About

I'm Mike Pope. I live in the Seattle area. I've been a technical writer and editor for over 30 years. I'm interested in software, language, music, movies, books, motorcycles, travel, and ... well, lots of stuff.

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Citizenship, after all, is built on an awareness that we are not all that special but are, instead, enmeshed in a common enterprise.

David Brooks



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Blog Statistics

Dates
First entry - 6/27/2003
Most recent entry - 11/20/2017

Totals
Posts - 2461
Comments - 2565
Hits - 2,000,818

Averages
Entries/day - 0.47
Comments/entry - 1.04
Hits/day - 380

Updated every 30 minutes. Last: 10:07 AM Pacific


  02:08 PM

The next time you're scrutinizing the frequency-response specs for some new headphones or stereo speakers, you might scrutinize your own frequency-response specs first. As most people have probably heard, a guy in the UK came up with a "teen repeller" things that emits a high-pitched sound that bothers the young with their still-excellent hearing while leaving the rest of us unphased. The twist in the story was that some teens turned this high-pitched sound into a ringtone that was, of course, silent to adults. You can read/hear the original NPR story here. (Language Log entry here.)

So how high up the spectrum can you hear? Over on his Vertigo blog, Jeff Atwood posts an entry You Are Officially Old Now in which he includes a sound file of an 18KHz sine wave. Not surprisingly, I can't hear that. But it made me curious what I could hear. Maybe you, too. Crank up the volume on your player and have a listen to these:

12 KHz
13 KHz
14 Khz
15 Khz
16 KHz
17 KHz

(Pay no attention to what WMP tells you this is -- the frequencies are as listed.)

And remember this the next time you're tempted to shell out extra for those headphones that promise response to 20 KHz.

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