What's the highest frequency you can reliably hear?

We all love music, change/upgrade gear and/or add exotic paraphernalia to our audio chain in pursuit of audio nirvana, but just how good is your hearing?

On the left side of the linked web page, about halfway down there’s a heading that reads
The Test File

Ideally you want to run this test with a DAC rather than your PC sound card and with cans rather than speakers, but be that as it may…run the test file and select the highest frequency you could hear from the poll options below. Unfortunately poll results cannot be hidden before you vote, but try not to succumb to upgradeitis where your score is concerned.

Feel free to post your thoughts after having taken the test. If you’re happy to share your score, it’d be useful to know your age too.

  • 20,000 Hz
  • 19,000 Hz
  • 18,000 Hz
  • 17,000 Hz
  • 16,000 Hz
  • 15,000 Hz
  • 14,000 Hz
  • 13,000 Hz
  • 12,000 Hz
  • 11,000 Hz
  • 10,000 Hz
  • 9,000 Hz
  • < 9,000 Hz

0 voters

1 Like

14k for me, age 56…


You didn’t vote?! (@evand) :wink:

I have some test tones on my hifi and I think the last time I tried it was around 14.

I had a hearing test for something here in the UK and interestingly they considered anything above about 9K unimportant for health reasons. Annoying as it was a proper controlled test and I was keen to know the numbers. Samples were played at random, and randomly timed so you had to click really quickly after the tone to confirm you heard it.

Is there a set loudness you’re meant to use, and how do you measure that? My hospital test was really quiet.

There, I voted 18kHz, 47. Re volume, I set it to comfortable conversational level listening to the freq announcements.

Wow, great hearing. Mine’s been damaged from normal life (and Im not that old) - concerts, clubs, bars, hifi, planes, cars… it all adds up and I was surprised at the result when i tested myself last.

Do these include my tinnitus?

12K at age 68 (in a few days time). Tried to ignore my tinnitus…

Happy birthday!! (for a few days time).

Funny i just did this test when I was setting up my filters using REW. I was initially getting really obsessive about how my freq response above 15K would drop off too much but then I realized I couldnt even hear that high anyway!

1 Like

Via iPad and phones between 13 and 14 K 58 and a half.

Are you guys doing the white noise blind test. It’s brutal, and very revealing!

17k, 53 years old

Been there and done that :). Tweaking the curve around 19-20k in Dirac and really hoping it would take away the harsh treble I was having an issue with. This was just when I’d started out measuring!

Shouldn’t the scale not go to values >50kHz for all the golden ears who can hear a day and night difference between 96kHz and 192kHz files? :smile:


Ahhh, that’s a sampling rate and not a frequency we hear. Sampling at such a high frequency brings the time between individiualy sample rates below the time smear we wish to avoid. 10 micro secs (ish I think)

You’re right, the blind test is rough. I passed pretty easily at 11k, 12k took a few more listens, can’t get by 13k. I’ll try again tonight at home with better equipment.

[quote=“Chrislayeruk, post:15, topic:18241, full:true”]
Ahhh, that’s a sampling rate and not a frequency we hear. [/quote]

Sorry, what?

1 Like

12K at age 56. With a disturbing tinnitus…

Finally had a chance to test through headphones, the new Meridian Explorer 2, and double-checking using the test CD I already had marked in Tidal.

14K. Age 44.

I really wanted to hear more! :frowning: I tried upping the volume a bit at 15K and maybe it was there. Certainly not at any decent level. Slight tinnitus much stronger than it anyway.

Poor ears, if you’re in your youth (well, you know, really young youth) - look after them! Keep the headphone volume sensible, and protect your ears when you go to loud places. You can’t get it back!

[PS. Any way to get the poll to display by frequency and not votes?]