Speed of Sound

Sound travels through different media such as air, water, steel and gas. The speed of sound through air depends on the temperature, although humidity plays a small factor (the higher the humidity the faster sound travels).

The velocity of sound through air at 21 ° degrees Celsius is 344 meters per second. The warmer the air, the faster sound will travel through air. This can have implications for large outdoors festivals where the rear speakers should be delayed to produce sound slightly after the main PA’s sound have past them.

Speed of Sound in Various Mediums

Air > 344 m/s
Hydrogen > 1284 m/s
Water > 1482 m/s
Human Brain > 1540 m/s
Gold > 2000 m/s
Steel > 5200 m/s
Diamond > 12000 m/s

Quick fact: Ultrasounds use sound to generate an image. Sonar also relies on speed of sound and measures the time taken for sound to bounce off the floor of the ocean to help map below the sea.