3 Interesting Things You Don’t Know About Sound

Sound is a fascinating phenomenon that surrounds us every day. While we may be familiar with its basic properties, there are some intriguing aspects of sound that often go unnoticed. In this blog post, we will explore three interesting things you may not know about sound, shedding light on its behavior and significance in our lives. Let’s dive in!

Sound Transmission Class (STC) Ratings

When it comes to understanding how effectively building materials can block sound transmission, STC ratings hold the key. STC ratings measure the sound insulation performance of walls, doors, and windows. The higher the STC rating, the better the material is at blocking sound. However, the concept behind STC ratings is more complex than it seems.

STC ratings are determined through standardized laboratory tests that measure sound transmission loss across a range of frequencies. This means that an STC rating of 50 doesn’t imply a 50% reduction in sound. Instead, it represents the material’s overall sound-blocking ability across different frequencies.

STC ratings play a vital role in designing soundproofing solutions for various environments. Understanding the significance of STC ratings can help you make informed decisions about selecting appropriate materials and creating acoustically optimized spaces.

The Speed of Sound (It’s Faster than You Think!)

We often perceive sound as an instantaneous phenomenon, but did you know that it actually travels at a finite speed? In dry air at room temperature, sound travels at approximately 343 meters per second (or about 767 miles per hour). This means that sound can cover vast distances in a matter of seconds. For example, if you hear thunder 10 seconds after seeing a lightning strike, it indicates that the storm is roughly 3.43 kilometers (or 2.14 miles) away.

The speed of sound can vary depending on factors such as temperature, humidity, and the medium through which it travels. In denser materials like water or solids, sound travels faster than in gases like air. Exploring the speed of sound can offer intriguing insights into how sound propagates through different mediums and influences our perception of the world around us.

Infrasound: Sound Beyond Human Hearing

When we think of sound, we usually imagine audible frequencies that our ears can perceive. However, there exists a fascinating realm of sound that lies beyond our hearing capabilities, known as infrasound. Infrasound refers to sound waves with frequencies below the lower threshold of human hearing, typically below 20 Hz.

Despite being inaudible to us, infrasound can have profound effects on our bodies and emotions. It is generated by natural phenomena like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and even certain animal communication. Infrasound has been known to induce feelings of uneasiness, anxiety, or even ghostly experiences in some individuals. Scientists are still exploring the impact of infrasound on human perception and its potential applications in various fields, including music and medicine.


Sound is a captivating and multifaceted phenomenon that surrounds us, shaping our experiences and perceptions. Understanding concepts like STC ratings allows us to create acoustically optimized spaces, ensuring privacy and minimizing noise disruptions. Discovering the finite speed of sound and the intriguing world of infrasound unveils the hidden aspects of this fundamental aspect of our lives. By delving deeper into the mysteries of sound, we can gain a greater appreciation for its role in our daily experiences and continue to explore its applications in various fields.

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