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Average Hearing Characteristics

December 11th Fact-of-the-Day

The average hearing characteristics of a large number of people were first determined by testing volunteers at a World's Fair. The results where published in the October, 1940, issue of Bell Systems Technical Journal. It was learned from those tests that the average 20-year-old can hear frequencies between 20 and 16,000 Hz and that their greatest sensitivity is in the range from 1,000 to 5,000 Hz. It also was learned that 20-year-olds can hear sounds over the very large intensity range of 105 dB at 1,000 Hz, 110 dB at 2,500 Hz, and 105 dB at 5,000 Hz. However, the tests demonstrated that high-frequency-sensitivity decreases with age, especially for men, such that by age 50 the average sensitivity at 7,040 Hz is -24 dB for men and -19.7 dB for women. ©2004 Martek International All rights reserved.

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