How We Hear
What is Sound?

Sound is a wave of energy, generally traveling through air, but sound waves can also travel in liquids and solids.  In air, sound is a compression wave, that causes the air molecules to be pushed together, and then apart.  How rapidly the compression cycle occurs is the Frequency (or pitch) of the sound, and how close together and far apart the molecules are moving determines the intensity (or loudness).

Understanding the Ear

The ear can be divided into three areas, or regions.  These areas group the elements that physically and functionally similar.

  1. Outer Ear
  2. Middle Ear
  3. Inner Ear

The following discussion will describe these three areas and how they function to bring you sound.  Please refer to the diagram below as the various areas of the ear are discussed.