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Can You Hear The Mosquito? High Frequency Sound in Action

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

January 31, 2013

Comments (4)

Teenaged girl plugging ears with index fingers. Irritated, painful, uncomfortable sound.

Have you ever heard of the Mosquito?

Primarily used for security purposes, the Mosquito sound device emits a very high frequency modulated one (17.5-18.5 kHz) that is completely harmless even with long term use.

The Mosquito is of particular interest to me from a sonic point of view. As we age, our ability to hear certain sound frequencies changes.

Join me now and discover the different frequencies you can hear (and cannot hear any longer!) as you age in today's VOX Daily.

What Is The Mosquito?

According to Moving Sound Technologies, the Mosquito was invented in Wales several years ago. Since then, Moving Sound Technologies has been marketing and selling the Mosquito throughout North America. Many cities, municipalities, school districts, and parks boards use the Mosquito to combat vandalism.

The patented Mosquito is a small speaker that produces a high frequency sound much like the buzzing of the insect it's named after. This high frequency can be heard by young people aged 13 to 25 years old.

The latest version of the Mosquito is called the MK4 Multi-Age. It has two different settings one for teenagers 13 - 25 years and one setting for all ages. When it is set to 17KHz the Mosquito can only be heard by teenagers approximately 13 to 25 years of age. When set to 8 KHz the Mosquito can be heard by all ages.

Frequency Comparisons

The Mosquito MK4 has been designed to run at 5 dB above background noise levels. This is done by using an on-board AGC system that measures the ambient noise and adjusts the sound output level accordingly.

How does the Mosquito compare with sounds you hear every day? Take a look:

  • Near total silence - 0 dB
  • A whisper - 15 dB
  • Normal conversation - 60 dB
  • Mosquito Mark 4 Standard - 85 dB
  • A lawnmower - 90 dB
  • Mosquito MK 4 Maximum Volume (M-100) - 100 dB
  • A car horn - 110 dB
  • A rock concert or a jet engine - 120 dB
  • A gunshot or firecracker - 140 dB

The Mosquito In Action

CNN, among other stations, have featured the Mosquito on their news reports. Watch the video below or click on this link to watch the CNN coverage of the Mosquito on YouTube.

What Frequencies Can You Hear?

Moving Sound Technologies has a really neat Mosquito Audio Demo on their website that you can try out.

There are a number of different frequencies featured including settings that everyone can hear, frequencies that can be heard only by people under 24, by people under 30, those under 39, those under 49, and people under 60 years of age.

Check out the Mosquito audio demo here and then return to the blog and let me know what you think!

Best wishes,
Stephanie

iStockphoto.com┬ęStock Shop Photography LLC

Related Topics: teenager, YouTube


Comments


    Interesting idea indeed...

    Took a listen on their site, and though it was more difficult to hear the younger ages, I could tell when they were playing.

    I wonder if it's a good idea to play something that annoys the very people you're trying to stop from fighting? I can see it as possibly good for driving away loiterers (and possibly customers). Maybe something that instills a sense of calm or peace would be a better solution.

    Posted by:

      I'm 27 and I could hear the one for people under 24, but it wasn't as loud. I guess I still have young ears :)

      Posted by:
      • Jennifer Smith
      • February 1, 2013 10:20 AM

        I've shopped at The Gallery before & the time I was there was when I was 28 years old. I've long considered myself to have outstanding hearing (ask my kids - they can tell you I've heard things they never wanted me to hear), so even though I would have been 3 years above the threshold described, I'll bet I would have heard that annoying noise if they'd had this thing running at that time. I'm so glad they didn't!

        My initial thought on this technology is that all the applications this "could" be used for in the future involve some with a noble purpose, and some not so much. So for now, I have mixed emotions about whether this is good or not.

        I took the test & was shocked to discover I can only hear the tone in the "Under 60" category. So, I guess this tells me my hearing is no longer outstanding - though I can still hear a whisper at longer distances than others much younger than me. :)

        Posted by:

          It needs to be pointed out that the relative level of the sounds in the example list were probably measured within close proximity to the source of the sound. Meaning, the further away one moves from the source, the level drops.

          Also, one's ability to hear various frequencies depends FIRST on how accurately the sound is being produced. A tiny pair of notebook computer speakers, for example, cannot accurately produce anywhere near the full range of audio. While, in this case, they might be appropriate for higher frequencies, those interested in determining the accuracy of their hearing should see a audiologist.

          Posted by:

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