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Re: High-frequency hearing in humans

On 3 Feb 2011 at 23:08, Kevin Austin wrote:

> Anecdotally, I know someone who can 'hear a difference'
> between a 96kHz and 192kHz recording. He's not sure
> "what" the difference is, but he hears it. [He's one of
> the few people whose hearing I really trust.] This
> implies [somehow] that there are / were people who had
> this 'extra' advantage of extremely wide frequency
> response. 

I must say I am extremely skeptical that he is actually 
hearing a frequency response difference.  If these are 
commerical music recordings, then I would ask what else is 
different besides the sample rates... a "premium" recording 
might also use different microphones, different placement, 
etc, etc.

Not intending to offend your friend, but I have noticed 
that, in general, when such "extreme audiophile" claims are 
made they never involve double-blind testing.  Admittedly, 
that might be very difficult to do properly, so that a 
stray perceptual cue didn't give away the game.  But 
otherwise this is a case of extraordinary claims needing 
extraordinary evidence.

If he really can hear a difference in sample rates, and it 
is not due to anti-aliasing filter artifacts, then 
presumably he could be tested entirely with 192 kHz 
material that had various cutoff frequencies applied, or 
(better yet) using synthesized clicks having controlled 
spectral content.  

And note that getting headphones or speakers that have 
acceptable output above even 24 kHz is not trivial, and 
above 48 kHz is probably going to involve a quest in 

Best regards,

Bob Masta
            D A Q A R T A
Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
Scope, Spectrum, Spectrogram, Signal Generator
    Science with your sound card!