Introduction to Audiology by Martin and Clark, 13th edition, Pretty Interesting Reading

I finally got around to trying a recommendation of MDB to lift some of my ignorance about hearing, the text Introduction to Audiology by Martin and Clark, 13th edition, 2019. The price of texts these days had been putting me off but I opted for the Pearson eText, which if bought on Amazon is delivered as an Amazon Kindle book readable on PC’s, iOS and Android devices, but not Kindle Readers! Hopefully, buying it through Amazon assures that the text will survive electronically for a good while to come. The Amazon PC Kindle interface is much improved but I have yet to see how the interactive features of this particular electronic book play in the Kindle app.

I found one particular striking passage early on the psychoacoustics of sound perception: how fundamental tones of low frequency combine to produce higher frequency harmonics which may vary in strength depending of the number, frequency, and amplitude of the base fundamental frequencies. But here is a striking quote from the book that relates that to the way standard telephones work relative to the fundamental frequencies of adult male and female human voices:

Once the harmonic structure of a wave has been determined by the fundamental, the fundamental is no longer critical for the clear perception of a sound for persons with normal hearing. This is exemplified by the telephone, which does not allow frequencies below about 300 Hz to pass through. Although a man’s fundamental vocal frequency averages about 85 to 150 Hz and a woman’s about 175 to 250 Hz (both the consequences of laryngeal size, shape, and subglottal pressure), the sex of the speakers, as well as their identities, is often evident over a telephone even though the fundamental frequency is filtered out.

Martin, Frederick N… Introduction to Audiology (Pearson Communication Sciences and Disorders) (p. 27). Pearson Education. Kindle Edition.

Just to see if I was needless duplicating previous discussion of such on the forum I searched about and the closest thing that I could come up with was the following from 2007:

Another interesting tidbit gleaned from early on in the book is the eardrum-shattering blast of a gunshot is not from the powder explosion but rather the sonic boom of the bullet exiting the gun barrel at supersonic speed.

So far have read only up to about page 30 of a 524 page book but glad I plunked down the cash for the book. Good read so far. Good on the history of audiology as a profession in the U.S., which began in the military after WWII attending to the many WWII veterans with hearing loss.


I feel like I’m in school reading Shakespeare all over again. I think I’ll stick with Stephen King.

I’m hanging out for Audiology for Idiots.

The older version is on Library Genesis. (Introduction to LibGen here.)

Is much changed since the 12Ed from 2014?

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It happens I just wrote about cutting bass for better clarity. I’ve been in the speech amplification (to crowds) racket so long it is “obvious”. Of course nothing is obvious when you first run into it. Since some folks here are taking control of their HAs, it bears mentioning.

Dunno; but the 2014 ed is a very excellent book, with 40 years of previous editions behind it. It does hit ALL the basics. (Perhaps too much for non-pros.) I see it does not cover the very latest HA technologies (but the HA companies blow their own horns well, even if with bias).

Cynically I will mention that in text books, “new edition” does not always mean new book. Each year’s students sell their texts to the next year students. To spoil that market (and lost sales), textbook publishers re-pack their products more frequently than maybe the subject really needs. The passage Jim found on pg 27 of the 13th, I find on page 41 of the 12th. If the prof assigns “page 234 to 302” (of the edition in the syllabus), students with other editions will be out of step. (Yes, the ones who are going to pass will figure it out; until Prof assigns something NOT in the older edition.)


I do remember reading in the beginning of the 13th edition of Introduction to Audiology a description of what has changed since the previous version. But to get a picture of what changed over several editions, you’d have to chain a series of “what’s changed since the previous edition” together, which is not easy to do.

Since Amazon has a “Look Inside!” Feature for some books, on the 13th Edition, you can look at the beginning pages and on intro pages IX and X, you’ll find the following summary of what’s changed since the 12th edition :


On downloading stuff that might get you into trouble with copyright laws, it reminds me of years ago my wife was working late in the office. Her phone rang. Unusual after hours. She thought it thus might be important so she answered the call. It was someone in the branch of the music industry RIAA that enforces digital rights. The voice announced that they’d determined someone was downloading stuff right at her location. “It wouldn’t be you, Ma’am?!” Wife said she did think she was the only one there but let her check. She roamed up and down the halls, found a lady tech who’d also stayed behind, and appeared to be using her computer on the Internet. I forget the ensuing details. I think the RIAA called the next day during working hours and spoke to the managementt. Wife says tech did not lose her job over the matter but got a “Don’t do that again!” admonishment and was under a cloud and eventually left employment with her clinic. So sometimes things that appear to be free come with indirect costs.

Right. America: land of the free.

I imagine companies in the Netherlands sing a very different tune when perhaps some Chinese companies steal their technology and start selling knockoffs putting the European companies under strain and possibly putting folks on the dole. So what’s good often depends on who’s stealing what from whom, eh?!

I think ASML of the Netherlands is one of the top lithography companies in the world and makes big bucks sellling its gear to Samsung, Intel, and TSMC. So perhaps if some Chinese company “borrows” a little here and there, you’ll get to appreciate firsthand the economic dislocation benefits of living in the land of the free(-for-all).

I was rather talking about repression, clouds and losing a job.

In the Netherlands we pay 5€/month/internet connection for lost revenue from rights, IIRC. In the UK a colleague of my wife got a 80£ fine for downloading copyrighted material.

ASML is only business2business so we have no contact with that firm as consumers. (Nor am I a shareholder, so I couldn’t care less.) ASML seems to be a pretty good employer, though. So that is something that is known in the Netherlands.

In the U.S., there’s a fair used book market, especially considering how outrageously expensive spanking new textbooks are these days. But there are various used booksellers networked together. Half Price Books ( is one chain that’s also connected to other sellers via the Internet. Same with older versions of books on Amazon. I saw that the going price for a paperback copy of the older 12th edition is about $44 and if one doesn’t think the basics have changed enough to worry about it, the even older 11th edition can be had for about $12 (including shipping within the U.S.). Pricing is steeper if you want a version that comes with eText (online videos, animations, etc., to watch, etc). Look out for a web page that says “More Copies,” often at an even lower price. When you click on such a link, you often get offered even older editions at the lower price advertised. So if you decide to buy a used book online, make sure you’ve put the edition you really want in your online shopping cart. You can get popular reading or older textbooks that weren’t big hits at some truly amazing prices, e.g. I bought texts on linear algebra and differential equations recently for $8 a pop in a physical Half Price Books store in Austin, TX. Used book stores near big universities have a good selection/turnover. Anyone going to Portland, Oregon, though, I highly recommend Powell’s Books - it’s definitely a trip - a whole city block several stories high in BOOKS!

2014 12th edition of Introduction to Audiology (Martin, Greer)

2011 11th edition

Duh! Stupid me! Amazon’s “eTextbook” is not Pearson’s “eText” and is just a Kindle Book. No additional online features. I complained to Amazon and they immediately refunded my $70 purchase price (inc. tax).

Pearson’s website appears to say that one can purchase the real Pearson eText for $37 - but this time, I’m actually going to carefully ask what I get before I buy! Make sure it’s not a subscription, has full access both to text, illustrations, and online material. :see_no_evil:

It would help if Pearson made third-party sellers prominently disclaim “The purchase of this eBook does not come with Pearson eText.” Amazon claims to be selling its Kindle Edition through Pearson but here’s what the Pearson itself says on its website about Pearson eText vs. “third-party” sellers, which Amazon clearly appears to be in this instance.

*The Enhanced eText features are only available in the Pearson eText format. They are not available in third-party eTexts or downloads.
**The Pearson eText App is available on Google Play and in the App Store. It requires Android OS 3.1-4, a 7” or 10” tablet, or iPad iOS 5.0 or later.

See bottom of page of following link for source of text quoted above:

Edit_update The book page viewed through the Amazon Shopping Mobile App is different and a lot clearer that no Pearson eText is included than the rather different product page seen through a PC web browser. Strange.

I bought the 10th edition a few years back for less than $5. Glad you’re finding it interesting.

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Missing fundamental is just one more way that our auditory system is a mathematician. Ears are the best.

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I was amazed to learn that the minimum sensitivity of human hearing corresponds to a one-part-in-a-million change in atmospheric air pressure on the eardrum. And speaking of math, the text reminded me that 0 decibels is not the absence of sound but a decibel measurement is always a measure of a log ratio to where you are now relative to some reference level of sound. So no matter whether one is measuring in intensity or pressure per unit area, a calculation that has log(current measurement level divided by reference level) involved will always yield 0 when the current measurement level = reference level as the ratio is then 1 and log(1) = 0. It’s too easy for me to go astray thinking that if 140 decibels is really loud, then 0 decibels must be no sound at all. But that ain’t the case.

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And the ear is sensitive to 10 microsecond timing differences. The auditory system has some of the fastest, most efficient temporal processing in the brain. The motor protein in the haircells is orders of magnitude faster than other motor proteins in the body. Ahhh…it’s so much cooler than vision, though I did get to shake David Hubel’s hand one time and I didn’t tell him I thought so.


Right. And “zero dB SPL” is approximately the midband sensitivity of a very good young ear. “Normal” is more like 20dB SPL (10X pressure) midband. And always higher in bass.

Zero SPL is very rare. Very quiet recording studios run nearer 14dB SPL overall. However as you say negative SPL is perfectly possible. A concrete concert hall I knew was >50dB SPL under 50Hz, but near -5dB SPL in the 3kHz band. (It took a long time to get that reading.)

Another old-timer is (Now owned by Amazon but not totally assimilated.) ABE search for this book.

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