Humans can detect sounds in a frequency range from about 20 Hz to 20 kHz. So that's mean human unable to hear 1 Hz frequency sounds since it's far under 20 Hz.

At detectable frequency of human like 1kHz, high volume of sound may destroys human ears (CMIIW).

Amplitude is the one who determine the volume, I mean higher amplitude means higher volume.

With same amplitude that possible to destroy human ears at detectable frequency range (20 Hz until 20 kHz) , what if the frequency is low (under detectable frequency range) for example 1Hz with same amplitude? So is there still possibility that soundwave destroys human ears?

If posibble destroy human ears, does that victim hear a sound or his ears destroyed without realized it?

  • $\begingroup$ Incidentally you can actually die from low frequency high amplitude bass tones causing the air to leave ones lungs which causes collapse. Of course this is more a danger in the audible spectrum but it's something few are aware can happen. $\endgroup$
    – Triatticus
    May 19, 2022 at 14:02

1 Answer 1


If my understanding of the biology is correct, ears are destroyed when the difference of the pressure on the different sides of the eardrum is sufficiently large. If someone were not able to equalize the pressure (by "popping one's ears"), then a sufficiently high amplitude pressure wave at low frequencies should be able to rupture the eardrum. However, once the eardrum ruptures, the ear canal has a discontinuity of pressure or shock wave in it which is intrinsically broadband. So, yes a person would hear the effect of the rupture.

As a caveat, I have no idea how high of amplitude of pressure wave would be necessary to rupture the eardrum. It is entirely possible that the amplitudes necessary are sufficiently high that they will never occur in the real world.

  • $\begingroup$ Very nice answer. In reality (permanent) hearing loss, even instantaneous can happen in various stages of the hearing system. One of them is at the interface between the outer and middle ear (this is the eardrum). Since the hearing mechanism (and most organs taking part in the process) are non-linear there are various ways one can "get deaf". Nevertheless, the process you, very well, describe is one of them. Never seen studies about (even theoretical) values that eardrum rupture can happen, but there might be some (most probably based on mechanical numerical formulations of the ear). $\endgroup$
    – ZaellixA
    May 19, 2022 at 19:40

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