Hearing Loss & High End Audio

An interesting view on hearing loss (thanks for the links @Slim_Fishguttz) which should get us thinking about what we’re hearing and importantly what is normal - Hearing loss followed a couple of pages later by an article on Scotch.

If the brain can compensate for the hearing loss, it certainly also can compensate for the shortcomings as regards of your equipment …
It makes sense!

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I agree entirely, taken to it’s (il)logical conclusion I wonder if the brain compensates for lo-fi equipment obviating any need for our expensive hobby :grin:

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The group of people buying a car gets older and older. Carmakers thought about building cars for that group: slide out seats, throttled engines, bigger buttons…
Marketing says that this will not work. Nobody wants to buy an old men car.
It would be very easy to add a earEQ feature next to Room EQ in modern AVRs. Simply have the software play some test tones with a mic next to the head. And then adjust the response (and convolute with the room curve). That will not happen, same reason as for cars.

I believe the brain does this but it’s all work and become tiring. Leading people to turn it down or off… I’ve had enough Music.
I notice with my Meridian systems over the years and especially now, I do not experience this listener fatigue. I’m also sure this is true for many other quality systems.

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I’ve never been motivated to have my hearing properly tested but I had noticed I had lost interest almost entirely in the high end and certainly high rez. So out of curiosity I have done a few of those internet hearing tests and essentially I cannot hear a thing above about 10.5 Hz. Pretty normal for my age. Most of the time I cannot even hear the difference between red book FLAC and MP3 @ 320 (I try to convince my self I can with large scale, complex orchestral music but I’m not really sure).

Whilst I have lost interest in the high end and high rez I do notice that I am much more interested in room correction and DSP. For example, I can certainly hear worthwhile improvements using a combination of shareware REW, a 120 euro calibrated mic and a few hundred euros on HQPlayer. Because of worthwhile improvements I perceive, I am building myself up to to purchase a miniDSP SHD or something similar when I probably haven’t made a significant hardware purchase in 10 years or so. That sort of device is starting to package the technologies that make a difference to someone in my age group in a much more user friendly way.

I suspect that what I am doing is I am trying to select filters in software that push forward the midrange and human voice and transients, all of which are not what I used to remember. In the past I would probably have tried to do the same thing with hardware purchases but those days are over for me. I notice also that has the effect that my primary interest in roon is its library management as that is what it does for me whereas for others I notice the primary interest in roon is more in its hardware interfacing and networking.

High res audio has nothing to do with the upper frequencies we cannot hear or perceive. It’s to do with distortion introduced by steep cut off filters.

I have moderate hearing loss (mostly high frequency) and have current technology hearing aids (2020 Phonaks). I never use them for listening to music speakers or headphones. They are helpful for conversation and TV listening. I believe you can adapt to some extent by added volume, and using DSP if things need tweaking.

That’s funny. I find I much prefer steep filters especially where the mid and upper mid has been pushed forward. Otherwise, I hear, or at least I think I hear a sort of “haze” which I find interferes with the transients. I don’t know if that is age related but I don’t remember noticing it in the past.

Your own preferences has to be the final arbiter in your choices. There is no right or wrong. Could it be you are used to the distortions and so prefer them? I don’t know.

Getting around live music has been a great benchmark for sound to me.

I’m selling my hi-fi, buying a portable radio & visiting my psychiatrist to get my brain upgraded :joy:

I don’t really know if I have a preferred digital sound. If I have a preferred sound I would have thought it was the last DAC I purchased about 8/10 years ago. I had upgraded my digital equipment on a regular basis up until then and just stopped because I had reached a point where I just couldn’t hear a difference. In hindsight this was probably occurring with some degree of age related hearing loss even then.

I have no idea what filter that DAC uses (an Eximus DP1) but when I experimented with HQPlayer it sounded closer to the long filters. After experimenting I realised I now much preferred the shorter HQPlayer filters which seem to help with transients so I assume that this preference is due to more recent age related hearing loss. I now use convolution with a steep bass filter as well as deep bass just got wollier and wollier as I got older. I don’t remember being conscious of these effects when I was younger. But now I am a big fan of DSP and don’t really listen any other way. With complex music I often prefer earbuds straight out of a work laptop so I would say my audiophile days are long gone.

The thread is about the effect of hearing loss on high end audio. From my perspective, age related hearing loss has resulted in a general lack of interest in high end audio. Doesn’t stop me enjoying the music though

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