MadSci Network: Physics

Re: How come when you're far away from sound you only hear the low tones?

Date: Wed Feb 7 04:32:06 2001
Posted By: Bruno Putzeys, Staff, Electroacoustics and Analog Electronics, Philips ITCL
Area of science: Physics
ID: 981170328.Ph


This phenomenon is quite simply due to the fact that air absorbs high 
frequencies more heavily than low frequencies. Since the viscosity of air 
is finite, a rapid pressure change will cause more friction loss in air 
than a slow pressure change. As you move further away from the sound 
source, more and more high frequencies get absorbed compared to the low 
This property is strongly temperature and humidity dependent. Some figures 
are given here:



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