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music reproduction and ability to hear


mac_and_dac
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Hi,

 

I recently went through a hearing test and it turns out that I cannot hear above 12khz. This surprised me a little as I thought my hearing was pretty good and I expected that I could hear up to 16khz.

 

It started me thinking about whether certain aspects of hifi reproduction might be less impactful to me than others, e.g. the use of one type of digital filter over another (example picked out of the air).

 

Has anyone else tested their high frequency hearing, or had their hearing deteriorate over time?

 

As an aside, a 12khz tone seems extremely high-pitched to me. If I am missing everthing above that then so be it ... I'm not sure I am losing the essence of my music, if that makes sense!

Front End: Neet Airstream

Digital Processing: Chord Hugo M-Scaler

DAC: Chord Dave

Amplification: Cyrus Mono x300 Signatures

Speakers: Kudos Titan T88

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Hi,

 

I recently went through a hearing test and it turns out that I cannot hear above 12khz. This surprised me a little as I thought my hearing was pretty good and I expected that I could hear up to 16khz.

 

It started me thinking about whether certain aspects of hifi reproduction might be less impactful to me than others, e.g. the use of one type of digital filter over another (example picked out of the air).

 

Has anyone else tested their high frequency hearing, or had their hearing deteriorate over time?

 

As an aside, a 12khz tone seems extremely high-pitched to me. If I am missing everthing above that then so be it ... I'm not sure I am losing the essence of my music, if that makes sense!

 

Not sure it means that much. I've seen experienced listeners without great hearing who can hear things that younger listeners can't. Knowing how to listen is worth a lot, it's not all about hearing high frequencies.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I played drums for many years and have an inner ear disease. Get my hearing checked every couple years. It tanks between 3 and 6 kHz significantly. I'm not sure how high I can hear, or if these sorts of audio tests reflect meaningfully what's needed to appreciate musical reproduction (they focus on speech perception). I can say that I enjoy my system tremendously and can hear the difference that a very good power supply for my DAC and mrendu makes and the difference between good and crappy recordings. Am in mid 50s. Take heart and enjoy!

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There's not a lot of content at 12khz and above unless you are listening to the highest pitches available from piano and bells. Probably more impact on imaging queues when listening to movies. Its a fact that high frequency hearing begins to gradually drop for highest audible pitch from late teens on. There's even cell phone ringers teenagers use in class rooms that they can hear but a 20 -30 year old teacher can't.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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Firstly, as Dave says, there is virtually nothing above 12 kHz except some instrumental overtones.

Secondly, the brain is very good at compensating for differences in hearing, especially when it has time to learn--as in age-related or other long term changes.

 

In the end, music is about enjoyment. So take care of your hearing as well as you can and enjoy the music.

 

Greg

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This is a very simple and good high frequency hearing test. Takes about 30 seconds.

 

Extended High Frequency Online Hearing Test | 8-22 kHz

 

Might be useful for those who want to quickly know what their high frequency hearing ceiling is.

Front End: Neet Airstream

Digital Processing: Chord Hugo M-Scaler

DAC: Chord Dave

Amplification: Cyrus Mono x300 Signatures

Speakers: Kudos Titan T88

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This is a very simple and good high frequency hearing test. Takes about 30 seconds.

 

Extended High Frequency Online Hearing Test | 8-22 kHz

 

Might be useful for those who want to quickly know what their high frequency hearing ceiling is.

 

Thanks, I took the test and it confirmed what I discovered with a different on-line hearing test about 2 years ago, my hearing now extends to only 12kHz. I used to be able to hear to 21kHz, the ravages of old age.

 

See post 13 in New Poll: Do ripped discs sound better than the physical discs?

 

I still like DSD and high resolution PCM from audiophile labels the best but I’m not longer bothered by CDs as much. Yes, most CDs still sound unlistenable to me, being strident and cold. But with my hearing loss the better audiophile CDs such as those from Telarc, Reference Recordings and others no longer sound strident but are not as warm as DSD or high resolution digital.

 

However, my hearing loss still doesn't help me enjoy most major label recordings either in low resolution or high resolution. However, there are a small number of major label recordings I have found that are acceptable.

 

It’s both the recording quality and the resolution. High resolution audiophile recordings just sound more real and alive than the best audiophile CDs to me. So my feeling is high resolution’s improvements are much more than just frequency extension.

 

Also, its possible that we perceive ultra-sonic frequencies much the same way we perceive sub-sonic frequencies with other parts of our body instead of our ears. Audio frequencies are vibrations of air, surely not only restricted to our ears. This is one reason I talk about our ear/brain system.

 

Check out There's Life Above 20 Kilohertz! - A Survey of Musical Instrument Spectra to 102.4 KHz

I have dementia. I save all my posts in a text file I call Forums.  I do a search in that file to find out what I said or did in the past.

 

I still love music.

 

Teresa

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Hearing tests professionally administered using an audiometer:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hearing_test

 

are a useful objective measure of the EAR's capability to sense sound threshold acuity at various frequencies. I believe it says little, or nothing about the ear-brain system to assimilate sound into meaning.

 

We are all creatures of our heredity, our origin. The ear-brain system is a defense system, primarily in place to direct our visual system to danger, and secondarily to gathering (hunting). To that purpose, our hearing system has significantly less processing and memory power allocated to it compared to our visual processing system and memory. We can actually "play back" visual streams like movies of past events. We (I) can not play back previous acoustical experiences as we can visual, we're just not wired that way. We remember acoustical "cues" and not "pictures" of sound.

 

But our ear-brain system can be trained, like any of our other senses, to increase our awareness of aspects of received sound, and remember them as aural cues. And all of that ability has little to do with threshold frequency response. It has to do with education and experience.

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Hi,

 

I recently went through a hearing test and it turns out that I cannot hear above 12khz. This surprised me a little as I thought my hearing was pretty good and I expected that I could hear up to 16khz.

 

It started me thinking about whether certain aspects of hifi reproduction might be less impactful to me than others, e.g. the use of one type of digital filter over another (example picked out of the air).

 

Has anyone else tested their high frequency hearing, or had their hearing deteriorate over time?

 

As an aside, a 12khz tone seems extremely high-pitched to me. If I am missing everthing above that then so be it ... I'm not sure I am losing the essence of my music, if that makes sense!

 

 

Yeah, it happens. Above about the age of 40-45, high frequency hearing attenuates significantly but it looks as if your ear/brain "compensates" somehow, and most of us don't notice it, and more importantly, don't feel handicapped (in our listening) by it. My late friend J. Gordon Holt could still spot a defective tweeter at 79!

George

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