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Does Speaker Distortion Exacerbate Tinnitus? . . .

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  • Does Speaker Distortion Exacerbate Tinnitus? . . .


    I am discovering a relationship to this as I age.

    Small speakers (2 way particularly) in a lively (reflective room) causes my Tinnitus to flare up instantly whereas being in a more dead (damped/dead) listening environment with the same music played at the same levels on larger speakers (less cone travel/lower distortion) causes NO tinnitus flare-ups and I enjoy listening much more - and subsequently spend way too much time standing in front of the speakers in the drumming room/basement rather than playing my drums.

    Additionally, I find that highly compressed music (.MP3's) sound bad/raspy where uncompressed music does not seem to have this effect.


  • #2
    I find when I spend a lot of time focusing on the sound, listening for specific things (during speaker development), the active critical listening type (as opposed to the mindless, pure joy, foot tapping type) then I really start to notice my tinnitus a lot more (or my tinnitus gets "louder").

    Because you still have two variables in this equation its hard to determine if it was the lower distortion speaker or the less reflective environment that contributed the most. Take your speakers from the reflective environment down into your muted environment and try it out. And or vice/versa.

    And I assume by distortion you mean in this case the stuff that's not like directly obvious as you listen (who listens like that??) and your referring more to your subconscious perception of harmonic distortions.

    I tend to think it'll be the reflective environment that's the biggest culprit here.
    Constructions: Dayton+SB 2-Way v1 | Dayton+SB 2-Way v2 | Fabios (SB Monitors)
    Refurbs: KLH 2 | Rega Ela Mk1

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    • #3
      Another vote for the reflective environment. You can get some impressive peaks (and dips) from reflections. Your brain tends to ignore reflections, but sensitive ears may not.
      Francis

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      • billfitzmaurice
        billfitzmaurice commented
        Editing a comment
        It's both content and environment. High THD is mainly heard in the upper midrange and high frequencies, which are intensified in a highly reflective room. The cure is therefore twofold. Use larger higher sensitivity speakers that run with lower THD, and get rid of reflective surfaces.

      • fpitas
        fpitas commented
        Editing a comment
        That sounds like my setup lol. The tinnitus still cranks up after a while, but oh well.

    • #4
      Originally posted by DeZZar View Post
      I find when I spend a lot of time focusing on the sound, listening for specific things (during speaker development), the active critical listening type (as opposed to the mindless, pure joy, foot tapping type) then I really start to notice my tinnitus a lot more (or my tinnitus gets "louder")....
      This. When I really try to pinpoint detail, the tinnitus is more noticeable and hides the detail I'm looking for. Makes me want to go back in time and slap myself for not wearing earplugs at gigs consistently.
      Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
      Wogg Music
      Published projects: PPA100 Bass Guitar Amp, ISO El-Cheapo Sub, Indy 8 2.1 powered sub, MicroSat, SuperNova Minimus

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      • #5
        I only hear my tinnitus when I think about it. Fairly mild in rh ear (motorcycle exhaust side, f'ing Supertrapp).

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        • #6
          Multiband EQ. Real or virtual.
          Run each band up and down in turn to find the range that aggravates/ameliorates the problem.

          In addition to making you feel better now, you can deduce the nature of possible passive fixes(a friend has 13 band EQ, keeps two sliders at -12db, all others at +4-but he was a gunsmith, so...)

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