WARNING: It hurt my ears… and my dog’s ears, too!
If you want to see if you can hear the Mosquito Ringtone that only 20-somethings are supposed to be able to hear, try it for yourself below.
This one-of-a-kind new ringtone that I’m not supposed to be able to hear (because I’m “over 20”) actually hurt my ears.
I guess that means I heard it alright!
Then again, the mosquito sound only hurt my left ear. (Ha, I’ve always thought that my left side was my more “youthful” side… now it’s been confirmed!)
A condition called presbycusis, or ageing ear, means that by the time most people reach the age of 25, they cannot hear much above a frequency of 13 or 14 kilohertz. Source
First The Facts:
Teenagers everywhere have downloaded the Mosquito Ringtone. They use it to fool their parents and teachers into thinking their smartphone isn’t ringing and/or they aren’t texting their friends.
Since adults lose the ability to hear high-pitched sounds, the teens are using this high-pitched mosquito sound ringtone to their advantage by setting their phones to ring this tone whenever they have an incoming call or text message. It’s a way for their device to ring without adults knowing it.
The Mosquito Ringtone first arrived in classrooms earlier this year when a Scandinavian teenager, inspired by the Mosquito alarm, developed a high-frequency sound into a ringtone. The “Teen Buzz” is said to have spread to the UK and America via the Internet. Source
Q: What was the original Mosquito alarm all about?
A: It was a high-pitched sound machine marketed to help store owners in England to keep teenagers from loitering outside their shops!
Q: Why don’t teens just set their phones to “vibrate”?
A: Because you can actually “hear” a cellphone vibrating these days. Not only do they vibrate, but cell phones also tend to hum at the same time — a dead giveaway to someone trying to talk or text message without being noticed.
Q: How are they getting this ringtone?
A: Known as Teen Buzz it is spread from phone to phone via text message and Bluetooth technology.
I found the following video really cool to test my (over 25-year-old) hearing:
Listen To “Teen Buzz” & Other Ultrasonic Ringtones
Truth be told, because of the lower sound quality that results from MP3 formats, most people will be able to hear the MP3 version of the Mosquito Ringtone.
Before you try this yourself, realize that my (left) ear is still ringing! And it gave me a terrible headache.
Listen to the Mosquito Ringtone in .mp3 format now.
On the other hand, the WAV file is a much higher quality audio file, and a result, it is less likely to be heard by adults:
Listen to the Mosquito Ringtone in .wav format now.
It’s probably no surprise — since dogs can hear much higher pitched sounds than humans can — that both of my dogs reacted to the MP3 and WAV sounds above. The funny part: Only the younger one (7 months old) acted confused and irritated by the sound. The older one (3 years old) raised his ears a little but otherwise remained on the floor, calm and content. (But then again, he is 21– in dog years!)
If you’re over 20, the ringtones in the 17 to 21 kHz range will most likely to be inaudible to your ears.
Oh, by the way, my (left) ear is still ringing from that mosquito sound!
Get your own Mosquito Ringtone.
TIP: Want to put the mosquito ringtone on your cellphone? Try this free mp3 to ringtone converter.
Want to hear the most recent high-frequency tone out there? Listen now — it’s called Beep.