Test How Old Your Ears Are (And How Much Damage You've Done To Them)

Deep down, we all know we shouldn't crank our music or listen to headphones with the volume really high, but we still do. If you've ever wondered if years of hard rock has done any serious damage, here's an easy way to find out.

Over time what's known as hair cells in your ears are slowly damaged by constant use. And not just by loud music either, from everyday wear and tear too. The hair cells closest to your ear canal are the ones responsible for detecting higher frequencies, and they're usually the first to go. So you can get an approximate idea of how much hearing you've already lost by listening to various high frequencies.

Headphones are definitely recommended here since your laptop's or tablet's speakers probably don't have the highest fidelity. Don't worry, there are no failures on this test, just a heap of guilt for not turning down your music back when your parents told you too.


    Well, the clicking of the sound turning on and off really made it difficult to tell whether I could hear the higher frequency ones or not.

    I'm 26 and I couldn't hear the Under 30 frequency, other than the clicking... was I supposed to hear clicking? Does that mean I'm invincible? I'm invincible. I heard the clicking. YOU CANT TELL ME OTHERWISE!

      When I was 26 I was in a metal band. I can't hear aeroplanes.

        AIRPLANES U (edited to comply with community guidelines)

    I'm 33 and I got to 17,000 Hz before I was struggling, and didn't really hear anything above that.

    Not too shabby...considering I'm a drummer as well, I'm expecting my hearing to possibly go a bit sooner than the average.

    Some speakers are incapable of reaching certain frequencies...

      Quit being smart. Anyway, most speakers in circulation are incapable of reaching the range of human hearing.

        huh? Do you mean the opposite?

          Surprisingly no. The range of human hearing is (at best) between 20-20,000Hz which if you were to check the specs of most speaker systems and head/earphones for sale (within reasonable price range), you'll find they are very rarely capable of producing sounds to the extent of that range.

          At least, last time I checked (not very recently). Perhaps they've gotten better.

            Ah, you meant the 'full range' of the 20-20kHz. Your initial sentence said that most speakers don't work at all because they can't reach any of the human hearing range.

              Oh yeah sorry. In most cases, your average speakers will do just fine. My hearing is pretty average these days anyway.

    Aw dear...

    I'm 24 and couldn't hear 16,000hz (under 30). Tried laptop speakers, desk speakers and headphones.

      Shit me too. Could hear 16,000 hz at all and im 25. Not too surprised though considering my penchant for loud music... :(

        Change the video quality to 1080p.

        I couldn't hear the 16, 000hz at all either and I'm just thirteen!

          I can only hear the frequency range of; 100 Hertz to 15 Kilohertz, and my twelfth birthday was only eleven days ago!

      Make sure you set the video to 1080p. The 360/480p compression appears to have stripped out the 16kHz and higher sounds.

    Interesting, I'm 27 and I couldn't hear the 16,000hz, but I could hear the 17,000hz.

      This points to possible tinnitus? If you put in ear plugs and sit in a quiet room, can you still hear a faint, high-pitched tone like a mostquito or crickets chirping?

    Compression ruined this, just as the video has said.

    Last edited 14/08/13 10:34 am

    well my ears are younger than i am. not by much but that's all that counts!

    Wow, now I'm freaking out I'm going deaf haha! 20 years old, can't hear 16 000hz

    I'm 41 has tinitus but could still hear 16,000hz, for the record my speakers are rated at 25,000hz but my amp only 20,000hz.

    I don't think I have the proper equipment for this. On my speakers, I couldn't hear anything over 15,000 hz, and on a pair of headphones I had laying around I couldn't even hear that. I know my hearing's not great, but I'm a 21 year old who almost never listens to loud music or has earphones in, so I expect I should be able to hear a bit better than 15,000 hz.

    Be sure to watch the video in HD, otherwise the sound compression will cull the higher frequencies (Originally I heard until 15,000hz, but after changing to "HD" I could hear up to 17,000hz)

    I put on my earphones and turned up the volume a bit. Now their is blood coming from my ears.

    I stopped hearing it after 17,000Hz (i.e. I don't think I could hear the 18,000Hz one, but definitely could hear 17,000).

    Did it "hurt" anyone else's ears when listening?

    ("Hurt" isn't the right word, but I couldn't think of any other way to describe it... auditory discomfort maybe?)

    It was definitely uncomfortable to listen to for me.

    Hmm... 26 and could almost sort of hear the 17k, but mostly not. Glad I could at least break the 30 barrier, that would've been bad :P

    I'm 43, could hear the 15k range easily; I think 16k was right on the edge (thought I heard the tone, barely, between the first pair of clicks but not afterwards, so I may have been fooling myself). Anyway, seems I'm ahead of the game at this point.

    But then, I've had a longstanding dislike of loud noise of any sort which has probably helped.

    i could hear up to the under24 or something age group.

    i'm 30

    so i'm happy

    I Hurd all the way upto 17000hz. Doing good for being 30

    I am 13 years of age and I could only hear up to 15'000, which is the under 40 bracket. :s Worrying!

    Poo... I am just 15 and can't hear 16,000 hz. Maybe it's in my genes. Is that possible that bad hearing can be handed down to children?

    I'm 16 and couldn't hear the 16 000 hz.... Uh oh

    Guys it depends on the device you're using. i used my laptop at first and i cant hear 16000 and was deeply frustrated coz im only 25 but when i used my sony xperia phone to listen on youtube and i was able to hear 16000hz. try your phones too, it might work.

    I am 24 but I couldn't hear past 15000 hz, that means my ears' age is 40 years old! Will I go deaf before I turn that age? I think this has to do with the severe damage a doctor did to my ears when I went to them to unblock it after a scuba trip. I'm pretty scared right now..

    I can hear a range of 150 hertz to 25 kilohertz

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