maybe i’m not crazy… maybe

so over the last few weeks, I noticed that every once in a while, I hear a high-pitched ringing. I would ask a2c if she heard it, and of course she didn’t. I thought maybe I was losing my hearing or something. One night, I happened to notice it while we were watching TV. Again, I asked a2c if she heard it, but again, she gave me the “crazy” look.

So, then another time, I noticed it happened during a KFC commercial. I wasn’t sure, so I just made a mental note. This evening, I saw the same KFC commercial, and sure enough, I heard the tone again. Again, a2c shoots me the crazy.

Convinced I must be losing my mind, I google “kfc high-pitched tone”. And of course, like the reliable old friend it is, it returned many results, including this article

Apparently, KFC is trying a new advertising technique based on some study that found that there are certain frequencies that only teens can hear.

I’m no spring chicken, so why can I hear this?

  • Josh Peterson

    I heard it too. And this is supposed to make me want to buy chicken?

  • This thing is often called the “mosquito tone”. It’s around 17kHz, IIRC. Many people over thirty are unable to hear it.

    I’ve always noticed that TVs — CRTs especially — emit a high pitch tone when powered on. My wife thinks I’m nuts when I tell her that I can tell when a TV is turned on in the house, even if it isn’t receiving any A/V input.

    Some guy invented a system to pay the mosquito tone really loud to discourage teenagers from loitering outside of businesses. The idea is that “adults” won’t hear it.

    Kids have turned the tables on them, though; I saw an article about kids who are using the mosquito tone as their cell phone ringtone so they can hear it ringing without alerting teachers, parents, etc.