I am running Ubuntu 18.04
Sometimes, I'll play a media file and it would have been encoded badly and there will be a very high-pitched whine in the background.
Is it possible to block sound from being played above a certain frequency?
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With an audio editor such as Audacity, it is possible to identify the offending frequencies and filter them out quite selectively (assuming your pitched whine has narrow frequency bands). Noise reduction would work even better, provided again it concerns a very constant noise and you have it available in a small selection of silence.
Audio players sometimes have equalizers, but these will usually not allow for the very fine filtering required to remove offending noise without scarifying too much audio quality.