[Home > Intro to Sound > Expand > Hearing > Pure Tones]
Here are some links that will allow you to hear what pure sounds sound like. We have created a bunch of mp3 files containing pure tones. When you hear a tone, remember that your computer's speakers are pushing the air molecules that are right next to the speaker. These air molecules push on ones next to them, and so on, until the air near your ear drum gets pushed on, are you hear the sound.
It turns out that the air is able to support not just one single wave of pushes (pure tones), but many, many waves at once. This means various pure tones can be mixed, and sent through the air at the same time. This is where music, speech, and otherwise "noise" come from. Here are a couple of links containing two mixed sounds each. Can you hear each individual sound at work?
Mixed sounds that touch tone dialing on your phone use
If you click on the sounds below, they should sound familiar to you. It turns out that the phone company uses specific combinations of tones to signal that you have pressed a key on your touch tone phone. In fact, if you hold your phone (the part your speak into) up to your computer speakers when you play these tones, it should trick your phone into thinking that you actually pressed the corresponding digit.