What is the actual frequency bandwidth of human speech? I know there is variation for gender, age and so, but what is the general range... I seem to find different ranges.

Like here: https://web.archive.org/web/20180523105329/http://recognize-speech.com:80/preprocessing

Is the range defined between 100Hz and 8kHz

Telephones are made to work in the ranges 300Hz to 3400Hz, according to Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voice_frequency

The hearing is in range

  • $\begingroup$ 100 Hz ain't low enough for human male voice (at least for the fundamental). 8 kHz is at least twice what we need. many telephony applications have 8 kHz for the sampling frequency, so the model of the source is limited to 4 kHz. when i was a ham radio operator, for SSB voice, they had a wicked sharp crystal-lattice filter with passband from 350 Hz to 2450 Hz. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 26, 2016 at 22:33

1 Answer 1


That really depends on your requirements and on your exact definition of bandwidth.

Telephone range (300 Hz-3.4 kHz) has okay intelligibility but the quality of the voice is fairly compromised. For example it's hard to tell the difference between "s" and "f" sounds.

80 Hz to 8 kHz gives you very good quality, although it's still possible for the human voice to make sounds outside of this range. Someone like James Earl Jones can easily go don to 50 Hz and specially trained singers can go a lot lower. Some fun examples at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkdMl1ITw5M

If you want all of it, you should go for the range of hearing which is about 20 Hz to 20 kHz.

  • $\begingroup$ I a currently developing a speech recognizing framework.. So that why want to know.. But since the cases you mention rarely would occur, i guess i will go with 80 hz- 8khz $\endgroup$
    – Bob Burt
    Commented Dec 26, 2016 at 23:50

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