Uncommon Knowledge

Uncommon Knowledge: Is it Really All About That Bass?

December 1, 2015

Boombox Touch Speaker | UncommonGoods

It depends on the low-frequency context. A stand-up bass in a jazz trio can contribute to a soothing chill-out. The rhythmic bass line of your favorite workout jam can provide essential inspiration. But studies show that Low Frequency Intrusion (LFI)—sounds such as cars with giant sub-woofers that rattle the whole neighborhood—causes negative symptoms in unwitting listeners, including anxiety, decreased concentration, elevated blood pressure, increased heart rate, and insomnia. In other words, intrusive, booming bass is anything but music to many ears. But in other parts of the animal kingdom, low-frequency sound provides essential communication. Some whales use ultra-low notes in their “songs” to keep in touch with each other over great distances because long, low-amplitude sound waves hold their sonic integrity better over large distances in water. So, don’t be surprised if see a blue whale hanging out near the PA at your next rock concert—they’re all about that bass…and krill.

Boombox Touch Speaker | $40

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