The original clip, shared by user @metzie72, shows a pair of speakers and a simple line of text reading, “Only people under the age of 25 can hear this sound.”
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The video then plays what is said to be a 17,500-Hertz sound — have a listen to it below.
The TikTok elicited mixed reactions from viewers, with many over 25 claiming they could hear the sound, and some well below the magic cut-off age unable to hear a thing.
“But I’m over 25 and can hear it,” one user wrote.
“im 15 and cant hear it.. is this a joke or…??” said another.
Right off the bat, this writer can confirm that 25 is not some sort of fool-proof rule for who can and cannot hear the noise. As a woman in her late 20s, the sound is sharp as day for me. My mom, however, who is [age redacted, but confirmed over 50], cannot hear a thing.
Still, it seems that there is definitely a correlation between one’s age and the power of the 17,500-Hertz sound.
A click on the original TikTok sound reveals a wealth of videos showing parents and their children reacting differently to the noise. In most clips, the younger family member recoils at the high-pitched bleep, while the older relative appears unfazed.
According to Decibel Hearing Services, a clinic located in Thousand Oaks, Calif., one of the most common types of hearing loss, called presbycusis, is known to make hearing high-frequency sounds difficult.
It would make sense that the older you get, the less likely you are to hear as high of a pitch as 17,500 Hertz. In fact, the clinic claims that even 15,000 Hertz is difficult for anyone over the age of 40 to hear.
So, could you hear the noise?
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