Take a listen to this audio clip. Be Careful, the sound (if you can hear like a teenager) is loud and annoying (it’s not called a mosquito ringtone for nothing). You may want to turn down your computer speakers and turn up gradually to test a comfortable sound level.
Mosquito Ringtone – Can you Hear Like a Teenager?[audio:http://www.noiseaddicts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/test_tone_teenager.mp3|titles=audio]
What do you hear? If you don’t hear anything, you’re not alone. You’re probably over the age of 25. If you can hear it, then you likely find it fairly annoying.
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As we age, the little hairs in our inner ear lose some of their function and we begin to lose our hearing in the very high frequency ranges. Tones like the one above are sometimes used by teens for their cell phone ring tones so their teachers can’t hear their phone ringing in class (where cell phones are usually banned). The teacher, who is likely older than 25, has some degree of hearing loss and is oblivious to the ring.
Another ingenious use of this concept comes in a $1500 package called the “Mosquito”, which is an anti-teen loitering device. The device is placed wherever teen loitering is unwanted, with the idea being that teens will find it so annoying that they’ll go somewhere else. Adults, on the other hand are not bothered by the tone because they can’t hear it.
In any case, if you can’t hear the tone, don’t feel bad – it just means you’re getting wiser.
If you liked this article, please check out our High Frequency Hearing Test to see just how high your hearing actually goes.