Audio is perceived as out of tune the further away it is. What is this and why is it happening?



Forgive me if this has been asked before but I couldn’t find an answer. I was taking a walk and a car drove by and they were listening to a very familiar common pop song from the 2000’s. As it approached it was in tune, but as it drove past me, the further away it got, the more out of tune the song became to me. I have also noticed this driving past live music stadiums. What is this called and why is it happening?

In: Other

It’s called the Doppler effect. Sound travels in waves, basically speaking when the source of the sound is travelling away from you the wave elongate giving the sensation that the sound lowered in pitch

This is the Doppler Effect.

When standing still, you hear a sound, let’s say a drum beat, at one moment, and you hear another a second later.

But if you move towards the sound, you will hear that second drum beat a little sooner than you’re supposed to because you closed the distance towards the sound source between the two drum beats.

The opposite is true when you move away from the sound source.

You know those ball string paddle toys? If you move the paddle into the direction of the bouncing you will notice more bounces per second. If you move it backwards you get fewer. The pitch of a sound is the frequency of those sound-wave-bounces