The Annoying Sound Stores Use To Drive Youngins Away

Here’s an example of that annoying noise that’s supposedly being used to drive teenagers away from stores and other places where they tend to gather and formulate their plans for world domination. It has also been used in commercials. Supposedly, only people under 25 can hear the noise. For the record, our staff can hear it and we think it sounds like that ringing in your ears that happens when people are “talking about you.” Annoying. [Teenager Audio Test via BuzzFeed] (Photo: Karl O’Brien)

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  1. Belabras ate my dingo! says:

    Is there really a noise? I can’t hear it.

  2. Brain.wav says:

    I’m glad no one around here uses that. It’s the same sound a TV makes if something (throwback transformer?) gets out of alignment. I used to have a hell of a time walking through the TV section at any store.

    • mmmsoap says:

      @Brain.wav: and close to the sound the TV makes when it’s the tube is left on, without a picture.

      And the sound of a florescent bulb that’s going bad :(

      • David Brodbeck says:

        @mmmsoap: That’s the horizontal oscillator you’re hearing. For analog TVs it runs at 15.75 kHz when there’s a picture displayed, and usually rises a bit when there’s no picture or the set has lost sync. Being able to hear it used to come in handy when I was working at a TV station; if I was hooking something up I could hear when I had sync even if I couldn’t see the screen.

      • ajlei says:

        @mmmsoap: ugh, I totally know what everyone means with that ringing noise TVs make. I stopped watching TV for like, four years because of that noise. My LCD doesn’t do it (obviously) but I stayed at my parents house this past week and when I turned on the guest bedroom TV, “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” was all I could hear. Ugh.

        • god_forbids says:

          @ajlei: OMG I thought I was one of those people who claim to hear UFO noises or something! I can hear that damn whining noise whenever anyone in any of the surrounding apartments is watching TV and it drives me nuts! I have a plasma TV and still have to put up with it from my neighbors :(

    • ScottRose says:

      @Brain.wav:

      Ugh, ditto on the TV. When I was a kid I always knew that my parents were still up when I got home too late because I could hear that sound as soon as I walked in the door.

    • brandymb says:

      @Brain.wav: “flyback transformer”. (I’m an old electronics tech).

    • putermcgee says:

      @Brain.wav: i hate it when i hear this from a tv. this used to happen a lot at my family’s house and it seemed like i was the only one to notice it. that being said, i’m excited that i’m over 25 and can still hear it.

    • galactus5000 says:

      @Brain.wav: I thought I was the only one who could hear that noise. I’m glad I’m not alone, and now know what it is.

      And yes, I could hear that noise.

    • compuguy1088 says:

      @Brain.wav: I have to agree, that specific sound of a CRT is very annoying. I only really seem to hear it on TV’s, not Computer Monitors…..

      • roothorick says:

        @compuguy1088:

        That’s because computer monitors run at much higher sync frequencies (starting at around 30kHz — well outside human hearing) due to their higher resolutions. You’ll also notice that a CRT HDTV running at 480p or greater will also not give off an audible whine, for precisely the same reason.

    • sp00nix says:

      @Brain.wav: i think you ment flyback, and what you hear is the oscillator, which puts out a high freq sounds, and you can usually hear it more when there is no signal.

    • I love the Power Glove. It's so bad. says:

      @Brain.wav: Finally, someone else who hears that sound! I could tell a TV was turned on before I could even see it and people thought I was crazy or had precognitive abilities that only worked for finding TV’s that were turned on. Good Lord, what a useless superpower to have!

  3. a5un says:

    So I’m under 25 and I can hear it very clear. And it’s not a pleasant sound at all. I definitely would not want to be anywhere near where this sound is coming from.

    • ionerox says:

      @a5un: I’m over 25, and can hear it very clearly too. It’s a horrible sound, it makes me want to claw my ears off.

      • summerbee says:

        @ionerox: Agreed. I listened to it with earbuds, too. OUCH.

        It sort of reminds me of the sound that a VCR or certain DVD players make when you plug them in. I’ve always been able to detect if there’s an electronic device like that in any room that I’m in. Without seeing it, of course.

    • sarahfgirl says:

      @a5un: I’m 28 and I could hear it. It was through my headphones and it was almost paralyzing. High pitched with some buzzing to it. My eyes started watering. I hope that is the last time I have that experience.

    • Corydon says:

      @a5un: Heck, I’m 37 and could hear it quite clearly too (maybe being a classical music geek has preserved my hearing)

      • compuguy1088 says:

        @Corydon: Being a Violist, you can still get hearing damage to a degree….from being close to some of the louder brass instruments (trombone for example). Have you ever been in the orchestra while playing Mars from Holst’s the planets…..you can barley hear yourself thing, never mind hear your own instrument.

    • Shadowman615 says:

      @a5un: Is it a high or low pitch? I’m 31 and I couldn’t hear it, but I probably couldn’t hear it in my early 20s either. I remember missing some of the extremely high-pitched sounds that other people heard clearly at that age.

    • gover57 says:

      @a5un: damn that sound sucks, but glad to know i can still hear it at almost 30 :) especially after having a car when i was younger that pumped out 130+dB regularly (2×12″ subs + more. lotsa fun back then…)

  4. zigziggityzoo says:

    good god that’s annoying.

    • unobservant says:

      @zigziggityzoo: A year ago, I posted a similar sample from the unit they use in the UK on my Facebook to see if anyone else over the affected age could hear it. Everyone could. I’m imagining that everyone who walked into one of those stores, young or old, didn’t spend a lot of time there.

    • Zorantor says:

      @zigziggityzoo: Yeah, it’s pretty awful. I don’t so much hear it as feel it in my ears.

      I’ve noticed something similar to that in stores and the like a number of times, but I always figured it was buzzing from a light fixture or something.

      It makes me a little mad to think that they would do that intentionally. I guess that’s why shopping always gives me a f*cking headache.

  5. Michael Belisle says:

    Even the aftertaste is annoying.

  6. techstar25 says:

    Are we sure that’s really the sound? I’m 32 years old and have been playing drums in a heavy metal band for 10 years. I know I have serious hearing loss, yet I can hear it just fine.

  7. Plates says:

    I am almost ten years over 25 and can hear it. It makes me want to cringe.

  8. solareclipse2 says:

    I’ve had that set as a silent ringtone on my cell phones for over a year now. I can hear it and my wife can hear it. She says it hurts her head, but most people I work with are oblivious to the sound.

    • Ahoatam says:

      @solareclipse2: I read somewhere that teens were doing this so they could hear their phones in class and their teachers couldn’t. I’m 30 and could hear it, but maybe not if there was enough backgorund noise

    • mrscoach says:

      @solareclipse2: yeah, when this came out as a ringtone the students at the highschool I was at tried using the mosquito ringtone to get around the no phones rule. The principal didn’t believe me about it until I caught some at it, and used the phone to play the tone for him. They quickly learned I could hear it. Funny thing is, most of the students couldn’t. They were completely clueless when I demanded the ringing phone be handed over. They must have thought I lost my mind at first, until the phone was produced.

  9. paco says:

    I’m 38 and I can hear it. And, yes, it makes me cringe too.

    • Cogito Ergo Bibo says:

      @paco: I’m 44 and I can hear it. Good GOD I can hear it. Didn’t help that I wear earphones at work to listen to anything on the ‘net, so as to avoid bothering anyone. Having that drilled directly into my brain? OUCH.

  10. Chris Chagnon says:

    As was said on the Digg posting of it this morning:

    this is not an accurate test, whoever made this one did not properly make the sound bight.

    This one has undertones that make almost anyone able to hear it.

    • Skunky says:

      @Chris Chagnon: Probably the mp3 compression couldn’t handle it.

    • YardanCabaret says:

      @Chris Chagnon: I was wondering, since in my audio classes when we would test who could hear what frequencies I was pretty useless above 16Khz and I could hear that sound.

    • deep.thought says:

      @Chris Chagnon: With the free program Spectrogram 16 properly set up you can see that there aren’t undertones, however the tone frequency is 15kHz. From the wikipedia page on presbycusis aka age related hearing loss it says: “even young adults lose the ability to hear very high frequency tones above 15 or 16kHz.” In the “The Mosquito” article concerning that from which this phenomenon originates it says the typical frequency is 17.4 kHz which is vastly different from that presented yonder. You can find a few shareware tone generators on the interwebs to test your own hearing, but keep in mind that the tone reproduction is dependent on the quality of your speakers; for instance, on one set of speakers I can hear a full kHz higher maximum than another, most likely because one set is inaccurately reproducing the tone.

      It is generally agreed that excellent human hearing tops out around 20 kHz, which is why cd’s have a frequency response up to 20.5 kHz per channel. Also, the RIAA standard equalization frequency response high end roll off for vinyl records is 10 kHz per channel, most of which is destroyed by the heat generated by friction of the stylus contact after just a few passes on even the most expensive equipment. Bring that up next time someone is showing off their expensive stereo, but don’t expect to win the ensuing argument… you might as well try to convince them that their religious faith is incorrect.

    • courtarro says:

      @Chris Chagnon: It’s possible that certain sound cards or speakers may cause harmonics that appear at lower frequencies. Those frequencies wouldn’t be nearly as painful to hear, though, as the original 15kHz sound.

  11. KristinaBeana says:

    34 and ouch, that kind of hurt!

  12. Clobberella says:

    I’m 27 and I can hear it. Woohoo, my youth is not yet over! I too can be tortured for loitering!

  13. Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

    Oh my fucking God. 30 and painful.

  14. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I thought it might be hard to hear but it wasn’t at all.

    But it doesn’t sound like a mosquito to me. I think it sounds like that noise they use in movies and TV shows when they go to the POV of someone who’s just lost their hearing due to an explosion or something. That or old electrical equipment.

  15. mtarget says:

    Double that 25 and add some more, and I can hear it. This is a joke? Yes?

  16. mmmsoap says:

    It’s not really about your age per se. As people age, they tend to lose their acuity for very high pitched sounds, making it more likely that older people can’t hear the sound and younger people can. Similarly, as people age their eyeballs tend to elongate, making many people become farsighted. This is just a general population trend, and YMMV as always. There are plenty of 89 year-olds with perfect hearing and/or eyesight, and plenty of 14 year-olds who wear glasses.

    Honestly, the research that was done on this particular frequency is pretty old at this point. Given the prevalence of iPod use in the teenage population (and the subsequent hearing loss issues) it’s pretty likely that many teens can’t hear the noise anymore.

    Or won’t, since they have their iPods playing.

  17. DePaulBlueDemon says:

    I was afraid I wouldn’t hear it due to abusing my ear drums with headphones all these years. But alas, I’m 24 and I can hear it loud and clear. It’s so annoying!

  18. TerribleDecade says:

    Wow, this sound… I can’t believe it, it almost made me cry ’cause its so painful.

  19. snoop-blog says:

    Yeah I could totally see how that would deter kids from hanging out anywhere around this sound. It’s too bad I can hear it…

  20. kc2idf says:

    I am 38, and that sound is fucking annoying.

    On the other hand, I can also tell a 128k MP3 from a 192k. I know that a lot of people can’t.

    I’m guessing this sound is about 16kHz or so?

    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      @kc2idf: My dad used to sneak into my room to use my computer when I was a teenager and would leave the monitor on after he shut the tower off. I could be in any part of the house and hear the hum kick in. At first he would deny/get defensive, until he figured out I still had my high end hearing. Then he offered me a job in his sound studio. :)

    • starbreiz says:

      @kc2idf: Ditto… but I always considered myself an audiophile. Especially since I was a music major.

      That sound *hurts*. I’m 30. I’ve been listening to my music turned up too late for many years. This seems like a joke.

  21. Spider Jerusalem says:

    Yeah…I can hear it…and I think, just on principle, I would stop going to any store that used this passive-aggressive method. Not to mention that parents and infants aren’t gonna be thrilled when their kids start screaming any time they approach those particular stores.

  22. wordsmithy says:

    I’m 47 and heard it loud and clear. Clean living.

  23. wordsmithy says:

    Why didn’t it bother my dog?

  24. darthsodomizer says:

    Is there anyone who can’t hear it? It is annoying.

    • floraposte says:

      @darthsodomizer: 46 years old here, and I couldn’t hear it on my computer speakers. I can hear it faintly through an external speaker; I’d notice it, because it’s an annoying tone, but it wouldn’t be too tough to move away from it. (Interestingly, my ears were annoyed for a while after I turned it off, too.)

  25. DeleteThisAccount says:

    I could hear it but I had to crank up the speakers louder than my streaming of NPR…. What if you have shitty speakers that don’t go to that frq? I’m at work, these Labtec speakers aren’t the pinnacle of performance.

  26. wordsmithy says:

    Sorry for the third comment…

    “It has also been used in commercials.”

    why??

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @wordsmithy: Because a lot of advertisers use noise to get your attention. Think of any local used car dealer ad. The noise is so annoying it forces you to do something about it. They think it’s good because that’s a few seconds you’ll have to look at the commercial.

      The stupid thing is that it forces you to change the channel and hate that ad.

      All this time I thought the noise in the commercials was a mistake with the audio.

  27. Coopon says:

    I heard that one clearly as did a relative who I know can’t here the Mosquito tone. So I have my doubts about that being the actual tone.

    Here’s a YouTube video with the a better example. In fact, it has various frequencies to see where your hearing kicks in. 19.8 for me.

    • nataku8_e30 says:

      @Coopon: same here, that 12 khz hurt like hell though

      • Wit says:

        @nataku83: I don’t think I’d notice anything before 19.8, but listening for it, I can just barely hear it at 21.1 – but it’s brief and it mostly just sounds like my fluorescent light bulbs started humming a fraction more loudly.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      @Coopon: I couldn’t hear it until 12khz.. is there something wrong, heh?

    • nataku8_e30 says:

      @Coopon: actually, i have to wonder about this a little bit… depending on the quality / encoding of the audio feed, as well as my headphones, i would think the higher frequencies would be attenuated before they even got to my ears, so i don’t really trust this.

      • David Brodbeck says:

        @nataku83: Yeah, I couldn’t really hear it until it got down to 12 kHz, but I can hear the horizontal oscillator of my TV. I wonder if the YouTube conversion downsampled it?

        • Outrun1986 says:

          @David Brodbeck: I am on crappy speakers here. I haven’t tried with headphones. There is also a lot of noise in this house as well as the noise of the computer running which is quite loud so that might be affecting it as well.

    • David Brodbeck says:

      @Coopon: Hmm. Some of the higher tones seem to *ascend* in pitch as the numbers go down, which suggests to me I’m hearing distorted undertones, not the actual tone. Not sure if that’s my hearing or a limitation of my playback hardware, though.

    • rachaeljean says:

      @Coopon: Thanks for posting this. I have actually been seriously meaning to get my hearing tested lately (I’m 26 and went to a lot of concerts in my mispent teen years!). I tried it the first time and thought I heard it at 14.1, then I tried it again with my eyes closed and I couldn’t hear anything until 12. /geezer

    • OneTrickPony says:

      @Coopon:

      Wow, I know I’ve got tinnitus and some hearing loss, but I didn’t realize how much! I didn’t hear anything until it got to 8 mHz (at which point it sounded exactly like the dominant frequency of my tinnitus, only louder. Yes, concerts and misspent youth. Ears, you suck.

      I couldn’t hear the tone linked to in the main article, but my 38yo husband and 11yo daughter could.

  28. razremytuxbuddy says:

    Wow. I think my ears are permanently damaged from that sound. I’m way past my teenager years–as in old enough to be their parent, and I’ve spent my entire life abusing my ears with music and earbud-type headphones, but I still heard it. I did have to turn my monitor volume up to hear it, and now I’m sorry I did.

  29. ogremustcrush says:

    20 and I can hear it, but only for a second or two. After that it seems to fade out and I don’t notice it anymore. I could still see it giving me a headache after hearing it for so long though.

  30. lonestarbl says:

    I’m 27 and that just hurt my ears… maybe I won’t be able to hear it anymore.

    Sounds very similar to the noise a CRT TV makes when it is left on dead air (Black screen – Not static)

  31. humphrmi says:

    45 and I can hear it

  32. msthe8r says:

    I’m 43, and that noise would drive ME straight out of that mall. Loud and clear…and I don’t think I’m the one they want to drive away.

  33. Tzepish says:

    I’m 26 and I hear nothing. My roommate has a cell phone ringtone that all my friends can hear except me. Whenever he turns it on, people say things like “MAN that’s annoying” and I get confused because I can’t tell anything has changed.

  34. kwsventures says:

    About 10 years ago, teens would hang out in the parking lot of a strip mall in front of a liquor store, creating a lot of noise and disruption, trying to score liquor from those customers. Finally, the owner of the liquor store had an idea to get rid of the kids. The owner had 2 big speakers that played classical music in the parking lot. Boom. The kids left and never returned.

  35. TheRedSeven says:

    Anyone have a version that doesn’t require QuickTime? I don’t really want to download 25Mb of bloat to my computer just to listen to a dumb little sound…

  36. rachaeljean says:

    I’m 26 and a substitute teacher. I had some kids use it on their cell phone in the library once (high schoolers) and a riot almost broke out. I was super confused. The kids were all “You SERIOUSLY can’t hear that?!” I thought they were playing a joke on me.

    Then the kid went and put his cell phone RIGHT up to my ear. Nothing. Nada. Zip.

    One too many NIN concerts in my youth. Alas, aging. Goodbye hearing, I hardly knew ye.

  37. Dennis Fitt says:

    I’m 37 and can hear it …ahem… Loud and clear. I know I’ve heard it before, but I’d like to know how they know only those under 25 are supposed to be able to hear it.

  38. CharlieInSeattle says:

    Both me and my wife can hear it, and I’m 38, and she’s 33.

  39. fruvous says:

    Reminds me of those mosquito repellers that use to emit that high pitch sound. Never worked and probably the same for the teens too.

  40. jenakle says:

    This is quite similar to a ringing noise I’ve heard off and on my entire life (28), the exact pitch of the next to last key on my electronic keyboard I had as a kid..it always struck my ear funny and so of course I hit it quite repeatedly to try and figure out WHY.
    I joke that its the mothership ‘checking in’ but seriously, its been nearly 20 years since I’ve heard that keyboard, why would I still hear this?
    I’m also sensitive to any usual electronic eeeeeee’s…tvs, lights, etc.

  41. anithinks says:

    I think everybody here could hear it except the first poster (who might have his speakers off)- don’t see how this sound is all about teenagers-only.

    I’m 25, and heard it loud and clear. Just your regular distortion noise.

    • Tzepish says:

      @anithinks: As you get older (and as your ears get damaged by loud sounds), you lose your ability to hear higher pitched sounds. I can’t hear the sound at all, and I’m 26, but I followed my friend’s band around a lot as a teenager and was often on stage with them. I have friends who are older than me that can hear these sorts of things.

  42. HogwartsAlum says:

    Can’t listen to it right now.

    I’ll do it when I get home in about 45 minutes. I’m dying to see if I can hear it. Used to spend a lot of time lying on the floor in between my stereo speakers as a kid. :)

  43. YamiNoSenshi says:

    I wonder if it depends on the equipment producing it. I had my headphones on, and I sure as hell could hear it. At least for the split second before I stopped it because it was ear-piercingly annoying.

  44. emis says:

    It is definitely a limit of HW I’d say… either the encoding of the file… the codec in your PC, the passive filtering on the way to the jack, or your speakers/headphones.

    The sound suddenly appears like a switch is thrown at 14.1kHz but we’ve got equipment here that can produce 16kHz tones that I can plainly hear.

    My guess is that the designers of your audio hardware have put in filters to block out the higher frequencies to prevent noise from manifesting on your outputs…

    /designer of audio hardware

  45. RanChan03 says:

    I am 26 and i can still hear this sound. It sounds like there’s a tv on in the bg, or my ears are ringing really loud

  46. bovinekid says:

    This is actually a test to see if you are stupid enough to choose to listen to a really annoying sound for no reason. You all fail.

  47. stacye says:

    Heard it… and I think it may have given me a tumor.

  48. kbrook says:

    Jesus H Crimeny, that’s painful! Hubby and I are both over 25, and that sound hurts like hell. But I can walk into a room and tell if a TV or CRT is on just by the whine the tubes make, and Hubby has bat ears, so use whatever size grain of salt you feel is appropriate.

  49. acrobaticrabbit says:

    dear god that’s hideous

  50. scoopjones says:

    I’m 41 and I can’t hear it at all, but one of my younger co-workers across the room almost immediately asked “what’s that ringing noise”. Others said it was really irritating and asked me to stop. Guess it really does work.

  51. Squeezer99 says:

    i hear it just fine and i’m 29

  52. The Master of Reason says:

    This article is a load of hot steamy potatoes. That tone is only like 8 or 10kHz, which is well within the hearing range of most people who don’t have unusual hearing loss.

    Your average adult can hear up to 13kHz or so. Your average teenager (before the days of rap music, anyways) can “hear” up to maybe 20kHz, although they wouldn’t be aware they were hearing anything if the frequency was over about 17kHz.

    The “teenager tone” would probably be more on the order of 15 or 16kHz – it’s definitely not whatever tone is played in this article’s sample file.

  53. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    I can hear it..does this mean I’m not old??? Back in the old days of CRT televisions, you could often hear the TV’s sweep oscillator which operated around 18 kHz.

  54. dwasifar says:

    47, and I can still hear it. Faint, but it gives me an instant, piercing headache.

  55. DGuardian says:

    My sister is 15 and she cannot hear it…

    Thanks for giving me another excuse to bother her ^_^

  56. Xanaxian says:

    Sweet Jesus, I’m 40 and that sound’s still making my skin crawl a minute after hearing it. Whoever came up with that “teens only” crap is selling these stores a bill of goods.

  57. RedSonSuperDave says:

    I’m 30 and I can hear it just fine. I feel sorry for the employees in the stores which get scammed by this crap, if I had to listen to that for ten minutes (much less an entire shift) I’d go postal.

  58. ryes says:

    I’m 63 with a slight hearing loss and I heard the sound quite clearly.

  59. WorldHarmony says:

    Oh yes- it sounds like when electronic equipment is on in another room. I could always hear that sound and know someone in the house had their TV on.

  60. RogueWarrior says:

    Yep. I can hear that. But then last time I had a hearing test I could hear some freqs all the way down to zero dB.

  61. kyle4 says:

    I’m 19 and already have tinnitus, it sounds just like that.

  62. ninjatoddler says:

    Almost 30 and I can hear it.

  63. TalKeaton: Every Puzzle Has an Answer! says:

    Um, ow.

    Why did I do that? It just gave me the worst headache.

  64. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    This has been marketed as the “ringtone that adults cannot hear”.

    I don’t know about you but I can hear it just fine – and i even did a frequency hearing test once and I can hear all of those too.

  65. Gilbert Tang, Jr. says:

    That hurt my brain. The good news is I’m 27 and I can hear it, so at least I’ve got that going for me.

    …I think.

  66. the_wiggle says:

    aaauuugghhhhh!!!!! that’s downright painful >:{}

    note to self, next time DON’T hear the kool-aid

  67. the_wiggle says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: yes. reminded me of those nasty PET computers schools had back in the 80’s

  68. hilltop_sniper says:

    39 and hear it loud and clear. Do I smell bullshite?

  69. FreeShaggy says:

    The only way you couldn’t hear this sound is if you were DEAD.

    Sure keep the teens away, but once the zombie invasion comes, youre SOL.

  70. Sofa-King says:

    I’m over 47 and I can hear it.
    Is there something wrong with my ears?

  71. AllenK says:

    I’m 39,and unfortunately I can hear the noise just fine.

  72. grumpygirl says:

    I’m 35. I can hear it. It gave me a headache with a little bit of nausea thrown in for good measure. I have disposable income and I’d never shop or spend money at a business where I could hear that noise.

  73. Anonymous says:

    in Hollywood, ive noticed the sound comming from electronic road signs on both la brea and highland avenues just south of Sunset strangely, the one on Highland isnt located very close to a strip mall like the La Brea one is. Yes it is annoying, and I bet some Einstein in ciry council thought it would drive away gangs.

  74. bonzombiekitty says:

    I was going to go on a long lament about how I can’t hear the noise, and I’m getting old since I used to be able to hear very high pitched noises. Then I noticed it’s probably because the network here blocks most audio and video files.

    My parents used to have this thing in the garden that emitted a sound that was supposed to keep animals away, but humans wouldn’t be able to hear it. While working in the garden I started getting really annoyed because I could hear the sound it was making. I ended up getting really frustrated and smashing it (it didn’t keep the animals away anyways). My mom thought I was crazy.

  75. justsomeotherguy says:

    quicktime? YUCK.

    I’m almost 40, I can hear it. Sounds like the noise a tv makes. I know that I dont hear it the same way my brothers kids hear it. It’s very oppressive on their ears.

  76. hardtoremember says:

    It just sounded very low. Annoying though. If I heard that in a store I would leave.
    It also made my dog bark.

  77. I love the Power Glove. It's so bad. says:

    I’m 28 and could hear it. I played it at work, a co-worker who is 21 could hear it but my supervisor (mid to late 50’s) could not hear it.

    And thank GOD I finally found other people who can hear the same sound that TV’s make! I could tell if a TV was on around the corner by that sound and everyone said I was crazy!

  78. jc364 says:

    Okay, stores I can maybe understand. But commercials? That’s just all sorts of evil.

  79. katyggls says:

    I’ll be 30 in 4 months and I could hear it but just barely. It was actually more that I could feel it vibrating my eardrums than actually hearing it. It made me feel kind of nauseous actually.

  80. David Rosado says:

    I’m about a month away from technically not being able to hear that, and let me tell you, that’s an insanely irritating sound. I could swear I’ve heard it in stores before, too. If I did, I dismissed it as something wrong with the sound system, if anything.

  81. thanq says:

    My cats can hear it and so can my dogs. None of them like it. I can hear it as well and I concur.

  82. Limekiller says:

    At 44, I can definitely hear it, but I don’t really find it too annoying. I think I’d zone it out after awhile and quit noticing it. Maybe I’m not hearing it as loudly as somebody younger does.

  83. Olenmonkey says:

    I’m going to be 29 in less than a month and the sound makes my head hurt…a lot.

  84. P_Smith says:

    I got nothing out of it. I’m close to 40, and I also have a family history of hearing problems, so I’m not surprised.

    This started in England as a means of deterring kids who loiter outside of businesses. The man invented it because the growing problem of theft and vandalism being perpetrated by kids. If it’s limited to that use, and not as a weapon, I don’t have any problem with it.

    How is it any worse than morons who pound bass speakers at 100 decibels, who are using sound as a weapon?

  85. Tonguetied says:

    43 years old and I heard it. Now there was one site that I couldn’t hear one of the sounds but durned if I can find it now…

  86. TheWaffle says:

    I can’t really hear them, but I can feel it. It’s like a weird pressure on my inner ear, and it ends up giving me a splitting headache afterwords.

    The kids the “mosquito” noise is supposed to turn away have in the UK turned it into a ringtone. So they can hear when they’ve got a text or whatever, and their teachers can’t.

  87. zarex42 says:

    It’s just a 15kHz tone, and the test is completely meaningless. The question is not whether you can hear it or not, but HOW LOUD does it need to be for you to hear it.

    Obviously people aren’t listening at the same levels, so there are plenty of 15-year-olds not hearing the test, and plenty of old folk who are.

    This is what happens when people try to pretend to be audiologists…

  88. FrankenPC says:

    I’m 40 and that noise is REALLY annoying. And I’ve been to an Ozzy concert when I was a teen!

    • FrankenPC says:

      @FrankenPC: Actually…Iron Maiden, Metallica, Yes (twice), Def Leppard, Suicidal Tendencies, Anthrax, and a WHOLE lot more.

      And that noise is STILL freaking ANNOYING! I hear it in department stores sometime and I can’t figure out where it’s coming from.

  89. HogwartsAlum says:

    Okay, I finally had time to listen to it. 43 and yes, I could hear it.

    It sounds a bit like feedback and a bit like the hearing test they used to give us in grade school.

    I don’t think I would want to stay in any place that was playing it.

  90. Chizzer says:

    I’m 23 and can hear that clear as day, and at certain volume levels it is excruciating. I can actually feel my jaw tensing up as a result.

    There is a food stand in my college cafeteria that has some device which emits a similar noise when it’s on. It’s interesting to see who can hear it (they are clearly irritated) and who is completely oblivious to the sound.

  91. Kenneth Mackay says:

    I’m 39, and it’s annoying. Arrrr.

  92. txori says:

    i heard that and it was annoying. i’m 27.

  93. creative differences says:

    i can hear it and it hurts my ears.

    p.s. i’m 37, partially deaf in one ear, have pulsatile tinnitus, and yet… i can hear it.

    here in canada, stores will just blare classical music to keep the young’uns away!

  94. FrankenPC says:

    OK, so the consensus is: The morans who created this system LIED about age perception.