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Do you listen to podcasts? Podcasts are a great way to learn about a topic you are fascinated by within a short amount of time. Many feature stories or interviews that bring an idea to life and provide a new perspective you may not have considered. Sometimes listening is more fun than reading about a topic, and as a bonus, you can listen on the go! For those who are interested in learning about hearing health and sounds, check out a great podcast called “Twenty Thousand Hertz.”

“Twenty Thousand Hertz”: About the podcast

This podcast offers biweekly 30-minute episodes on topics related to hearing and sounds. The host, Dallas Taylor, is a sound engineer and producer who started the show back in 2016 with the team from Defacto Sound. The podcast asks listeners to make themselves aware of everyday sounds so they can appreciate an additional layer of life. Instead of rushing past particular sounds, the podcast tells the stories behind them. Dallas explores the emotional and mental sides of hearing sounds as well and goes into the brain to see what happens as sounds are processed.

The very first episode focuses on a sound many iPhone users are familiar with – the voice of Siri. Did you know the voice actor behind Siri didn’t know her voice was used for the virtual assistant? She went to an interview and recorded herself saying random words and was later chosen as the voice! Other fun episodes teach you about how spooky sounds evoke certain feelings, why NBC chimes remind you what channel you are watching, how emergency alerts utilize certain frequencies to get your attention, and why ASMR videos have taken off in popularity.

Episodes on Hearing Loss

  • Hearing Loss – Episode 14 – This episode talks about what happens when your hearing goes away and how that hearing loss impacts your life. Audiologist Lindsay Prusick is interviewed on how quality of life changes with hearing loss and how the loss occurs. There’s an additional interview with Shaheem Sanchez, a deaf dancer, who talks about feeling rhythms in music. This is a great introductory episode that may get your mind thinking about whether or not you experience hearing loss.
  • Dining on Decibels – Episode 61 – If you feel like you need to shout to be heard in a restaurant, you are not wrong! Architect Kate Wagner is interviewed in this episode and talks about the relationship between design, acoustics, and restaurant success.
  • Noise Pollution – Episode 20 – We know by now that the daily accumulation of loud sounds can be detrimental to our hearing, and this episode focuses on the exact effects noise pollution can have on humans and nature.
  • Silence – Episode 58 – Dallas locks himself inside an anechoic chamber during this episode he is able to completely isolate sound. Researchers from the Georgia Tech Research Institute explain what is going on in your brain when a sound is heard.

More podcast recommendations

If you like Twenty Thousand Hertz, check out Song Exploder which breaks down how songs are created, Sound Matters which also focuses on sounds in the world around us, or SoundWorks Collection which interviews film and television sound professionals.

By: Diana Michel