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Solution to hearing loss


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Hi.

 

This must an issue other music lovers have come across and therefore I am hoping someone already has a solution.

 

Like a lot of the “less young” population I suffer from hearing loss. Therefore I was surprised and delighted when I bought my Samsung galaxy S4 Mini to find that Samsung have an in-built app called Adapt Sound which does a “hearing test” on your hearing and adapts output of music played using Samsung’s music player to correct what comes out of the head phones based on the hearing test.

 

What I wondering is whether there is an equivalent solution for use on my Hi-Fi system. My music is ripped to Flac and stored on my Synology NAS drive. Currently music is streamed to my SONOS connect and output via my Rotel amplifier and Quad speakers. Therefore, is there some app/hardware that can do a hearing test on me and which I then stream “compensated” FLAC files through my Hi-Fi system?

 

There is a halfway house in that my Samsung phone can connect to a Play 1 and play “compensated” mp3 files through that, but it would be nice to have a solution that enabled to play “compensated” FLAC files through my existing HiFi.

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I suggest you do a spectral analysis of your hearing using Audio-CD or similar (AUDIO-CD Hearing Test (compact disc for testing of hearing)). You can use the results to program compensatory filters into your system. Just be conservative, use soft (wide bandwidth) filters and do not attempt to correct fine aberrations or the most extreme ones. It will be trial and error.

 

I do not know what music player program you use but foobar, jRiver, etc. all have DSP capabilities/plug-ins for this.

Kal Rubinson

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

 

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I believe there is no hearing loss... Or visual, or anything else which pertains to human perception. It is just optimization with time. If we stop hearing something, we do not need to hear it anymore most surely. Just enjoy your music!
I do not really disagree with you since most of us no longer have to worry about predators. However, if the OP enjoys the effect he is getting via his headphones and wants to experiment to achieve it with his files/speakers, why not? One downside is that it will probably sound like crap to others in the room.

Kal Rubinson

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

 

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I believe there is no hearing loss... Or visual, or anything else which pertains to human perception. It is just optimization with time. If we stop hearing something, we do not need to hear it anymore most surely. Just enjoy your music!

 

Sounds a lot like wishful thinking to me. :)

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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I suggest you do a spectral analysis of your hearing using Audio-CD or similar (AUDIO-CD Hearing Test (compact disc for testing of hearing)). You can use the results to program compensatory filters into your system. Just be conservative, use soft (wide bandwidth) filters and do not attempt to correct fine aberrations or the most extreme ones. It will be trial and error.

 

I do not know what music player program you use but foobar, jRiver, etc. all have DSP capabilities/plug-ins for this.

 

Thanks for for the reply. I have jRiver. Excuse my ignorance but what despite capabilities/plugins would I use for this?

 

whatever solution will be imperfect, and although adapt sound on my phone is a less than perfect solution it makes a noticeable difference to me and increases my enjoyment of the listening experience.

 

to "I believe there is no hearing loss", you are obviously fortunate enough not to suffer from any. Following your argument I shouldn't wear glasses either and happily accept the fact that I couldn't read anything or even do my job without wearing them.

 

And if I do manage to come up with a solution I wouldn't be selfish enough to force others to have to listen to any adapted sound.

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If only hearing loss were that simple. Hearing loss affects certain frequencies more than others, and (as is mine), typically affects higher range frequencies more than lower range

 

Even though I have severe hearing loss due to 44 years with Telstra, and I am now 76, I find that increasing treble to compensate for hearing loss only makes things sound wrong through a good system, accentuating sibilance for example, and causing an overblown soundstage.

Alex

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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Even though I have severe hearing loss due to 44 years with Telstra, and I am now 76, I find that increasing treble to compensate for hearing loss only makes things sound wrong through a good system, accentuating sibilance for example, and causing an overblown soundstage.

Alex

Yes. That is why I suggested that the OP experiment with the easiest approach. I have done this kind of EQing for friends a couple of times and the issue, as you are aware, is that the corrections are in conflict with the individuals' hearing of the rest of the world. That becomes the reference for "natural" for all of us and the fascination with the EQed sound fades quickly.

Kal Rubinson

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

 

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Yes. That is why I suggested that the OP experiment with the easiest approach. I have done this kind of EQing for friends a couple of times and the issue, as you are aware, is that the corrections are in conflict with the individuals' hearing of the rest of the world. That becomes the reference for "natural" for all of us and the fascination with the EQed sound fades quickly.

 

Hi Kal

Despite my hearing problems, I have presented several well received projects in another forum, including a discrete SS Class A HA/Preamp, a highly modified version of a Silicon Chip designed Class A 15W/Ch 8 ohms PA, and a highly modified version of a Silicon Chip designed HA, where >300 modified versions were constructed worldwide.

Interestingly, all of the modifications were verified as worthwhile by the constructors, and they only played around in the PSU areas in a few cases.

What sounded good to me, was judged as good by them too, which surely is a not to be expected result given our present knowledge of the hearing mechanism.

Regards

Alex

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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What about just turning up the volume? :D

 

You can not hear what you can not hear.

If one suffers from loss of hearing at certain frequencies, amplifying those frequencies normally will not make them more audible.

Bill

 

Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob

 

....just an "ON" switch, Please!

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I'm afraid "hearing loss" is not as simple as many seem to believe. Although my specialty for the last 36 years has been facial plastic & reconstructive surgery, I'm a board-certified otolaryngologist and a professional musician - so I do know a bit more than most of you about the topic.

 

Hearing loss includes impairment in / abnormality of threshold sensitivity (the quietest sound you can detect), loudness growth (perceived loudness relative to the SPL of a stimulus as it's increased), maximum comfortable loudness level (which can be reduced by disorders most of which are cochlear in origin), dynamic range between threshold and MCL, and a whole lot more.

 

A traditional audiogram only tests threshold sensitivity, and it only does so between 250 Hz and 8 kHz. If you have a cochlear hearing loss (e.g. noise-induced), you may well be "recruiting" and have relatively normal sensitivity to SPLs well above threshold. A "routine hearing test" will tell you very little (if anything) about your ability to hear sounds at the levels at which we encounter them in everyday life (and music).

 

There are some specialized hearing tests like extended range audiometry that can tell you a lot more about your practical, functional hearing ability. But standard clinical audiometric test equipment is simply not useful in assessing the aspects of your hearing that audiophiles care most about - and neither is online testing done through uncalibrated equipment (which applies to all of our systems, with very few exceptions). You'll have to find an interested and well equipped audiologist or otologist if you really want to find out how "well" you hear music and life in the world at large - and you'll have to pay appropriately for the evaluations, as none of it is covered by health insurance without specific indications (e.g. unusual otologic symptoms or disease).

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