Do high frequencies really matter much at all?

deafdude1

New Member
I used to be more obsessed(I have OCD) about wanting to hear high frequencies but after researching it on the internet, I begin to wonder exactly how important the highs are? Someone in this forum said 75% of environmental sounds are low frequencies so 20% must be mids and 5% highs. Thus I am missing very little in the way of environmental sounds and ive been told by friends and family that they too would not miss the annoying high pitch sounds as long as their speech comphrension remained normal. Hear Again no longer hears above 2000Hz(too annoying) and doesn't miss it since her speech comphrension remained unchanged. She even said music sounds better without those annoying high tones!

As for speech, several posters here keep saying how important 2000-4000Hz is but Hear Again had 6 high frequency electrodes disabled and doesn't really hear above 2000Hz anymore, yet her speech comphrension has not dropped at all! My own dad has a moderate high frequency loss, yet he has absolutely no trouble understanding speech and can even hear S, F, TH sounds! I even checked the speech banana and most of the letters fall in the low(er) frequencies. The highs help with S, F and TH but even those speech sounds aren't puretones and have lower frequency components. I can hear S and F, just not tell the difference between the two.

From reading on the internet and that article I posted I have logically concluded that low frequencies(125-500Hz) account for 60% of speech, the mids(500-2000Hz) accounts for another 30% and the highs(2000-8000Hz) account for the last 10%. My dad and Hear Again is missing that 10% but still understands 90% of speech. My dad understands close to 100% since he hears unaided naturally.
I am also missing that 10% and alot of the 30% but I am able to access all of the 60% and some of the 30% which is why im currently understanding about 70%(up to 80%) of what my dad says without lipreading.

My results are probably a little above average. Look at this post where this profoundly deaf man scores over 90% speech! So if people like him, me and many others can still score great on speech comphrension using our residual low frequency hearing, it sounds like(pun intended) high frequencies simply add clarity and details to speech and sounds(which is never a bad thing) but low frequencies are the fundamental structure of speech as well as environmental sounds.

I gotta be honest there that I have no real idea what high frequencies are like, how can I miss what I don't know? It's like my colorblind brother, to him, his world looks normal(in it's browns, blues, yellows) and he argues that colors aren't that important. I guess it's nice to see all 1 million colors instead of only 10 thousand. But I agree that my brother's colorblindness hardly affects his life other than posing some inconvinences when many different colors appear identical and he confuses them. He has trained himself to differnate colors by hue, for example red and green look like different hues of brown with red being a much darker hue.

I have learned something akin to what my brother learned with sounds. I can fill in the missing gaps when listening to speech. S and F sound like "ehhh" to me and when listening to sentences, I can usually deduce the proper letter unless the word happens to be a rhyming word such as "fit" and "sit" but put in a sentence, I usually know what the word should be. My own audiologist says I should keep training my brain to discern different words then it will begin to come naturally to me instantly and readily. I notice my brother discerning colors instantly because he has trained his brain to differnate the hues.

To summarize it up, high frequencies 2000Hz and above account for only 5% of environmental sounds(shrill whistles, squeals and squeaks) and only 10% of speech(S, F, TH consonants) so I ask again exactly how significent is missing on a small percentage of speech and sounds? How much of a difference does it make to those who are hearing or still have high frequency hearing? Has anyone tried a comparsion? I will be trying that at my audiologist by telling him to turn off the gains above 500Hz then to turn off the gains below 500Hz.
 

faire_jour

New Member
The "S" sound in the English language is absolutly critical. It holds a LOT of information. It is all plurals and possessives. Without "S" you are missing fundamentally crucial information.

So, yes, high frequecies are very important.
 

Frisky Feline

Well-Known Member
Just curious, how can the high frequencies so important? I understand high frequencies are important to musical peeps but regular peeps???
 

Bottesini

Old Deaf Ranter
Premium Member
The "S" sound in the English language is absolutly critical. It holds a LOT of information. It is all plurals and possessives. Without "S" you are missing fundamentally crucial information.

So, yes, high frequecies are very important.

You can get that from context.
 

faire_jour

New Member
You can get that from context.

He was asking if it mattered. I think that it does. I think possesives and plurals are important, especially during the language learning years.

(And now with no high frequency hearing "He wa aing if i maeed. I in a i da I in po and plural are imporan ially duing the language leaning year")
 

AlleyCat

Well-Known Member
I don't think anyone with any kind of substantial hearing loss (e.g. like mine at 105 db) can ever hear the "s". I don't know where the cut-off is as to what db loss you can be at where you can no longer hear the "s" so I imagine most of us here don't hear the "s".... I lipread it, though. But I am still very appreciative of what high-frequency sounds I do hear, especially in music.
 

shel90

Audist are not welcome
Premium Member
The "S" sound in the English language is absolutly critical. It holds a LOT of information. It is all plurals and possessives. Without "S" you are missing fundamentally crucial information.

So, yes, high frequecies are very important.

I disagree..it is not important to me. I managed just fine without hearing the "s" sound. Like Botts said, we get it from the context.
 

defgrl

New Member
Funny Audiologist/"Passing" For "Normal"

I got the results of my ABR back. The woman audi did not bother to give me a "stacked" ABR, so I don't know if the test is valid or not. She noted that I "responded" to her questions before the interpreter signed them. Umm...well did she ever think I might be LIPREADING her?!? Most of the time I had SOUND TUBES in my ears, so I REALLY couldn't hear THEN. She got almost in my face most of the time, so I really couldn't miss much, now could I? She wanted me to take off my glasses during the test, BUT I REFUSED. Because I needed to SEE her face (and the terp, if need be), to "fill in" all the stuff that I missed. The terp (in my opinion, anyway) was there mostly to VOICE for me. I mean, I regularly see a "signing psychologist" who uses PSE along with spoken English. I have LEARNED how to "take in" all the information as a whole. I am not sure it makes a lot of difference whether he VOICES or just MOUTHES the words. Part of the time the terp signed for me. And part of the time she voiced for me. This audi sure is silly! :laugh2::laugh2::laugh2:

I guess I am better at "passing" than I thought. My own audi knows better than to let me see her face during any testing. She knows some sign language, also. We get along pretty well.:aw:
 
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Mockingbird

New Member
The "S" sound in the English language is absolutly critical. It holds a LOT of information. It is all plurals and possessives. Without "S" you are missing fundamentally crucial information.

So, yes, high frequecies are very important.

^this

and they help distinguish between a number of different sounds.
 

LadySekhmet

New Member
I agree that you don't really know what you're missing until you actually have the ability to hear high frequencies. At first, I didn't care too much for high frequencies before I got the implants, but I discovered how important they can be in comprehension of music and speech in general, as well as extra environmental sounds.

Before my CI, I could never hear the sounds of crickets, and it was the one sound that I've ALWAYS wanted to hear. I didn't care that it was "annoying", I wanted to be able to hear it. It sounds very nice. It does sound annoying if it's very constant...but that's why I can turn off my CI. :-D

I wouldn't be able to hear the blinker in my car, the beeping of my car when I leave the keys in. I wouldn't be able to hear my dog whine in a high pitch like a bird. I wouldn't be able to enjoy a stroll in the park without hearing the birds sing.

Now - for those who don't care too much for it, that's okay because you never got the chance to enjoy the sounds. Once you do, you would be missing it. If I go by the park and I can't hear the birds or crickets, then I would go back to get remapped because I *want* to hear those sounds.

There ARE some annoying high frequency sounds, but like hearing people, it can be filtered out, and the good sounds outweighs the annoying sounds. This is why I can be mapped...hearing people can't, but they can filter them out.

As fair-jour said, there are many words that has high frequency/soft sounds that you probably will never hear with HAs.

Those who wear HAs, can you watch TV without looking at the closed captioning and pick out 90% of the words? I know I can't. With CI can because of the clarity.

So...to answer DeafDude's first question - yes it's important, but if you never have it or never will, it won't matter to you UNTIL you can hear it. Make sense?
 

deafdude1

New Member
The "S" sound in the English language is absolutly critical. It holds a LOT of information. It is all plurals and possessives. Without "S" you are missing fundamentally crucial information.

So, yes, high frequecies are very important.

Explain why Hear Again, my dad and even I(barely) can hear the "S" sound? My dad said "snake" and "snakes" and I could differnate the two every single time. It was not easy, however I was still able to hear the hissing sound.

Just curious, how can the high frequencies so important? I understand high frequencies are important to musical peeps but regular peeps???

My parents and friends don't care for high frequencies and would not miss them if their speech doesn't suffer. My dad says high frequencies above 2000Hz are just annoying, shrill noises that carry no important speech information(his words) I still think the highs matter for about 10% of the speech banana.

He was asking if it mattered. I think that it does. I think possesives and plurals are important, especially during the language learning years.

I can tell you right now that I used to have 100db loss in the high frequencies(aided to 50db with HAs) when I was younger and even that was enough to properly develop speech. I speak clearly and can understand others(combination of hearing and reading lips)

I don't think anyone with any kind of substantial hearing loss (e.g. like mine at 105 db) can ever hear the "s". I don't know where the cut-off is as to what db loss you can be at where you can no longer hear the "s" so I imagine most of us here don't hear the "s".... I lipread it, though. But I am still very appreciative of what high-frequency sounds I do hear, especially in music.

Try getting close and have the person emphasize the "S" when he/she says it. It should sound like a hissing sound. It doesn't sound all that high pitched to me. Perhaps the S sound contains many different frequencies and part of the S sound extends into the mids?


I disagree..it is not important to me. I managed just fine without hearing the "s" sound. Like Botts said, we get it from the context.

I can usually tell if a word is going to be plural and besides im understanding it from lipreading.

I agree that you don't really know what you're missing until you actually have the ability to hear high frequencies. At first, I didn't care too much for high frequencies before I got the implants, but I discovered how important they can be in comprehension of music and speech in general, as well as extra environmental sounds.

I did hear a bit into the high frequency range when I was young so I know what whistles, birds and the end piano keys are like. It makes a shrill "eeeee" sound. Much like the tinnitus many of us have. Did you ever have any hearing at 4000Hz?

Now - for those who don't care too much for it, that's okay because you never got the chance to enjoy the sounds. Once you do, you would be missing it. If I go by the park and I can't hear the birds or crickets, then I would go back to get remapped because I *want* to hear those sounds.

I didn't really care about whistles, birds or the high piano keys. I actually never even noticed when I stopped hearing those sounds till I tried pressing the high piano keys and just heard a "thud" I also blew my whistle and just hear a wooshing of air. So yea high frequency sounds(above 2000Hz) do account for the 5% of environmental sounds I am missing which doesn't sound like much.

As fair-jour said, there are many words that has high frequency/soft sounds that you probably will never hear with HAs.

I actually still hear every letter, just some letters appear "silent" unless the person says it louder and I move closer to hear.

Those who wear HAs, can you watch TV without looking at the closed captioning and pick out 90% of the words? I know I can't. With CI can because of the clarity.

That I never was able to but with CC, I don't care. I understand everything and only wear HAs to hear the music and environmental sounds in movies.

So...to answer DeafDude's first question - yes it's important, but if you never have it or never will, it won't matter to you UNTIL you can hear it. Make sense?

Guess ill find out someday in the future, who knows what technology will be out by then. Right now im concerned about hearing low frequencies better as this will make a huge difference(ive been there already and want more!)

If your audiologist has time, ask her to disable the highs for a few minutes and see how much this affects your speech. Then ask her to disable the mids, then the lows. I am betting youll find out that the lows contain most of the speech and environmental sound information. I can do the same by having my audie disable the gains above 500Hz and see how much im missing. Im guessing it won't be much, ill let you guys know.

But Hear Again did have 6 high frequency electrodes disabled and her speech comphrension remained the same!
 

vallee

New Member
I agree with lady, high frequencies are important to me.

When I have to strain to hear my dog whine, it is time for new mapping. I enjoy the birds chirping outside my school portable. I heard new born birds with there high frequency cries. Environmental sounds are not enough for me. I want to hear all the sounds available. With hearing aids, I always felt I was lacking all the sounds around. I could hear others speak, but what about the birds, the crickets, the dog's whine. Music is a different sound now. It use to seem as if it was missing "sounds", now I enjoy the whole range of instruments.

About the s sound - after activation, I found out that I use to leave the sound off of words without realizing it. I wasn't hearing the sound, so it is natural to forget to say the sound. In the past two years, I have had to retrain myself in how to pronounce the s, th, and z sounds. After a lifetime of not knowing the correct way of saying sounds.
 

Oceanbreeze

New Member
I disagree..it is not important to me. I managed just fine without hearing the "s" sound. Like Botts said, we get it from the context.

Maybe this is subjective? It's important to some, but not all? Seems that's the case, and I think that is as it should be.
 

Bottesini

Old Deaf Ranter
Premium Member
Maybe this is subjective? It's important to some, but not all? Seems that's the case, and I think that is as it should be.

Seems like it is more people who are hearing or were born hearing and then lost it who think it is so important. If you look at the responses those who haven't heard it don't see it as a big deal.

I don't need to hear my dogs whine. They will touch me and look at me if they need something.

And I haven't heard any birds, but I can certainly see them. I think I am way more visually oriented and those high frequencies mean nothing to me.

I am absolutely fine without them.
 

Oceanbreeze

New Member
Seems like it is more people who are hearing or were born hearing and then lost it who think it is so important. If you look at the responses those who haven't heard it don't see it as a big deal.

I don't need to hear my dogs whine. They will touch me and look at me if they need something.

And I haven't heard any birds, but I can certainly see them. I think I am way more visually oriented and those high frequencies mean nothing to me.

I am absolutely fine without them.

Makes sense. I think having heard something for awhile does make a difference. Use it/lose it/miss it kind of thing!
 

shel90

Audist are not welcome
Premium Member
Seems like it is more people who are hearing or were born hearing and then lost it who think it is so important. If you look at the responses those who haven't heard it don't see it as a big deal.

I don't need to hear my dogs whine. They will touch me and look at me if they need something.

And I haven't heard any birds, but I can certainly see them. I think I am way more visually oriented and those high frequencies mean nothing to me.

I am absolutely fine without them.

I can hear my dog whine..I don't enjoy that!

I feel the same as u about everything else. Guess for me, being able to hear is not important to me. Before it was and all it did was make me miserabl since then, I never think about it in my daily life except whenever I read threads about it.
 

Bottesini

Old Deaf Ranter
Premium Member
I can hear my dog whine..I don't enjoy that!

I feel the same as u about everything else. Guess for me, being able to hear is not important to me. Before it was and all it did was make me miserabl since then, I never think about it in my daily life except whenever I read threads about it.

Ha!! :P My dogs are better than your dog!! (more likely I am just missing that frequency where dogs whine. )
 

Lissa

Active Member
Premium Member
My dog used to whine and snore, i hated the sound of it!! Now, hes gone to sum1 else i dont really miss the annoying sound! hehe
 

shel90

Audist are not welcome
Premium Member
Ha!! :P My dogs are better than your dog!! (more likely I am just missing that frequency where dogs whine. )

Lol

If the whine of dogs r in the high frequencies, then why am I able to hear it if my dB losses r at 120? Strange..
 
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