How the Mosquito Ringtone Works
The secret behind Teen Buzz
The mosquito ringtone, also known as teen buzz, works by emitting a sound wave at the high end of the sound spectrum, usually around 14 - 17kHz (17,000 hertz). The human ear can theoretically hear in the range of 20 to 20,000 Hertz, but as we age, this range diminishes due to condition called presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss. Volume of the sound also affects your ability to hear it, the same way that if you turn your speakers down, you can’t hear your song anymore.
To give you an idea of the range, a human cannot hear too low or high of a frequency. A human heart beats at 1 to 2 Hertz and a dolphin emits sonar sound at 100,000 to 150,000 Hertz, neither of which any human can hear.
As you get older, the range in which you can hear high-pitched sounds gets lower and lower. At the volume of 60 decibels (the volume of a normal conversation), a sound played at 15,500 Hertz can usually only be heard by people under 24. A sound played at 13,500 Hertz can usually only be heard by people under 40. While there are always some exceptions, the older you get, the less you are able to hear in the high frequency range.
There’s really nothing special about the ringtone – it’s just a sound that is reproduced at that high frequency range – anyone with good sound editing equipment can create it. Also, virtually any speaker system or tweeter that can reproduce a sound in a high frequency range can emit this sound. Some cell phones do not have good speakers therefore the ringtone “doesn’t work” but if you have a newer, better cell phone that plays mp3 ringtones, you’ll be able to download and listen to this ringtone. Depending on the range in the sound, the older the person listening to it, the less chance he or she will be able to hear it.
So to sum it up, if your teacher is 25, you might not be able to get away with playing the mosquito ringtone in your class, but if she’s 55, you should be ok. Unless she’s an alien. Then you have bigger problems to contend with.
Click here to download the ringtone for free and see for yourself.