The Hearing Ranges of Animals – Which Animals Hear Best?

Animal Hearing Ranges Infographic

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Regardless of whether you’re hard of hearing or have perfect hearing (for a human), this infographic will show you that – whilst us humans are a talented bunch for the most part – our hearing doesn’t compare in the slightest to some creatures out there.

The pitch of a sound is measured in Hertz (Hz) frequency, with the smaller frequencies being lower notes and higher frequencies being the opposite; higher pitched notes.

Take a moment to sympathise with the turtle, that only has a vocal hearing range of between 20Hz and 1,000Hz. The goldfish doesn’t fare much better, with a range of between 100Hz and 2,000Hz, with frogs only being able to hear between 100Hz and 3,000Hz. This means that all three animals would be unable to appreciate the full range of Mariah Carey’s vocals, who reaches a top note of G7 in her song Emotions – a note which has a frequency of 3,136Hz.

After canaries, pigeons, elephants and chimpanzees, humans are up next when it comes to the fifteen animals we compared – with a hearing range between 20Hz and 20,000Hz. Unfortunately for us, that means we’re able to hear and understand (to a degree) all of PSY’s Gangnam Style.

Our favourite household friends, cats and dogs, have similar hearing ranges that are over twice as wide as humans, but the cat’s favourite living toy – the mouse – has hearing twice as good as that!

It’s sea creatures that seem to fare best when it comes to hearing, however, with beluga whales and dolphins able to hear over 120,000Hz. However, their hearing ranges start at 1,000Hz, meaning that even if they could speak the same language as turtles, neither would be able to hear each other!

The animal with the largest hearing range in the world is the porpoise, and the dolphin relative is able to hear between 75Hz and 150,000Hz.