Octave and One-Third Octave Bands

The human ear is sensitive to sound over a frequency range of approximately 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz (1 Hz = 1 cycle per second), and is generally more sensitive to medium and high frequencies than to low frequencies. To define the frequency content of a noise, the spectrum is divided into frequency bands, the most common of which are octave bands, in which the mid frequency of each band is twice that of the band below it. For some applications, each octave band may be split into three one-third octave bands, and for finer analysis narrow band filters may be used.

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