June 5, 2006

Age/Hearing Check

This story made the rounds a few weeks ago. It's about a specific, annoying soundwave that most adult can't hear, and most teenagers can. Shopkeepers in London had been using the sound to keep teens out of their stores, then teens started using the sound as a ringtone to use in class that teachers couldn't hear. According to this other story the cut-off for hearing it is age 25.

Some people feel the ringtone aspect is impossible or a hoax due to cellphone speaker limitations. It's all interesting, but I'm more curious about the mp3s of this sound these articles link to and what you guys hear when you listen to them. (I strongly suggest you lower your volume first and ease into them.)

Let's call this one from the BBC story: #1.
(All it sounds like is ambient street noise to me. Not annoying at all.)

and this one from the NPR story: #2.
(On laptop speakers, I hear some kind of faint whistle when I really crank it up, but nothing so annoying that it would keep me out of a store. On decent speakers it's unbearable.)

Give them a listen, then post your experience with each one along with your age.

The comment board is NOW CLOSED.

Updated - Ochen wrote:

Well, I heard nothing unusual in the first one, but did hear the “mosquito” in the second. Being the ever-skeptic, and as I believe that my 31-year-old hearing is pretty good, I thought you guys were full of it and that there wasn’t anything to hear in the first one.

I brought the mp3 into my handy-dandy spectral analyzer, and wouldn’t you know it, there was something there, hanging between 15000 Hz and 17000 Hz. I dropped the pitch about 5 percent and could hear it very clearly.

I then did an experiment to find out where my limit was. It’s right around 15000 Hz, but add ambient noise and it gets lost.

I posted a set of mp3s at http://www.ochenk.com/tones that go from 10000 Hz up to 18000 Hz. Every file is of the same volume, pure tone.

Find your limit.

Ochen K.

I can barely hear up to 16,000 hz on my decent computer speakers, definitely less on the laptop, but I still don't hear anything in #1. (Damn teenagers and their "hearing".)

Based on this older story about the tone, it sounds like mp3 #1 might be more accurate since people say it pulsates.

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Posted by Steven | Archive

I'm 27, and have always had super-sensitive hearing (almost superhuman, really). The first one contains this throbbing, super high-pitch that began to drive me nuts.

The second one was terrible at high volumes. It would absolutely keep me out of a store, out of someone's pants, or out of ketchup. It's super-high. Ouch.

Posted by: cheeken at June 4, 2006 10:31 PM

I'm 25 and I hear the annoying sound on #2. I'm turning 26 before the month is over, though. So perhaps I'll listen on my birthday and report back.

Posted by: J.W. at June 4, 2006 10:32 PM

#1 sounds like street noise, slight throbbing and girls giggling.

#2 is very painful and high pitched.

Um, I will turn 39 next week. This is not a benefit.

Posted by: Old fart at June 4, 2006 10:35 PM

Wow - yeah, I'm turning 18 and I totally agree with cheeken -- the first one sounds like that annoying noise that you hear emanating from a television (like when you know it's turned on, but the screeen is black) and makes this sort of pulsing noise. The second one is just annoying as heck, like this screech. Yick

Posted by: Agnes at June 4, 2006 10:37 PM

I'm 16 and the first one I could barely hear a slight buzzing. The second one was a more high pitched buzz which was slightly annoying, but not too bad. I sometimes hear that kind of noise emitting from tv's.

Posted by: Quix at June 4, 2006 10:39 PM

I'm 18, and in the first one I can definitely hear a terrible, annoying noise that would keep me out of a store. It's faint, but has a special quality to it that is really awful.

The second one is really, really awful. It almost hurts, no joke.

I'm actually quite surprised that even with the MP3s, young and old ears hear different things.

Posted by: Will at June 4, 2006 10:40 PM

I'm 38. I didn't hear anything unusual in either of those 2 clips. BUT, years ago when I was a teenager, I remember being in a store and hearing an incredibly high-pitched noise, so loud and painful I had to leave. It happened a few other times, but nothing in the past 10 years or so.

Posted by: Deb at June 4, 2006 10:41 PM

I'm 16, and have tennitus, the first one I can't really hear anything too annoying, the second? I'd kill to stop that sound.

Posted by: Were at June 4, 2006 10:42 PM

34 years old. On a 4.1 soundsystem, at the volume I listen to music at, number one was what you describe, with a little whine in the backround. Number two, however, was a very painful whistle/tone, which actually messed with my equilibrium (which is kinda fussy anyway), and would definitely keep me out of a store. Or make me strangle a kid who used it as a ringtone, for that matter...

Posted by: zot at June 4, 2006 10:43 PM

I'm 20 and both those sounds are making my ears ache more than from the chronic ear infections I got as a kid. My hearing is also especially sensitive in my right ear from those infections which made this all the worse.

I'd describe the first one as a short ultra-high-pitched beep that sounds about once every second. The second makes Michael Bolton and Kenny G sound like quality music. I wouldn't even be able to go near a store playing those. Damn kids.

Posted by: Trini at June 4, 2006 10:44 PM

I'm 31. The first one I hear street noise and a faint pulsing buzz that's not very annoying. The second one I hear a buzz that is really loud and would definitely drive me nuts.

Posted by: lj at June 4, 2006 10:44 PM

OK, I tried it again, cranked #2 really loud and yeah, that is the exact noise I heard when I was younger in the store (see above comment). OUCH!

Posted by: Deb at June 4, 2006 10:44 PM

I'm with Cheeken on this one.

I'm 26, female. I hear the street noise in #1, but the high pitch throbbing is muy painful. I couldn't even make it thru the entire clip.

#2, not so bad. High pitch sound at high volumes is irritating but I could probably last a lot longer in a store if they played #2 than if they played #1.

Posted by: mella at June 4, 2006 10:45 PM

And five minutes later I can still hear those sounds and it's literally making my stomach clench. :(

Posted by: Trini at June 4, 2006 10:46 PM

I'm twenty, and I have pretty average hearing.

Those sounds are so annoying, even at my laptop's lowest volume setting, that I think I might act violently toward anyone whose cell phone emitted such a frequency. Imagine tinnitus, only at an intensity that feels as if it could rupture your ear drums. Then, if you're listening to clip # 1, imagine it pulsing a few times, and then stopping, and then pulsing a few times and then stopping. If you're listening to clip #2, imagine a penicillin injection administered to both inner ears.

The first one isn't so bad, because there are pauses between the glaring aural agony, but the second one I could actually feel in the base of my skull like a terrible headache.

Posted by: ilessthanthreeyou at June 4, 2006 10:46 PM

#1: a high pitched oscillating buzz. annoying enough for me to not go into a store buzzing that.

#2: same high pitched buzz, but without the oscillation. also, my wife just called from the other room saying, "what the hell was that?" we both agree that we'd avoid a place blasting something that irritating.

me: 25 wife: 26

Posted by: owen at June 4, 2006 10:48 PM

I'm 19, male.

#1 - Not bad with volume down, but bad with volume higher, sounded like a pulsing whine.

#2 - Hideous. High pitched and horrible to listen to. Not to mention I think it set off my tinnitis - my ears are still ringing, 10 minutes after hearing that tone... *wince*

Posted by: Isarian at June 4, 2006 10:50 PM

I'm 19, and both of those annoyed the heck out of me. The first one has this sort of high pitched pulsing noise that's not too bad at first, but if I had to listen to it for any length of time it would drive me nuts. The second is a constant high pitched screech that is just intolerable. Unless I REALLY wanted to be there, either of them would probably keep me out of a store (but the second would be much more effective).

Posted by: solarcat at June 4, 2006 10:51 PM

Yeah, so there should be a WARNING before both of these clips that if heaven forbid you can hear the high-pitch throbbing b/c you're the appropriate age/etc, you can expect these sounds to continue to eat away at your eardrums long after the clip has finished!!!!!!!!

Posted by: mella at June 4, 2006 10:52 PM

age 32 female volume is where I always keep it, just average, not too loud

sound one, ambient street noise, girls giggling,etc

sound two, so high pitched and painful I had to shut if off after a few seconds...

Posted by: aidelmaidel at June 4, 2006 10:55 PM

I'm 39. The first sounds like simple street noise, some giggles, nothing interesting or annoying (there's also a quick clanging noise 2/3 through). The second causes an incredibly high pitched ring in a funny place deep in my right ear (only). It pretty closely mimics the tone and feel of a ringing ear. Definitely unpleasant, but not unbearable. I imagine it's what Aquaman's friends hear when he calls for help.

Posted by: ewb at June 4, 2006 10:55 PM

I'm 28 and female.

I hear a pulsing whistle sound in the first one that makes my head throb. I probably wouldn't last a minute if it were playing on the jukebox.

As for the second one, oh dear lord, that was painful. Kill me now.

I wonder if my detection of these sounds means I'm immature for my age? Or further supporting evidence.

Posted by: gillian at June 4, 2006 10:56 PM

I am 35 and I heard the first one clearly; extended exposure would definitely make me uncomfortable. The second one gave me an instant headache and mild nausea.

I may not be the best tester because my hearing is far above normal at higher frequencies. But my money still spends like anyone else's. I would definitely walk out of any business broadcasting either of those tones, stopping only long enough on my way out to complain to the manager until he or she was as annoyed as I was.

My wife does not have my superhearing but she still spun around and yelled "What was that!?" when I played tone #2. She is 34.

Posted by: Dan at June 4, 2006 10:56 PM

I'm 31 and couldn't hear either. I could just hear a humming during the second one, but that was all. My girlfriend will be up in a few minutes...she's 24, so maybe she can hear it.

Posted by: Edward at June 4, 2006 11:00 PM

I just turned 19, and I know I have horrible hearing.

In a sensory physiology lab a couple months ago, our lab group was played increasingly high frequency sounds and we were to report when we could no longer hear the sound. Apparently the average for our age is about 15000Hz. The highest frequency heard in our group was 18500Hz.

I could only hear up to 13000Hz.

Needless to say, with that embarassing debacle behind me, I thought my subpar hearing would never become an issue again. But no, The Sneeze has to put this up, and I am sad to report that all I can hear that is out of the ordinary is a faint hum/buzz in #2. #1 just sounds like ambient noise to me.

Well, I guess the plus side is that I can go into these shops and be an annoying teenager without having my eardrums molested. Well, whatever's left of my eardrums, anyway.

Posted by: Calvin at June 4, 2006 11:01 PM

29 yo male. The first one sounded much like what Steve reported - ambient street noise, but layered under a much more prominent "white noise"-type sound.

Number two was a lot worse. At first, it was very unpleasant (though I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say painful). As it went on, it got a LITTLE less bad. I tried listening to it a second time (we must SACRIFICE ALL IN PURSUIT OF SCIENCE!) and it didn't get any less bad than that initial drop-off.

I'd say it'd probably make me want to leave the scene - though if I didn't know it was machine made, I might assume that it was just an especially bad "ringing" in my own ears, for no discernible reason.

Given that quite a lot of people my age and older can hear and are bothered by #2, I bet any store which sincerely tries to use this is going to find itself on the receiving end of a lot of complaints. Hell, I bet the freakin' employees will be pissed. It just won't fly. This whole "teenagers hear shit the rest of us can't" appears to be bullshit.

Posted by: DavidNYC at June 4, 2006 11:08 PM

I'm 19, and I'm using the second one for my ringtone for sure. Give a little surprise to people at school and work... muhaha.

My experience was similar to everyone elses.

Posted by: rp2 at June 4, 2006 11:08 PM

I'm 35 and I could hear both.

My roommate is 51 and he thought I was crazy. He couldn't hear anything.

Even now the second one hurts.

Posted by: Sha at June 4, 2006 11:09 PM

#1. Alright. I hear this high pitched thig in the foreground....

#2. Sounds like a louder version of the frequency I hear when I turn on the telly. I can almost always tell when someone turns on the telly...

Oh and I'm 24

Posted by: Chris at June 4, 2006 11:10 PM

hi steve im 15 and its realy REALY anoyying it sound's like the fuzzy screeching that you hear when your watching the fuzzy tv screen when theres no cable on your tv its very schrange and hard to explain to all you old folk's

Posted by: zeph at June 4, 2006 11:11 PM

In the first one, I could hear a high-pitched sound that pulsated every second or so. Not that annoying. Actually had to turn the TV off to be able to hear it clearly.

The second one had a rather high pitched sound that was rather annoying. Makes me wonder if that's the internal resonance frequency of teenager's skulls...kinda like that C++ source code I read as a kid that told the story of a factory in Australia that emitted 7hz tones. The factory was next to a chicken farm -- when the factory started up, all the chickens died.

Posted by: Matt at June 4, 2006 11:12 PM

I'm 42, and the first one sounds like the voices in my head when they tell me to read The Sneeze. The second sounds like the voices in my head when my cable internet connection is down and I can't read The Sneeze...or look at porn. Please make them stop.

Posted by: Bob at June 4, 2006 11:17 PM

My husband and I are 24 and 23, respectively.

We both agree that sound #2 was eardrum shattering! Furthermore, it continues to ring in your ears mintues after you've stopped listening to the sound!

Sound #1 wasn't nearly as bad... but a similar high pitched pulsating sound could still be heard above all else.

Very, very strange.

Steve, if neither you or your wife can hear it.. you should see if your children can.

Posted by: Tabitha at June 4, 2006 11:20 PM

Im 17, I can hear the first one but it didn't really bother me.

The second one would definitely take me out of the store.

Although I can still clearly hear the first one even though I stopped it like 5 minutes ago.

Posted by: Rafael at June 4, 2006 11:21 PM

i played the clips well over five minutes ago, walked away, and came back just to tell you that I can STILL hear both clips.

29 years old, wanting to pierce my own eardrums to stop the pain.

Posted by: Becky at June 4, 2006 11:24 PM

She couldn't hear the first one either, but ordered me to turn off the second one, and said it would keep her out of a shop that was playing it. Weird.

Posted by: edward at June 4, 2006 11:26 PM

I'm a 23 year old female with average hearing.

#1: I could definitely hear a pulsing high-pitched noise over the street noise. Slightly annoying, but not horrible. Kind of like a far-away chorus of mosquitos or TV noise.

#2: This is very piercing and disorienting. I used to suffer from fainting spells, and this was the sound I heard as I keeled over. Not pleasant.

Posted by: Erin at June 4, 2006 11:26 PM

23 year old male, shouldn't have great hearing.

#1 pretty annoying, couldn't hear any street noise though. Because it's pulsing I can imagine that it'd make me feel pretty ill in the end.

#2 kind of like an old malfunctioning TV warming up, just that right frequency to drive me utterly mad and the amplitude just that bit too high to block out.

Posted by: Jon at June 4, 2006 11:39 PM

I am 40.

I could hear background noise and some giggling on the first one.

On the second, I heard nothing. I thought you might be pulling my leg, so I turned up the volume and put my ear on the speaker. I might have heard a sound...could have been wishful thinking, though. I'm just glad halfway through there wasn't a screaming voice reminding me I am over-the-hill. That was actually what I was expecting.

I can't wait for my 14 year-old to wake up so I can let her hear it.

*still not convinced this isn't a prank*

Posted by: Susan at June 5, 2006 12:01 AM

I'm 14, and in the first one, I hear a high-pitched ringing along with the street noise. Can you adults hears the ringing/whistle in the first one? It's obvious!

Posted by: Jade at June 5, 2006 12:07 AM

Hi Steve,

I am 42 and I could not hear anythng unusual at #1.

#2 however would keep me away from anywhere it would be played. Terribly annoying.

Posted by: Wolf at June 5, 2006 12:10 AM

I'm 22. I just hear street noise in the first one.
In the 2nd one is a high pitched squeal. It's awful. Who would want that as their ring tone?

Posted by: Jill at June 5, 2006 12:11 AM

I'm 14 and I don't think either sounds are THAT annoying.

Posted by: Jade (male) at June 5, 2006 12:12 AM

I'm 22. Both are very annoying. The first one, a throbbing tone with street noise in the background is very clear. The second, is more annoying than the first. Just a constant high-pitched tone. It would drive me crazy after a couple of minutes (not saying that the first one is any better).

Posted by: Nathan at June 5, 2006 12:18 AM

32, nothing nasty on the first and a horrible high pitched whine on the second.

Posted by: Tksdfjsdfs at June 5, 2006 12:19 AM

i'm 21. i could hear... something in the first one, that made me feel very off-kilter. i could hear high-pitched tones in the other one, something that didn't bother me as much as the first one, but would become annoying over time.

Posted by: angsty cola at June 5, 2006 12:21 AM

I'm in the UK, and when the story broke over here they claimed the age was 20. I couldn't hear no. 1, but could hear no.2. And by the way, the idea is that they're played outside, so as to stop teens hanging out outside places, and they're played quite loudly so I'm told, so having your sound low may not get across the full effect.

Posted by: Simon at June 5, 2006 12:21 AM

yeah, I'm 20, and number one has this siren-like whistle in it, like an alarm at a super high frequency. Number two has the same high frequency wail only constant, no pulsing. Both started to bore into my brain and feel weird in my head. I wouldn't appreciate hearing that passing a store in a mall at all!

Posted by: jacko at June 5, 2006 12:33 AM

I'm 18. Number 1 didn't bother me at all, like Steve said, it sounded like street noise. Number 2, however, made me cringe. That noise could keep me away from anything.

Posted by: Kelly at June 5, 2006 12:50 AM

Ok, so I'm 25.

The first sound - when the volume is up on full I can 'hear' a very faint electronic noise, but it's more of a feeling. It's like that emf feeling you get when you turn on a computer or tv.

The second sound - rather excruciating. A very high pitched whine that is annoying as all hell. If it were played loud I could imagine getting the hell out of wherever it was.

Posted by: Petstarr at June 5, 2006 1:01 AM

I hear street sounds and a very slight humming/buzzing noise in #1. Not annoying and wouldn't keep me out of a store.

#2 is awful! I didn't even have my speakers up very loud but it was quite painful to my ears.

And I'm 25.

Posted by: Carla at June 5, 2006 1:05 AM

It's not all that different from the high pitched whine that the TV makes when it's on, but muted. But played at high volume, #2 is really excruciating. The strangest part is when the audio clip ends, and it's completely silent again, your head feels like it's about to implode.

Posted by: Balki Bartokomous at June 5, 2006 1:09 AM

Oh yeah, I'm 25 too.

Posted by: Balki Bartokomous at June 5, 2006 1:10 AM

i'm 15 and the first one had a whistling sort of thing going on over the top of street noise. The second one was so fucking bad my ears are still ringing. But it wouldnt keep me a waya i'd just say f u for life and hang out there anyway your not my mother. By teh way my 13 year old sister and 40 year old mum who you have to scream at to get her attention could hear teh whistling in both so ha

Posted by: stacey at June 5, 2006 1:12 AM


Posted by: troy at June 5, 2006 1:15 AM

I'm turning 27 in august.

#1 is just normal street noise.

#2 has an awful, stingy high-pitch screech on it. There's no way I'd stay in a place where they play that kind of sound.

Posted by: zen at June 5, 2006 1:15 AM

I'm 37.

#1: Ambient street noise notwithstanding, I felt it more than heard it. Didn't really bother me at all, even when I turned my speaker volume up.

#2: Ow, that's awful! Even at low volumes this would make me want to claw my eardrums out of my head.

Posted by: Rhonda at June 5, 2006 1:16 AM

I'm 19 and hear a pulsating screech sound layered with general street noise in the first.

In the second, i a similar screech sound as in 1, without the pulsating effect.

Both are annoying.

I got my mum in to listen to the clips, in the first she said she heard some bashing noises, and heard nothing in the second.

Posted by: Sophia at June 5, 2006 1:20 AM

I'm 17.
#1 i hear a bunch of people chatting and some general street noise. crappy recording really.

#2 in this one i hear rather highpitched whistle which hurts my ears :(

they wouldnt keep me out of a shop, especially not #1 anyway, number two i could put up with if i had to. the idea is to stop the teens hanging round outside the shop, littering, grafittiing, disturbing the peace and intimidating other customers.

Posted by: Emmy at June 5, 2006 1:21 AM

The first was annoying, and the second almost made my heart stop even at the the low volume. I don't dare turn it up. I couldn't listen to the whole thing, it's horrible. Though I do want to try it again, on every idiot I can get that'll listen. So thanks for that.

Posted by: Jessica at June 5, 2006 1:41 AM

oops btw, just turned 18.

Posted by: Jessica at June 5, 2006 1:41 AM

oh GOD they are both annoying. my brother is 14 and im 18 and weve been listening to both sounds. makes us clench our teeth. i would NOT go into a store if they have a sound like that.

Posted by: rachel at June 5, 2006 1:53 AM

I turned 37 last week. I've always had sensitive hearing, I require very low volumes on things like radio and tv to hear them clearly.

#1 had a slight hum that would get annoying over time.

#2 is so annoying even from the small speakers on my laptop it was hard to remove my hands from my ears to hit the mute button. It would keep me away from the street, let alone the store.

Posted by: arty at June 5, 2006 1:53 AM

Im 19, and both are really irritating. Sound 1 less then number 2, number 2 is a real keep me out of the store sound :(

Posted by: Ernst at June 5, 2006 2:03 AM

I'm 17 and playing both through my studio monitor speakers (top top top) i could hear both very loudly and clearly, but they wouldnt stop me going into a shop or whatever. Pretty crappy that shops are using it as a teen detterent, and also judging from the comments up top, you can hear it well over 25 anyway.


Posted by: ilumos at June 5, 2006 2:04 AM

Number two...I think aliens are attempting to take over my brain...

Posted by: Nettie at June 5, 2006 2:04 AM

16, female, uber sensitive hearing

Both of them really bothered me. They made my head throb and gagged me a tad. The second one actually made me groan aloud. Heh. I wouldn't go into a store playing that. Those are icky brain waves.

Posted by: Whitty at June 5, 2006 2:11 AM

I'm 26 and listened to both with the sound all the way up on my laptop.

With the first one, I could sense a pulsing rhythm but mostly only heard the ambient noise. When I put my ear up to the speaker, I could hear an faint oscillating high pitched noise. I think if I heard it for a long time, I'd leave the area, but wouldn't know why.

The second one makes me want to die.

Posted by: aileen314 at June 5, 2006 2:23 AM

I'm 29 and female. Heard nothing on clip #1. #2, however, pierced my eardrums. Awful.

Posted by: C-line at June 5, 2006 2:24 AM

I am definately not the best person here to respond to these tones. I am 26 and losing my hearing. With my hearing aid in I still didn't hear the first tone, but the second one I had to crank up the sound to hear the annoying screech. I don't know about anyone else, but I felt it as well as heard it.

Posted by: Samantha at June 5, 2006 2:26 AM

On the first one, there is a high pitched drone beneath the babble and noise. It's kind of throbbing and isn't too annoying, but it's not exactly enjoyable. If I didn't know it was there, I'm not sure I'd notice it. It's like the noise televisions make occasionally.

The second one gave me a head ache after I listened to it for a while. It's the same noise as the first one, but it's louder and stops and starts. That would definitely make me leave a room and it had my 12 year old brother screaming at me to turn it off. It has to be taken into account that he's a bit melodramatic of course...

I'm 16 by the way.

Posted by: Kayla at June 5, 2006 2:32 AM

The first one becomes annoying when I crank up the volume real high.

The second seems to use the same high pitch tone but much louder. It's really annoying and would keep me out of a store unless there's cheap booze :D

Age is 24.

Posted by: Butch at June 5, 2006 2:47 AM

I don't hear much of anything on the first recording. It sounds like outdoor noises.

Number two had this terrible prolonged beep. I can definitely see it bothering me greatly at high volume. Hell, it'd bother me at low volume if I heard it and couldn't figure out where it was coming from.

I'm 22.

Posted by: Emmanuel at June 5, 2006 2:49 AM

24 years old.

#1 Sounds like a castrated cricket, a very high pitch pulsing chirp.



Posted by: UrbanWildCat at June 5, 2006 2:52 AM

I'm 28.

Both one and two made the inside of my ears tingle and I heard an unpleasant high pitched sound on both.

Both were annoying, but the second one gave me a craving for pizza. Do you think that means anything?

Posted by: Jack Hartley at June 5, 2006 2:54 AM

I must be doing something wrong, both clips just told me to buy Fop.

Posted by: Kiefo at June 5, 2006 3:00 AM


I heard nothing unusual with the first one.

The second one caused physical pain. I had to turn it off.

Posted by: Aaron Warner at June 5, 2006 3:01 AM

I just turned 38, and I think #1 sounds like the white noise they pump out at work. However, #2 hurt my head immediately, even at a very low volume. In fact, I think it gave me a headache.

Posted by: JohnE at June 5, 2006 3:02 AM

i'm 19, and the first one had this high pitched noise that annoyed the heck out of me... the second one was WORSE... and i'm playing this with two small normal speakers in low volume...

these two sounds will definately keep me out of everything, with just 5 seconds of exposure. heck, screw 5 seconds, i couldn't stand even one second of that mp3, i pressed back as soon as i heard it.

so i guess this myth is proven :(

Posted by: moogs at June 5, 2006 3:06 AM

I'm 15 and they are both VERY VERY ANNOYING NOISES. The first was a sort of throb, but the second was downright AWFUL. Really screetchy!

Posted by: Dominic at June 5, 2006 3:12 AM

The first one sounded like ambient street noises as Der Steve noted. The second one was a high-pitched 'eeeeee' kind of noise that was so disruptive that, a minute or two after listening to it, is still sounding in my ears and jolted me into a slightly altered state of consciousness.

Posted by: Anituel at June 5, 2006 3:18 AM

I'll be 17 in 23 days.

#1 I heard from boingboing a few weeks ago, it's audible but if needed I could ignore it.

#2 is horrible. Very shrill and very audible. Hearing it for 10 seconds made my head ache and would keep me away from anything exluding a) Chris Evans, B) 1 dollar. But I'm cheap

Posted by: Josh at June 5, 2006 3:20 AM

I'm turning 28 this month, but my hearing isn't great.

#1 was just ambient street noise.

#2 was nothing. Not a thing.

So I'm clearly impervious to your mind-rays, Professor Zarkov!!!

Posted by: Dion at June 5, 2006 3:26 AM

1 - I heard a medium volume off and on pitch.
2 - I heard a strong tone.

I'm 14.

Posted by: Ryan at June 5, 2006 3:34 AM

I'm 32.

#1. street noise with an additional high pitched chirpy sound

#2. High pitched tone

This was done on a laptop with less than hi-fi sound quality and I was able to hear the sounds fine.

Posted by: ffemt1514 at June 5, 2006 3:34 AM

I live in the UK and we have one of those being bluetooth'd around- you can't escape it, people play it at work. It gives me a cracking headache. I wish it'd never been invented.

Isn't it a bit- uh- agest- to assume all shoplifting/fights etc are carried out by the under 25's? Running a business myself I certainly wouldn't play either of these sounds as I'd lose 99% of my customers. I'm 22 myself and I'd be extremely offended that I couldn't shop anywhere anymore.

Posted by: AngelCat at June 5, 2006 3:41 AM

Age: 36
Sex: Male
I can clearly hear both, and would seek and destroy whatever device was making them.

Posted by: Neighborcat at June 5, 2006 3:41 AM

I heard the first one before, a couple of weeks ago. Even with the volume all the way up and headphones on I cant hear anything but street noise.

The second one I get a high pitched whine if I turn the volume up all the way, nothing at normal levels. Even with it all the way up its not terribly annoying. My hearing isnt all the good though. Too many years of working around large equipment.

Btw, I'm 39 yrs old today *yay me*

Posted by: Gizmo42 at June 5, 2006 3:52 AM

I'm 20 and I thought the first noise was quite pleasant; just a low rumble, like traffic on a highway or something. The second noise was pretty annoying and reminded me of the sound of a TV from far away. I don't mean the sound of the voices on the TV, but I think it might be static or something...

Posted by: SM at June 5, 2006 4:07 AM

I'm an 18 year old male, and I couldn't hear much wrong with #1 - I cranked it right up and heard a pulsing, high pitched whiney sound - I wouldn't have noticed unless I read the comments, though.

#2 was pretty unpleasant, but not unbearable. It sounds like a disposable camera after you've taken a picture... but constant.

Now my right arm is twitching. Strange.

Posted by: fuzzy slippers at June 5, 2006 4:10 AM

How very odd that everyone hears something different.

The first one, just street noises, girls giggling, not annoying at all.

The second one. High-pitched, painful buzz. I couldn't have listened any longer.

I'm 45.

Posted by: Darla at June 5, 2006 4:13 AM

Neither were "painful" as most people are saying but the second one would be annoying if turned up loud enough.
I'm 18.

Posted by: Toni at June 5, 2006 4:14 AM

I'm 43, with "SuperMom" hearing.

In #1, I could make out street noises, a pipe banging and girls giggling. Not offensive at all.

In # 2, the first time, I couldn't hear a thing. I turned up the volume and listened again, and still couldn't hear anything, but...

a few seconds after it stopped, my right ear started popping, as if I was decompressing, or the altitude was changing.


Posted by: mamasoo at June 5, 2006 4:14 AM

I'm 21 and heard the high pitched whining on the second one, but I didn't hear anything on the first. But hearing that noise would definitely keep me out of a store.

Posted by: Kristin at June 5, 2006 4:19 AM

My head is still hurting from those mp3s and I still have a craving for pizza!

Damn you Steve and damn your scientific expreiments!

Posted by: Jack Hartley at June 5, 2006 4:20 AM

age 18

1st sound kind of annoying. clear high pitched sound

2nd. very annoying,enough to keep me out of shop

Posted by: john g at June 5, 2006 4:20 AM

I'm 21 and I my ears have definitely been better in the past.

First one was ok. I was certainly not a fan of the second one. Would definitely keep me out of shops.

Bah! That puts a end to my thieveing days.

Posted by: chalovesmonkeys at June 5, 2006 4:22 AM

30 years old

#1 is clearly discernable -- pulsing high-pitch tone.
#2 is just plain obnoxious.

Reminds me of a store my mom used to drag me to when I was a kid. I hated it there. I always thought it had something to do with the door sensors (they must have been using some near-ultrasonic system.)

I've alwyas been able to hear very high frequencies, though, and obviously this ability hasn't diminished with age.

Posted by: Mike at June 5, 2006 4:24 AM

I'm 28 going on 90. #1 sounded like street noise, cars going by, people giggling, etc. With #2 I heard absolutely nothing.

Posted by: Ron Fields at June 5, 2006 4:31 AM

just turned 36 here (man)
1st one was a low rumble under street noise, no problem, had to turn volume all the way up to notice it
2nd was a high pitch whine, annoying but managable and no side effects. sounded just otherwise described, the whine of a tv set or monitor
again, had to turn the volume all the way up to hear it - at normal levels i heard nothing
i too have tinnitus, started up recently after a car wreck...

Posted by: k-man at June 5, 2006 4:33 AM

I'm 19

#1 I had to turn the volume way up to hear anything. Then I heard a high pitched noise, but it wasn't that bad.

#2 was painful and I rushed to shut it off. It's a piercing noise and reminded me of a needle. Not good.

Posted by: Jess at June 5, 2006 4:36 AM

I'm 29, and I can hear both sounds... The second one sounds similar to the high pitched whine of an old tube TV being turned on, except louder and much more annoying. This wouldn't necessarily keep me out of a store if I wanted to buy something in there, but I'd certainly be annoyed by both sounds.

Posted by: Eric at June 5, 2006 4:38 AM

I'm 16, and listening to these first thing in the morning was a terrible idea. The first one was fairly annoying at low volumes, it would probably make me leave a store within two or three minutes unless I really really wanted to be there. Definitely headache inducing. The second one was just god-awful. Even at low volumes I couldn't take more than three seconds of it. Ow.

Posted by: Meredith at June 5, 2006 4:38 AM

OH DEAR LORD. The second one was painful. I'm 15, and I wouldn't set that to my ringtone even if adults couldn't hear it. I'd lose my hearing or my ears would bleed or something.

Posted by: Lauren at June 5, 2006 4:38 AM



Posted by: also mike at June 5, 2006 4:41 AM

I'm 35, and the first sound was rather pleasant, made me want to return for a visit to London.

Second sound, though - yowch. It's three minutes later and the sound hasn't left my head. It's as if the high pitch was Satan's "It's a Small World" and my brain can't stop playing it over and over and over. Why is it when I try to sing a song, I'm tone-deaf and sound horrible, yet the inside of my head can perfectly mimick a pitch that would bring Lassie to its knees?

Posted by: Patrick at June 5, 2006 4:43 AM

I'm 22 and the first one sounded like a street scene. The second one wasn't anything terribly annonying but I had to really crank my speakers to even hear it.

Posted by: Christine at June 5, 2006 4:47 AM

ok for the second one- does anyone remember the seinfield episode where rob shneider is playing a deaf guy and at the end of the show elaine finds his hearing aids on the floor of a theater and puts them in but then a fire alarm goes off and she begins thrashing about as if possed by a demon? yeah thats me on the second one steve im serious put a warning on those things your gonna kill somebody

Posted by: sorry mike again at June 5, 2006 4:49 AM

I 15 and the first one sounds to me like street ambience accompanied by a pulsing, high pitched, ear-fucking buzz.

The second one sounds to me like the high-pitched tone not unlike the one in the first one, only here there was no pulsing and no ambience to distract me into retaining my sanity.

I'm agreeing with Agnes - it sounds like the 'television on mute' thing.

Posted by: A sad song about lemons at June 5, 2006 4:51 AM

The first one I could tell there was something besides the street noise.. but the second - OUCH! Made me feel like having a panic attack. I'm 32-

Posted by: Annie at June 5, 2006 4:54 AM

Also, I wonder if old people with hearing aids will be able to hear this sound? It would be amusing. They might think their earpiece is malfunctioning.

Posted by: A sad song about lemons at June 5, 2006 4:54 AM

I'm 27. The first one, like most of everyone else who already commented has said, is street noise and a pulsing high pitch, but the street noise helps to break up the high bit so it's not that bad.

The second one was annoying but not painful at a lower volume level -- but if I were to enter a store and they had it up pretty loud, I'd steer clear because after a few more notches on the volume guage, it made me wince pretty ouchfully.

I do have a hard time believing that older people just can't hear it -- unless their hearing is otherwise bad anyway.

Posted by: Jamie at June 5, 2006 4:56 AM

P.S. My daughter (10) hears what she calls static for the first one, says she can't hear the street noise at all cos it's so loud. And the 2nd she could hear a high-pitched noise. Didn't seem to annoy her though.

Posted by: Annie at June 5, 2006 5:00 AM

I'm 16.
In #1 I hear a pulsating high-pitched frequency over the street noise. It sounds like my ears are ringing. Pretty annoying.
In #2, the high-pitched whistle is really loud and annoying, but I sort of get used to it by the end of the clip.

Posted by: Jordon at June 5, 2006 5:06 AM

Well, I heard nothing unusual in the first one, but did hear the “mosquito” in the second. Being the ever-skeptic, and as I believe that my 31-year-old hearing is pretty good, I thought you guys were full of it and that there wasn’t anything to hear in the first one.

I brought the mp3 into my handy-dandy spectral analyzer, and wouldn’t you know it, there was something there, hanging between 15000 Hz and 17000 Hz. I dropped the pitch about 5 percent and could hear it very clearly.

I then did an experiment to find out where my limit was. It’s right around 15000 Hz, but add ambient noise and it gets lost.

I posted a set of mp3s at http://www.ochenk.com/tones that go from 10000 Hz up to 18000 Hz. Every file is of the same volume, pure tone.

Find your limit.

Ochen K.

Posted by: Ochen K. at June 5, 2006 5:15 AM

Im 19 and could hear both the high pitched sounds. The second one being far more annoying and painful....

Posted by: martin park at June 5, 2006 5:18 AM

At normal volume, the first just sounded like normal street noise. I almost turned off the speakers on the second. I then went back and turned up the volume on the first and heard the pulsing buzz, but it didn't really bother me as much as the second one.

I'll be 34 next week.

Posted by: laska at June 5, 2006 5:20 AM

First one seemed like quiet street noise, I almost looked out of my window to see who was talking.

Second one mildly annoying (I'm 16) but at high volumes yeah I'd have some sort of murderous tendency towards the creator. I'd probably just firebomb the shop to make it stop.

Posted by: Jamie at June 5, 2006 5:22 AM


I've always considered myself to be a bit of a superhero, but I can definitely hear the puslating whistle in the first one and then the "kill-me-now" tonal all through the second.

Either one, if I heard it in a store, would keep me very far away. Then again, I wig out when I can hear the second hand on a clock tick. Drives me insane.

Posted by: Ryan at June 5, 2006 5:31 AM

#1 Static that hurt my ears after a bit

#2 That annoying high pitched sound you get from the TV sometimes

age 27

Posted by: Erica at June 5, 2006 5:31 AM

Hey, Im 34 and on the first one I heard the street noise, but in the background I could hear a faint high pitch whistle every once in awhile. My kids all under 10 heard nothing. I think this one would begin to bug me after being around it long enough. The second was a high pitch constant sound, and I would promptly leave a store that had it playing.

Posted by: Mikalan at June 5, 2006 5:33 AM

#1 was like an annoying bird-chirp alarm.
#2 was an long and painful high pitch whistle.

I heard them both too well for my own liking (i.e. exceptionally clear) and I'm 17.

Posted by: Alec at June 5, 2006 5:33 AM

The first one I can't hear much... maybe a faint high pitch over some background.... but that's reaching to hear anything.

The second is a very easy to hear high pitch that would get grating after awhile.

I'm 35.

Posted by: Steve at June 5, 2006 5:36 AM

I am 21.
I heard a faint high-pitched sound in the background of the first one, it wasn't too bad, slightly annoying. I HATED the second one, it would drive me nuts.

Posted by: Jennifer at June 5, 2006 5:36 AM


The second one was worse, but the first one would be annoying enough.

Posted by: srah at June 5, 2006 5:45 AM

The first one I could this sound that went up and down in pitch very annoying.
#2 was painful

Posted by: maymers at June 5, 2006 5:45 AM

I forgot sorry. I'm 19 I used to have very much above average hearing but in the past two years I've seriously lost hearing so much so that I think I'm porbably worse than normal

Posted by: maymers at June 5, 2006 5:47 AM

I'm 26.

I didn't actually hear any pulsing or any high pitched sound in #1, but for some reason it felt like my eyes were going crosseyed while I was listening to it.

#2 is evil and wrong.

Posted by: PikaPikaChick at June 5, 2006 5:49 AM

I'm 26: both of them were so painful I'd boycott any store that used them. They don't want my money? Fine, I'll go spend it elsewhere.

Posted by: Melanie at June 5, 2006 5:55 AM

I'm 47 and I can hear both of these sounds no problem. That second one would be really annoying at high volume and would definitely keep ME out of a room where it was playing. I couldn't get the volume high enough on my laptop to really tick myself off but the dog was looking at me funny and my four year old wanted to know what I was doing.

Posted by: GISAP at June 5, 2006 5:58 AM

I heard the same ambient street noise and faint whistling as you. I'm 44. But I know the "anti-theft annoying whistle" is true because I remember being bothered by it as a child and teen. There was one store in the mall that it pained me to walk through because a screeching tone hurt my ears when I was young. I never went into this store on my own because I didn't want to hear the noise. But sometimes I got dragged by my Mom who thought I was being overly imaginative since she couldn't hear a thing. But when I accompanied her to the same store as an adult, I couldn't hear anything either.

Posted by: susannah at June 5, 2006 6:00 AM

24, male:

first one was fine, just ambient noise.

second one made me wince and gnash my teeth. 'Aftertone', if you will is still plaguing me minutes after listening to it. As others have said, similar to CRT monitors such as TVs (could never watch TV when developing a headache) and sometimes you hear it in the office, at home, etc - ouchy.

Posted by: ipman at June 5, 2006 6:06 AM

considering a majority of the people who commented here were in their 30s and up and were annoyed by the #2, I think store owners who use that sound are just screwing themselves out of business. I'm 23 and couldn't really hear the first one, but the second one was evil. I have always avoided going into Circuit City for the same reason, all the buzzing and electronics make my ears hurt, so i would avoid the stores that play this clip too. Way to drive out customers, London.

Posted by: brandy at June 5, 2006 6:06 AM

The first one was street noise with a mild whining in the background, like a wheel spinning on a poorly oiled axis a long way away.

The second one was the same whining on its own, but louder and sustained rather than cyclical.

I'm 30, and I was worried I was losing my hearing. Hooray, I'm not!

Posted by: Silly Dan at June 5, 2006 6:07 AM

I'm 27, I hear nothing even remotely annoying in either. The first sounds like ambient crowd noise; the second is silence.

Posted by: Alex at June 5, 2006 6:11 AM

I'm 25 and heard the same thing most people did:

#1: Pulsating, high pitched, annoying tone sort of in the background.

#2. Evil pain-tone, surely designed by the military to throw the enemy into sudden panic.

note: To anyone who hasn't listened to these yet, do not listen to either one through headphones. It is surely a mild form of torture. I don't think my ears will ever be the same.

Posted by: Wesley at June 5, 2006 6:12 AM

I'm 20 years old...
The first one sounds sort of like a cricket..
the second one makes me want to kick myself in the face

Posted by: Dan at June 5, 2006 6:17 AM

I'm 25. I hear both just fine.

The first one was street noise but with pulsing high pitched noise as well. Overall, it was tolerable. The 2nd one was an unbearable high pitched sound. It was louder than the first and physically painful. The 2nd noise would definitely keep me out of a store.

I should add that I do have a condition that causes me to have very sensitive hearing.

Posted by: Brandi at June 5, 2006 6:18 AM

I am 43. the first one was street noise, with a quiet fast beat in the background.
The second one was a horrid high squeal that made me nuts instantly.

Posted by: joan at June 5, 2006 6:25 AM

I'm 43.

Didn't hear anything unusual in the first clip but the second nearly knocked me out of my chair. Feels like I've got water in my ears now.

Posted by: Jim at June 5, 2006 6:25 AM

i heard both just fine, but the second was really annoying and hurt my ears... that would definitely keep me out of a store. I'm 16.

Posted by: theamazingzippergirl at June 5, 2006 6:26 AM

Well, I'm 31 and my son is 13. I listened to these then woke him up to listen.

1. for me, very annoying, for him- he could hear it but it didn't bother him as much as me.

2. for me-made my back teeth feel like they were at the dentists office without laughing gas. for him- he could hear it but it didn't phase him.

I would definately NOT shop at places with these noises.

Posted by: gail at June 5, 2006 6:27 AM

Not to be all annoying and young, but I heard both of them and thought they were both really REALLY annoying. #1 had some street noise, but the annoying part was the high-pitched pulse in the background. The second one made me want to cover my ears and cry.

I'm 25.

Posted by: Sonja at June 5, 2006 6:29 AM

I am quickly approaching 31 and I heard both sounds loud and clear. I am hypersensitive and I found these sounds to be quite annoying, the second one being much worse.

Posted by: special k at June 5, 2006 6:29 AM

I'm 26.

Similar experience to most everyone else. The first one was an annoying throbbing, the second one was downright painful. Had to turn the dang thing off part way through. Both noises would keep me out of a store.

Steve, I thought you liked us! Now I'm thinking this whole experiment was really your sinister plot to blow out as many young ear drums as possible.

If you post a "Steve Don't Eat It" soon, I may be willing to forgive you. :-)

Posted by: Marie at June 5, 2006 6:30 AM

Age: 27

I can hear the sounds in both files. #1 has a pulsing version of the mosquito noise and #2 is just all noise. Quite irritating.

Posted by: Ryan at June 5, 2006 6:31 AM

I am 24 and the first one was horrible. It was an extremely high pitched alien-ish noise, and I couldn't stand to listen to the whole recording. The second one was annoying, but not as bad as the first.
#1 made my dog perk his ears up, and #2 had no effect on my dog. (He is 3 so that's 21 in dog years.)

Posted by: Hope at June 5, 2006 6:32 AM

i'm 28 and on clip #1 i did hear the high pitched whistle thing.. it was uncomfortable and i had to stop it before it ended, i couldn't take it.
#2 would definitely keep me out of a store, it almost gave me seizures..

Posted by: Lily at June 5, 2006 6:33 AM

21 years old and i agree with most of the ones i read. There is an annoying buzz in the first one and an annoying squeal in the second... neither of which were plesant.

Posted by: Kyle at June 5, 2006 6:33 AM

I'm 24. Didn't think my hearing was all that great but both sounds hurt.. the second one hurt so bad that I covered my ears with my hands as a sort of panic-induced reflex. It took me a second to think to click it off. Now every electronic noise in my house is making my skin crawl..

Posted by: Tara at June 5, 2006 6:40 AM


I'm 23. I'm amazed that I heard either of them, since I'm a concert whore and have been to > 200 concerts in my life including some incredibly loud ones (AC/DC.)

Anyway, I heard both. And both are annoying enough to keep me away from things -- the first one I can *handle*, but the second one made me want to claw my eyes out with a fork.

Posted by: drunkennewfiemidget at June 5, 2006 6:40 AM

I'm 18 years old. The story sounded pretty far-fetched to me. I gave those sounds a listen, and the first one didn't sound like anything much. There was a faint roaring behind the crowd noise, but that was all.
The second one- Oh GOD, that was TERRIBLE! It almost physically hurt!

Posted by: Gina at June 5, 2006 6:44 AM

I'm 43 and the first one made me crap my pants. Actually they both did - and that was before I even listened to them.

It sucks to get old.

Posted by: Gary at June 5, 2006 6:46 AM

Okay - I am Male, 28, with admittedly craptacular hearing.
#1 - Street noise with a high-pitched, modulating whine.
#2 - High-pitched whine, very faint, nothing to get really excited or annoyed about.

So then I made my wife listen in - she's 26.
#1 - Street noises and "the noise the microwave makes only more like a siren" (WTF?)
#2 - "Yuck. What a horrible noise. Okay. Turn it off now. NOW."

Finally, in the interest of science, I had one of our daughters listen to it - she's 6.
#1 - "What do you hear?" "I hear cars... monkeys... a noise" "what is the noise?" "I dunno." "Is it a good noise?" "No."
(Monkeys? WTF Again!)
#2 - She immediately put her hands over her ears. When I asked what she heard, she replied "A Yucky Noise."

So there you have it - Science Prevails, the noise is Yucky, and the women in my family hear some damn strange things in the world around them.

Posted by: Fuzzy Lionel at June 5, 2006 6:49 AM

The first one is a much higher pitch than the second. To me, that was closer to the tv sound that my parents never heard. Even today, I wander into my parents' rooms to turn off the tv's while they are sleeping because of that noise. They NEVER notice it

The 2nd one is much lower in pitch, and only slightly less annoying because it is not pulsating. It becomes the ringing in your ear after a while, so it CAN be tuned out.

I would definitely avoid a store with the first one though

Posted by: Peter at June 5, 2006 6:49 AM

I thought I couldn't hear anything but ambient noise in #1, but after reading comments and then leaning in really close to my computer (I don't have stand-alone speakers) I could hear the rhythmic pulse. It's about a half-second cycle, maybe a little slower. I think I didn't notice it at first because my computer is already giving off a lot of noise in the same frequency.

I did Ochen's tone test and I can just hear 16,000 hz. Maybe I might get 17,000 hz in a silent booth.

I'm 35.

When I was a kid both my little brother and I were driven mad by the whining noise of store security systems. I remember it particularly around the jewellry counter at Sears.

Posted by: maija at June 5, 2006 6:49 AM

30 years old

For the first one, I heard a faint pulsing high pitch squeek over the street sounds, like the world's smallest cricket. The second one was much more annoying and audible to me, a sustained whine.

Posted by: Jason at June 5, 2006 6:54 AM

(25 y/o)
I have listened to Ochen K's tones.
- 16000Hz is audible at a standard speaker level.
- 17000Hz I can also hear, but is more faint.
- 18000Hz was nothing.

Then I turned my speakers up. They are nothing special: Altec Lansing 2.1 middle-of-the-line speakers.
So I turned the volume all the way up and listened to 18000Hz.

It was heinous. I couldn't get through 5 seconds the first time, so I tried it again...

I recommend to all pain junkies to try it a few times, perhaps listen to it for a few minutes. Surely, you will gouge your brain out through your ears with a spoon.

Posted by: Wesley at June 5, 2006 6:56 AM

I listened to the first one and heard only street noise. When I played the second one, I heard nothing, but my wife immediately looked at me from across the table and said, "What the hell are you doing?!" She could hear it and it drove her crazy. Since I could hear nothing at all, I quite enjoyed playing it over and over again. I think I might even put this one on my mp3 player and see if I can trick her into listening to the, "Great new song I downloaded today!"

Posted by: Fred at June 5, 2006 6:58 AM


The first one didn't bother me at all. The 2nd one is awful when turned on all the way. If I heard the sound in the office for any extended period of time I'd say "WTF is that high pitched sound? Does anyone else hear that?" It was really annoying and ouched my ears.

Posted by: Jim at June 5, 2006 6:59 AM

I'm a 33-year-old male and I heard both very clearly. The second was just plain annoying and I would leave if I heard that in a store. The first was an annoying "pulse" of very high pitched sound over the top of the gigglers.

Posted by: Bryan at June 5, 2006 7:00 AM

I just turned 25.

The first one is annoying, like the sound a TV makes- I can hear even from another room.

The second one I couldn't listen, I had to turn it off. That would keep me away from their precious store.

Posted by: Cynthia at June 5, 2006 7:01 AM

I'm 21, and the first one caused me some serious discomfort. I can totally see the Mosquito being an effective teen deterrent.

Posted by: Kathryn at June 5, 2006 7:04 AM

27 and can hear both of them. They both annoy me.

Like other people have said, I can always hear that sound that the TV makes. So annoying.

Posted by: Erik at June 5, 2006 7:11 AM

Couldn't hear anything other than ambient noise in number one.

The squeal in the second one made my teeth hurt and my head still feels strange. I stabbed my ears to get the sound out.

Posted by: Bryce at June 5, 2006 7:12 AM

i'm 19, and in the first one, i heard both the ambient sounds and the annoying buzz. and the second one was hooorrible.

Posted by: cathy at June 5, 2006 7:13 AM

First clip: ambient shop noise, girls giggling, etc. Second clip: nothing at all---until I put my ear closer to the laptop speakers. YIKES. I'm still a little uncomfortable. (I'm almost 36, with tinnitus.)

Posted by: Tracy at June 5, 2006 7:14 AM

age 24.

Both are really freaking annoying. Kind of a fork-scratching-plate sound that makes my teeth hurt and the back of my neck buzz. I would stay the hell out of that store!

Posted by: P at June 5, 2006 7:14 AM

I'm 30, in a band, and my wife tells me I'm going deaf, but I've never had an official diagnosis. I heard both of the tones in the posted sound files.

Posted by: phil at June 5, 2006 7:15 AM


1. Just ambient noise
2. Annoying high pitched squeal

Posted by: Brian at June 5, 2006 7:17 AM

First off, I'm 27.

I have some seriously crappy speakers here at work, but I could hear a 'pulsing' high pitch through the other street noise on #1. Not too bad though.

#2. Sweet Christ. I think my left ear has actually started to bleed.

Posted by: Laura at June 5, 2006 7:17 AM

Aren't there smells that only ne'er do well teens can small? Can't we smear our shops with these? Oh, I'm 32 and I hear both horrible high-pitched noises.

Posted by: Mike at June 5, 2006 7:18 AM

Like a lot of other people, I can hear the buzz/whine/squeal that most electronic equipment puts out. I know when the tv is on but the cable box is off.

That said I didn't hear anything but background type noise in #1, even after cranking the volume. The second one made my teeth itch.

Using Ochen's experiment, at 15,000 Hz the sound was very loud and irriating. At 16,000 Hz it was something that could probably get lost with background noise. I couldn't hear anything over that.

I'm 34.

Posted by: Amy at June 5, 2006 7:18 AM

I'm 16;
The first one was just normal street noise, nothing different.
The second one was so bad, I had to turn it off. My ears are still ringing, I kid you not.
It's a lot like when you stand behind a TV that's on, with that really high-pitched note that you can't quite distinguish, but is really painful to listen to.

Posted by: Carl at June 5, 2006 7:19 AM

I'm a 34 year old male and I could clearly hear a high-pitched "chirping" over the ambient noise in the first one. Definitely annoying. The second one was even worse - very clear and very high-pitched. Even more annoying.

I guess I still have pretty good hearing for my age, which is somewhat surprising since I used to really crank the music when I was younger.

Amusing side note - when I played the first one my dog was in the other room and he started freaking out immediately. So I guess this is a good method of keeping both teens and dogs away!

Posted by: J at June 5, 2006 7:19 AM

I'm 28. I could hear the first one and it was annoying, kind of gave me a bit of a headache but I could probably tolerate it for a while. The second one was intolerable and I had to stop it after a second.

Posted by: laura at June 5, 2006 7:19 AM

I'm 28 and the first is less annoying than the second, but I do hear a throbbing, high-pitched sound that is somewhat annoying at high volumes. The second is super annoying--very high pitched, almost painful sound. I immediately took my headphones off after it started playing.

Posted by: Jamin at June 5, 2006 7:20 AM

OMG The first one is slightly annoying. The second one can only be described as pure ear bleeding evil!
I can still hear it even after playing it.

I will be 30 next month.

Posted by: waluley at June 5, 2006 7:24 AM

I'm 20, and could hear a slight whine in the first one, as described as the sound a tv screen makes when left on. The second one had a much more pronounced whine. Both were kinda annoying, and the second was definitely one that would keep me out of a store.

Posted by: Gloria at June 5, 2006 7:24 AM

31, tinnitus since I can remember.
clip the first: I hear goggliing, nothing annoying.
clip the second: it's a bit annoying, I could live with in say a convenience store.

Ochen's resamples

18kHz: slight white noise a couple of times.
17kHz: same as above, low volume hi pitch tone.
16kHz: static again, but this time I can't hear the noise, but I can feel my ear hearing it. dunno how to describe that one, really. maybe like anti-noise? whatever...
15kHz: this one is pretty annoying.
14kHz: much more annoying, I can hear a bit of reverb in it too, slight pain.
13kHz: much louder, not quite as annoying.
12kHz: lower pitch, duh. stressful, but no pain.
11kHz & 10kHz: about the same as 12kHz.

Thanks... now I need to go take some more advil... but my stomach is a bit queasy...

Posted by: jiggy at June 5, 2006 7:27 AM

I'm 27 and on the first link, I heard a steady high pitched noise in bursts, but nothing too annoying, ould probaby tune it out.

The second link was driving me nuts! To quote cheeken:

"The second one was terrible at high volumes. It would absolutely keep me out of a store, out of someone's pants, or out of ketchup. It's super-high. Ouch."

Posted by: Lisa at June 5, 2006 7:30 AM

I'm 33, and I listened with my 11 year old son. On the first clip, I heard the street noise, but he asked me 'what that buzzy noise was'. (I didn't tell him what we were doing, I just told him to listen.) On clip 2, we both winced! Ouch!

Posted by: Jenn at June 5, 2006 7:34 AM

I am 34 and the first one i could hear an annoying noise, not sure that would keep me out or not of any store. the second was horrible. i would not go anyplace, anywhere, anytime that was playing that high pitched ear piercing crap.

Posted by: The Swami at June 5, 2006 7:42 AM

I'll be turning 20 next month.

I heard the noise in every file I listened to and it ranged from annoying to nearly unbearable (I thought my head was going to explode when I listened to it at 10,000Hz). In any case, it would absolutely keep me out of a store.

Posted by: Whitney at June 5, 2006 7:44 AM

I'm 26 and the first one I didn't hear anything. The second one had me gritting my teeth. ick. What a nasty noise!

Posted by: Katie at June 5, 2006 7:47 AM

I'm 32, and I heard the "annoying noise" in both examples. The first one is the same noise as the second one, but a little quieter, and it pulsates. I don't know if it would keep me out of a store or not, but I'd certainly ask the shop owner about it! Incidentally, I can also here actual mosquito (and other vermin) repellers, and I have a hard time staying in the computer monitor section of a tech shop for any length of time.

Posted by: Steven at June 5, 2006 7:50 AM

I'm 20. I could hear the tones in clips one and two. I could also hear the tones in all the clips that Ochen put up on his website. I guess that means I'm a pretty cool guy.

Posted by: Jeff at June 5, 2006 7:50 AM

The first one is absolutely annoying boardering on painful, I'd definitely have a killer headache after a minute of that. The second one can only be likened to bursting eardrums and my brain oozing out of my ears. I'm 18, and my parents (49 and 50) were bewildered to see me sitting at the computer covering my ears and trying to click the stop button with my elbow. My brother (12) was there too, and is ecstatic that it doesn't bother him. I'm immediatly trashing the files and wiping the internet history. Hopefully he won't find The Sneeze or any audio files of the Mosquito teen repelent.

Posted by: Artemis at June 5, 2006 7:52 AM

The first one I hear street noise, the second one - nothing. 37 year old ears - maybe that's the problem.

Posted by: tdub at June 5, 2006 7:53 AM

I'm 30 years old and have rockstar hearing(y'know, misspent youth standing next to th' speakers) ...or so I thought.
The first tone had a rhythm that sounded like a car going over a metal bridge, but higher-pitched. And going over a bridge doesn't make me nauseous, but this sure did.
Tone #2 - nearly tipped me over, what with the violent recoiling and all. Gah! I can still feel it in my fillings.

How would these stores ever be able to hire employees, given th' age range of those of us over 25 who can hear those tones? I'd quit halfway through th' interview.

Posted by: Streggy at June 5, 2006 7:58 AM

I'm 26.

I listened to the first one all the way through a couple of times. At first, I didn't hear the pulse at all, just the street noises. But, when I knew what I was supposed to be listening for, I heard it. I agree that it would get pretty annoying after a while.

Then I listened to the second one. I can only describe it as the devil climbing through my speakers and stabbing his pitchfork into my eardrum.

Posted by: Laura at June 5, 2006 8:02 AM

Turned 24 two weeks ago. I hear street noise in the first one: traffic, girls giggling, kids laughing.

The second one gave me that feeling you get when you put aluminum foil in your mouth. I didn't like that.

Posted by: Jessica at June 5, 2006 8:03 AM

I am 17... sound #1 did indeed pulsate, and when mixed with the street noise, it sounded like a car with a squeaky wheel or something. #2 drove me absolutely nuts...actually my math teacher's computer monitor would always make that sound and it would screw me up during tests! I listened to #1 again because at first I didn't think it was horrible, but now I still feel like I'm hearing it...as if it's a song stuck in my head. AHHH

Posted by: Avery at June 5, 2006 8:09 AM

The first one is definitely a pulsating high pitch. Somewhat annoying, but not too bad considering the ambient street noise that goes with it.

The second one I had to turn off almost immediately because it was extremely high pitched and my ears couldn't take it.

I'm 19, so I guess the thing would work as a deterrent, but I don't really know if noise will keep teenagers away.

Posted by: Matt at June 5, 2006 8:12 AM

I'm 32 years old and while listening to the two samples, I could hear nothing in #1 and a definate high pitch in #2. My 30 year old wife however could hear what sounded like a high pitched "cricket" in the first one, and came into the office from the laundry room to tell me to turn it off.

Posted by: Mark Jackson at June 5, 2006 8:14 AM

I'm 25 this August. I couldn't hear the 1st and the 2nd was there but quite. Thank you to Ochen K, I as skeptical too but your samples are great for comparison. I lose out at about 16k, and even that is very quiet to me.

Posted by: Phil at June 5, 2006 8:15 AM

i hear a pulsating shrill in the first one, it's not very strong but it's still there.

in the second one there's definitely a shrill and i really can't stand it. if it were loud enough i would leave a store i think.

i have headphones on right now but my system volume is only at about 1/4 so it's still pretty low volume.

Posted by: drumbox at June 5, 2006 8:15 AM

i'm 20 by the way :)

Posted by: drumbox at June 5, 2006 8:16 AM

i just played both at full volume in the office, there's myself, 36, and 2 guys - under 25, and an old lady

no one heard anything at all, no reactions from anyone

Posted by: k-man at June 5, 2006 8:18 AM

Age: 28

#1: whirring squeal
#2: painfully shrill

Posted by: Kerry at June 5, 2006 8:18 AM

I am 23 and I definitely heard something in both samples. In the first, I heard that high-pitched whine you hear from electronics, like the TV.

The second was much clearer. It wasn't as high pitched as the first one, but it was prominent enough that I certainly wouldn't like to listen to it while browsing.

A few months back, I saw a story on the news about shop-keepers posting speakers outside their stores to keep teenagers from loitering in front. I understand that business is business, but it seems like the teens are being roughly equated with animals--just pests you can drive away. Furthermore, if the cut-off is 25, do the store owners just lose that business as well? Could they turn it off if someone like me wanted to come buy a friggin' YooHoo?

Posted by: Katie at June 5, 2006 8:18 AM

I can hear both, loud and clear. The first one pulsates and I can barely hear the background noise over it. The second one was painfully loud and high pitched, and I had to turn it off. For the record, I'm 25.

Posted by: Celeste at June 5, 2006 8:22 AM

I can hear the whining in the second one. Sounds a lot like my 6 year old begging for candy. I can tune that out real easy.

First one sounds like a street scene. So what?

Posted by: 39yearsold at June 5, 2006 8:27 AM

I'm a 44 year old woman - OK, closer to 45. The first one sounds like ambient street noise to me, too. The second one sounds like a low humming noise. I don't find either of them as annoying as the sound of a crowd of aimless teenagers.

Posted by: Kelly at June 5, 2006 8:31 AM

Yeah...#1 has a pulsing high pitch sound that resembles the sound that I used to hear coming from the television a lot (kind of annoying). #2 sounds like the same sound just less pulsing and louder.

Posted by: Tyson at June 5, 2006 8:34 AM

Age: 27

First noise: I definitely hear a high pitch noise behind the crowd. It's grating and might cause me to leave a store after a few minutes, but it's not awful.

Second noise: AGGHHHH!!! This one pierced my brain immediately. I wouldn't set foot within a mile radius of a store broadcasting this.

Posted by: Jaybee at June 5, 2006 8:35 AM

I'm 23 - the first one was a little irritating, but like Steve said, just sounded like ambient noise, the second one however, gave me GIANT headache that I'm still recovering from. Yeah, I'd stay the hell away from that place.

Posted by: Amanda at June 5, 2006 8:37 AM

On the first one it sounded like a highly pitched whistle (though not a football type). The second was crowd. I could distinguish a girl laughing and muffled traffic. The interesting part to me, was that although my chidren (one 6 and one 3) heard the noise, they didn't seem overly agitated, though my pekingese dogs absolutely went wild with the second sound! I was not that bothered by either, I am a 37 year old woman.

Posted by: Sherri at June 5, 2006 8:39 AM

I'm turning 20 in a month

#1 is a throbbing with a slight high pitched whistle, annoying but not unbearable.

#2 is incredibly painful to listen to, very high pitched whistle.

I called my 31 year old sister over and she couldn't hear anything with #2, she said all she could hear was my computer fan.

Posted by: i-chun at June 5, 2006 8:44 AM

I noticed nothing unusual in the first one. The second one made a thick green fuzz sprout immediately on my teeth (not unlike the Amazing Sheep), and I wanted to claw out my eardrums with a bent fork.

Have a nice day!

Posted by: lejae at June 5, 2006 8:44 AM

aged 15 can hear both horrible sounds.
According to Ochenks files, can hear 18kHz as well... its faint, but there.

Posted by: Will at June 5, 2006 8:46 AM

I'm 39... #1 sounded like background noise on a street. I couldn't hear anything when I played #2.

I had my 11yo son listen. He said #1 wasn't annoying, but he could definitely hear #2.

I played the different frequencies... I could only hear up to 12000... my son could hear up to 16000.

Posted by: Leigh Ann at June 5, 2006 8:46 AM

The first one is an annoying, high-pitched, somewhat uncomfortable pulsating tone.

The second one hurts. I turned off the mp3 over 2 minutes ago and it still feels like someone's shoving needles into my eardrums. I also have a headache now. Based on prior experience, I'd say the pain in the eardrums will last for at least 1/2 hour, and the headache an hour or more.

If my ears start bleeding, I'm so blaming you, Steve. :P

Posted by: Kestrel at June 5, 2006 8:46 AM

# 1 sounds like white noise but not terribly intrusive.

#2 was inaudible to me, of course I could just be going deaf.

I'm 31. Damn kids are on my lawn again.

Posted by: will at June 5, 2006 8:50 AM

Whoops, I forgot the age. I'm 20. It's also been a few minutes and my ears are still ringing. My sense of hearing feels rather muffled, like someone stuffed my ears with cotton, but I can still hear most sounds just fine. My equilibrium's also not working the way it should.

That second noise would keep me away from just about anything.

Posted by: Kestrel at June 5, 2006 8:52 AM

Seems there are a lot of readers hovering around 25-30. I'm 27, and both tones annoy the hell out of me. I also heard all of ochenk's tones perfectly. I'm pretty amazed actually, because I was a drummer in high-school, and later in a bad bar band, and I would have thought my hearing had been hopelessly damaged.

Posted by: Matt at June 5, 2006 8:52 AM

#1-Noise and pulsating whistle-slightly annoying, and would probably get me out of somewhere after a while.

#2-High pitched whistle. VERY annoying. I'd leave after not much time at all.

Age: 23

Posted by: Carrie at June 5, 2006 8:53 AM

I'm 30 and I could definitely hear a faint *beep beep beep* in the first audio file.

But that second one? WHOOO! Both me and my cat jumped at the awful piercing high-pitched squealing noise. Just awful.

Posted by: Russell at June 5, 2006 8:54 AM

I couldn't hear anything in the first one more than crowd noises. Yes, the second one was faint but pierced right through the brain, even with the office noises hissing around me here.

I am 42, but I have done work as a sound guy. I might be generally more sensitive/aware. Still, shopkeepers annoying me doesn't sound like a very good idea, as I do have money, and occasionally spend it.

It is strange that stores would be wanting to keep teenagers out, since most advertising is geared towards them. They are more easily influenced to buy, and change brands, than adults. Stores should find a tone that makes teenagers want to spend money. Like, Death Cab for Cutie tone or something.

Posted by: edith at June 5, 2006 8:57 AM

My mother is 62 years old and has always had extraordinary hearing (not so good when I am trying to sneak into the house at two in the morning.) and she heard both of the sounds in the mp3's but she stopped hearing the tones at 13,000 Hz. I could hear all of them all the way up to 18,000 I am 18.

Posted by: Toaod at June 5, 2006 9:00 AM

I'm 18 the first one would annoy me enough to not stick around a store but the second one while slightly annoying doesn't have the pulsing effect and I've adjusted to hearing it.

I put this on the speaker system bout half an hour ago in the building where I'm temping and only me and the other two temps (One 18 the other 22) could hear the sound out of a good 50 people there (most over age 40)

Posted by: Bane at June 5, 2006 9:00 AM

I am 2 months away from turning 30, female, and I could hear very annoying high pitches in both clips. It was annoying to the point I couldn't let them play to the end.

It would work to get me to avoid the stores entirely, but I'd be more likely to be there to spend money, not to hang out.

Posted by: mags at June 5, 2006 9:01 AM

Well, I'll be. I let my kids listen to these.

First clip:

14 year-old: She says is a loud annoying screechy noise.

9 year-old: He heard Subway noises. (We're from rural Texas...subway noises?)

The second one:

14 year-old: She screamed and made me turn it off.

9 year-old: He heard "DEEEEEEEE!!"

I heard nothing, as I've said. Here I thought it was a drag being old. Ha! Well, it is, but at least I can't hear the screeching. :)

Posted by: Susan at June 5, 2006 9:01 AM

1 was nothing big, but 2 made me toss the earphones off my head immediately.. Damn that would kill me in a store .. I'm 25.

Posted by: Mark at June 5, 2006 9:02 AM

I'm 28. On the first one I hear an pulsing high-pitched sound within the crowd sounds that I found fairly annoying. The second one was essentially the same sound but really amplified and I couldn't listen to it for longer than 2 seconds because it was painful.

Posted by: Jill at June 5, 2006 9:03 AM

I'm 36/m and I heard both buzzes. The first one wouldn't keep me out, but the second one would.

Posted by: Robert at June 5, 2006 9:06 AM

i just heard street noise on the first, and a slight high pitched noise on the second. when i clicked on the link that goes from 10-18kHz though, 10-13 were really loud and high pitched, and 14-18 were just the quieter high pitch, probably just the background noise, sounded kinda like a turbine spinning up. motorcycles and loud music have effed my hearing pretty good i guess...

Posted by: steve at June 5, 2006 9:06 AM

I'm 32 and the first one sounds like I've a got a window open...nothing major. The second one however is terrible. It feels like someone is pinching my eardrums. Couldn't I have had the body an 18 year old rather than the eardrums of one? Sigh...

Posted by: Jenny at June 5, 2006 9:07 AM

I'm 21 and I heard the first one clearly, the most annoying part about it is the way it pulses. The second one is just horrible. If I had to listen to that, especially at high volume, for any extended period of time, I would have to kill myself. And I'm used to ringing like that because I have tenitis, so my ears have rang 24/7 for as long as I can remember.

Posted by: jason at June 5, 2006 9:07 AM

24 FEMALE.....
First one sounds like someone had their ear up against a wall listening to the teenage girls next door doing well.... nevermind.

the second one makes me want to bury my head. And my poor 17 week old Doberman puppy hates me now.

Posted by: Sarah at June 5, 2006 9:10 AM

nice try Steve, but after reading the above comments, there ain't no way I'm going to purposely play those sounds..I'm going to take everyones word for it that they are annoying

Posted by: Kathy at June 5, 2006 9:12 AM

Ugh, both are horrible! The sound on my computer was pretty low and it was so bad that my boyfriend and I both made a face and tried to turn it off. (We're both 20).

Posted by: Sarah at June 5, 2006 9:15 AM

16 year old over here and I can confidently say that both those sounds would give me a seizure if I were subjected to it for a period of time. Or at least an annoying persistant twitch at the very least.

# 1 was a whirling, slightly more tolerable, sound you'd think a bat on speed would make.

#2 = Good Lord save me. This was awful. Its the audio equivalent to chewing on foil with fillings in all your teeth. I'm scared.

Posted by: Iamlamerthanthou at June 5, 2006 9:16 AM

OUCH!! My ears T_T OMG that second one hurt so bad~ I'm a 19 year old girl, and I definitely hear both sounds in the tracks. The second one seems much higher pitch then the first. The author of this message is right about the ambience sound in the back, but I could barely stand trying to find it. I need an asperine now XD
Btw, my sis right next to me, who is 17 heard them both just as clearly as I did. Oh, and my dad, who is 49 heard the ambience, which made him look up, but he pulled a real awkward face when the both of us squeeled from the high pitch in the second soundtrack.

Posted by: Purly at June 5, 2006 9:19 AM

Neither of our parents ever hear these anoying sounds, nor remember ever having heard sounds like these when they were younger. Like when they scratch their cutlery over a china plate. I hate it when they do that, but they are surprised everytime I tell them.
PS: My ears are still ringing...

Posted by: Purly at June 5, 2006 9:25 AM

I'm 31, male, and can hear the high-pitched tones in both samples, though my laptop speakers don't reproduce them as well as my Sennheiser headphones.

I read an article not too long ago about classical music being used to deter crime with similar effect in the UK: http://www.scena.org/columns/lebrecht/050120-NL-thugs.html

IMHO, this would be a much more pleasant solution for those of us over the age of 25 who can still hear the mosquito buzz.

Posted by: Brahm at June 5, 2006 9:27 AM

we just tested everyone here at work. voila. i don't know about the age thing being a factor.
check our results.

age first sound second sound

24 kind of yes
25 no yes
28 yes yes
30 no no

The results are not consistent with age, but all who heard the noises were very annoyed. Maybe this should be used as a new weapon of mass destruction.
We'll call it the Noise Up-Chuck Maker.

Posted by: chris rinehart at June 5, 2006 9:30 AM

I just turned 25 a little over a month ago, and here is my take on the tones.

#2 is annoying, but wouldn't slow me down.

#1 almost instantly gave me a headache that I could feel pulsing with the tone behind my eyes. I would make a bee line to get out of ear shot of this tone as fast as I could if heard it in a shopping center.

Posted by: jimbo anderson at June 5, 2006 9:35 AM

I'm a 40 YO female who somehow possesses the fountain of youth when it comes to eardrums.

The first sound - faint, but irritating
The second sound - Sweet Buttered Moses that HURT!! Also sent the cat from a deep sleep into the other room with a look of terror.

Posted by: Dawn at June 5, 2006 9:36 AM

I'm 18, and both of those sounds annoyed the CRAP out of me. The first one was a bit muddy, because of the ambient noise, but it was definitely annoying. The second one reminded me of those cheap dog whistles that don't go quite high enough to not be heard. Ouch. I wouldn't go to a store that employed that noise, but not because it is annoying. I wouldn't go because using an annoying soundwave to repel teenagers seems wrong to me. What are we, mosquitos?

Posted by: Andrew Rose at June 5, 2006 9:37 AM

I'm 26. The first one, while I couldn't make out the throbbing whine others have described, made me feel rather unsettled- it was the kind of sound that would really creep me out if I were, say, playing Resident Evil or watching a show about haunted houses.

The second one was just purely irritating. It was like when your ears are ringing and just won't quit.

Posted by: Ragemaiden at June 5, 2006 9:44 AM

33yo female... didn't hear anything on either one, except for the street noise in the first one.

and when I listened the different clips Ochen posted, I didn't hear anything above 13,000Hz. damn!!!

Posted by: melissa at June 5, 2006 9:44 AM

I'm 32. In the first one I didn't hear anything. The second one definitely had a high pitched squeal that I could hear slightly. Funny thing though - my 3 year old did not like the sounds of either of them at all! He wanted me to turn it off!

Posted by: Jodi at June 5, 2006 9:45 AM

#1 yup, high pitched pulsating tone... the kinda thing that I would notice subconsciously at first but become aware of after about 15 seconds. My wife said she "might" be able to hear something, but nothing that she would notice if she weren't looking for it. A LOT like a screeching television. My wife can never hear it, but I'm pretty sure it never escapes my attention.

#2 We both hear just an annoying whine. Oddly, after hearing the second one the first one didn't seem to stand out as much when we replayed it.

On a side note, the assorted MP3s on the linked page were all audible to us.

We're both 25, she'll be 26 in a week.

Posted by: Psyferre at June 5, 2006 9:50 AM

This is Psyferre's wife. =) I just wanted to add that while the second noise was annoying as hell (and would definantly keep me out of a store), it didn't seem particularly painful....until about 20 seconds after it stopped and I noticed my temples throbbing...ugh.

Posted by: Jaedynn at June 5, 2006 9:53 AM

I'm 21, and in #1, it was a constantly "up and down" changing pitch, something like you'd hear if Rick Moranis shrank a cop car instead of his kids. #2 was just a really high pitched sound that would be really annoying to a lot of people, but I'm a heavy metal musician so it didn't faze me much :D I also listened to all the pitches submitted by Ochen K, and was able to hear them all - the 18,000Kh made a very slight sound, and more than anything gave me a visual of a very thin needle passing through my brain...but once again it wasn't all too unpleasant due to my resistance to those kinds of sounds lol. And as far as getting it as a ringtone, I punched the URL into my Motorola V220, and yep, it played stingingly clear. Finally...psychological warfare at work!

Posted by: Cliff at June 5, 2006 9:54 AM

I was skeptical at first, as would be expected. I am 31 years old, but have excellent hearing. The first is definitely just crowd noise, softer than you would hear at a typical restaurant.

The second, on the other hand, seemed to reach out and smack me directly in the eardrums with tiny hammers. I only played it for a few seconds, but I can STILL feel it banging me in the head. This would keep me out of anywhere if you played it. Holy Canoli.

Posted by: Adam at June 5, 2006 9:54 AM

18, and the first sound pulsated directly in the center of my skull. I could feel it, and I think that it disrupted some important synapses. The second sound made my eyes water and I couldn't move from the crouch-like position I had assumed. It is many awful and terrible things, somehow collected and condensed into sound waves. Is there anything strong enough to relieve the tension in my head?

Posted by: Joanna at June 5, 2006 9:56 AM

I was going to now play the clips for a coworker and see what she thought, but after listening to #2 5 minutes ago, I have a throbbing in my temples and have noticable ear pain.

Thanks Steve, you will be hearing from my attorney if/when I go deaf.

Posted by: Adam at June 5, 2006 9:57 AM

I'm at school and put the second clip on. Every kid is about to jump down my throat and murder me for it. Honestly, I feel like throwing up now.

Posted by: Jenae` at June 5, 2006 10:01 AM

I have an extreme case of tinitus that I can't get rid of, and #2 is pretty much a sound I hear at all times in the back of my mind, but when heard through my EARS it makes me clutch my head for dear life...By the way, thanks for almost KILLING ME with number one...When my brain explodes I will not be very happy with you, Steve. If anyone can gimmie any info on tinitus cures, feel free to email me

Posted by: Shadix at June 5, 2006 10:12 AM

18, I went back and listened to the list of pure tones and could hear distinctly all of them, and then I could feel them passing through my mind. Even after I turned down the volume, I cringed. I am trying not to pee in my pants when I play them at full volume. Also, when I played the pure tones on Windows Media Player, some/most made the Spike Visualization create a pretty flower pattern.

Posted by: Joanna at June 5, 2006 10:17 AM

Well number one is just street noise with a slight background humm.

Number two is a very annoying buzz. Maybe it's my imagination but I swear I can still hear it. My ears actualy hurt just a little from that.

I'm 21 by the way.

Posted by: Rebecca at June 5, 2006 10:19 AM

The first one all I could hear was a slight buzzing sound.

The second one was a really high pitched and annoying whistle.

Posted by: john at June 5, 2006 10:21 AM

I just thought of something:

What if this noise was intentionally put into copy-writed music? It probably put a stop to teenagers downloading the music, and such significantly reducing piracy.

What do you all think?

Posted by: Phil at June 5, 2006 10:23 AM

Speaking as a teenager, when I listened to those clips you put up, they were nasty. Number 1 wasn't as bad as Number 2, which was earsplitting, so maybe you just don't have the ears to hear it. I heard both clips loud and clear though, so for those of you who are saying that you're in your thirties and that it's nothing but a hoax, you're dead wrong. After listening to those clips for the two seconds it took me to scramble to the "X" button at the top of my screen, I assure you that this would drive me and my friends out of a store very quickly.

Posted by: M at June 5, 2006 10:27 AM

Im 24 and thats the worst noise i have ever heard.

Posted by: Janelle at June 5, 2006 10:29 AM

i hear it, on both, and the second one hurts. The first one pulses, the second one is like a needle through my brain. I'm 24, and I would stay away from anything emitting that noise, storefronts, televisions, tacos, dogs, old ladies, etc.

Posted by: johnny at June 5, 2006 10:32 AM

I am 29 and have pretty good hearing in general.
#1. I couldn't hear anything unusual over the street noise.
#2. Yeah, horrible whine sound.

I also went through the various frequency tones that guy posted on his site at 10kHz to 18kHz. I could hear them all the way up through the 16kHz one, but then they got out of my range on the 17 and 18.

P.S. I second Troy's post about needing another "Steve Don't Eat It"

Posted by: Rocky at June 5, 2006 10:35 AM

heard both. 26 yo, 27 in 1 month.

Posted by: brad at June 5, 2006 10:36 AM

I'm 27 and I could hear both tones pretty easily. Televisions emit a similar tone, which I've noticed that my wife and most of my peers can't hear. It used to drive me nuts when my wife would turn off our cable box but leave the TV on, because I'd hear that noise whenever I walked into the room.

Posted by: Mike at June 5, 2006 10:36 AM

I'm 32... and a musician who's been exposed to very... very loud musicial (or depending on the band, maybe not-so-musical) environments for the past 18 years.

However, I can still hear the high pitch pulse in #1 (through cheap headphones), and the high pitch whine in #2.

I liked Ochen's experiment. Either, my hearing range still goes up to 17kHz, or the frequency response of my cheap headphones doesn't go up to 18kHz. I'll have to try again with my nice cans at home.

So who knows the frequency response of cellphone speakers? I'd be interested in seeing the data.

Posted by: Zclone at June 5, 2006 10:37 AM

I'm 26 (and a half), and I can hear that pulsating high-pitched squeaky whine clear as day in #1. Sure, it's annoying, but if i was intent on loitering, harrassing older customers, and creating general mischief, it wouldn't deter me. I usually hear the same sound for a day or so after a really good concert...so I'd say the sound is "annoyingly nostalgic".

Posted by: kensey at June 5, 2006 10:39 AM

I'm 30 and could hear both tones. My 18year old coworker could not hear number 1 but did hear number 2. Using Ochen K.'s pure tones, we discovered her hearing tops out somewhere between 14,000hz and 15,000 while I can hear up through 17,000hz.

Posted by: Jason at June 5, 2006 10:40 AM

I'm 24 and almost entirely deaf in one ear and so I didn't expect much.

I do hear the first sound, though, and it bugs me a little. It's very faint. Mostly I hear a keening whine. If I were there, however, I don't think I'd notice it consciously. I'd probably just start to feel tense and annoyed.

The second noise is very obvious and like a lot of people on here, I didn't realize how awful it was until after I stopped listening to it. My ears hurt. a little now.

Posted by: Canaduck at June 5, 2006 10:42 AM

Will be 30 in Oct. Can hear both clearly. In the little 'test', I can get up to 17kHz without trouble... 18KHz I can't hear, though.

Posted by: Josh at June 5, 2006 10:42 AM

The first one didn't bother me at all, but the second one, ugh, that was horrible.

I would most definitely stay away from a store that had that noise coming out from it.

I'm 25 but I think that noise would bother at me at any age.

Posted by: Starla at June 5, 2006 10:47 AM

33. With the volume up I could hear the pulsating high picthed sound over the street noise , but only with my left ear. I've been playing in various bands for the past 15 years and always seem to have the drummer on my right side. That must have caused a little damage in that ear. The 2nd mpg i could hear with both ears. Both are annoying enough to keep me from going near their origin.

Posted by: Pablowog at June 5, 2006 10:53 AM

I could hear both, though the second was louder and more annoying. I had to crank the first one a bit, but a piercing sound was there. Gah.

I'm 27 in a few days. I didn't think my hearing was that great, but apparently it's just stupidity.

Posted by: Peggy Nature at June 5, 2006 10:54 AM

20 - I hear the kind of "beeping whistle" in the first one, very piercing; second one is unbearable and constant, both at normal volume.

Posted by: chix0r at June 5, 2006 11:02 AM

The second one made me long for the sweet release of death. I played it at work and my co-worker tried to club my speakers to death with his office chair.

I'm 23 and he's 27

Posted by: Bannedanna at June 5, 2006 11:13 AM

I can hear them both, but the second one is definately stronger. I'm 15 byt the way.

Ugh..now I keep hearing it faintly...

Posted by: Elijah at June 5, 2006 11:17 AM

Oh my! I got an ear-full from both of them. The high-pitched whistle in the first must only be discernable if you've avoided deathmetal concerts your whole life. I turn 26 next February. I'll check it again then and let you know.

Posted by: Adam at June 5, 2006 11:17 AM

I heard them both, as well as everyone in my office. I'm 24. Among those listening are a 20 yo, 21yo, 26 yo, and 40 yo. So........looks like it's not working so well.

Posted by: Becca at June 5, 2006 11:27 AM

I'm 21. Can hear a faint, annoying, pulsating whistle in the first one. The longer I listened the more annoying it got.

The second one made me want to stab somebody.

Posted by: aliendave at June 5, 2006 11:35 AM

I am 39 this year and I heard both clips very well. I had to turn up the volume, but my computer at work has lousy speakers. #1 was less intrusive, but I would get irritated pretty quickly. #2 was very intrusive, and when it was playing, my boss, who is in his 60's complained about the noise. So I think this whole thing is a hoax.

Posted by: Christopher at June 5, 2006 11:38 AM

Both make me want to cry.
And it's already my ringtone.

Posted by: Heather at June 5, 2006 11:40 AM

Whoah. I thought I had permanently damaged my hearing at Ozzfest. I could hear a very faint, high pitched whistle that pulsates on the first one. the second was quite irritating and very high-pitched. I am 31.

Posted by: Dick Deadeye at June 5, 2006 11:40 AM

#1: sounds like street nose with a faint screech

#2: An EAR PIERCING tone that would drive me out of any place

i'm 12

Posted by: Tomas Kerikas at June 5, 2006 11:42 AM

30, female. I heard both annoying noises. The first one is a pulsating sound, the second one was much stronger, and constant. Both made my eyes water!

Posted by: Natalie at June 5, 2006 11:42 AM

I'm 32. I could hear something faintly annoying in the first recording, but the second was so awful, it was like having my teeth drilled. It makes my fillings rattle just thinking about it.

Posted by: Honey at June 5, 2006 11:43 AM

um, definately hear it in both. the first one not that annoying, but i could tell there was something. the second one was ridiculous, i didn't make it through the whole thing.


Posted by: karen at June 5, 2006 11:46 AM

That first one is absolutely annoying - I'm 35, and that pulsing noise sounds like dental work to me - like, you can almost "taste" the sound at the back of your throat. It's more annoying than the second because it is barely audible.

Posted by: Crud at June 5, 2006 11:49 AM

I think that they were both terrible and they both hurt my ears.

I will be turning 13 in 2 weeks

Posted by: Me at June 5, 2006 11:52 AM

I'm 25. At first, I couldn't hear the #1, but because I'm using laptop speakers, I cranked it up and yah- it's definitely there, but not all that bad. I don't hear the throbbing others have mentioned, but I hear a similar tone as in #2, but perhaps a bit higher, less bothersome pitch. And as most have said, the second was definitely audible and quite frankly, a bit painful... it kinda reminded me of Pink Floyd, "...and the worms ate into his brain." Had to turn it off immediately.

Posted by: Beturtlement at June 5, 2006 11:58 AM

I can hear the noise in both clips like many people have described. However, while the second is a bit grating, neither bother me too much. Lots of noise concerts have left me unphased by this.
Using the uh, test, I can hear 20 hz, but not beyond that. I'm 19, female.

Posted by: rrr at June 5, 2006 11:58 AM

I'm 16 going on 17 and I heard both #1, #2, and all of Ochen K's tester sounds up to 22,000 Hz. Crazy.

Posted by: Jessi Beach at June 5, 2006 12:02 PM

I am 37 and on the first MP3 I heard what sounded like street noise and when I cranked it up I heard girls giggling or something.

On #2 I heard nothing.

I then listened to Ochen's tones and heard all of them.....some of the lower ones though were annoying.

Still interesting that I can't hear #2 though.


Posted by: Joe at June 5, 2006 12:06 PM

thanks. i already had a headache. #1 was awful. #2 made my ears bleed. that would be a great ring tone if you're looking to get punched in the face. i'm 23. only 2 years to go until i never have to hear that again.

Posted by: Bricknee at June 5, 2006 12:06 PM

They were both really annoying. I'm female, turning 25 on Saturday, and I could hear the pulse (with a weird almost "ooh" in the middle) of the first one, but it wasn't overly bad. The second one, however, I had to stop after about two seconds because it was so obnoxious.

Using the test I could hear 19kHz easily, but barely anything on 20kHz.

Posted by: Ren at June 5, 2006 12:06 PM

The first one wasn't bad. It just sounded like street noise, like the stuff you hear when you're watching TV.

The second one though, I had to turn it off before it finished playing. It was so high pitched my ears hurt and it started giving me a headache. Would definatly keep me out of a store.

I'm 16, by the way.

Posted by: Fawna at June 5, 2006 12:07 PM

I'm 37. I heard 'em both. And my cat took off at ramming speed towards the wall after hearing the second one and he's passed out now. I don't think he liked it.

Posted by: Alex at June 5, 2006 12:09 PM

I am 15 years old, and both of those sounds were making me cringe. The sound was along the same lines as that of a dentist drill. Ah man, it drove me crazy.

Posted by: Amanda at June 5, 2006 12:09 PM

I'm a 29 year-old female and I can hear a pulsing whine in no.1 which after a few minutes of exposure would probably drive me from a store. The second one is much clearer and would keep me from entering the store at all.

Posted by: Daphne at June 5, 2006 12:11 PM

i'm 29 and hear nothing on the first one, but annoyance on the second. then did the limit test and the last one i can hear is at 16,000

Posted by: travis at June 5, 2006 12:11 PM

I'm 15.

I heard both #1 and #2. (Both very annoying.) I also was able to hear up to 19,000 Hz.

For the record, my dog hated it too.

Posted by: Heather at June 5, 2006 12:25 PM

21, female. Limit 18Hz..

#1 is just annoying, #2 is really painful. Same for Ochen's, the 18Hz was painful. Can't hear after that, guess I'm losing my hearing already...
My cat isn't here so I don't know if she'd hate it.

Posted by: Deity at June 5, 2006 12:34 PM

I am 34.

noise#1 sounds to me like traffic in the distance or white noise on the tv with girls giggling and clanging thrown in for good messure.

noise #2 in high pitched and really annoying. OUCH!

Posted by: maya at June 5, 2006 12:38 PM

34, have always had VERY sensitive hearing. Still can't go into a movie theater without earplugs.

First sound is a rapid pulse which felt like it was trying to etch a trace in my brain. Made me frantically search for the button to turn it off right away. The second one is slower and lower in frequency. Less painful, but I still wouldn't stay long in a store diffusing it.

Posted by: Lizz at June 5, 2006 12:43 PM

I'm 16 and I could hear both clear as anything. The first one was a semi-irritating pulsating buzz, but nothing that would keep me out of a store I wanted to be in. The second one however... very painful to listen to, and definitely a teen-deterrent. As far as frequencies go, I could hear 22,000 clear as a bell. Keep 'em coming!

And here I was thinking I had poor hearing.

Posted by: Bojangles at June 5, 2006 12:45 PM

I'm 36.

#1 is only slightly annoying, would drive me crazy eventually but hard to hear above ambient noise.

#2 is really annoying and would drive me away.

I think the Aussies have a much better idea to keep annoying teenagers away - pipe Barry Manilow through speakers.


Posted by: Steph at June 5, 2006 12:45 PM

I'm 36
#1 I could feel pulsing in my ears
#2 absolute silence

Husband 35
#1 Could hear pulsing, little annoying
#2 hell on earth, make it stop MAKE IT STOP

Posted by: kittybean at June 5, 2006 12:45 PM

I heard the whine that was linked to the NPR piece quite clearly. The #1 link you had was a horrible pulsing sqeak/whine that would definatley drive me away from anywhere. I couldn't open your #2 liml but I was surprised that I could hear either. My Dad was a sound engineer and I spent enough time at huge concerts in front of huge amps as a child to consider my hearing, at 31, is pretty well damaged. Nice to know it isn't.

Posted by: sara at June 5, 2006 12:46 PM

i listened to each a few minutes ago and my ears still hurt. the first was much higher pitched and was less of a direct assault on the ears, similar to if a tv is on with the sound off, you can kinda hear it, but much more annoying. the second was nothing short of an attack. i could actually feel my eardrums pulsating. i'm 22. i think maybe after a while i could get used to the first one in a shopping situation, but i would definitely wouldn't wanna hang out where either was being played.

Posted by: owmyfuckingears at June 5, 2006 12:47 PM

That is pretty annoying. I'm 15 and it was like a high pitched whistle... sort of like a peircing scream.

I was able to hear #1 and #2. I was also able to hear 10000 but not anything after 19000

Posted by: Ashley at June 5, 2006 12:48 PM

Just as a follow-up, because a few people have said they hear all of the tones I posted (http://www.ochenk.com/tones), I've posted additional tones up to 22,000 Hz. According to Wikipedia, humans hear up to 20,000 Hz, so if you can still hear all of them, you may have a recessive canine gene.

Ochen K.

Posted by: Ochen K. at June 5, 2006 12:52 PM

I'm 19 and I heard a high pitched noise in the first one, and when I turned up the volume I heard the street noise. The second clip had even more high pitched noises, but were more annoying than #2.

Posted by: Adam at June 5, 2006 12:52 PM

#1 - Annoying pulsating sound that reminds me of the sound of aliens being zapped by laser beams. Very distinct.

#2 - Long and clear. I still hear it ringing in my ears, but it's not painful.

I'm 16 by the way. I can hear up to 18,000 according to that link, and 19,000 is silence.

Posted by: Ali at June 5, 2006 12:53 PM

#1 - Very annoying high pitch in the background

#2 - I'd definitely leave the area if this was being broadcast

I'm 29.

Posted by: Renferi at June 5, 2006 1:02 PM

In the first one, i heard a high pitched noise. This would keep me out of a store, but not a girl's pants.

The second one was absolutely horrible. It left a high pitched ring in my ears for the next hour. I had to shut it off 2sec into it. This would defintly keep me out of a store, girl's pants anything.

I am 16.

Posted by: Matt? at June 5, 2006 1:09 PM

Im 25 and i heard both high pitched annoying noises. i would stay away from a store that had that annoying sound. The ring tone idea is really funny. As a teacher I will have to keep an eye out for that.

Posted by: Gfreeman at June 5, 2006 1:09 PM

ahhhhh I think I am bleeding from the ears! #1 is this horrible, pulsating tone that would definitely keep my 16-year-old self out of a store. It literally makes my ears hurt. It is similar to the noise I hear when the TV is on (not the actual speaker sound, but a sound I hear whenever electronics are on), only it is much much worse.
#2 was also unpleasant but definitely not as bad as #1. I couldn't stand it for very long if it was being played in a store.

I doubt the thing about the ringtones, since that would be a god-awful ringtone to have. Even if you hear the phone go off in class you can't just answer it and start talking. The teacher can definitely hear that. Putting the phone on vibrate causes it to make a little noise anyways, enough to alert you to a call or text.

Posted by: kailen at June 5, 2006 1:12 PM

I'm 41.

#1 - Street noise
#2 - Fingernails on a chalkboard

What I thought was really interesting was that I could hear all the pure tones with no problem except 15,000 - 18,000. The lower end and higher end were very clear. The middle: I didn't hear a thing!

Posted by: Jill at June 5, 2006 1:18 PM

Ochen K, did you change something with the frequencies? I can hear all of them now, where just this morning I lost it around 16k. Perhaps my computer is breaking, either that or something stranger.

Posted by: Phil at June 5, 2006 1:19 PM

I'm 17...the first one was no big deal...but the 2nd one sucked! It was just a very annoying high pitched scream. On my computer I could deal with it but if that was up really loud in a store I don't think I could. I think the whole idea of doing that to keep kids out is insane! It's just stupid!

Posted by: Nick at June 5, 2006 1:26 PM

#1-Ambient noise, nothing to get excited over.
#2-Faint, high-pitched tone that gave me a headache and made me queasy.
I think I'll go throw up now.

Posted by: Val at June 5, 2006 1:31 PM

What? (I just turned 48)

Posted by: Mimi at June 5, 2006 1:32 PM

I am sixteen.

#1 I hear a high pitch that almost sounds like a cricket (probably because it pulsates). A bit annoying, but not bad enough to keep me out of a store.

#2 Eek, this one's annoying. Not really loud, but definitely bad enough to keep me out of a store. Unless I knew they were using it to keep teenagers out, then I'd go in there and wreak havoc, just as payback.

Posted by: Nichole at June 5, 2006 1:33 PM

I'm 30 years old, and I can say that both sounds were really annoying, so I guess I'm still a kid at heart (or at least at ear).

Sound #1 wasn't bad until I cranked up the volume. Then I could hear a pulising, high pitched tone. It probably wouldn't be enough to keep me out of a store since it was so faint compared to the ambient background noise, but it definitely would be enough to make me go "what the hell is that?!".

Sound #2, on the other hand, was head-splitting. I only played it for a second or so before I just had to shut it off, and my ears are still hurting from it as I write this. I feel like Chubaka in the Cloud City prison with that siren going off all day. It's maddening. My ear drums feel like they want to bleed.

I'm still hearing it, several minutes after the fact, and it still hurts. This would certainly keep me out of anywhere it's playing.

Posted by: Adam at June 5, 2006 1:34 PM

By the way, I also did the mp3 file thingy, and I could hear all of them up to the one marked 19000.

Posted by: Val at June 5, 2006 1:35 PM

I'm 19.

I heard both sounds in the articles, though only the second one was really annoying.

I heard the clips on Ochen's website up to 20.000, though that was very faint. It starts getting annoying at 17.000.

Posted by: Elizabeth at June 5, 2006 1:41 PM

I'm 43. I heard nothing annoying in clip #1 but the tone in clip #2 is nearly unbearable.

I guess I would be staying out of that store too.

Posted by: Missing Link at June 5, 2006 1:45 PM

I'm twenty and both were obnoxious.

Posted by: Gina at June 5, 2006 1:46 PM

i'm 30 and 1/2 years old...i found the first sound track to be highly annoying, and the second nearly painful. this is with average grade computer speakers and the volume relatively low. i couldn't listen to either track in their entirety...now i feel dirty all over.

Posted by: Moxxie at June 5, 2006 1:46 PM

I'm 21. The first one might be annoying after hours of it, but enough to ignore for a quick run through a store...

The second one, JESUS!! It almost hurt to listen to, and it gave me a sharp pain in my temples. Very high pitched steady screeching noise.

Posted by: Annette at June 5, 2006 1:49 PM

One thing to keep in mind here is that different people will have different quality of speakers and equipment at their computers making this test a little indecisive. I'm 24 and work at a music-editing studio. Both of those clips played back on my studio monitors were horribly annoying. My hearing is very sensitive though. Maybe some of you have heard rat/mice deterrents before. Humans aren't supposed to be able to hear them but they drive me completely bonkers... and so did these sounds. Ouch. My ears are still ringing and I didn't turn them up that loud.


Posted by: Drewfus at June 5, 2006 1:50 PM

I'm nearly 36. I listened to these and Ochen's sounds on my laptop speakers in my office.

I couldn't hear anything in the first one, even when I knew what I was listening for. The 2nd sound was very audible and now my ear's are ringing with that tone.

On Ochen's page (very cool of you to add to the discussion that way, by the way!) I couldn't hear past the 15000hz.

I'll test this at home, but I'm guessing I'll be able to hear much better with headphones, even with the background noise in the soundtrack.

Posted by: Andrew at June 5, 2006 1:53 PM

I'm 22.

#1 was fine, street noise and whatnot. It made my ears feel strangely tense, but there weren't any perceptible annoying noises.

#2 holy crap pain. Before listening, I was skeptical that it would be annoying at all. All I've got is laptop speakers. But wow, that was worse than the noise when you scrape a metal bowl with a metal spoon.

Interestingly, when I listened to the pure tones, I could hear up to 15,000 just fine, then nothing, except that I could hear 20,000 quite clearly.

Posted by: Jenn at June 5, 2006 1:54 PM

I'm 17, heard the first one faintly, but it's kind of like a ringing in your ear after a concert, but a bit more shrill.

The second one was really bad though, I couldn't even finish the few second duration of it.

Posted by: Kyle at June 5, 2006 1:58 PM

Both of those are incredibly painful. I'm 25, and I already know I have abnormally sensitive hearing - I can hear capacitors whine, lightbulbs buzzing as they're about to burn out, and bats using sonar. Those would quite definitely drive me away.

Posted by: Kassil at June 5, 2006 2:09 PM

I am 29. On #1 hear background noise then girls giggling and what sound like someone smacking metal at the end.

#2, I hear a very high pitched noise. It gave me a headache almost instantly.

#2 also made me want to shoplift for some reason. Odd....

Posted by: Jeff at June 5, 2006 2:13 PM

I'm 21, and that second one was like AHHHH!! OMG MAKE IT STOP!!!

Posted by: Nelo at June 5, 2006 2:22 PM

Im another younger girl with very good hearing... im 16 and these were both bad... i am pretty sure that these SUPER ANNOYING SOUNDS would keep me away from everything.
#1: Very high pitched, squeaky pulsing. it makes my eardrums throb. Kyle was right, #1 is like your eardrums ringing, esp. after o System of a Down concert... :)
#2: lower, but more persistent. Like nails on a chalkboard.
with both of them i couldnt stand more than 3 seconds of it.

Posted by: Nikki at June 5, 2006 2:22 PM

All I can say to both clips is OW! Thanks a lot Steve. I'm 17.

Posted by: Matthew at June 5, 2006 2:23 PM


MAKE IT STOPPP!!!!!1111eleveneleven
IN BOTH OF THEM!!!!!!!!!!!11111

Posted by: Seymour Bibbons at June 5, 2006 2:27 PM

hi me again, just to add to mine....
both were the same noise that i hear when electronic things are on but not playing. it always bugs me when my parents leave the tv on and they dont know, but when i can hear the thing on from upstairs, it makes me want to go ballistic....

Posted by: Nikki at June 5, 2006 2:28 PM

wow i cant stay of this comment board...
went in the mp3 files page and coulg hear, with much pain and suffering, ALL of the files. EVERY SINGLE ONE, and my ears want to die!........

Posted by: Nikki at June 5, 2006 2:34 PM

Both are hoaxes. There is nothing at either

I push play, I hear the same thing as always.
"Lazlo, put on the uniform. Lazlo, deliver the
mail. Lazlo, blow away your supervisor and
all your coworkers."

Foolish. Off to work.

Posted by: Lazlo at June 5, 2006 2:41 PM

I'm 16 and when I listened to the first clip there was a really high pitched slightly pulsating sound in the background. Not too annoying at first, but I'd image it would get on my nerves after a while.

I had two of my friends, ages 16 and 17, listen to it and they heard it too. Then I had my mom listen to it and all she heard was muffled street noise.

Posted by: Bredward at June 5, 2006 2:41 PM

Ugh, the first one killed me, and I'll be 30 in a mere 8 days! The second I clicked on it, the high pitched noise annoyed the crap outta me. The second one just sounded like being outside, no biggie. Maybe this means I'm still a teen at heart! Wishful thinking....

Posted by: Heywood at June 5, 2006 2:42 PM

I'm 25 (female if it makes a differance). The first clip was just street sounds to me. The second clip was a horrible whine sound that made my ears itch. I would stear clear of anything with that sound.

Posted by: Kins at June 5, 2006 2:43 PM

Whoops, I eman the FIRST one was like street noise, and the second was horrible. Maybe I'm getting old after all.

Posted by: Heywood at June 5, 2006 2:44 PM

I'm 16:

I can hear #1... it's VERY high picthed and rather annoying but not too loud, I could bear it. But if I were to listen to it for a few minutes I'm sure I'd start to get a headache.

#2 is louder and DAMN ANNOYING. I started to get a headache just from the short clip.

My mom heard the first one a few weeks ago (she's 52) and just heard the ambience.

Posted by: Emmers at June 5, 2006 3:01 PM

OW. The first one is annoying, but not too bad. The second one KILLS.

My mom can hear neither.

Posted by: Nathan-san at June 5, 2006 3:06 PM

ouch! my ears!!!! i could hear the high pitched noises on both recordings. im 33 and i wish the rest of my body felt as young as my ears apparently are.

Posted by: julie at June 5, 2006 3:07 PM

The 2nd one drives me nuts!!!! (13 years old)

Posted by: Bubba at June 5, 2006 3:07 PM

Oh my gosh, the second one is horrible. I can't listen to it for more than two seconds. The first one was okay though.

Oh, I'm 17 by the way.

Posted by: Jen at June 5, 2006 3:12 PM

I'm fourteen. I can hear a high pitched sort of whine/buzz in both, though the second is louder.

I got my mother to do it, she's 45 and couldn't hear any sort of high pitched noise at all. in either.

Posted by: Deanna at June 5, 2006 3:15 PM

23 years old, I can hear them both... the second one almost made my ears bleed. Oh wait, never mind. MOM, GET THE MOP, AND I NEED A NEW KEYBOARD.

Yes, I'm 23 and I live with my mom. Right.

Posted by: Thirdeye Rob at June 5, 2006 3:24 PM

I'm 30 and deaf in one ear...I heard a very high pulse in both. The first was slightly annoying whereas the second would drive me batshit if I had to listen to it for any extended period of time.

Posted by: J at June 5, 2006 3:29 PM

Dear God. I'm 18, and heard both of them. The first one is a very high-pitched pulsating throb, and the second one is a constant even higher pitched sound. The first one was tolerable, but the second one make my teeth feel all wiggly. It would keep me out of a store.

Posted by: CC at June 5, 2006 3:39 PM

I'm 18 and the first one was definatley a really clear, very annoying whine over the top of the ambient noise. The second one was almost painful it was so high. It actually kind of gave me a headache. I guess my hearing is pretty good for now, but with playing drums and listening to loud music all the time, it's only a matter of time before it goes completely.

Posted by: tom at June 5, 2006 3:41 PM

I'm a teen(15) and both of them annoy the heck out of me. But my dad, who was right next to me at the time, didn't seem to be bothered by it.

Posted by: Ivan at June 5, 2006 3:42 PM

Well ... thanks to Ochen, I've found out that I can defininately hear 10,000 to 22,000 Hz. I guess my hearing is a bit superhuman afterall.

Male, 25

Posted by: Ryan at June 5, 2006 4:01 PM

Only heard street sounds in #1.

nada in #2

But then, I'm 45 and have some hearing loss on the right side.

Posted by: Pigboy at June 5, 2006 4:08 PM

I'm nearly 47 and I heard them both - and they are BOTH annoying! Especially the second one. Although the first would be enough to keep me from staying too long.

Posted by: Yvonne at June 5, 2006 4:20 PM

I don't hear anything but background noise -- giggling, and a little clanging towards the end -- in #1, but #2 would keep me out of anything. Dang, that'd wake me up better than an alarm clock! And I'm 20, but I have bad ears.

Posted by: Nukapei at June 5, 2006 4:23 PM

I'll be 21 in August. The first one has a slight pulsing noise, but only when I turn the volume up. My ears are still ringing from the second one. Ouch!

Posted by: Nicole at June 5, 2006 4:25 PM

The first one sounds like a mildly annoying cricket, but it's not distracting or anything. However, the second one makes me wince. It is high-pitched and metallic and would definitely make me want to leave a store. (I'm 19.)

Posted by: Audrey at June 5, 2006 4:28 PM

I'm 21. I thought number 2 was pretty awful, but couldn't hear anything nasty on number 1.

Dammit, I'm aurally over the hill already.

Posted by: Anna at June 5, 2006 4:29 PM

#1 is relatively mild mannered. It wouldn't keep my out of a store, but I'd be convinced to leave early...

#2 is BY GOD, The MOST annoying thing I've heard. Ever. Perhaps more annoying the younger you are? I'm only 19 years old.

Posted by: Ashli at June 5, 2006 4:31 PM

The first is like sitting near a computer or under a broken flourescent light... eventually you would rather scream than sit there.

The second just makes you want to leave the room.

I saw on an Imax film "The Human Body" that everyone has little microscopic hairs on the inside of their ears and everyday some die. The high frequency ones are killed off first so that every day of your life you are hearing a smaller and smaller frequency range.

How depressing.

Posted by: Sarah at June 5, 2006 4:33 PM

17; Both are extremely annoying. 2nd is painful, first is just bad.

Posted by: Unreal_One at June 5, 2006 4:34 PM

Definetly!!Wow.The first one is an almost "sireny" beeeeeeeeeeeem.The second is a solid beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeem.I hope that word accurately describes the sound.Im 16 and heard that loud and clear.Yeah that would keep me out of a shop but why would you do that?

Posted by: Blugh at June 5, 2006 4:36 PM

I'm a 16-year-old male and the first one doesn't bother me at all. It just seems to be street noise. The second one, however, is absolutely horrible.
It's the same frequency as the hearing tests that you're given in kindergarten! It's awful! I'd definitely stay away from any buildings that decide to loop that sound. Unless, of course, they were doing it specifically to keep me away, in which case I'd go in anyway and use it as a motive to disrupt the place in any way possible.

Posted by: niedec at June 5, 2006 4:44 PM

i'm 20, and when i saw this, i was really hesitant to even try it out. basically, this sounded pretty foolish. but i tried it out, and BOTH tones made me crazy. the first was actually worse for me than the second, because it was more faint, and even after it turned off, i could almost still hear it. the second though, was also nightmarish.

Posted by: Courtney at June 5, 2006 4:53 PM

Okay. I went back and turned up the bass on my speakers and #1 became MUCH more annoying. It's kind of an uncomfortable dull rumbling that gives me a headache. If you
can't hear it, just turn up your subwoofer or the bass, if you can.

Posted by: niedec at June 5, 2006 4:53 PM

I'm 19, and listening to both clips make me cringe. The second one is worse than the first, however. It reminds me of this high pitched whine that my radiator in my dorm room makes when it begins to leak steam. Think of a tea kettle, but at a much higher pitch similar to the second clip. Its nothing short of awful.

Posted by: Stephen at June 5, 2006 4:58 PM

dude. i just played the ochen tones (my limit is around 18000 hZ). my 52 year old dad couldn't hear the lowest frequency, and my dog tried to eat the computer when I played the highest one... too funny.

Posted by: Becky at June 5, 2006 5:02 PM

Well, I'm fifteen and I hear both... I can understand that most of you(18+) can't hear the first, because it is definitely of a higher pitch than the second...
(I compared with Ochen's set of mp3 and I think it's about 17-18000hz)

Posted by: Dave at June 5, 2006 5:02 PM

I'm 14 and female.
On the first one there was this faint throbbing buzzing noise, but it wasn't horrible.

One number two, there was this horribe high pitched noise and my volume was barely up.

If I heard that in a store, I would probably run away, haha.

Posted by: Jennifer at June 5, 2006 5:04 PM

#1 was annoying, but no where near as annoying as #2!

I visited the link provided by Ochen K. and I got stumped when I reached 19,000 Hz. Oh yeah, and I'm 19 by the way!

Posted by: ashley at June 5, 2006 5:05 PM

Also, number two just made my dog bark.

Posted by: Jennifer at June 5, 2006 5:07 PM

PS: My mom, who is over 50, couldn't hear either of them at full volume.

My dog came running when I played the second one and started whining. She keeps scratching at her ears now. And my ears are ringing *again*. I can't believe I've listened to these more than once.. my god. lol.

Posted by: Nicole at June 5, 2006 5:11 PM

I'm 25 and can hear _something_ on each of Ochen's samples, but starting around 18kHz they seem to get a little lower and less "pure" in pitch, so I think what I'm hearing might be some lower harmonics induced by my playback equipment (cheapo integrated soundcard plugged into fairly nice stereo receiver).

Posted by: Steve at June 5, 2006 5:13 PM

I listened to #1 and #2 as well as all those frequencies you posted and could hear them all. #2 as well as some of the other hurt my ears. I am female and 31 years old. I plan on testing my husband's hearing with those samples since I tend to pick up on sounds he never notices.

Posted by: nicole at June 5, 2006 5:18 PM

My daughter is 6, I am 25 going on 26 in one month (seems to be a lot of that going around).

Neither of us could hear anything on the first one...even after listening many times. We heard "street noises" but thats it. I though I heard a ringing...but my ears tend to ring, so...maybe I shouldn't have done this!!
The second one...I definitly heard a loud very hi6ygh pitched sound. My 6 yr old did, but it wasn't loud/annoying to her. Hmm. Is there a minimum age for hearing it?

Posted by: yomama at June 5, 2006 5:20 PM

Uh, I still have this awful ringing in my ears. The 2nd one was absolutely terrible and made me gasp. The first one wasn't that bad, but it was uncomfortable. I just turned 15.

Posted by: Emily at June 5, 2006 5:33 PM

This was too wild!!

On #1, husband and I (both 37) heard street noises, but my daughter (9), suddenly started freaking out, to turn it off because the noise was killing her ears.

#2, husband and I both heard a high pitch, but nothing major. Again, daughter was begging for me to turn it off.

Interesting... you always have the coolest stuff.

Posted by: Kelly at June 5, 2006 5:39 PM

I am 16.

#1 - It wasn't that bad but if it wasn't so faint of a sound and without the background noise, it could be VERY annoying.

#2 - This one was GHASTLY. I still hear the friggin ringing in my ears.

Posted by: Leigha at June 5, 2006 5:44 PM

i'm nearly 15, and heard a very faint buzzing in the first, and nothing in the second.

Posted by: elizabeth at June 5, 2006 5:46 PM

I'm 25 and 1/4 and have average hearing. The first one sounded like a very high pitched squeaky wheel turning type sound. It had the same effect as nails down a blackboard. Nasty - I couldn't listen to it for long.

Number 2 sounded like hell. I couldn't listen to it long enough to give a description! Interesting.

Posted by: bec at June 5, 2006 5:49 PM

I'm 20, and I could definitely hear the high-pitched squeal in both. Not so bad in the first one, but the second one SUCKED. NO WAY would I ever use that as a ringtone. Why would I want to do that to myself?

Posted by: Jessi-ca at June 5, 2006 5:59 PM

Ow! My freakin ears!!! That fucking *hurt* on both counts!! And I can hear up to 20,000 on the Ochen link. Which also hurts like a son of a....

I'm 19. Maybe next year I won't hear so well, huh? :p Only a few months left actually!!

Posted by: Roxanne at June 5, 2006 6:02 PM

I'm 18... and what can't you hear?The first one sounded like a street subway and the second was a loud high pitch noise that felt like it was cutting through my brain. I would have to leave this store immediately or else I would start to get agravated. No one likes to be an agravated teenager.

Posted by: Jenzie at June 5, 2006 6:06 PM

I can hear both Sneeze #1 and Sneeze #2. I'm 36 years old and have some unexplained hearing loss in my right ear (which is currently throbbing pretty badly right now, thank you very much!)

Ochen's link was very interesting to me, and I'm wondering if there's some sort of joke about it. I can hear 11k - 15k, 17k - 19k and maybe just a little bit on 20k. 16k I might possibly hear the faintest whine, but that may just be my speakers humming. Is there really a 16,000 mhz? I've always noticed that my hearing loss isn't terribly consistent. It's like I miss syllables sometimes. Could it be that I'm really missing just *one* range???

Posted by: caroline at June 5, 2006 6:13 PM

This 29 y.o. heard both; #2 was worse than #1.

Posted by: Aelram at June 5, 2006 6:13 PM

I'm 30 and I can hear both. My husband is 31 and can't hear either.

Posted by: Bekki at June 5, 2006 6:14 PM

At low volume I only heard the sound in #2. My first thought was, "This must be what it's like to have tinnitus."
I figured I couldn't hear the other one because I'm 37. Then I listened again with the volume up. I heard it that time, it's nauseating. I couldn't stop it fast enough.
If I had to guess how they created sound #1, I would say that someone taught a bat to sing the Titanic song.
I also think that Steve can hear them fine and he just wants everyone else to suffer too. Like when someone says, "Does this smell bad to you?"
Judging by the number of older people who can still hear these vile tones, playing them can't possibly be better for business than loitering teenagers.

Posted by: mumchup at June 5, 2006 6:15 PM

i'm 27, female, i had the volume cranked up on the lap top in front of me and i didn't hear anything. However, my husband (also 27), who was sitting about 10 feet away, heard them both and it drove him nuts. i kept playing over and over to see if i could hear anything... oops...
p.s. your web site is awesome... good times!

Posted by: aurestgump at June 5, 2006 6:18 PM

I'm 23, and both are ear-piercing and really annoying, with #2 being slightly worse.

Posted by: Megs at June 5, 2006 6:19 PM

im 15

#1. i could definately hear this one but its much more choppy. someone might wanna check on that kid who was laughing until you hear the loud clang, he may have been beaten with a baseball bat or something

#2. its more constant but it feels like its inside my head and gonna explode

if i was somplace and i heard that id leave immediately...unless it was a crispy creme, then im not leaving until i get my doughnuts

as far as using for a ringtone...im in if my teachers dont hear it

Posted by: sammm at June 5, 2006 6:20 PM

The first one was especially horrible to listen to; it had this weird ringing to it that made my ears feel like they were about to bleed or something. The second one was also rather annoying but since it wasn't a constant sound it wasn't too awful. Seriously, that first one could be used as a torture device. I'm 21.

Posted by: Amanda at June 5, 2006 6:25 PM

They were both terrible. I am listening on my laptop which has the worst possible speakers ever. Number two pierced my brain and my ears still hurt. I could not imagine hearing that through good speakers. I am 29. Both would keep me out of a store. My husbands cell phone charger makes a noise similar to #2 when it is plugged into the wall with no phone charging. It drives me crazy and he can't hear it at all.

Posted by: Melissa at June 5, 2006 6:25 PM

I'm 21. I could hear street noise in the first one, nothing more, I could hear the high pitch pretty clearly in the second one. Didn't have to jam the sound up or anything.

I can hear ALL the tones that Ochen gave.

Posted by: teiso at June 5, 2006 6:41 PM

I listened to te first one again, and I could hear it but very very faintly.

None of htem hurt my ears, but they were annoying.

Posted by: teiso at June 5, 2006 6:45 PM

My brother and I (10/14) can hear both, and are extremely annoyed. My parents (49/48) couldn't hear either. Amazing

Posted by: Gorilla at June 5, 2006 6:45 PM

On #1 there is a super annoying high-pitched throbbing noise above the street noise. On #2 it is a constant high-pitched noise. Both would keep my away from pretty much anywhere, since just the few seconds of them made my head hurt. Oh, and I'm 24 and my volume is on 2.5 (it goes to 10).

Posted by: Karen at June 5, 2006 6:48 PM

Hmm, I listened to Ochen's link and agreed with Caroline's comment. I can hear them all fine except one...for her it was 16000 for me 15000. I've been tested because I find my hearing to be so dreadful, but the hearing doctor guy said mine was perfect. Now, I have to wonder, as Caroline did, if its just one small range of sounds that are beyond me. I'm fascinated!

Posted by: jerajenn at June 5, 2006 6:50 PM

I could hear only street noise in the first and... I could feel the second. It made my ears hurt like they sometimes do right before they pop on an airplane. I'm a 30 year old female. This is interesting.

Posted by: mj at June 5, 2006 6:53 PM

33 Male.
I couldn't hear the first sound, but the second one was extremely annoying.

On Ochen K's tones, I could clearly hear all tones with the exception of 17000 hz which was a faint buzzing.

Posted by: Horace Plotkin at June 5, 2006 6:53 PM

the first one made me want to crawl out of my skin.
the second was a perpetual whine that made me almost crawl out of my skin. my ears hurt. i'm 15.

Posted by: Miggy at June 5, 2006 6:55 PM

I am a 43 year old musician with very critical ears, and I can hear all of the above; and can hear all of the samples posted by Ochen K.

The ambient street noise has a pulsating high frequency whine... that probably *would* be annoying if I listened to it long enough.

And I thought all that AC/DC ruined my hearing... :-) Make it loud! MAKE IT LOUD!


Posted by: Phil Gabler at June 5, 2006 6:56 PM

first one - throbbing high pitch noise.

second one - constant annoyance. enough to keep me out of anything. wow.

by the way, i'm 17

Posted by: Wade at June 5, 2006 7:08 PM

I'm 23. I am in the family room with three family members (my other two sisters are at work), my sister, age 21, my mom, 48, and my dad, 49 (who has a hearing difficulty - due to step thoat as a boy he has hearing loss - he cannot hear the range most women's voices fall into - many of his friends wish they had that excuse!). I made them mute "Honey, You're Killing the Kids", so I could play the clips.

#1 everyone agrees that it sounds like street noise, my sister said it sounds like people giggling in the background with a high pitched "cricket" noise on top of it

They thought I was done and unmuted the tv.
I played clip #2 anyway:
My sister grabbed her ears and groaned, at the same time my mom said "turn that off it hurts", my dad continued watching television, I didn't hear anything until I turned the volume way up - which caused my mom and sister to get headaches. My dad asked "Do you hear a faint buzzing noise?" My mom glared at him.

Come to your own conclusions.

Posted by: midnightpeapod at June 5, 2006 7:14 PM

The first one was a high pitched screech, not painful but def unbearable after a few seconds

The second one was so unbearably screechingly painful that I had to shut it off immediately!

I would stay FAR away from any store with either of these noises!!!!!

I'm 21 years old :)

Posted by: Claire at June 5, 2006 7:21 PM

What the....?? The comment board is OPEN? YE FREAKIN' GHODS! I don't believe it! I thought it would never happen again!

BTW, I can hear sound #2 (please note I didn't say #2, I qualified it, so there would be a minimum of vulgarity), and my cat (my feline, that is!) did too. She didn't really appreciate it. And, it made my right ear hurt. But not my left ear. Hmmm, strange. Almost as strange as the COMMENT BOARD BEING OPEN! I didn't hear sound #1, nor did Ms. Frizz. But maybe she just ignored that one, kinda like I thought Steve was ignoring the fact that he has COMMENT BOARDS!

Yeah, I know. I'll try to get a life.

Posted by: LL Locke at June 5, 2006 7:25 PM

Well. I'm 18 and neither bother me. I can slightly hear a high pitched sound in the second but it's not going to cause me to leave the place where it's eminating from. The first seems like normal street sounds to me.

Posted by: C at June 5, 2006 7:26 PM

I'll be 40 in a couple of months (aagh!). Didn't hear anything except ambient street noise and girls giggling in #1. But #2 at a high volume just about popped my eardrums! Ouch -- make it stop! I can't wait to try this experiment with my 7 and 5 year olds tomorrow.

Posted by: Kirsten at June 5, 2006 7:28 PM

Oh, sorry. The shock of the BOARDS BEING OPEN! 44. Female.

Posted by: LL Locke at June 5, 2006 7:29 PM

I can definitely hear the sound on both of the clips. Like others have said, the first one pulsates, and it's extremely annoying. The second one is just a high pitched whine. Still annoying though. I'm seventeen years old.

Posted by: Andrew at June 5, 2006 7:31 PM

i'm 22 year old female and the inital BBC soundwaves...I would have to say the first one was pretty bad. But was the pure tones that Okchen(sp? sorry if i misspelled it) converted...Oh dear Jesus....I definitely would not go in that store. From around the 18-22 range of sound...sounds like the tv is on but there's no image on the screen.

Posted by: Jadia at June 5, 2006 7:31 PM

i'm 21 and the first one really hurt my ears, it was a pulsating high pitched whine, but the second one made my ears feel like they were going to fall out. Both of those would keep me out of a store, or away from anything. My parents could use it to keep me from coming home on break from school.

Posted by: michaela at June 5, 2006 7:33 PM


I was fumbling for the pause button on that one. I definitely dont want into a store with that noise.

BTW I'm 23 so I guess they were right

Posted by: Rachel at June 5, 2006 7:34 PM

I'm 16. The first is ambient street noise, plus an irritating slightly pulsing high pitched whistle. It could get annoying after awhile.

The second one was godawful, and I couldn't find the stop button! It would keep me away from anything

Posted by: Amanda at June 5, 2006 7:40 PM

I'm 27.

#1 I can def hear the high pitch noise. In fact, I felt it in the back of my throat and in my eyes before I heard it. It kept making me feel like I needed to clear my throat. Weird.. That sound would keep me out of a store, but with the girl giggling and the street noise, I could probably drowned it out if I was shopping for something important.

#2 I heard. It was a annoying but if there was music playing, again, I wouldn't be bothered. Not nearly as bad as the first one.

My ears hurt now. Thanks Steve!

Posted by: Jessica at June 5, 2006 7:40 PM

I am a 42 year old male and with the sound turned up ithought my eardrums were melting. #1 and #2 were as awful as each other

the wife is 39 and left the room clutching her forehead in pain

the 5 year old persian cat that rules here slept through the lot

Posted by: Brian at June 5, 2006 7:45 PM

Holy cats, I'm a grand old 35 and just about jumped out of my chair when I listened to those sound files. I have headphones on nearly every day (I work in an open office and try desperately to drown out the general noise of extremely loud, rude people) and always thought my hearing was on the poor side. >_< The second one especially made me feel like someone was shoving an icepick in through either side...

Posted by: Katrina at June 5, 2006 7:45 PM

I'm 15 and both of them would keep me a LONG way out of a store. I didn't even turn the volume up very loud, but for #1 I heard a really annoying whining over the street noise, and #2 was just a piercing screech. I could hear 18,000 HZ on the hearing checker, but not about that.

Posted by: Gina at June 5, 2006 7:50 PM

I'm a 20 year old male, and I heard the annoying sounds in both files. The first one has an only mildly irrating "pulsing" I can hear over the ambient noise.

The second on though, wow. I was wincing just seconds into it; I can't imagine being around that for any amount of time. I hope the businesses that use these don't employ any teens; it would be like torture. It sounds kind of like the TV/CRT monitor sound I can always hear when one of those is on, except times 100.

Posted by: nate at June 5, 2006 7:53 PM

im 21, number 1 was not the best sound i have heard, but it certainly wouldn't stop me going into a shop and urinating on the cash register.

Number 2 played loud enough would. im off to buy some ear plugs now

Posted by: steve thomas at June 5, 2006 7:54 PM

ugh, my ears hurts. number two was definitely the worst, and I think I've actually heard it before

Posted by: erin at June 5, 2006 7:58 PM

i'm 21, both of these were annoyingly high pitched.

Posted by: sarah at June 5, 2006 8:01 PM

Hey, I'm 21. The first one I could definitely hear the pulsing, high pitched noise in the background. I agree with several other people that it kind of sounded like a TV being left on. Ugh, I can actually almost still here it as I'm typing this and the mp3 is off. That's kind of weird.

The second one made me throw my headphones off almost immediately. The only way I'd go near something with that noise is with a block of C4.

Posted by: Dustin at June 5, 2006 8:02 PM

WOW. hahaha.
(my age happens to be six days short of 16.)

the first one was a little annoying, but the second one just about made my ears explode.

kinda made 'em throb, in a weird way. i dunno, it's kind of weird to describe. but yeah, i wouldn't be hanging around any place they play that nasty little sound.

Posted by: Angela at June 5, 2006 8:05 PM

I'm 34, and I can hear both just fine. The first wouldn't keep me out of a store but I wouldn't loiter either. The second is pretty annoying - I'd want to get in and check out quickly.

As a teenager, I listened for the 15.75 KHz horizontal retrace noise from TV screens in order to locate arcade games in unfamiliar stores. Still can. :)

Posted by: Slay at June 5, 2006 8:11 PM

The first one kind of pulsed, and was slightly annoying, but nowhere near as bad as the second one, which was wayy worse even when I turned it down. It would definitely keep me out of a store. (by the by, I'm 14.)
But, having that as a ringtone would be pretty spiffy if the teachers couldn't hear it =]

Posted by: Laura at June 5, 2006 8:24 PM

Are teenagers unable to use the vibrate function on their cellphones like grown folks?

Posted by: Balki Bartokomous at June 5, 2006 8:26 PM

Heard nothing at all on the first one, but the second was awful, and physically painful. I'm a 28-year-old male.

Posted by: F at June 5, 2006 8:32 PM

I'm 64, not deaf yet but certainly not perfect hearing.

#1: nothing special.
#2: while I didn't "hear" anything, I felt something. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up, kind of like when someone scratches old-fashioned blackboards with their fingernails.

I played #2 a number of times without my 16-yo's knowledge of what was going on and she didn't mention a thing. It should have been loud enough for her to hear. Of course she had iPod earbuds stuck in her ears 90% of the time...

Posted by: Yukon Jack at June 5, 2006 8:39 PM

Im 25

in the first one i could hear the pulsing sound in the background, and I agree it was like having the TV on.
The second one, ouchie, the second one was high pitched torture.

Posted by: Mel at June 5, 2006 8:41 PM

I'm 16, and I could very clearly hear both of the noises.

The first one was awful. It was a very high pitch that warbled about between itself and a slightly lower version of itself.

The second one was just the high part of the warble in #1.

They were both pretty bad, and would encourage me to get to a different area to do whatever it was I was doing.

Posted by: Brian at June 5, 2006 8:49 PM

I'm 17, and both were pretty horrible to me. I'm writing this about an hour after I heard it and it's still ringing in my ears.

It sounded like horrible microphone feedback and nails on a chalkboard had sex and gave birth to the excruciating Sound of Satan that I am now hearing. Thanks Steve!

Posted by: Alison at June 5, 2006 8:53 PM

I only have ONE question, on this whole thing..........."WHO THE HELL CARES"? There are roughly, (give or take 31,567), different noises and noise "levels" that can be pitched to certain people, with certain hearing capabilities so these two sounds, and their levels AND their apparent applications, do not mean/prove, very damn much!
If stores are so damn sorry assed, as to use these on teens they don't want in their stores, then why not save a ton on "installtion of sound equipment money" and just taz, each little puke that enters over the threshhold of your store? Like..................
"Hi! Welcome to Bbby's House Of Over Priced Cheap Shit! Hey! Wait a sec! You look like you're under 21! ZAPPPPPPPP!
I mean, DAMN! Don't we have something, BETTER to DO than to worry about this crap? How about, instead of THIS, we get down to REAL WORRIES, like............... "how do elephants get rid of their ear wax?"

Posted by: El' weirdo at June 5, 2006 8:58 PM

41 years old:

1. Hmm... yes... ambient street noise with pulsing, annoying high pitch.

And let's try the next one...

2. AARRRRNNNGHHH!!!! MAKE IT STOP!!! HIGH... PITCH... SQUEAL.... PULSING... BRAIN... TURNING... TO... TAPIOCA.... NNNGRMPHH.... [SFX: body slumping forward/head hitting period key].......................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Posted by: crabbydad at June 5, 2006 8:59 PM

The first one sounded like street noise. The second one sounded like a television humming, but just barely audible. My son(who is eleven) could hear the second one in another room in the house clear as day.

rob from toronto.

Steve, can you please get those fucking kids of my lawn please?

I'm a young 43

Posted by: gromit at June 5, 2006 9:06 PM

The first one just sounded like some rumble overlaid with ambient streetnoise. Nothing special.

The second one just sounded like a really high pitched electronic whistle. Probably around 15000 hz or something (not an expert) but the only thing it would evoke from me would be a complaint - not a panicked run away from something.

And for the record, I'm 28 and have pretty much perfect hearing.

Posted by: isecore at June 5, 2006 9:08 PM

I'm 24 and I can hear a mildly annoying pulsating whistle in the first one. It's definitely not constant and not completely horrible, but it is slightly obnoxious. The second one is unbareable to me. The second it came on it caused me to shudder and tense up. It actually started giving me a headache after only about ten seconds.

Posted by: Amy at June 5, 2006 9:10 PM

I just died a little inside, and thats on laptop speakers.

Posted by: Joy at June 5, 2006 9:19 PM

I'm only 17 and both noises were very painful. They were high pitched and started to give me a headache.

Posted by: D at June 5, 2006 9:19 PM

forgot to list my age, 19

Posted by: joy at June 5, 2006 9:21 PM

I'm a Sound Engineer (I run a soundboard) in the theatre at the University I attend. While I was being taught the ropes, particularly how to ring out a room so there was no feedback, we used a frequency generator. I actually remember this frequency because right around this spot my boss told me he couldn't hear anymore but I should still be able to.

One of the forefathers in using frequencies as a tool to alter people's moods was actually Hitler. Before he would go on to give a speech, he would play a low frequency that is barely audible to the human ear. This particular frequency makes people very agetated and upset. Right before he would go on, they would stop playing it so everyone would get excited and feel good again. So, I spose British hooligans can ultimately thank Hitler for this...

Interestingly enough, there is also a frequency called the "brown note" which causes people to lose control of their bowels... I havn't quite figured out that one yet.

Posted by: AARON! at June 5, 2006 9:24 PM

The "brown note" was explored on Mythbusters, where they were sadly unsuccessful in getting Adam to make a mess in his pants.

Posted by: Steve at June 5, 2006 9:32 PM

Heard the first one - not too annoying. Second one, sounds like a tv. Turned up the volume on the second one and it hurt. Played back the first one and couldn't hear the ringing in it anymore! Now my hearing is damaged... thanks alot, Sneeze!

-25yo male

Posted by: clin at June 5, 2006 9:40 PM

I am 21 and I heard both quite clearly.
#1: buzzing like a fly living in your ear that you horribly want to maim so he can bother you no more.
#2: MY DEAR SWEET GOODNESS. Like two nails driven into the back of my neck with a hammer. And then wiggled around. Even now, after reading all the comments, it feels like there are still nails in my ears that some horrible person keeps wiggling to see if I am awake and can still feel pain.
If a store played that near me, I would be more prone to violence towards that store owner. To get even.

Posted by: jess at June 5, 2006 9:48 PM

I'm 20,

I could just hear the first one, and really clearly heard the second.

Over at ochenk I could hear up to 18000, though just barely.

I listened to a report on NPR about this, where they played the tone on the radio. I was driving at the time, and I thought it may have been a bad idea to put that on the air. Then I remembered that only old people are supposed to listen to NPR.

Posted by: alex at June 5, 2006 9:52 PM

I heard both clearly. there is still a bit of ringing in my ears from the high-pitched squeal. It sounded like #1 was recorded from a distance, while #2 was recorded right next to the source of the sound. I just turned 25 a week ago.

Posted by: Shannon at June 5, 2006 9:53 PM

#1 was a bit annoying, but nothing terribly bad. #2 hurt my ears and I had to turn it off...it was awful actually and I would leave a store with that sound. I am listening on my laptop, which has crap for speakers, and I am 24...:)

Posted by: Brittney at June 5, 2006 10:02 PM

1 - just heard the fine ambient sounds
2 - my cat and i both cried out in pain

i am 30. bella the cat is 6.

Posted by: sharon at June 5, 2006 10:08 PM

Ahhh that's horible! I can hear both of them. The first time I listened to #1 I got a headache but I couldn't tell why really. I listened again and I could hear the high pitched noise and ahhhh! If you cna't hear the second one ypu have probs...

Posted by: Chris at June 5, 2006 10:42 PM

I'm 14 and that friggin hurts

Posted by: LDTG at June 5, 2006 11:12 PM

Ow! The first one is faint streetnoise, with a very clear, high pitched pulse.

The second is the same, and begins to pulsate a few seconds into the track. I would definately stay away from a store if this was playing, at least at high volume.

Age: 17

Posted by: Samantha at June 5, 2006 11:16 PM

On the first one, I could hear the pulsating sound clearly. Annoying.

On the second one, I could /definately/ hear the sound. Very, very annoying and painful to my ears!

I'm 22.

Posted by: AR at June 5, 2006 11:17 PM

25 yo male
Been to hundreds of heavy metal concerts (front and center)

I can hear, very clearly the tone in the first clip

Number two ( < 30 seconds) would drive me to homicidal acts in order to stop.

Posted by: Hydro at June 5, 2006 11:27 PM

i'm 20, and the first one sounds high pitched and pulsing, and is pretty annoying. the second one is really high pitched and sounds atrocious.

Posted by: leo at June 5, 2006 11:41 PM

Sorry if I'm being redundant, since there's so many comments already here.

19, female, have had tinnitus since I was young and am partially deaf in one ear.

The first one, all I heard was street noise. Nothing else.

But the second one caused physical pain in my good ear. Something deep in the ear, like an infection. And the noise wasn't even that loud on my laptop, only about halfway and mixed in with some noise with the television (before I turned it down).

Posted by: Bella at June 6, 2006 12:08 AM

My boyfriend (23) and I (22) could hear both #1 and #2, with #2 being the most painful thing ever!

With Ochen's scale we could both hear up to 19,000 Hz, but nothing after that.

Our cats weren't impressed either...now to try on my boss and the rest of our family...

Posted by: gisele at June 6, 2006 12:30 AM

I listened to them both, and couldn't hear anything in #1. #2 I could hear the kind of whine when you turn on a TV and you get that kind of head ache feeling.

So I tried the thresshold things. I can barely hear 16k, BARELY. I can tell when 17k starts and stops but I don't actually hear anything.

I am 17 years old, but as I said, I have bad hearing :p

And now I've got a headache. /rude.

(I shared this with a chick on MSN, she can hear the throbbing in sample #1 and says she can hear 18k. She also has a headache now).

Posted by: TSED at June 6, 2006 1:16 AM

I'm 21

#1: I hear a faint pulsating high pitched buzz
#2: a very annoying ring that I'm sure would drive me crazy after a few minutes in a store

Posted by: Brett at June 6, 2006 1:22 AM

btw, my frequency threshold is somewhere between 17000 and 18000 Hz :]

Posted by: Brett at June 6, 2006 1:44 AM

this is amazing! I'm so glad you posted this, Steve. Thank you! As a teenager, I used to plug my ears as I entered Sears in Salisbury, MD because it hurt my ears to walk through the entrance. I always thought it had something to do with their security system, and no one (friends or family) understood. I'm 28 now; I could hear both clips and barely 18,000 on Ochen's page. They are HORRIBLE! Anyone who uses said device is EVIL. Thanks again!

Posted by: miamack at June 6, 2006 1:51 AM

23 y/o female
Don't expect anyone has read this far down.
First was a throb and i now have a subtle feeling of unease, as in- "i will be sleeping with the lights on tonight."
Second i didn't listen to b/c my husband is asleep.

Posted by: Bitchick at June 6, 2006 3:39 AM

Hi, my name is Anders, and I AM a teeneager. As of now I've heard nobody using that ringtone, BUT a similar situation occurs when a T.V. is left on in the classroom. The teacher cannot hear the screeching that it makes, so obliviously punishes us all with the persistant bleating of the T.V. When T.V. is actually outputting something the the noise is usually drowned out, but damn teachers and their horrible hearing

p.s. i heard both of them loud and clear

Posted by: Anders at June 6, 2006 4:16 AM

im 28 i can hear a slight thin noise on the first one, and the second one is loud enough to irritate me. on the link given to ochen's site i can hear up to 19000 but thats only cos of concentrating but anything above 21k is completely lost

Posted by: srk at June 6, 2006 4:23 AM

I couldn't hear number one, but number two was realy annoying. I'm sixteen.

Posted by: Maggie at June 6, 2006 4:24 AM

Hi, i'm 18.

#1 definetly annoyed the hell out of me. through the street noise there's a high, sort of beating noise that feels like something poking into my skull.

#2 had sort of the same sound, only this was constant, and more like it was trying to delete pieces of my brain. All in all I would say i didn't enjoy either of them much.

Greetins Ben (from The Netherlands)

Posted by: Ben at June 6, 2006 4:50 AM

Okay, kids, let an old guy in. I'm 59 and heard nothing more than street noise in first one. This doesn't surprise my wife who says I never hear anything she says. On the other hand, at a family reunion of more than 300 people, I can hear a grandchild who calls me above the other people and music, especially if they are hurt or upset.

Posted by: Hondo at June 6, 2006 5:03 AM

I'm 22 and could hear both number one and number two. One i could only just hear but was annoying, two however, made me seriously consider jamming my pencil in my ear. I could hear up to 17,000 (on the other site) on my laptops speakers. I also tried playing it in the office without telling anyone to see if anyone noticed, no one did all the way down to 15,000.

Posted by: Jon 22 at June 6, 2006 5:09 AM

I'm 29 and can hear the tone in the first sample.. it's noticeable but not very annoying.. maybe after hours of being forced to listen to it. I could hear the second clearly and was definitely annoying. Movies have been using teen selective images and story lines for years now. They love many flicks that older folk just can't see.

Posted by: Jeff Alward at June 6, 2006 5:10 AM

I am 24, about to turn 25. I have average hearing for the most part and I have to agree with the others about the second sound. It was so annoying a painful that I felt myself instantly jerk away from the screen.

The first noise just sounding like street noise with laughing.

Posted by: Jessica at June 6, 2006 5:31 AM

ARGH! My tv makes high pitched noises like that, so I can cope with it, but it's still very not-good.
On that other site, I could hear up to 21,000.
Oh yeah, and I'm 21.

Posted by: Sarah at June 6, 2006 5:44 AM

#1 not bad
#2 loud and annoying

I hear up to 21k.
and im 30.5

Posted by: talonX at June 6, 2006 5:55 AM

it sounds like a tv thats on but at a highter pitch im 20
Joe Nutz

Posted by: Joe Nutz at June 6, 2006 6:08 AM

Im 17 #1 just sounded like a street or something and #2 is quite painful, I can only compare it to like a needle of sound being jammed into my head.

Posted by: CervixAlot at June 6, 2006 6:27 AM

Oh God, that second one nearly killed me.

Posted by: De at June 6, 2006 6:39 AM

I could hear them both. I'm 18. Is it silly that I feel like I have some special power now?

Probably yes, as several "adults" could hear it too.

Posted by: Steph at June 6, 2006 6:50 AM

I'm 34 and I didn't notice much of anything on number one, but I know the sound and I have encoundered it before. It used be a kind of feeling more than a sound that filled my ears used to drive me nuts. It doesn't bother me anymore.

Number 2 on the other hand just made my ears bleed. UHGh.

Posted by: evilqueen at June 6, 2006 6:51 AM

here at the office, everyone but me is over 25. all but one heard that awfully annoying sound #2. it would definitely drive me out of a store in a hurry.

Posted by: jenni at June 6, 2006 6:55 AM

I'm 19 and a classical musician, so I like to think that I have pretty good hearing. Oh my god. That first selection was bad enough--it actually hurt to listen to. If any shopkeeper played that, I would stay freakin' miles away. The SECOND one, though---ouch ouch ouch. The noise is so high that it kind of feels like there's a needle in your brain. Going through your eye. I would never set my cell phone to that ring--I'd feel like I was dying every time it rang!

Posted by: Becca at June 6, 2006 6:58 AM

im 17, the first one was kind of faint but still annoying, wouldnt keep me out of a store. the second one was pretty harsh, espically at high volumes. my cat even looked wierd while it was playing.

Posted by: Jared at June 6, 2006 7:04 AM

I am 31, and I could hear the most annoying high pitched squeeling in both of the clips. In the first clip, it was more intermittent and not as intrusive, the second clip I could not listen to for more than a couple of seconds, it hurt my hears so badly.

Posted by: Dawn at June 6, 2006 7:15 AM

Oops, I meant "ears"

Posted by: Dawn at June 6, 2006 7:16 AM

I'm 18 (and 11 months and 1 week, if you want to get specific).

#1 - street noise with a pulsing high-pitched noise
#2 - a steady high-pitched noise.
On Ochen's site, 21000Hz was the upper limit of my hearing.

I've given myself a headache now, great.

Posted by: Vicki at June 6, 2006 7:17 AM

I'm 14 and the first thing I hear normal street noises and a weird buzzy kind've thing. Second one I hear a high pitched EEEEEEEEEE its rather annoying. This is so strange I'd like to add.

Posted by: Margaret at June 6, 2006 7:22 AM

19, both of them contained nasty noises.. they'd have to be really loud to piss me off enough to keep me out a store though..

Posted by: james at June 6, 2006 7:33 AM

I turned this on while my 9 year old was watching a movie and he didn't react to number one but when I played number two he turned around, with his hands on his ears, and screached at me to turn it off..He said it sounded "like Hell".......I'm 31 and the first one was just annoying and the second made my head hurt, but I don't think in the same way it affected my son.

Posted by: Kerri at June 6, 2006 7:47 AM

I'm 34...

#1 didn't really sound that bad... low humming, traffic & giggling noises...

#2 is probably the sound that drives serial killers... ouch! I have tinnitus, and I still hear that tone 5 minutes later... make it stop!

Posted by: Bob at June 6, 2006 8:00 AM

Yeah..... I'm 22 and I was able to listen to all of #1 with a little discomfert, but #2 almost made me cry. I'm going to get my mom to listen to it and get back with ya!

Posted by: Butterfly at June 6, 2006 8:01 AM

I'm 15 years old and for the 1st sound I barely heard anything. I agree with you when you said it sounded like ambient street noise.

I found the 2nd one highly annoying. I couldn't listen to it for that long before I had to stop the sound file.

Posted by: Jehan at June 6, 2006 8:06 AM

Soooooo, should we require old dudes to put these sounds on their myspace pages to keep little kids away?

Posted by: Joel at June 6, 2006 8:11 AM

I am 19- just listened to the sound clips. The first one was annoying, and the more I listened to it, the more annoying it became. The second one was definitely more annoying- even my 16 year old sister sitting across the room asked, "Do you hear that ringing?" It was definitely enough to get me to leave in a matter of seconds.

Posted by: S at June 6, 2006 8:16 AM

The second one drove me nuts...It's a really high pitch ouch...I stopped it and can still hear it..made my hair stand up and would definetly keep me out of a store and I am 32

Posted by: cat at June 6, 2006 8:30 AM

I agree with the reader who compared the noise in #1 with the ultra-high-pitched whistle of a TV set. I've always been happy that even now, at 35, I can still hear the TV set noise and yes, I do hear the whistle in #1, although I don't know if it would drive me away from a store.
As for #2, oh my god that's friggin annoying! Definitely audible and definitely maddening.

Posted by: Noel at June 6, 2006 8:32 AM

16 year old female. The first one I had to turn my volume up just the slightest bit, to 1/3 full volume maybe, to hear it it, but the second I could hear even with my volume turned almost off, WAY below where it's normally set for music and things.

And while they both were annoying, unless they were at much higher volumes, I don't think they'd be painful, or drive me away.

Posted by: Ailish at June 6, 2006 8:43 AM

Number one is tolerable at first, definately steet noise, after the fisrt few secons it starts to get to me, I can feel the high pitched tone in my head.

Number two is bad from beginning to end, I definately could not shop there.

I am 32

Posted by: Mark at June 6, 2006 8:44 AM

the 1st one sounded like a pulsing, 3- chirp sound over some white noise. the other one sounded like a constant, louder version of the annoying chirp in the first one but was way more likely to keep me out of a store.
i'm 30 but i know i have bat-like hearing. i can stand outside someone's house and tell you if their tv is on because i can hear the high pitch it makes. for those who don't know what i'm talking about, you've just probably never heard it.

Posted by: jaime at June 6, 2006 8:50 AM

I'm a 26 yo female. The first one was irritating, and reminded me of the error sound on one of my computer programs. Annoying, but bearable.

The second one? Holy crap, that made me want to stick a hot poker in my ear. It felt the same as when someone runs their nails down a chalkboard. I actually got goosebumps. I could conceivably jump off a bridge to escape that one.

Posted by: trinamick at June 6, 2006 8:57 AM

I am 34 and sound #2 would drive me insane. It's the same kind of sound I hear when I walk into an electronics store and it hurts to listen to for very long.

My husband can't hear those electronic sounds and he teases me about having "dog hearing."

Posted by: Virginia at June 6, 2006 9:03 AM

Ok, listened again knowing what I am supposed to be hearing. Can hear the cricket sound on the first one, but only with my ear on nearly on top of the speaker. BTW, have my laptop outside and it drove the birds in the trees nuts.

Posted by: Amy at June 6, 2006 9:04 AM

I wouldn't shop there. I'm 19 and it's a super annoying high pitched dog whistle. My dog freaked out when I played it. I wouldn't even want that noise on my phone.

Posted by: Kos at June 6, 2006 9:09 AM

I'm 26, and while I couldn't pick out anything wrong with the first clip, it made me uncomfortable somehow. Placebo, maybe?

The second one caused me physical pain. Seriously. It was worse than that time they put Aerosmith and N'Sync together at the Superbowl.

Posted by: Pip at June 6, 2006 9:18 AM

UGH. I'm 28 - 29 at the end of this month, and I can clearly hear the sound in both. It would definitely drive me out of a store after about 10 minutes.

When tvs, radios or overhead lights make noses like that, it drives me batty.

Granted, I'm also a violinist and a capella vocalist, so I've been trained to be especially sensitive to sound from a young age. I visited Ochen K's page and can hear the slightest, faintest whistle at 19000Hz.

Posted by: Amanda at June 6, 2006 9:40 AM

I'm 31 and i could hear both. My dog is now deaf. Thanks a lot.

Posted by: matt at June 6, 2006 9:49 AM

I'm 14 and I can hear. It is so annoying when people put that as their ringtone. It's the most irritating sound in the world

Posted by: bry at June 6, 2006 9:55 AM

Holy shit, that made my head hurt. It made me wish that I couldn't hear anymore.

Posted by: Brad at June 6, 2006 10:06 AM

I'm 29 (30 in a few weeks). I played the 2 clips on Media Player, which has visual patterns/graphics that respond to sounds being played.
On the 1st one, I could see the design pulsating with some rhythm, but could not hear the pulses. All I heard was street noise and laughter. On the 2nd one, the high-pitched screeching was so painful that I pulled back and cringed, temporarily unable to even reach out and click the "stop" button. No way I'd go near a store emitting that noise. But now I know not to make fun of movie characters who freeze in mid-action and hold their ears when some villain plays a high-pitch noise. Haha, stupid wimps. Oh wait, I can't do that anymore.

Posted by: cindy at June 6, 2006 10:07 AM

25 Year old male.

Heard a buzz like fromt he TV from the first one, heard it, but not unpleasent.

Second one was just awful.

Posted by: Peter at June 6, 2006 10:11 AM

I'm 38 and could faintly hear the pulsing, buzzing tone in #1, but #2 was so annoying, I couldn't listen to it for more than a few seconds! I definitely would not enter a store that had that sound playing over the loudspeakers!

Posted by: Dave at June 6, 2006 10:17 AM

Those were absolutely horrific to listen to. The first one was worse, because of the frequency variation. I'm 16 and that would definitely keep me out of a store. My mom is 48 and she can't hear either tone. Listening to sample #1, she said it was "nice," I suppose referring to the ambient city noise. Ugh. On Ochen K's site, I cap at 19000 hertz for actual detection, but if I move my mouth at 20 or 21 thou, it feels as though there is electricity running through it. VERY funky. And my dog won't shut up (9 year old pug).

Posted by: Andy S. at June 6, 2006 10:19 AM

OK, so I'm 29 and female (gender could be a contributing factor) and I heard it pretty clearly on both with my really crappy computer speakers. Can't say it would keep me from shopping if I wanted to badly enough but it is a little annoying. Besides, after a while it would probably fade away like background music.

Posted by: Spamlamb at June 6, 2006 10:22 AM

I can hear the rythmic whine in #1 and the steady whine in #2. I'll turn 30 in October, and both are fairly obvious to me.
I'd be staying out of ANY store that played that kind of annoying sound.

Posted by: todd at June 6, 2006 10:26 AM

#1 - Slight high pitch whine behind the ambient noise - Kind of like when you have water and you get a high ringing

#2 - Very painful screetch at normal volume, if I turn it down a little it is still irritating.

I'm 34...maybe my ears are still young.

Posted by: Jenn at June 6, 2006 10:30 AM

I'm 24, an found #1 high pitched and annoying but not unbearable, #2 was rediculously annoying

Posted by: Kenya at June 6, 2006 10:31 AM

I am 22 and can hear both of them just fine. Neither of them would keep me from going in a store, but it isn't like I want to grab a cup of coffee, sit around, and enjoy the lovely music.

Posted by: Kaylan at June 6, 2006 10:57 AM

I am 32 and did not hear anything annoying in either one. In fact didn't hear anything in #2. Only heard the pulsing, giggling, and two bangs in #1.

Posted by: Stephen at June 6, 2006 11:07 AM

well I am 11 and the first one sounded like a few people laughing in the backround and a humming sortof noise but the second one was evil! It is just a very very high bleep. I lisened to it a few times and it just wanted to make my ears bleed... I cannot take that sound!

Posted by: Sam at June 6, 2006 11:14 AM

I'm 31. Could hear the sound in both clips, first one sounds like when a train approaches and you can just start to hear the high pitch noise in the tracks, second is REALLY annoying. Both would could me out of a store, ears are still ringing.

Posted by: Christian at June 6, 2006 11:18 AM

I'm 37...all I could hear was pleasant ambient noise with faint giggling underneath in #1...without the giggling I could probably use it for white noise to fall asleep by. #2 I couldn't hear anything. My 25-year-old coworker screamed and plugged her ears complaining that they gave her a terrible headache and it was the worst high-pitched screech she'd ever heard. When the experiment was over she joyously exclaimed, "Yay! I'm still young!!!" Bitch.

Posted by: Jim at June 6, 2006 11:22 AM

I'm 23, and I can hear the Mosquito loud and clear. If this sound were cranked up on some store's speakers, I wouldn't stay away, but I would ask the store keepers, "What the hell is that noise?"

Posted by: Chris B at June 6, 2006 11:23 AM

17, and, after hearing both of those, I'm rolling about on the floor clutching my poor, delicate, damaged ears.

Why won't it stop. WHY?

Posted by: Heather at June 6, 2006 11:31 AM

I'm 18 and could hear both noises without turning up the volume. I couldn't listen to either clip all the way through and now I have a headache. Can't imagine what it would be like to try and shop in a store with that playing. Thank goodness I've never encountered a store with a "teenager repellent" because I'd be hopelessly torn between shopping there just to spite them and making sure they never got a dime of my money, ever, no matter HOW old and deaf I got. There aren't words for how much the "all teens are delinquents" stereotype pisses me off.

Interesting post, though.

Posted by: Claire at June 6, 2006 11:36 AM

I hear both. I had a feeling when I was reading the blog that this was the sound you were talking about. I liken it to the sound you hear when someone has turned on electronic equipment, like TV static, in another room. It's less of a noise and more like a change in pressure in my surroundings and heightened sensitivity in my ear cavities. Generally it causes my ears to perk like a cat or dog's. Definitely irritating. BTW, I'm 27.

Posted by: Maurover at June 6, 2006 11:42 AM

both are really painful to hear for me and im 16
my head hurts

Posted by: Blue Cadet at June 6, 2006 11:50 AM

I'm seventeen and STEVE
Aren't you embarassed that so many sixteen and seventeen year olds are reading your web blog?
I can hear all of the noises
and they're all annoying.
thats all.

Posted by: Jacob at June 6, 2006 11:51 AM

I can hear both, the 1st one is intolorable, i had to stop it half way through. It's a pulsating sound that sounds like a laser or something, or like Maurover said about the Tv still on. The 2nd one is slightly more tolorable yet it still makes my ears and head hurt. Those mosquito repellers are terrible, i can hear those too...

Posted by: Teenager at June 6, 2006 11:52 AM

I can hear both, the 1st one is intolorable, i had to stop it half way through. It's a pulsating sound that sounds like a laser or something, or like Maurover said about the Tv still on. The 2nd one is slightly more tolorable yet it still makes my ears and head hurt. Those mosquito repellers are terrible, i can hear those too...

Posted by: Teenager at June 6, 2006 11:53 AM

I'm 32 and thought I had hearing damage from lots of punk rock concerts, but I heard extremely high-pitched sounds on both tracks and both of them would've driven me out range had I heard them in a store or elsewhere. The second one was actually painful to my ears!

Posted by: Meg at June 6, 2006 12:04 PM

Incidentally, I think both tones would work great as secret ringtones (assuming your phone could play their frequencies). If I heard that noise in a classroom, the last thing I'd think is "Hey, someone's phone is ringing."

Posted by: Meg at June 6, 2006 12:10 PM

I'm 28, and both sounds annoyed me. #1 was the least annoying, maybe because of the other noise in the background. But #2 was REALLY AWFUL - it made me want to out my fingers in my ears to block it out.

Posted by: Sarah at June 6, 2006 12:15 PM

I'm almost 28, and very sensitive to auditory overload (construction in my office has made me physically sick). I didn't hear anything beyond street noise in #1, but I was very uncomfortable. #2 I still didn't hear anything, but I reflexively winced and covered one ear. (I don't know why not both.)

So although I couldn't really hear them, they still registered somehow. The same thing happens with a TV on mute or a black screen--I know the TV's on, but I can't tell how I know.

Posted by: Laura at June 6, 2006 12:25 PM

I'm 20. I heard the first one, and it was slightly annoying. The second one was intolerable, and I didn't even have it turned up very loud.

And I'm the same way as Laura^ above. I can hear that the TV is on even if it's just a black screen. It's a similar noise to this one.

Posted by: Eric at June 6, 2006 12:41 PM

I'm 21 and listened to both sounds with headphones.
Sound #1 one made me itch inside, like I needed to scream, but dammit if I couldn't hear anything but street noise. Listening again, I realized there is this pulse that, after sitting here for a few minutes, I still can't describe. The best I can do is: [in a higher pitch than you can imagine] WEEE oooo WEEE oooo WEEE ooo....
Sound #2:clearly annoying. It made my teeth hurt.

Posted by: Lauren at June 6, 2006 12:45 PM

first one - beach and the such
second one - nothing, not a sound

age: 42

Posted by: sugar at June 6, 2006 12:58 PM

Ok, I am 28 and I was pretty sure that my hearing was completley shot from years of overly-loud punk rock, playing with explosives and firing large-caliber weapons with no hearing protection. However, both of those tracks made me want to poke my eardrums out with a rusty nail. The first one was not too bad, kind of a reverberating high-pitch whine with street noise in the background, and the second one sent me to the floor in tears while all of the cockroaches and rats in San Francisco scurried away over my writhing body. Thanks, that totally sucked ass.

Posted by: Owen at June 6, 2006 1:02 PM

I'm 14 and have god-awful hearing.
In the first, I heard a mild ringing sound that went up and down a little in loudness.
For the second, I heard a ringing sound loud and clear.

Posted by: Skyler Westebbe at June 6, 2006 1:09 PM

I, at 26, could hear both sounds very well. My sister who's twenty 24, was yelling at me from another room about them, so I told her what it was and asked her to play them for me while I was in another room... both sounds were definately more audiable and more annoying from far away! I don't remember ever hearing such sounds in a store, but my sister says she definately has.

Posted by: Sly at June 6, 2006 1:11 PM

the first one was annoying, but tolerable, the second one was horrible, i had to stop it halfway through...(im 15 years old)

one time in one of my classes the loudspeaker started making this horrible high pitched sound, and the class was going insane-everyone was holding their ears, and the teacher couldn't hear the noise....so yeaaah.

Posted by: evilchild at June 6, 2006 1:40 PM

I'm 28 (no I'm not, I'm 29; how soon we forget), and I remember from the sound guy at my high school checking the speakers before concerts that I can hear pretty outrageous frequencies.

The first one sounded like an un-oiled hinge moving back-and-forth, but wasn't too bad. Annoying, but not madening.

The second one... I thought my eardrums would burst. IT'S HORRIBLE! I can feel the back of my neck tense with each burst. Ack. Make it stop.

Guess my hearing's still pretty good.

Posted by: Andrew at June 6, 2006 1:41 PM

i can hear it but my mom can't

the sound makes me want to rip my ears off!

Posted by: Wil at June 6, 2006 1:45 PM

I posted yesterday that I (19) could hear up to 20,000kHz.

I just tested my dad who is 60 and he could hear up to 17,000!

Posted by: Elizabeth at June 6, 2006 1:51 PM

Well, I just turned 27 last month, so the cutoff couldn't be 25, because both sounds made me wanna peel my face off! Pretty cool stuff though, I wonder if it really does keep teenagers out of the stores, I can see getting really annoyed, really quick of that shit, so maybe so.

Posted by: Joshua Dunlap at June 6, 2006 1:51 PM

yeah, i'm 14, and that noise is PAINFUL. its high and kind of pulsating, and sorta feels like its eating away at your brain if you leave it on long enough. definately enough to keep me out of a store, though i cant say i approve of this method...

Posted by: tati at June 6, 2006 2:20 PM

I'm a 37-year-old high school teacher. I can't hear either tone, but my students sure can. I played #2 in class today. All of them heard it: "What is that? That's painful! Turn it off!" Several complained that their ears were still ringing 20 minutes later.

They were amazed that I couldn't hear it. I didn't mention the ringtones because I didn't want to give them any ideas...

Posted by: Math Teacher at June 6, 2006 2:57 PM

I'm 1 week shy of 31 - I couldn't hear anything annoying in the first one but the second one made me want to rip my headphones off. It sounded really similar to the noise that eminates from TVs or monitors left on with no input.

Posted by: Matt at June 6, 2006 3:09 PM

I'm 26 and I heard both, the first was pulsing and really annoying, the second was higher pitched and hurt my ears. I know that I'm sensitive to electronic noises like the sound of a television being on sometimes, so I'm not surprised I hear it still though I'm no teenager.

I went to Ochen's site, which had examples posted from 10000 Hz to 22000 Hz, and listened to more, and heard up to 21000 Hz, but it stopped being annoying at 19000 Hz.

Posted by: Leda at June 6, 2006 3:16 PM

I've always been able to hear frequencies that first one, although I would say it's less like hearing and more like feeling at that point. It's like the sound a TV makes when muted.

The second was just stronger (which is simply because it's easier to hear) and would be annoying after an hour or so.

Thanks to Ochen and soundforge, I now know i can hear just below 18,000 Hz at the ripe ol' age of 25.

Posted by: Abby at June 6, 2006 3:44 PM

Ugh. 17, and they are both HORRIBLE, though the second is worse. But it pisses me off to think that some stores are actually using something like that. It's evil.

Posted by: Alexi at June 6, 2006 3:56 PM

I'm 20 and in the first one I hear a very high pitched pulsing noise along with the street noise, nothing too irritating, but definitely there.

The second one is terrible, it's super high pitched and gave me an instant headache.

Posted by: Lindsey at June 6, 2006 4:03 PM

*howls in pain* i'm 23, damn thing's SO annoying, my roomate, 30, said it wouldn't bother him, and i'm sure he'd drag me to a store that's playing that just to torture me, so i didn't tell him a damned thing about my own experience :P

Posted by: EGO at June 6, 2006 4:22 PM

Ha! So I can hear up to 16,000 and my four year old can hear up to 19,000.

Hilarious. I'd play a higher one and I can't hear a thing and I ask my little boy if he can and he says, "Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech!!"


Posted by: Rick at June 6, 2006 4:23 PM

I'm fourteen years old, and the first one is rather annoying, but I wouldn't leave a store if I heard it. However, the second one made me contemplate suicide. After listening to it once, I think I have developed a tinnitus. Thanks.

Posted by: Aloisa at June 6, 2006 4:29 PM

Just turned 24 a couple weeks ago. The first sound would drive me nuts if I were subjected to it for extended periods of time.

The second sound I turned off within a second or so because of it's evilness.

According to the test sounds, my hearing cuts off after 17,000

Posted by: kim at June 6, 2006 4:33 PM

I'm 16
#1- annoying, but wouldn't keep me outta some place I want to be
#2- Jesus T*tty-F*ckin CHRIST!!!! some one just took a sickle, pierced both my ear drums, and proceeded to hit me over the head with a sledgehammer several minutes after it was over. got dizzy, fell off my chair, curled up into fetal position and used my knees to cushion my ears(no kidding) It's a good thing I changed my players usual "repeat forever" cycle today or I think I would have gone deaf. enough to keep me from fondling a hot chick that wanted me (believe me, that is BAD!)

Posted by: Pea-Brain at June 6, 2006 4:41 PM

I'm 29, my husband 33 with diminished hearing in one ear. We both have sensitive hearing for this type of thing; the 15 KHz tone at the end of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album (placed there "especially to annoy your dog" at John's request) literally makes us snap our heads back whenever it comes on, even when we know it's coming; my 55-year-old parents hear nothing.

Tone #1: nothing. Sounded like the ambient noise others have been reporting.

Tone #2: godawful. Drove the dog off the couch within milliseconds as I was fumbling for Winamp's stop button. I would steer clear of any shop, train car, or any other confined space if this noise were playing.

I haven't tried Ochen's MP3s yet, but I'm looking forward to it now! I haven't had a hearing test since grade school. :D

Posted by: Hirayuki at June 6, 2006 4:42 PM

I am 33 and I could hear BOTH of the sounds. I guess my hearing must still be pretty good. Either sound would keep me out of a store! That was horrible- like chewing on tim foil.

Posted by: Melissa at June 6, 2006 5:01 PM

I just tried something. I brought my dog and let her listen to it. Paid no attention to #1. #2 made her look quizically like "where is that coming from?" but no pain or annoyance

Posted by: Pea-brain at June 6, 2006 5:01 PM

I'm only 14, though I can't really make out anything in the first one, save the street noise.

The second clip? Just... ow! There are no other words.

This does finally explain why when things start screeching in the house that I'm the only one who hears anything, (And it drives me practically insane.) since I called my mom over and she could only hear up to 11000 Hz, and even that just barely...

Posted by: OrangeTabby at June 6, 2006 5:08 PM

I'm 20 yrs old. In the first one, it sounded like a pulsing annoying television-being-turned-on-ish noise. I doubt that it would prevent me from entering the store, but if it persisted, I might leave.

The second one was unbearable. In fact, it is still ringing in my ears, and my speakers weren't even turned up any more than normal. It was so bad that I had to close the window. I tried it one more time, just to see what it was like, and I developed a funny pain in my jaw while listening.

Posted by: Mikey at June 6, 2006 5:10 PM

I am 26. The first one was street noise, faint whine like a TV is on.

The second one felt like my brain was going to throb right out of my ears.

Posted by: FLchick at June 6, 2006 5:15 PM

25/female here...
#1 was a methodic chirping but bearable.

#2 for the love of all things holy, make it stop! I can still hear it a few minutes later too. No reaction from my cats though.

Posted by: Erin at June 6, 2006 5:18 PM

I'm 20 years old. Both sound clips contain an outrageously irritating whine, although the second is much worse. I can't wait for those to be inaudible.

Posted by: Heather at June 6, 2006 5:28 PM

I'm 19. I hear both noises, and they're pretty damn annoying. They might keep me out of a store (though I think this is a stupid idea since stores should WANT to have teenagers. Most teenagers blow their money on everything and anything.)

Posted by: Lynne at June 6, 2006 5:31 PM

i'm 24. heard piercing sounds in #1 and #2. could hear up to 17000 Hz.

Posted by: Jen at June 6, 2006 5:47 PM

I'm 24.
The first one is annoying almost immediately.
The second is physically painful to hear.

I can hear a muted television from two rooms away.

Posted by: Brandon at June 6, 2006 6:04 PM

i played #2 and i couldn't hear it at all, but my son who was in the same room said " OW!!! what is that sound, it hurts"....

Posted by: dan at June 6, 2006 6:06 PM

I am 63. Can't hear either sound. Where is the store? I'd like to shop in it. Oh, England. Thats too bad. If it catches on with shop owners they'll probably try something like that in the USA. My hearing is good for my age though. Enjoyed your 'don't eat it'. It had me laughing out loud. Once we got a can of chocolate covered grasshoppers for my husband as a joke for his birthday. No, it went over big, but we definitely did not eat it.

Posted by: Barb at June 6, 2006 6:10 PM

I'm 23 and can hear it on both just fine. The first one does pulsate, and the second one is much louder and more constant.

If that were going on at a decent volume someplace, I'd probably want to move along.

Posted by: The Other Steve at June 6, 2006 6:51 PM

i'm 16 and i hear both very distinctly...the second one actually really hurts to listen to. that's really interesting.

Posted by: betty at June 6, 2006 7:20 PM

I'm 23. As soon As I played the second tone, I didn't hear something so much as felt this strange, annoying tingling in my ears -

What is REALLY interesting is that my boyfriend across the room (not knowing anything about my visiting The Sneeze and testing these ringtones) promply said "Ugh! What is that noise?!?" I started laughing and he said "Seriously - what is that?! The worst sound ever!!!"

Posted by: Angela at June 6, 2006 7:26 PM

The first one is mildy reminiscent of pushing a slightly squeaky-sounding shopping cart, but nothing too horrible.

The second would keep me away from anything. I actually do have a headache about now, after hearing that. Ooooch.

For the record, and for observational purposes, I'm 18.

Posted by: Kerri at June 6, 2006 7:29 PM

I'm 30. first clip sounded like I was on the street and the second was an incredibly annoying high pitched whining sound.

Posted by: Neil at June 6, 2006 7:30 PM

I only got halfway through the comments before giving up. I have no idea how our sneezy Steve reads them all. Anyway ... I only add this because I think its different:

My sound card died. I haven't bothered to replace it because I've had no use for it 'til now. So I havn't heard the clips. However - I stay the h* out of shopping malls because of a number of reasons including the strong discomfort I feel when inside. There is an annoying high-pithched whine which I always assumed came from the fleet of fluorescent lights (their ballasts, actually.) Once I'm in one of the two places I shop in a mall (bookstore or Radio Shak) it doesn't bother me as much. Perhaps when I'm in the hall I'm hearing what other stores are doing. If so, it's a dumb way to prevent theft since it keeps paying 40-some year olds (like myself) far away.

I also think I'd avoid any store that uses that just on principal - most teens are not shoplifters. Stores broadcasting HF noise are both coercive and discriminatory.

- BillCat with some ears

Posted by: BillCat at June 6, 2006 7:47 PM

i'm 26, #1 is annoying ... #2 is painful

Posted by: msnyder at June 6, 2006 8:09 PM

I'm 22 and on the first one I could hear the sound a little bit, nothing but a little bit of irritation, but the second one was positively evil. I felt like my eardrums would shatter.

Posted by: Jen at June 6, 2006 8:09 PM

30 yr old female here.
The first one had ambient "crowd" noise, but I can hear a very very high pitched noise in the background that throbs/goes in and out. It's definitely in the upper register, I can barely hear it, but the longer I listen, the more irritating it got.

The second mp3 was awful. A high pitched, continuous squeal. I think I just blew out my eardrums, dammit.

Posted by: Lor at June 6, 2006 8:10 PM

I'm 33. I could hear the first one as a pulsing high pitched whine that would probably give me a headache after a couple of minutes.

The second one is hideous. I couldn't finish listening to the whole clip. Owwwwww.

My husband, who is 40 and has been in bands his whole life, couldn't hear the pulse in #1 and couldn't hear anything in #2 until I cranked the sound way up into his headphones, and even then he said it wasn't bothersome. He's depressed now because it made him realize that he's lost a lot of his high-end hearing range (being in the same room as a drummer will do that to you, he says).

Posted by: Katy at June 6, 2006 8:16 PM

I've recently turned 27.

I listened to the sounds with my computer volume at about half (less than when I listen to music.)

#1: throbbing, pulsing noise...slightly annoying but livable.

#2: high pitched drill into your ear drum....unbearable for even the length of the clip.

By the way, when are we going to get another Steve, Don't Eat That?!

Posted by: michelle at June 6, 2006 8:25 PM

The first one, couldn't really hear anything other than street noise.

The second - both my husband and I could hear that piercing tone. Ugh. He's 29, and I'm 33.

I'm gonna go remove my eardrums with a spoon now, thanks.

Posted by: Wrexie at June 6, 2006 8:38 PM

I'm 17, and I definitely heard both pitches, and they both were annoying as HELL to me. The first one was an extremely high pitched tone, with a rhythm similar to a heartbeat. It resonated in my ears...very loud, very clear, very much making want to punch myself in the face. The second one was worse than the first. A constant tone, it was even more resonant in my head. This would definitely keep me out of a store. I don't think I could stand 30 seconds of it.

Posted by: Chris at June 6, 2006 8:58 PM

Hell must be an eternity of that sound. On second thought, that may even be too much for the devil himself. Now excuse me while I stop the bleeding from my ears.

Posted by: Xavier at June 6, 2006 9:04 PM

I'm 19

#1 I could hear the street noises etc. But I could also hear a faint whistle or something every once in awhile.
#2 hurt because my sound was cranked a lil..but still bearable at a loew volume

Posted by: Megan at June 6, 2006 9:04 PM

The first one is street noise. It only got annoying to me when the sharp clang sounded.

The second link was different. I didn't hear a thing. I really didn't think there was anything there. I called for my son to join me. Before he got to the room, he was saying how something was happening to him! When he came into the room, he had his ears blocked. It was so funny!! He is 10; I am 44!

Posted by: UnbornTurd at June 6, 2006 9:10 PM

Ok I played #1 and it made my face hurt... The first time I played it, my brother didn't know what it was, and he thought it was a street noise static with glitched ringing in the background. When I asked him to pay attention, he really noticed it and we were both like "AGH". Had I listened to it for longer than 10 seconds or so, it would have given me a headache.

Sound #2 was un-freaking-do-able. I couldn't listen to it at all. It hurt my ears and gave me a headache almost instantly. I'm 18 and my brother's 21, for info >.o

Posted by: CrystalWater at June 6, 2006 9:12 PM

"I'm 18, and in the first one I can definitely hear a terrible, annoying noise that would keep me out of a store. It's faint, but has a special quality to it that is really awful.

The second one is really, really awful. It almost hurts, no joke."

I completely agree with that. The first one was really annoying, and after a couple seconds, I had to turn it off. The second actually made me jump back in my chair and scramble to turn it off. That was terrible. I'm 19, btw. I've always had good hearing... I can hear a whine on like 75% of TVs. Drives me nuts.

Posted by: Carl at June 6, 2006 9:55 PM

OEE-20 years old

#1: Heard a Fairl high pitch squeel at even low volume levels and started giving me a minor, almost insignificant headache.
#2: An extremely High pitched Squeak that bothered me, and also made me have a signifiacantly noticable headache. I would not enter a store blaring this on it's speakers.

Posted by: oee at June 6, 2006 10:27 PM

Me again, My girlfreind(19) could hear the buzzing in the other room, and keep in mind I'm keeping the volume down low as to not wake up anyone else in the house. It was annoying the piss out of her. She was trying to read and made it impossible for her to concentrate.

Posted by: oee at June 6, 2006 10:34 PM

I'm 28 years old, and that buzzing sucks! Both are equally horrible - the first one for pulsating, and the second one for being a slap in the face kind of buzz. I think that would keep me from going into a store at all...

Posted by: Andrea at June 6, 2006 11:04 PM

Im 15 and I heard a really high pitched noise that hurt my teeth. that would efinately keep me out of a shop, or my own house for that matter. My ears are still ringing.

Posted by: Rachel at June 6, 2006 11:21 PM

I definately heard a very high pitch ring in both samples. I'm 18. I clicked on the link and My sound limit is between 19 and 20khz.
The first sound was annoying but wouldnt keep me away from a store. The second (and this may sound strange but it's true) made my jawbone hurt, and WOULD keep me away from whatever was making it.

Posted by: poptya at June 6, 2006 11:41 PM

I'm a 32 year old female.

In #1 I hear just the street noise, but if I turn it up I hear something like crickets chirping at a really high pitch. Not too bothersome.

#2 penetrates my skull in a nasty way. It is like the tinnitus ringing I hear inside my head all the time, only much more piercing, even at a low to average volume on my laptop. I think I'm going to have trouble sleeping tonight.

Oh yeah, and my dog got up and left the room! He gave me a really pissed-off look, as if I'd just yelled at him! Sorry about that little fella! :o(

Posted by: Annie at June 6, 2006 11:42 PM

If anyone was actually curious, my cell phone (SE S710a) can succesfully play a 17000khz mp3. I now use it as my ringtone, so I can turn it up loud, but no one I work with will be able to hear it.

I'm 19, and my cutoff is between 19 and 20 thousand khz.

Posted by: Jesse at June 6, 2006 11:46 PM

I'm 22, and female.

First one, I hear a vaguely annoying mosquito-ish noise. Annoying, but nothing horrid. I could go into a store playing this, but I probably wouldn't stay long.

Second one is absolutely unbearable. Oh, god, that's awful. My head aches now.

As for Ochen's test, I can apparently hear up to the 19000 Hz.

Does anyone else wonder about the wisdom of such a device in your store? Although a lot of teenage loiterers would certainly keep away, what about teenagers with legitimate business? What about adults with good hearing? Dumb. Very dumb.

Posted by: Jessie at June 7, 2006 12:09 AM

I'm 23. The first one sounds a bit like artificial crickets--small, high pitched chirps every second or so.

The second is obnoxious--basically one long high-pitched squeal.

I checked Ochen's page and his linked mp3s--I can hear everything up to 17,000 Hz. 18,000 is inaudible to me, but it's also inaudible to my younger brother. Possibly my speakers can't play such a high frequency, or maybe that's legitimately beyond the range of my hearing.

This all reminds me of something that happened to me quite a few years ago at a science museum. They had an exhibit demonstrating the pitches at which various animals communicate. A low pitched hum represented a lion's roar, and there were a couple of other sounds represented by higher frequencies--bird chirps and such. Pressing a button for each animal caused the corresponding sound to play.

But the fourth button was for bats--and it played a high-frequency sound "inaudible to the human ear." The idea was that bats use very high frequency sound to echo-locate, and that sound is beyond the ranges of human hearing.

Or adult human hearing, at any rate. Pressing the button created an annoying, high-pitched squeal, much like example #2.

So I called my mother over, pressed the button, and asked her,"Do you hear this?" Her response was, "Hear what?"

My brother, predictably, heard it fine.

Posted by: Snufkin at June 7, 2006 12:12 AM

...and for the sake of accuracy, "23" is a typo. I'm 24.

Posted by: Snufkin at June 7, 2006 12:18 AM

I am 18.

I can hear the buzz in #1, along with the street noise in the background.

#2 would drive me up the wall if I heard that in a store. They would have no problem keeping me out. Out of the store, off the planet. . whatever.

On the other site, I can hear up to 19000.

Posted by: Erin at June 7, 2006 12:37 AM

I'm 21 and the first one, while very obvious to me, wasn't annoying. The SECOND however was incredibly painful I had my sound set fairly low and had an earpiece in and I yelled out in pain and ripped it out of my ear, only to realize that I could STILL hear it. Second one would DEFINITELY keep me out of a store.

Posted by: Nick at June 7, 2006 1:20 AM

Update: Holy shit guys... I'm still feeling the effects of number 2. I keep getting these sudden flare ups of sharp pain in my ears... not even the ear I had the earpiece in! I officially hate whoever came up with that sound.

Posted by: Nick at June 7, 2006 1:31 AM

22. both made me want to stab a tire iron into the cones of the speakers. doesn't matter what i write no one's gonna read it anyways, fuck, shit, fuck fuck shit.

Posted by: gerg at June 7, 2006 1:48 AM

I'm 23...

The first one isn't really all that annoying. It just sounds like a television when you mute it, albeit a little wavey.

The second made me tear my headphones off so fast I thought I broke them. Actually, my ears still hurt 2 minutes later.

This is really quite amusing. I remember driving places with my family when I was younger and my brother and I would ask about strange sounds the car would make that neither of my parents could hear. They thought we were crazy.

Posted by: Beth at June 7, 2006 2:06 AM

I'm 19, male and both those tones annoyed me. If someone placed those speakers outside of where I hung out, I'd break them. Simple as that. If they caught me and threw me out, well, by putting those speakers outside of any place they just lost my business anyway.

Posted by: Big Wang GLick at June 7, 2006 2:50 AM

I'm 29. Good crap on a stick that is freaking annoying as hell. #1 drove me insane in the first half second. #2 would get annoying after a while.

Both would keep me and my money out of such a store though

Posted by: Mark at June 7, 2006 3:23 AM

Sorry, reverse that. #2 was the one that drove me to madness.

Posted by: Mark at June 7, 2006 3:27 AM

I am 25 and I could hear both very well. The first one was pulsating and a bit high but not too annoying, the kind of sound that I would cause me to as the person next to me "Do you hear that?" The second sound was a bastard! Like someone scratching a needle on a wine glass or something.

My father had a hearing test a while ago and he said his doctor told him that high pitched sounds such as the ones you posted, are the first sounds lost by older men. Older women tend to lose lower pitched sounds first. I wonder if there is any truth to that?

Posted by: Whitney at June 7, 2006 4:38 AM

Hi, Steve!
I'm 55 years old.
To answer, this survey of yours..............
I can go #1 pretty well, but somedays I go more than I'd like to, and that's really annoying! Always, having to stop playing Bocco to go #1, really a pisser.
As for going #2, that's another, whole story! Can't have the time, when I want to, then when I DO WANT TO GO #2, damn if I'm not all stoved up!
Don't know, WHY, you wanted to know all of this, from your readers, but was sure glad I could help you out with it!
Keep up, the good work, we NEED to get these type topics out into the open more often, for the sake of the Nation's health cocerns!

Posted by: ADVNEWAYA at June 7, 2006 4:45 AM

My Limit is 17,000. Age 15.

Posted by: Dominic White at June 7, 2006 4:56 AM

i'm 25 and i could hear the sounds in both clips. super annoying. i could also hear the frequencies up through 17,000Hz. my boyfriend could only hear the sound in the second clip (same age). his hearing topped out at like 15000Hz and he can't hear when the TV is on with no input. i told him listening to his ipod ridiculously loudly was bad...

Posted by: susana at June 7, 2006 5:47 AM

I'm 12

1. Didn't bother me at all.
2. 2 was vey annoying!!! :(

Posted by: Bijou at June 7, 2006 5:56 AM

I'm 19 and could hear both of them fine.

The first one made my ears hurt a little. It was almost as if the sound was inflicting a pressure on my ears. They felt like they were going to pop from hearing it.

The second one didn't bother me at all. I hear that really high pitched noise from time to time, and I'm used to it. If someone turns on a TV, I hear it, even if the volume is all the way down and I'm in another room. I guess the sound is produced from the electricity?

Posted by: Samantha at June 7, 2006 6:53 AM

Why would kids use it in class so the teahcer doesn't hear? Can't they just put it on vibrate?

Posted by: Melissa at June 7, 2006 6:57 AM

Age 26
Hard of hearing in right ear

I was able to hear all of sounds until 16,000 Hz. I had a sort throbing in my left ear at 17,000 Hz. After that I heard or felt nothing else.

Posted by: Eb at June 7, 2006 6:57 AM

I'm 40 and could hear number 1. Didnt have any effect on me...just sounded like a recording of a park or playground. Number 2, I could not hear at all...even at full volume.

Posted by: rocksnob1956 at June 7, 2006 7:04 AM

I could hear them both, and my ears are still complaining a few minutes after the fact. I'm 22, on the verge of 23, so I hope this means my hearing is still honky-dory... There's a history of age-onset deafness in my family.

Posted by: Joel at June 7, 2006 7:34 AM

I am 39. I could only hear the ambient street noise on #1, and nothing on #2.

Strange, though, that I could hear every tone on Ochen's page up to and including 22,000 Hz.

I'm an enigma!

Posted by: Johnnylaw at June 7, 2006 7:40 AM

34 year old, with lifelong chronic tinnitus and mild to moderate hearing losses in the upper frequencies.

Aside from the ambient street noises in #1, I couldn't hear a thing. Judging by the comments, I should loop #2 over my computer speakers when I want people to stay out of my office.

Posted by: Stacey at June 7, 2006 7:58 AM


The whistle was easily noticeable in all of them. the last one was the most pronounced for me

Posted by: travis at June 7, 2006 8:01 AM

I am a 19 year old male, and these are my results:

In the first link, all I could hear was the ambient street noises as well. However, in the second one, it was an extremely high-pitched noise that would definitely keep me out of a store. =/

It was quite hilarious, though... because as I played the second one, both my dogs rolled onto their backs, as if asking to have their bellies rubbed. =P

Posted by: Jamie at June 7, 2006 8:39 AM

They both sound horrid to me, although the second is worse by far. I think it's because it seems louder and more piercing.

I'm 35, and theoretically a decade too old to hear this stuff.

Posted by: The ShanMonster at June 7, 2006 8:58 AM

I'm 25 ... will be 26 in two months. On the first clip, I could just barely hear the squealing over the street noise (or maybe it was just the power of suggestion?). But that second clip - YIKES. It was loud and clear and GRATING. It would definitely be an effective deterrent!

Posted by: Rita at June 7, 2006 8:59 AM

50 year old female - heard street noise on #1 but nothing on #2 .... age sucks.

Posted by: ali at June 7, 2006 9:11 AM

#1 weird chipiyness... kinda annoying

#2 oww...

im 31 and a girly

Posted by: ophelia3431 at June 7, 2006 9:17 AM

Wow - nothing but street noise with #1, but #2 made my head throb with the high screech, and made me a bit dizzy. I am 28. Interestingly, I had 2 toddlers in the room, and they didn't seem to notice anything.

Posted by: thrilhaus at June 7, 2006 9:20 AM

in #1 I could hear the sound, it was kind of annoying, but not enough to keep me from going into a store for five minutes to buy a bottle of Coke.

in #2, howver, I had to quit the soundbyte mere seconds after it began, out of fear for my sanity and hearing.

Posted by: Suicide butterfly at June 7, 2006 9:28 AM

Definitely heard both. #1 pulsated and #2 was worse BY FAR! Both terribly annoying.

36 yo female...

Posted by: Liz at June 7, 2006 9:29 AM

I'm 25, about to turn 26- the first one had a slight throbbing, nothing bad. The second, however, made my want to bleed- I had to turn the volume down after a second, and my head hurts now.

Posted by: DemonNurse at June 7, 2006 9:58 AM

i can barely hear that first noise but that second one drives me nuts, i'm turning 18 on the 12th

my mom can't hear either though and shes 40

Posted by: super_he_man at June 7, 2006 10:09 AM

I'm 28. I heard both of them. The 1st one I could hear the highpitched noise and had to listen carefully to hear the background noise. Tolerable. The 2nd one reminded me of power buzzing at a huge power station. Very annoying.

Posted by: Ella at June 7, 2006 10:15 AM

I heard street noise on #1.

I sort felt a change in the quality of silence on the #2, it wasn't entirely pleasant. So high pitched it's not audible in the usual sensory way, but still there. I am 37. My 4 year old son said #2 was like a bee, he said he could really hear it and it was loud. He didn't seem put off by it, but he could hear it better than I could, that's for sure.

Posted by: titankt at June 7, 2006 10:41 AM

I heard the annoying pitch in both 1 and 2. Louder in 2. It sounds like when someone leaves a computer monitor on. I am 33.

Posted by: Randomesq at June 7, 2006 11:09 AM

The first one just sounds like someone walking along the street, but the second made me throw my headphones off. I'm twenty five, and I suppose I'm at the cuttoff age, but it came in painfully clearly.

Posted by: Ruth at June 7, 2006 11:11 AM

19, male.

i hear both. ouch.

Posted by: jonafon at June 7, 2006 11:14 AM

I can hear the pulsating sound in the first one, like alot of others said, it sounds like the noise electronics make when they are turned off.

I also heard the annoying sound in the second one.

I am 23 years old, and the real kicker is I am 50% deaf in my left ear. I can still hear both sounds. My right ear must kick lots of butt.

Posted by: Brandee at June 7, 2006 11:21 AM

I'm 23, almost 24 and I can definitely hear both noises-- they're both annoying but the second one is much more so-- I would get a headache from hearing it too long.

Posted by: Kristen at June 7, 2006 11:44 AM

I'm 20.

In the first one I could hear this horrible high pitched pulsing sound that'd keep me as far away from it as possibe. The second one was a continuous high pitched squeel that made me want to crawl out of my skin and die in a sewage vent.

Posted by: Modernicide at June 7, 2006 12:28 PM

rick is an old bastard and he definitely knows an opportunity to heckle when he sees it! you can rest assured, he will be taking the oldsmobile out for a drive, this sunday.

destination: river park shopping center

"where the scourge of today's youth become the scurf of yesterday."

Posted by: rick hardcastle at June 7, 2006 12:45 PM

I'm 32 and female. I hear both. The first was annoying and uncomfortable, just shy of painful. The second made me want to throw things at my coworker who was playing them - which I would have if I hadn't been holding my hands over my ears and begging him to turn it off.

Incidently, this is now his new way of letting me know when it's the end of the day and time for me to go home. Great. Thanks, Steve! :)

Posted by: Tracy at June 7, 2006 1:00 PM

Did they change sound 2? I heard it clear as a really annoying bell yesterday, but now I hear nothing. Hmmmmm.

Posted by: Matt at June 7, 2006 1:37 PM

I am 17, and cuold hear them both perfectly

Posted by: Cesar Aurelio at June 7, 2006 1:38 PM

after playing bassoon for 3 years, so my hearing is pretty good.

im 13. if bothered me. like a my brother-left-the-tv-on pitch. ouch.

Posted by: Toq at June 7, 2006 1:40 PM

I'm 14 and both make me want to claw my brain out.

Posted by: Prelich at June 7, 2006 1:50 PM

Age: 16 years

In the first clip, I can hear a cricket-like chirping, but nothing more. In the second, I can hears a constantly buzz sound, but it's really not that annoying.

Posted by: Andrew at June 7, 2006 2:03 PM

I'm 14 years old and I hear and EXTREMELY HIGH pitch in both of them. It would definately make me want to kill somebody before entering a store with that playing. The second one to me is the worst..It is louder and possibly maybe even higher and pulsates a bit...like vibrato on an instrument, just EXTREME HIGH PITCH.

Posted by: wythe at June 7, 2006 2:28 PM

I'm gonna be 21 at the end of the year....I thought the first one was majorly annoying...until I heard #2. #1 made my ears feel like they were moving along with the pulsating of the sound. #1 has a potential of keeping me out of a store, but #2 would definately keep me out.

Posted by: Holly at June 7, 2006 2:29 PM

I'm 30 and I could hear both pretty clearly...the first is a throbbing, high-pitched sound mixed with street noises...not terribly annoying but it would be had I listened to it for very much longer.....

the second? I think it just made me kill my dog.

Posted by: JJ at June 7, 2006 2:41 PM

Pretty much the same as everyone, the first one is someone giggling and dropping sticks or something, perhaps a giddy drummer. The second one is annoying as hell. I'm 37 and have been a guitarist in a metal band for the past 17 years and I can still hear it. I went to that other guy's link and could hear up to 19000 with the exception of 16000 for some reason. The second one of these tones reminds me of the time an old man was in the same store as me and his hearing aid was feeding back really bad, I had to go outside before I murdered him right there in his adult diapers.

Posted by: Big Pappa Rob at June 7, 2006 2:53 PM

I'm 24, and I heard a high pitched noise on both of them. #1 wasn't all that bad; it would take a while before it pissed me off. #2 was horrible and almost drove me insane for the few seconds I listened to it.

Posted by: Dubya at June 7, 2006 3:13 PM

I must be a freak (an old freak, at that) I'm almost 40 and am bothered by both of them, as well as all the files on Ochenk's site. The second on The Sneeze is definitely worse, but even the first was like an annoying mosquito-sized drill in my brain. But then again, I could always hear high pitches from TVs, etc. and swear that I can tell if a TV is on in a house even from outside.

And BONUS - I gave both of my kids (8 and 10) headaches right through the walls!

Posted by: Di at June 7, 2006 3:33 PM

I am 27.

The first noise isn't really that bad, after a while I might get annoyed.

The second noise maked me want to punch who ever came up with this idea!

My dog hates both!

Posted by: Alicia at June 7, 2006 4:00 PM

My dog is 5.

Posted by: Alicia at June 7, 2006 4:01 PM

I am 13, and my brother is 15. We both aggree on these facts.

Concerning #1,
We could both hear it, and
We would both stay out of a store/area where this sound occured.

Concerning #2
We both would refuse to go into a store playing this sound.
We both hated the sound, and
We both shouted for it to be turned off.

Funny story! When I was in 6th grade my reading teacher would use the TV during class. After an amount of time everyone would start groaning that the TV was making that sound . Our teacher couldn't hear it ( I think she was over fifty.)

Posted by: Chance at June 7, 2006 4:12 PM

I am 19 with less than average hearing and number 1 made my teeth hurt. It was like the sound was in my head. Chirp Chirp. Chirp Chirp

Posted by: choob at June 7, 2006 4:26 PM

I am 23. The first one was just a faint wistle. The second one sent my fingers directly into my ears. Fast. My speakers weren't even up all the way.

Posted by: NSupertramp at June 7, 2006 4:33 PM

The first one didn't bother me but the second actually caused a little bit of pain. That one, for any extended amount of time, would surely drive me insane.

Posted by: patricia at June 7, 2006 5:04 PM

I'm 28 and I could hear the high-pitched buzz in the first and second clips even on my crappy laptop speakers. The first one was more subdued; the second was very obvious. I don't have the greatest "normal voice" hearing (I'm always asking, "What did you say?"), but I can always hear things like TVs that are on in a room (like a conference room where there's a TV on, but it's set to play the VCR/DVD which isn't on, so the TV just emits that high-pitched noise). People always think I'm crazy for hearing that noise because they don't hear it, but I bet it's simliar to this.

Posted by: mm at June 7, 2006 5:12 PM

im 19 and after listening to those i feel kind of nauseous cause they were so horrible.

Posted by: leigh at June 7, 2006 5:36 PM

I'm 18, I think I have decent hearing, although not great.

#1: There's definitely a high pitched ring there. I can't necessarily hear it, but I can feel it in my ears. It's a bit hard to explain.

#2: I couldn't even go two second listening to it, it hurts to hear it.

Posted by: Blick at June 7, 2006 5:49 PM

I'm 18 years old and these are my observations:
#1: I heard a sort of squeaking, like when you turn on the TV, above the street noise.
#2: I heard this annoying as hell screech. It seriously irritated my ears, and it WOULD probably keep me out of a place.

Posted by: Tiffany at June 7, 2006 5:58 PM

Gah! That's terrible. I'm 25 but I've always had sensitive hearing, and eep. The first one makes me twitch, it's a horribly irritating noise, and the second one is just piercing. Yeah, I'd avoid that.

I heard it was to stop teenagers from loitering outside stores. So it's not that you can't deal with it as you go in, but so that you don't hang out outside for hours at a time.

Posted by: Epiphany at June 7, 2006 6:23 PM

I'm 15.

#1 - I heard a really high-pitched noise similar to the sound of a TV, as others said above. It was in short, evenly spaced bursts.

#2 - Ow. Loud, high-pitched noise. I had to take my headphones out because it hurt my ear.

Posted by: JH at June 7, 2006 7:38 PM

I posted yesterday about how me and my sister both agreed that the tones were worse from far away. (Especially #2; by the computer, it was bad, but from another room, it was unbearable!) Anyway last night, as I was falling asleep, in my silent-except-for-the-fan room, my ears started ringing something awful with the exact same pitch as #2. It was horrible, I couldn't get it to stop for at least ten minutes. Anyway, I wonder if being subjected to sounds like that can damage a person's hearing.

Posted by: Sly at June 7, 2006 7:55 PM

Oh GOD. BOTH of those hurt my ears so bad! I'm 25, nearly 26. The second one is awful. My husband is 30 and couldn't hear the first one, but the second one sent him running from the room. I've always been able to hear high pitched sounds, like that from the VCR or the tv. I can tell if the older TV in the backroom is on, but I've learned to tune it out. x_o

Posted by: batchix at June 7, 2006 7:57 PM

Holy balls! I think my ears are bleeding. I'm 22 and those came through loud and clear, dispite having my volume turned way down.
Like Batchix, high pitched noises always bother me. I just about go mental when someone leaves a TV on a video sation, regardless of how far I am from it. (and, nothing to do with lazyness, I don't vacuum either. I have to leave the house because of the noise it makes.)
Damn my sensitive ears.
Those would absolutely keep me out of a store.

Posted by: Gwen at June 7, 2006 8:18 PM

I'm 21.

I heard both of them. The second one was louder, but now I have kind of a nagging headache. haha... yea... not too cool. but a fun story, all I had as a kid were those stupid handheld computer diary things that you could have a pet dog on and send messages to other kids with the same toy. only I got the toy like a year after everyone else had it, so I got to send like... two messages ever :(

Posted by: Emily at June 7, 2006 8:30 PM

Female, a few days away from 27, and both sounds were completely repulsive. #1 is the high pitched pulsing, and #2 is a continuous assault of aural pain. I'll take a hundred thousand babies crying over either of those sounds any day.

Posted by: Jenn at June 7, 2006 8:47 PM

Ok, I am 31 and my husband is 33.
The mosquito one, mostly all I could hear was street noise and a mild throbbing hum, but it was faint. It appeared to be louder and more annoying to hubby.

The other one felt like needles in my eardrums, the first time the screech sounded was the worst. There was physical pain in my head from it. My husband thought I was crazy because he couldn't hear a thing.

Posted by: jeg at June 7, 2006 9:01 PM

I'm 18
the first one made me wish i were deaf, the second one was annoying, but it was semi-tolerable.....if i really really wanted to loiter somewhere playing the latter i think i'd just bring my ipod.

Posted by: teresa at June 7, 2006 9:37 PM

Holy snapping assholes, that was annoying. I'm 23. I would definitely leave a store if they were playing that.

*off to nurse bleeding ears*

Posted by: Lisa B. at June 7, 2006 10:45 PM

I originally wasn't going to post, but I saw that you had 666 comments and we couldn't have that now, could we..

Anyway, I could hear both, but the second one was immensely painful.

Posted by: Grace at June 7, 2006 10:55 PM

At the nearly decrepit age of 37 I was annoyed by #1, although I didn't really 'hear' anything - but I felt some odd pulsing.

#2 makes me want to march into the streets and wreck serious havoc.

Both made the resident basset howl, and the boyfriend to yell "what the feck are you doing?!?!"

So I'm saving these to use for future times - thanks.

Posted by: Xtine at June 7, 2006 11:11 PM

I'm 21. I heard girls laughing at the end of the first one but it was very faint, no pulsing.

I didn't hear a damn thing on the second one with the volume up full blast. Guess I have bad hearing.

Posted by: Erin at June 7, 2006 11:25 PM

Wow, both those are horrible. I'm 22 going on 23 and I guess according to the theory I'm still of age to hear it, but for me it's pretty unbearable. Maybe it's also because of many years of musical training, I doubt it though, I guess I'm just sensitive.

The first was def a high throbbing with street noise in the background, pretty annoying. The second one felt like it was ripping through my head and the more I listened to it I started to get a massive headache. That would keep me miles away from any store.

Posted by: kaite at June 8, 2006 2:41 AM