I went to Oxford Street to test out the functioning of my Pin Drop hypothesis. I have decided that the only fair way to decide if you can hear a pin drop is to not look at it hit the floor. It’s significantly easier to imagine a sound (or mentally amplify it) if you can see the source. So, I dropped two pins whilst looking surreptitiously into shop windows and the results are as follows:
1. Corner of Berners Street/Oxford Street, looking into Waterstone’s window: You can’t hear a pin drop.
2. Corner of Oxford Market/Market Place, looking at information post: You can hear a pin drop. But only just.
I also tried it outside Queen Elizabeth Hall and couldn’t hear anything, but that has a funny gravelly concrete floor surface so I wonder if that affects it? I will do a study on different surfaces too, just to be fair.