Listener fatigue - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-21-2012, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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What is listener (or is it listening?) fatigue?

Is it the listener that gets tired of listening, or is it some kind of distortion than can be heard from the speaker?

What causes this?
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-21-2012, 01:24 PM
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Ear Fatigue
The literal translation is 'tired ears.' Ear Fatigue is not really a clinically recognized state, but audio professionals have been referring to it for years. It's caused by a combination of TTS (Temporary Threshold Shift) and general fatigue. The condition we call ear fatigue usually occurs after many hours of listening to or working with audio, especially when working at relatively high SPL's. It causes us to not hear the sound in the same way we do when we are fresh. Sometimes people report soreness of the ears associated with this, but not always. There are ongoing studies of this phenomenon, and the phenomenon of fatigue and how it affects performance in general, but much remains unknown. Suffice to say that making critical audio decisions while in a fatigued state is not advised and generally results in doing the work over again


Listener Fatigue
Listener fatigue can occur when listening for extended periods of time to certain material. The exact cause has been the subject of debate, but it is generally accepted that it can be caused by the introduction of artifacts in the program material.

This is an extension of the quantifiable psychological perception of sound, adding time-variance effects.

If listeners get fatigued when listening to a radio station they may tune out, and either consciously or unconsciously they may come to avoid listening to that station.

Data-reduction systems are another possible reason why listener fatigue can creep in. The constant quest for greater loudness, an obsession with pushing levels to the maximum, and a lack of understanding of the ways in which digital equipment can generate distortion all seem to lead to an increase in listener fatigue. However, the understanding of what causes fatigue is still relatively limited.
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post #3 of 9 Old 05-21-2012, 01:29 PM
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Unclean or overly bright highs can make the ear feel tired. It is under debate scientifically but the cleaner the sound the less perceived ear fatigue you may experience. A lot of it is up to personal listening perception. What can be deemed as overly bright sounds to some can be dead on perfect for another. Room acoustics and speakers ability to accurately reproduce sound can also come into the equation. Anybody feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but this is how I personally take the definition to be.
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-21-2012, 04:32 PM
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Another thing that can lead to fatigue is a poorly designed crossover. If there are drivers that "ring" (metal woofers), with a massive breakup that is not properly controlled, that will always be present in the speakers sound even if you're not really sure you are hearing anything.


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post #5 of 9 Old 05-21-2012, 05:42 PM
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I can get ear fatigue - from the bass, midrange or treble.
A poor performing, designed/engineered speaker > will
tend to wear me out. Also, none of the different receiver
set-up/EQ options, will save me from this.

__________________________________________
Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-21-2012, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunnmike View Post

Ear Fatigue
The literal translation is 'tired ears.' Ear Fatigue is not really a clinically recognized state, but audio professionals have been referring to it for years. It's caused by a combination of TTS (Temporary Threshold Shift) and general fatigue. The condition we call ear fatigue usually occurs after many hours of listening to or working with audio, especially when working at relatively high SPL's. It causes us to not hear the sound in the same way we do when we are fresh. Sometimes people report soreness of the ears associated with this, but not always. There are ongoing studies of this phenomenon, and the phenomenon of fatigue and how it affects performance in general, but much remains unknown. Suffice to say that making critical audio decisions while in a fatigued state is not advised and generally results in doing the work over again


Listener Fatigue
Listener fatigue can occur when listening for extended periods of time to certain material. The exact cause has been the subject of debate, but it is generally accepted that it can be caused by the introduction of artifacts in the program material.

This is an extension of the quantifiable psychological perception of sound, adding time-variance effects.

If listeners get fatigued when listening to a radio station they may tune out, and either consciously or unconsciously they may come to avoid listening to that station.

Data-reduction systems are another possible reason why listener fatigue can creep in. The constant quest for greater loudness, an obsession with pushing levels to the maximum, and a lack of understanding of the ways in which digital equipment can generate distortion all seem to lead to an increase in listener fatigue. However, the understanding of what causes fatigue is still relatively limited.

Brovo!
My ears fatigue when I listen to mp3 in the bus.
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post #7 of 9 Old 05-21-2012, 06:45 PM
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Any more than 10 minutes with an overly bright tweeter/room and I'm out, often not wanting to hear music for a couple of days.

I was relieved to learn this is called fatigue, previously I relented to calling myself intolerant

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post #8 of 9 Old 05-21-2012, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subjga View Post

What is listener (or is it listening?) fatigue?

Is it the listener that gets tired of listening, or is it some kind of distortion than can be heard from the speaker?

What causes this?

...you know it is happening when, even with the best recording, listening becomes annoying, and you want to turn down the volume.

Espo77
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-21-2012, 09:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

Another thing that can lead to fatigue is a poorly designed crossover. If there are drivers that "ring" (metal woofers), with a massive breakup that is not properly controlled, that will always be present in the speakers sound even if you're not really sure you are hearing anything.

I've seen it referred to in the DIY speaker projects on PE, where the discussion of how the design of the crossover involved an intentional dip in the midrange was there to decrease listener fatigue.
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