Concept

Absolute threshold of hearing

Summary
The absolute threshold of hearing (ATH) is the minimum sound level of a pure tone that an average human ear with normal hearing can hear with no other sound present. The absolute threshold relates to the sound that can just be heard by the organism. The absolute threshold is not a discrete point and is therefore classed as the point at which a sound elicits a response a specified percentage of the time. This is also known as the auditory threshold. The threshold of hearing is generally reported in reference to the RMS sound pressure of 20 micropascals, i.e. 0 dB SPL, corresponding to a sound intensity of 0.98 pW/m2 at 1 atmosphere and 25 °C. It is approximately the quietest sound a young human with undamaged hearing can detect at 1,000 Hz. The threshold of hearing is frequency-dependent and it has been shown that the ear's sensitivity is best at frequencies between 2 kHz and 5 kHz, where the threshold reaches as low
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