Glossary

Highest frequency

What is highest frequency?

The highest frequency indicated for audio devices refers to the highest-pitching sound that they can reproduce. The greater the number, the more intense the treble. But what is treble, anyway? Just think of bells, a sharp scream, or the strum of a guitar. Those are treble, high-frequency sounds – and often the first to be noticed in music before exploring the depths of smooth bass waves.

Audio frequencies are expressed in hertz (Hz); although experts don't always agree on specific values, the overall consensus is that high-frequency sounds start at 2,048 Hz. Moving backward, the range between the lowest treble and 256 Hz is known as midrange audio. Frequencies below that make for the smooth and soothing bass sounds.

The average spectrum of human hearing is between 20 and 20,000 Hz. As is the case with the lowest frequencies, the highest frequencies reproduced by audio equipment may not be audible to us – the reason being the natural hearing loss that we all experience as we age (not to mention other causes for more severe hearing loss). High-frequency sound waves are actually the most impacted by natural hearing loss, which means that experiencing the full potential of treble sounds becomes harder with time.

We hope it's now clear that products with a greater highest frequency value can deliver more treble. You may want to know that the methods for frequency range analysis may be different among manufacturers, but overall, if you love sharp, high-pitched sounds, do consider a product on the upper end of the frequency range.

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