Can you hear this?

22 06 2010

How good is your hearing? Tee hee. This one’s a damn sight more interesting than the RNID hearing test.

This link takes you to a simple hearing test. Can you hear this? I thought this is an interesting one to do with a new cochlear implant. The site has a list of tones that go from 8Hz to 22,000Hz. It’s usual for people over 25 to not be able to hear above 15kHz. What Hz can you hear up to, or can you hear all of them? I was able to hear all of them. Woo woo! I thought 19, 20 and 21 kHz sounded horrific – I could practically feel them. They all sounded similar after 8Khz as the implant is only capable of a maximum 9Khz stimulation, but I was certainly picking up the sampling.

It is known that listening to iPods at loud volumes for long periods of time can damage your hearing to a profound level and permanently. It’s nice that I don’t have to worry about that one anymore. As we age, we naturally lose our high frequency hearing gradually. This is why, sometimes, you walk in on your mother and she has the TV on full blast and asks you to speak up as she can’t hear you (or the TV). Then swears blind that she doesn’t have a hearing problem.

It can be difficult to differentiate between loudness levels with a cochlear implant. My perception of sounds are different as they are new and so seem much louder. Turning the pages of a book seems louder than a speaking voice.  A ticking clock seems as loud as chucking a book on a table. It’s hard work listening to all this over-stimulation! This test has a series of sine waves – can you hear which is louder? I was very happy to be able to get Q1 and Q3 correct.

Here’s a harder test. Can you tell the difference between two MP3 sound clips, one recorded at 320kbps and the other at 128kbps in this MP3 sound quality test? Nope, I couldn’t tell the difference either!

On the subject of music, there is a new site for research into cochlear implants and music appreciation – swing right on over to Hearing Organised Sound.

And finally, here’s something for you hearies (and interested deafies). I discovered a hearing loss simulation for a cochlear implant and a hearing aid. A bit of environmental sound, a bit of speech, a bit of music. To me, a new kid on the cochlear implant block, and very used to using hearing aids, they sound like pretty accurate simulations. What do you think?

Time to get back to the headphones and rock on!