What are the bandwidths of hearing for other animals?

Hearing Read more from
Chapter Sound

How a person hears him or herself is unique to that person. When you speak, you hear yourself through sound waves propagating through your body, in addition to the waves propagating through the air. To make a sound, a person vibrates his vocal chords, which vibrate the tissues around the vocal chords. These tissues include muscle, bone, and cartilage. Waves travel through these media at varying speeds and create slightly different sounds when they are transmitted through the skull to the inner ear. Thus, our voices on a recording sound different to us because we are hearing them without the special characteristics they pick up when transferred directly through the skull.

The lower and upper fringes of this bandwidth can be difficult to hear, but many people—especially younger people—can hear these frequencies quite well. As people age their sensitivity to high frequencies diminishes. Damage to the hair cells caused by exposure to loud sounds also reduces the ear’s sensitivity to high frequencies.

Animal Lowest Frequency Highest Frequency
Human 20 Hz 20,000 Hz
Dog 20 Hz 40,000 Hz
Cat 80 Hz 60,000 Hz
Bat 10 Hz 110,000 Hz
Dolphin 110 Hz 130,000 Hz


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