldnt hear it I am gonna test it on my mom when she gets home too

  76. I can hear the 30Hz at roughly 36dB. I can’t hear the 16kHz at all… I heard the 12kHz at 45dB. I can hear the mosquito MP3 thou really soft, it still hurts my ears… I’m 21, by the way…

  77. i’m 11 and it hurts my ears!!! hm…at least i noe now i’m not imagining the high decibel sounds i hear and my dad just like ‘i don’t hear anything. u probaby watch too much tv or something’

  78. incredible!!! I heard it, and my two female friends. we are 28…but our male friends (3 of them) didn’t hear! :) they are same age as we are! :)

  79. i agree with the tv thing ah! it drives me crazy!but no one else hear it the range thing soo cool i heard every thing but my mom who is 38 could not weird…

  80. I love how everyone’s telling their ages, and their parent’s ages.

    Har har.

    Anywhoo, since I am hearing impaired and need the aide of hearing aids, I only have a ringing in my ears.

    Whatta bummer.

  81. i am so dumb, i tested the loudest/highest frequency one with the headphones up all the way and everything, i think i can still hear that ringing! plus my dog ran out of the room tryin to bite her ears off, and for some reason my mom couldn’t hear a thing, she said the thing was jumk and sounds didn’t come out right in the website or something

  82. well, i’m 13 and i heard it pefectly, but then i showed it to my parents, and they thought i was tricking them, ’cause they couldn’t hear a thing. weeeeird!! : D

  83. i’m fourteen, and i heard it, so i supposed my twenty five year old sister wouldn’t hear it, but she heard it :O hmm…

  84. heh another thing to reassure me that I am not getting old.

    I am able to hear it (I am 32), but my husband (30) could not!

  85. I’m 15, so I tried to heart it… but I was born partially deaf D: I guess thats why I probably didn’t hear it, even though all my speakers were on max.

  86. My sister and I heard it perfectly and it’s pitch is TOO HIGH!!! I asked my grandma to hear it and she said “I don’t hear anything.” Wow!!! I love this illusion XD

  87. At my blog Ill show you how you’ll never have to pay for another ring tone again! just follow this link! ringtonezzone.blogspot.com

  88. Never mind, there was a problem with my comp. got it to work, But my mom can hear it and she’s over 40. My dad cant though xD

  89. Well I tried this with me and 2 other adults and and 2 kids in the room. The two kids heard it but the other adults didn’t. I am however am 30 and was able to hear it and it hurt my hears really bad. Man that could be used to torture someone.

  90. If you turn it up all the way, anyone will be able to hear it. I tested my parents with my volume on full blast, and they could hear it perfectly fine. When I turned it down to about 50%, they couldn’t hear it anymore but I still could.

  91. I’m nearly 24. I can hear it fine, no matter if it’s low or high… Blagh. Reminds me of when my roomies leave the tv on in the living room. I’ll hear it in the bedroom, and have to go turn it off. Drives me nuts.

  92. Well I’m just shy of 30, heard it loud and clear. heh I expected otherwise, seeing how I go shooting so many times a week. Not to mention all the loud music and heavy equipment I’m often around… maybe I’m just lucky?

  93. Well I’m 27 and I can hear it pretty clear. It’s similar to the noise, you can hear when muting an old CRT TV. :)

  94. I’ve been conscious for a long time of the damage that the modern environment can do to one’s hearing so I’ve always been very careful (stay away from rock concerts, industrial noises, etc.) because I’m a musician. I guess it’s paid off because I can hear it clearly (and a ticking wristwatch on the other side of the room) and I’m 67. Hah!

  95. im 13 and this is really easy to hear
    i tried it on my mum (40) and she cant hear it! this is a cool illusion

  96. I could hear it(I’m nearly 14), my 45 year old mom can too but when I put the volume low my mom can’t hear it and I still can and I’m using earphone earphones…I’m going to set this as my ringing tone so I’m the one who can hear it in our house…

  97. im 23 and i can hear it fine whether loud or low. wow my ears are still ringing after that ha ha ha

  98. oww!!! that hurts! im going to use it on my little brother. hehe I’ve heard of this before. Somne guy played it outside his grocery store because kids were hanging around there. It worked! pretty clever :D

  99. All I heard was an annoying ringing noise like I had tinnitus. Is that all it’s supposed to be? btw, I’m 26

  100. Ouch!!! that is annoying indeed!!! I only listened for like 3 seconds and my head hurts like hell. I can hear it perfectly despite me being 23. I should be proud but somehow I wish I didn’t hear a thing… It’s still ringing in my head.. And I’m actually using regular speakers at low. LOL

  101. Michelle says:
    March 16, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Man that could be used to torture someone.

    This was researched and was going to be played outside areas that youths congregated to stop them from hanging around

  102. I’m seventeen, I had my volume as low as it would go and it still drove me insane. My dogs didn’t seem to react, but my cat became aggravated when he came into the room.

  103. My girlfriend and I are both 31, and we each it it fine, along with the kids.

    That being said, there is a point to be made here- I have been working in machine shops since I was 14, and often need to use subtitles or closed captioning when watching tv late at night, because it is hard for me to make out what people are saying over the background noise.

    There are two reasons for this, both of interest when talking about auditory illusions. First, and the more relevant one in my case is that your brain can be trained to hear what it needs to. So, if you are running two mills, located on opposite sides of a noisy shop, the only way to know if one of them begins to have a problem when you are at the other is by hearing it. That means keeping track of what a particular machine sounds like in sequence when it’s running good, so that any little change pings your brain. You don’t need to think about this, it just happens after a while. But, your mind has finite resources, so if you’re spending the majority of your waking hours devoted to hearing certain sounds, it makes others less important- so if you’re watching a movie, and you are used to hearing primarily mechanical sounds, it is actually possible for the sound of the cameras, dogs way off in the distance, cars driving by, and other non-verbal noises to trump the human sounds, and actually sound like they are drowning out the actors’ lines. Really weird, but true. Medical doctors prove out that I have perfect hearing with their tests, but it’s still hard to hear what people are saying on the TV.

    The second reason is the mainline hard-science one. OSHA sets guidelines by decibels for unprotected exposure to loud noises. As things get louder, the interval gets shorter. The reason they do this is because you have a number of tiny hairs in your inner ear. Different size hairs resonate at different frequency- it’s a physics thing, not a mental one this time. A louder noise creates a bigger vibration, and moves the hair more. After a while, the hair can’t take any more, and breaks off- and they don’t grow back.

    To prove this out, find a piece of silverware you can do without, like an old spoon. If you bend it a fraction of an inch, and then back, you can keep repeating that action all day, without any major failures. If you bend the thing over until it touches the handle, then all the way the other way, you can only do it a dozen or so times before the metal snaps. Same thing happens in your ears- but bear in mind that the low-frequency hairs don’t move when they hear something like the audio above, and vice-versa.

    So, if you hear high-pitched noises all day, that is the hearing you will lose. If you listen to nothing but extremely loud bass drums, that is what you will lose- but you’ll still hear this irritating sound as clear as a bell.

    Neither one has anything at all to do with age, though it *is* more likely that added years add extra opportunities to lose a little of your hearing- and it all just keeps adding up, bit by bit until you’re yelling at the neighbors and cranking up “The Price is Right” to full volume.

    Anyhow, spiffy site you’ve got here- the kids and I have had all kinds of fun with it tonight.

  104. I’m 21 and UGH I heard it!!! I thought I wouldn’t be able to… It’s the same annoying noise I hear coming from the TV even when it’s on mute that no one else says they can hear! I’m not crazy, I just haven’t killed my hearing yet! (Some older people can hear it, your hearing doesn’t decrease with age it decreases by listening to too-loud music or working with loud, heavy machinery)

  105. I am 31 & not sure why but I can still hear that! That is by far the most annoying high pitch squeal. I am not sure if it is supposed to sound that way but it does. I play music & have always had a great sense of hearing so I am not sure if that is it but that is a tone I would gladly pass up hearing again! I even asked my kids & they confirmed the ugly noise.

  106. I played it for a few others in their mid 20’s to early 30’s & they can hear that as well. Only 40 & over have not been able to hear it. I have shown that annoying file to 12 people so far.

  107. I am 41 and I can easily hear this high pitched tone. But I have always been very careful not to “overload” my ear drums. At Rock Concerts I always stand way back or use ear plugs.
    I can also always hear the annoying high pitched sound of e classic CRT television or monitor, even if I’m in the other end of our (large) house.
    I knew that hearing will degrade over the years and I remember when I was a child I was really stunned that my father (being in his mid-30’s) couldn’t hear the sound of the TV being on een id the volume was turned down completely. At first he didn’t believe me, but then we made some random tests where he asked me if the TV was on or off while I was sitting in then room next door with my eyes covered, and I could easily hear when it was on.
    But I find it strange that you should be under 20 to be able to hear the sound – you know – me being over 40!???
    But interesting article though.
    best greetings from Denmark

  108. Im 28 and i could hear it perfectly, i then tested it on my grandad and dad they boath could hear it :-( so whats the story there….

    1. ouch, im 15 i can hear it. it hurts me and my sisters ears. parents cant hear it….

  109. i’m 30 yrs old, i bombard my ears every week with a high powewred guitar amp and i could hear that high pitch whistle just fine… it was quite a disturbing noise thats for sure!

    1. you really wanna go there i have a 98 year old grama who can hear it without her hearing aid plus im 11 so ha

  110. click on “Test your hearing here.” it has a number four in it. then put on your headphones. when it takes you to the website. click on the right side all the way to the top of the chart. all the way to the right and up. i think you wont hear that. dont click the mp3 file.

  111. I’m 48 and I can hear it great WITHOUT headphones! The first time I played it, it did hurt. But after a few times I got used to it. I’ve been driving my dog CRAZY with it!! LOL!!!!

  112. Just turned 36 – can’t understand a thing that my wife says unless I can see her lips, and that noise was absolutely awful – it was like that sound that older tube televisions made when they were on, but more obnoxious.

  113. i could hear it and when i took my headphones off of my head my 50 year old dad could hear it and he was atleast 3 meters away

  114. i think it is because to many people use ear buds with the volume turn up to hi and any on between say 36 or younger have lision to nothing but mp3 and because of these recording are missing a lot of the spec-terms they turn them up to make up the difference.peace out

  115. I’m 21…That is the most annoying shit everrr! My parents put this on their phones to annoy my 15 yr old sister, I may end up pushing my mother down some stairs.

  116. Wow. I dont know if this is a real trick or not, because I heard it loud and clear, and im 12, but my 41 year old mom couldnt,but she does have a bad cold and bad hearing. Then i tryed it on my almost 3 year old brother(March 3!)and he said he couldnt hear it(he always disagrees with me), yet he was real twitchy while i was playing it.

  117. my sister has this on her phone, she tried to wind my dad up with it and it didn’t work- it’s a really annoying sound!

  118. even i didn’t wear the headset (though i put it on to my laptop), and i can hear it over like 1% from the headset

  119. The tone is only 15kHz and I could easily hear it and I’m nearly 60 years old. It’s close to the 15.625kHz I can hear on old CRT color TV’s. Until I was in my 30’s ultrasonic alarms and some dog whistles would drive me nuts. When I was a child if I went into a store with an ultrasonic alarms I’d throw a tantrum. It was years later, when I passed less than a foot away from an ultrasonic dome radiator I finally realized was happening. The sound nearly knocked me over. It seems that even while the alarm sensor was only on when the sores were closed, they left the radiators running 24/7.

  120. Okay, I’m a fifty year old music producer who has attended more loud concerts than I can remember and I can hear it above the ringing that already exists in my ears from years ago.

    I actually played it a couple of times for good measure to make sure that the sound didn’t change. It didn’t.

    Am I the only one who ‘didn’t’ find it annoying though? It just sounded like a low audio tone to me.

    I hope this means my ears will hold up ANOTHER 10 or twenty years.

  121. wow…. im 23 and i hear it perfectly. to be honest. i hear that noise on a daily basis… wonder if that’s what it is???

  122. 29. Loud and clear on 1 bar of volume.

    I read the most interesting thing about our ears. Its out of a book “the world in 6 songs” by Daniel J. Levitan.:

    Second, how did the evolutionary changes that gave us the musical brain give us the sort of consciousness that is required to compose songs, to create art and science, and to build functioning societies?

    The hair cells that we have in our ears are found in all vertebrates, including fish, and are structurally and functionally similar to those found on the legs and bodies of many insects (where they are called sensilla). When a grasshopper moves its leg, its hair cells are stretched and help to indicate the position and location of the leg. They are also sensitive to air, water, and other currents, to help detect the presence of an object approaching. This points to the phylogenetically early use of hair cells not just for detecting changes in pressure, which led to the vestibular system, our sense of balance. Hair cells are so sensitive that a stretching or movement of only 100 picometers causes them to fire – that’s 1/100,000,000 millimeters, or 100,000 times smaller than a chromosome, and 10 times smaller than the radius of a hydrogen atom. The eardrum is a thin membrane stretched out taut inside our ears, and changes in pressure – whether in air, water or another medium – cause it to wiggle in and out. This pattern of wiggling eventually sends signals to a snail-shaped organ in the inner ear called the cochlea, which is lined with hair cells much like insects’ sensilla. The human cochlea is so sensitive that it can detect vibration as small as the diameter of an atom (0.3nm) and it can resolve time intervals down to 10µs – if a sound ten feet away from you moves even two-and-a-half inches to one side, you can detect that movement just by die difference in the sound’s arrival time at your two ears. The ear detects energy levels a hundredfold lower than the energy of a single photon.

  123. i tested it out and i couldn’t hear it the first couple of times but i started hearing it i tried it with my parents and my mom heard it and she is 42!

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