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In season 2 of Daredevil, we see Matt trying to listen and pinpoint certain events somewhere in the city. Being in Hell's Kitchen, he is fairly central in Manhattan.

While most of the events of the show all seem to take place in, or fairly close to Hell's Kitchen, it seems as though he is listening to a wider overall area.

He can also hear through walls, multiple stories above/below.

What range or limitations does Daredevil's hearing have?

Note: I am primarily interested in the MCU version, but if the comics can answer this, feel free to use them as a source.

  • 1
    I was wondering this the other day, myself! I should've asked. A scene very much reminded me of Superman listing for distress while up in space, or Batman standing atop a skyscraper listening to police scanners. – user31178 Mar 21 '16 at 3:57
  • In the episode I'm watching he mentions hearing someone when they're 3 stories down. That's thru a busy hospital building taller than 3 stories. If his hearing were better, he'd probably have said 4 stories, etc. I suppose we can extrapolate from there. – user31178 Mar 23 '16 at 2:38
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    If I say that I can read that sign that is 10 feet away, it doesn't mean that I can't read the one 20 feet away. – phantom42 Mar 23 '16 at 12:39
  • I think he would have said if he heard her further away, though. Bigger effect. Hard to say, though. – user31178 Mar 23 '16 at 13:17
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    If she was 3 stories away when he was listening to her, or when he arrived, why would he say he was listening to her when she was 4 stories away, or mention that he could have maybe heard her from further away? You're reading way too far into this. – phantom42 Mar 23 '16 at 13:47
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This superpower is known as "Enhanced Hearing."

  • May be more sensitive to loud sounds.
  • Noise can limit the distance of the users hearing range or ability to detect minor sounds.
  • Inaudibility and Silence Manipulation (which are other superpowers) will make this power useless.
  • Too many conversations around the user may make it difficult to find the right one to listen to unless if they have a method to easily distinguish them.
  • Exact sensitivity and range of hearing varies by individual.

But in reality, the farthest ranges of human hearing are considered to be 20,000 kHz. While a human’s best range is better than many animals, it pales to the hearing range of cows, cats, ferrets and several other creatures.

enter image description here

Guinness World Records page for hearing.

This means Daredevil's hearing abilities are very unrealistic when you consider the additional noises and sounds in Hell's Kitchen.

Daredevil's sense of hearing is so acute that he can detect an acoustic pressure change of 1 decibel at a pressure level of 7 decibels (whereas the lowest threshold for average human hearing is 20 decibels).

This enables him to hear a person's heartbeat a distance of twenty feet, or people whispering on the other side of a standard sound-proof wall.

The exact workings of Daredevil's version of the "proximity sense" are somewhat mysterious. According to one theory, Daredevil's brain has several regions which are able to sense consciously that portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that his brain constantly generates.

He is able to resolve the image of an average flagpole (a three-inch cylinder) at a distance of over 80 feet.

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DAREDEVIL #1

Note: There are fanmade comic book scenes about Daredevil's flagpole usage. They are mostly for fun.

  • Color me a touch disappointed that there is such a huge disparity between the comic and MCU powers. – phantom42 Mar 21 '16 at 18:53
  • @phantom42 I agree. – apollo Mar 22 '16 at 8:00
  • It said he heard the flag. Then, once near it he "saw" it and grabbed it. Where's the 80 ft come in? – user31178 Mar 23 '16 at 7:10
  • @CreationEdge I can't find it now but it was mentioned in Marvel Universe Handbook. There is a good example of the similar sentence in here and here. The comic book images are there to mention Daredevil and his flagpole usage. – apollo Mar 23 '16 at 7:18
  • Is there evidence in the comics of power creep? Most characters have had their powers change/grow significantly since their first issue/appearance. – phantom42 Mar 23 '16 at 12:41

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