audio tips

Human Voice Frequency Range

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Probably on every day someone asks to post about simple topics regarding sound engineering as some of our posts are discussing pure technical aspects which the common man is not able to grasp.

Taking into consideration the request of those who are interested to know more about basics of audio engineering, today we are talking about a simple topic called the voice frequency range which the common man and technicians will find useful. The frequency range is a topic which you might have learned during your schooling days and this post will help you to brush up your knowledge and it can act as a catalyst to learn more things regarding the same.

First of all thanks to Santhosh, a student of Diploma in Sound Engineering and Sound Recording in our academy to shared details about the topic.

Frequency Range
The division of the entire frequency spectrum into individual areas reserved for specific applications or techniques is called the frequency domain. The entire frequency spectrum consists of sound waves, electromagnetic waves and light waves. A rough classification characterizes the range above the sound waves between 30 kHz and 300 MHz as high frequency, the frequency range between 300 MHz and 300 GHz as microwaves and the overlying range between 300 GHz and 400 THz as infrared, followed by the visible light.

Frequency scale
The frequencies are divided into kHz (kilo-hertz, 1 kilo-hertz = 1000 hertz). Physically, sounds are sound waves. The unit frequency gives the number of vibrations of a sound wave / sec. The deepest test tone the human hearing organ can hear has 125 vibrations / sec. (= 0.125 kHz) and is a low buzz. The highest test tone the human hearing organ can hear vibrates 12000 times per second (= 12 kHz) and is a shrill, high tone. With the tone scale from 0.125 kHz (125 Hz) to 12 kHz (12000 Hz), audio metric covers the overall average sonic sensing capability of the human auditory organ. The human hearing organ can thus hear a very extensive frequency range (large pitch).

Fundamentals and Harmonics of Human Voice Frequency Range
A Female voice frequency range covers fairly upto 350 Hz to 17KHz.
Its fundamental frequency is 350Hz to 3KHz and Harmonics is 3KHz to 17KHz.

Male voice covers a Frequency range of 100Hz to 8KHz.
The fundamental is 100Hz to 900Hz and Harmonics is 900Hz to 8KHz.

Hearing Frequency Range
Starting with the main frequency range, it is the frequency range of human hearing, which is responsible for the perception of speech. It covers the frequencies from 300 to 3000 Hz. The range of frequencies in which the intelligibility and the recognition of the tuning characteristics are concerned is between the above mentioned frequency. This frequency range is used for voice communication in telephony and is the range the human ear is the most sensitive.

The topic which has been discussed above will be helpful for those who are interested in Sound Engineering and the academy is looking forward for contributions from the students which will help  others to learn more about Sound Engineering.

8 Comments

  1. Mark Sullivan

    The information in this ‘article’ is wrong. The fundamental frequency range for the female voice is about 165 to 255 Hz, and male voice is about 80 to 155 Hz. The frequency range from 300 to 3000 is not “the frequency range of human hearing”, as misstated in this article. It is the voice frequency range of telephony, which doesn’t include the fundamental frequencies because they are more expensive to reproduce. But covering the harmonics of the voice in telephony is adequate to create the impression of a natural voice. Virtually everything in this’article’ should be disregarded.

    Reply
    1. SI_blogManager Author

      Thanks, Mark Sullivan for pointing out the same. This information was shared from a valid source by a student who was doing our diploma in Sound Engineering course. Is there any other sound engineers out there who could clarify the whole thing.

      Reply
      1. Mark Sullivan

        There are many sources on the internet for this information. One is this article at Wikipedia, which includes research references. Or you can test for yourself. There are free apps online for smart phones that turn your phone into an instrument tuning tool, measuring frequency in Hz with the musical notes scale as well. I use gStrings. It very cool. My vocal range is 56 hz to about 179 Hz, not including falsetto. Here is the link: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voice_frequency

        Reply
        1. bean

          There’s a cool app for Android called Spectroid, that analyses the sounds and shows their components in real time. This way you can see most harmonics too. You can play around with it a lot. Like see your own vocal range, look at music, the sounds of birds or even bats. Have fun while learning more 😉

          Reply
  2. JimboSkillet

    Some of the people commenting here do not understand the difference between singing a plain note, and “sh”, “s” and “t” sounds in human speech which are much higher frequencies.

    Reply
  3. Kaustuv Chaudhuri

    They have put all the waves on a single platform, but in fact sound waves are physical waves in contrast to electromagnetic waves and hence cannot be comparable at all. The highest test tone we can hear given as 12 khz….is a total wrong. A correct ear at at young age can well hear 19khz sound.

    Reply

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