high vs low frequency

High vs. Low Frequency – All There is to Know

Almost everyone can discern the difference between high and low-frequency noise. We do this by evaluating how upsetting the sound is to their ears. Yet, not everyone is aware of the scientific distinctions between them!

The number of times a sound wave repeats itself every second, the length of the sound wave, and many other factors are among the many differences between high vs. low frequency. It is a complex subject that calls for some research!

Let’s go into this subject more to learn what a frequency is, how to tell the difference between a low and high frequency, and many other essential things about frequencies!

What is Frequency?


As we all know, sound is a vibration that travels through the air or some other medium and can be recognized when it reaches a person’s or an animal’s ear. The sound is measured in terms of amplitude and frequency.

So, to better understand the differences between frequencies, let’s first define these two terms.

The proportion of times per second that a sound wave repeats itself is known as frequency, and it is measured in hertz (Hz). Fewer oscillations occur when the frequency is lower and more oscillations occur when the frequency is higher.

Everyone with normal human hearing can hear frequencies ranging from 20 to 20.000 Hz. It varies if a person has any disorders, such as depressive disorders, bipolar depression, or any other depression subtypes.

If the sound frequency reaches above 20.000 Hz, it is known as ultrasound, and if it is below 20 Hz, it is known as infrasound.

For example, when your dog leans his neck to listen to imagined sounds, he is listening to ultrasonic frequencies as high as 45,000 Hz.

Bats have one of the widest ranges of hearing among mammals, reaching up to 120,000 Hz. Their sonar, which consists of ultrasonic vocalizations, enables them to hunt tiny bugs in the night without running into anything.

Elephants communicate using infrasound, which is too low for human hearing. Infrasound is perfect for communication over vast distances since infrasound frequencies travel much further than ultrasonic ones.


Amplitude is sound waves’ strength, which humans interpret as their loudness or volume. It is measured in decibels (Db).

When a sound is less than 60 Db, it is a moderate level of sound, and the perfect example is the human speaking voice. Vacuum cleaner noise, for example, registers at roughly 70 Db.

Every factory or company should supply ear protection to its employees when noise levels in the workplace reach or exceed 85 Db.

Imagine that a lightning strike could be 120 Db or louder, hurting a human’s ear!

High-Frequency Sound

High-frequency sounds have shorter sound waves, and their frequency exceeds 5.000 Hz. When these sound waves come in contact with weaker objects, they are reflected. Additionally, they produce high-frequency sounds if they cannot bend around obstructions.

Due to its enormous energy levels, high-frequency sound only travels over short distances and fades slowly. We must be cautious that continued exposure to high-frequency noise can contribute to hearing loss.

Medium Frequency Sound

To identify human speech, you must listen to middle-frequency sounds, which are sounds in the 500–2000 Hz range. Due to its Hz range neither being too high nor too low for human hearing, this type of frequency is regarded as the most pleasant to human ears.

Low-Frequency Sound

The sound waves produced by low-frequency noise have a frequency of 500 Hz or less. This indicates that vibration is what most people experience rather than sound.

Additionally, low-frequency noise has longer wavelengths than high-frequency noise, which allows it to go farther and last longer. Many undesirable effects, such as a higher heart rate, hypertension, vertigo, anxiety, and weariness, can be brought on by low-frequency noise exposure.The amount of sound absorbed by a material is known as NRC. In general, a product with a higher NRC rating will absorb more sound, while one with a lower NRC rating will not be able to do so.

Examples of High and Low Frequencies

high vs low frequency

To further clarify, the following examples of objects that emit high and low frequencies:

Low-Frequency Sound

  • Big fans
  • Motors
  • Exhausts
  • High-Frequency Sound
  • Smaller fans
  • Smaller motors
  • Smaller compressors

High and Low-Frequencies Sound

  • Fire trucks
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Ambulances
  • Generator enclosures

High vs. Low Frequency in Musical Notes

Consider low, middle, and high-frequency sounds like you would musical notes to get a better understanding. Keyboard instruments, trombones, synthesizers, cellos, and other musical instruments have the lowest note that falls within 5-70 Hz. The highest tone on a flute is around 2000 Hz, while the highest tone on a piano is over 4000 Hz.

In terms of stereo, increasing the bass will increase the low-frequency sound, while increasing

the treble would increase the high frequencies.

How Extremely Low or Extremely High Frequencies Affect Hearing Loss

Young man with symptom of hearing loss

In many ways, our ears can be affected by infrasound or very low sound frequency.

Because hair cells are particularly vulnerable to frequencies below 30 Hz, even though they may be audible, infrasound can produce widespread pain. Also, infrasound may result in endolymphatic hydrops, which can enlarge the ear and result in vertigo, tinnitus, and even certain types of hearing loss.

In addition to discomfort, infrasound can have physical side effects, including respiratory and digestion issues. Some of these consequences may be felt by those who live too close to wind generators.

High sound frequencies, such as ultrasound, may cause hearing loss, particularly if the ultrasound is very powerful. Additionally, it could result in sickness, vomiting, headaches, and dizziness. To protect your hearing, avoid prolonged exposure to gadgets that emit ultrasound.

Although there aren’t any gadgets that can shield your ears from infrasound or ultrasound, you won’t be exposed to much of it.

Remember that it’s crucial to take preventative measures to safeguard and preserve your hearing health. It’s important to take precautions to reduce your chance of developing hearing loss from loud noise exposure. This includes using earplugs at noisy events and keeping the volume in your surroundings at a safe level.

Management of Different Sound Frequencies

Depending on your needs, there are various methods for dealing with unpleasant noises of any frequency.

Soundproofing is necessary to prevent sound from moving from one area to another. Also, acoustics applies if you want to make a room quieter or increase the clarity of your speech within.

The following three points will help you soundproof sound at any frequency:


Heavy materials offer superior sound insulation. In general, sound waves have a hard time penetrating denser materials. To increase the capacity to suppress airborne sound frequencies, you can raise the density of the material.


Sound waves resemble water waves! – they’ll seep out if there’s a hole somewhere.  Sound waves will discover open spaces to pass through as water seeps through fractures in a pool. Always remember that it’s crucial to have protection that is as close to 100% feasible while figuring out how to soundproof anything.


A different means of blocking sound is limpness. Think of hitting a stone wall with a golf ball. What transpires? The ball leaves your palm and is back at you in seconds. Picture aiming the identical golf ball at a sheet – the ball will strike the sheet and land in front of it. The same physical principles govern sound waves.

These three approaches will provide a firm base for learning how to soundproof a room. The next stage would be to comprehend all the elements in a space that would need soundproofing. Soundproofing a door or windows is an ideal place to start because they are the weak areas for almost every room.

Final Thoughts

We appreciate your time in reading this article. We hope you’ve gained enough knowledge to understand the differences between high vs. low frequency!

Let’s repeat! A sound wave’s frequency, which is measured in hertz, is the amount of time that it repeats per second. Depending on its length and repetition, it can have a high, medium, or low-frequency sound.

The human ear can hear between 20 and 20000 Hz, while everything below and above that is Harmful to our ears!

Consider soundproofing your space if you want to shield your home or studio from unwanted frequencies.

Visit soundproofingsolution.com for more information on frequencies and the top soundproofing solutions.

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