Friday 3 August 2018


Back in another life, when I used to sell hi-fi, it was easy to sell an expensive pair of headphones. I'd talk about the audible range of the human ear being 20Hz to 20kHz, then I'd show the aspiring audiophile the headphone stats on the back of the box. "See, with these cheaper makes, that top out at 17k, you won't be able to hear the top end." The Beyer and Sennheiser practically sold themselves.

This morning, I caught two minutes of an excellent kid's TV show called Operation Ouch, in which twin brothers and doctors Chris and Xand van Tulleken look at health issues and the human body, in a primary-friendly way. Dr Chris was looking at how the ear works, and why hearing degrades over time. As part of this, he (in his mid to late 30s) went head to head with a 7-yr old in a high frequency test. Dr Chris topped out at 16kHz. The boy was still going strong at 18kHz.

Me? I could just hear 14kHz.

Too many gigs, too many clubs in my youth, and just too darned old (I'm a fair bit older than Dr Chris). If you want to try your own hearing out, there's a good high frequency test that you can depress yourself with at, although I refer you all to my old man's comments on ageing before you try. And if your hearing is better/younger than mine, don't feel the need to tell me... I probably won't hear you anyway.

Only one song for this, the obvious choice. Don't turn it up too loud.


  1. The Man Of Cheese4 August 2018 at 09:19

    Mr P Senior's superb comment becomes more relevant each day I find........

  2. Ouch, have just done the test. I can reassure you that my hearing is not better or younger than yours. Definitely too many loud gigs - but was it a price worth paying?!

  3. As you may know, I had hearing aids fitted last year for just this reason. Mine is failing faster than the average person my age, but yes... too many loud gigs in my youth will surely have contributed.

    1. Yes, your post on that went through my mind, Rol.