My System Is Hurting My Ears - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 26 Old 02-17-2017, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
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My System Is Hurting My Ears

When I'm watching a movie or listing to musics on my surround sound my ears start to hurt when there is a lot of bass in the song or the movie. I don't have this problem when I'm in a car with a lot of bass, so I think something is wrong. I hope the photos help if you anyone knows what I can change to fix this, if you need more info just hit me up, thanks.
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post #2 of 26 Old 02-18-2017, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcolorblack View Post
When I'm watching a movie or listing to musics on my surround sound my ears start to hurt when there is a lot of bass in the song or the movie. I don't have this problem when I'm in a car with a lot of bass, so I think something is wrong. I hope the photos help if you anyone knows what I can change to fix this, if you need more info just hit me up, thanks.
A car may seem to have a lot of bass, but the frequencies are usually not much lower than 40 Hz.

A subwoofer in a house can go lower in frequency, and there may even be subsonic frequencies (you can't "hear" them much, but they affect your ears anyway).

One thing is for sure; you will suffer hearing damage if you don't turn the volume down.
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post #3 of 26 Old 02-18-2017, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post
A car may seem to have a lot of bass, but the frequencies are usually not much lower than 40 Hz.

A subwoofer in a house can go lower in frequency, and there may even be subsonic frequencies (you can't "hear" them much, but they affect your ears anyway).

One thing is for sure; you will suffer hearing damage if you don't turn the volume down.
even when I have the volume low my ears start to hurt.
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post #4 of 26 Old 02-18-2017, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcolorblack View Post
even when I have the volume low my ears start to hurt.

If you have a subwoofer, try unplugging its power cord.

If that doesn't fix the problem, maybe there is sort sort of high-frequency distortion that is bothering you.
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post #5 of 26 Old 02-18-2017, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by coolcolorblack View Post
even when I have the volume low my ears start to hurt.
I think you should consult a doctor. I would.
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post #6 of 26 Old 02-18-2017, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcolorblack View Post
When I'm watching a movie or listing to musics on my surround sound my ears start to hurt when there is a lot of bass in the song or the movie. I don't have this problem when I'm in a car with a lot of bass, so I think something is wrong. I hope the photos help if you anyone knows what I can change to fix this, if you need more info just hit me up, thanks.
What are your main speakers?

The problem may lie there as your sub only plays down to 32hz according to the specs which means it actually doesn't play very low at all.

Try turning OFF the subwoofer and see it the problem continues without the sub in place and the main speakers set to large instead of small, (I assume you have them set to small now).

Geoff A. J., California
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post #7 of 26 Old 02-18-2017, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post
A car may seem to have a lot of bass, but the frequencies are usually not much lower than 40 Hz.

A subwoofer in a house can go lower in frequency,
Given the prodigious cabin gain in vehicles, this is rarely true unless you are speaking specifically about factory systems. I've seen untold single subs in small sealed boxes that would have no useable output below 40Hz in a home environment still have quite reasonable 20Hz output in a car because of this cabin gain.
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post #8 of 26 Old 02-18-2017, 12:28 PM
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just to remove the obvious, you are not using your subwoofer as a pillow, are you?
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post #9 of 26 Old 02-18-2017, 01:42 PM
 
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If it bothers others the same way then it's the system. If it doesn't it's you. Find out which of the two is broken first, then you can go about fixing it.
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post #10 of 26 Old 02-18-2017, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
What are your main speakers?

The problem may lie there as your sub only plays down to 32hz according to the specs which means it actually doesn't play very low at all.

Try turning OFF the subwoofer and see it the problem continues without the sub in place and the main speakers set to large instead of small, (I assume you have them set to small now).
how do you set them to small, I have a TX-NR545?
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post #11 of 26 Old 02-18-2017, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
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I turned the sub off and my ears are still hearing, I'm thinking its high pitch sounds that are doing it.
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post #12 of 26 Old 02-18-2017, 05:30 PM
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Does the sound cause physical pain or discomfort?

When you say it still hurts at "low volumes" do you have any way to quantify that? When I think of low volume I am in the 60-70 dB range... you low might be significantly higher....

What speakers are you using?

Have you run or tried to rerun auto EQ?

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post #13 of 26 Old 02-18-2017, 05:53 PM
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So it isn't the sub. That's not surprising as audible highs tend to bother people more than rumbling lows.

Your receiver may have a global high cut option you could experiment with--it's mostly there for rooms with bright acoustics (hard floors). If not, you can try EQing down the high frequencies for each channel. Do so in a way that the highs gradually drop more and more the higher the frequency.

Either your system is too bright, or you have a medical problem. Whichever problem it is seems severe and should be dealt with.
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post #14 of 26 Old 02-18-2017, 05:55 PM
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Sounds to me like you have been listening at a volume that has slightly damaged your hearing and your ears are now over sensitive to sound. perhaps, it would be a good idea to keep the volume down for a time and give your ears a time to heal.
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post #15 of 26 Old 02-19-2017, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcolorblack View Post
I turned the sub off and my ears are still hearing, I'm thinking its high pitch sounds that are doing it.
There is another possiblity.

You might have a high-frequency oscillation in your system that is near your high-frequency hearing limit.

This can be caused by a poor ground connection on one of your cables due to it not being tight enough on the connector.

This will usually cause one amplifier to run very hot.

Check and see if your amp heat sinks are extremely hot.
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post #16 of 26 Old 02-19-2017, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by coolcolorblack View Post
I turned the sub off and my ears are still hearing, I'm thinking its high pitch sounds that are doing it.
Turn of the "loudness management" as that boosts frequencies at low volumes.

Either I'm stupid or the Onkyo EQ is stupid as I don't see anywhere to manage crossovers and speaker size in your manual.

http://filedepot.onkyousa.com/Files/...ADV_En_web.pdf

Page 19 of the Basic Manual walks you through the Quick Setup audio menus so try listening with everything off and or on and adjusting the treble to see if any of those changes help.

Can't find a thing about changing speakers from large to small or manually adjusting crossover points; but maybe that's the way Onkyos work.

If so, yet another reason to get a Denon or Marantz!

Geoff A. J., California
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post #17 of 26 Old 02-19-2017, 09:47 AM
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"Patients who have a collapsed tolerance to sound need to have their Loudness Discomfort Levels (LDL's) established by a hearing healthcare professional." -

http://www.hyperacusis.net/what-is-i...d-sensitivity/
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post #18 of 26 Old 02-19-2017, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcolorblack View Post
When I'm watching a movie or listing to musics on my surround sound my ears start to hurt when there is a lot of bass in the song or the movie. I don't have this problem when I'm in a car with a lot of bass, so I think something is wrong. I hope the photos help if you anyone knows what I can change to fix this, if you need more info just hit me up, thanks.
My parents have a fairly small room setup (9'`14') and the subwoofer+speakers in there can really pressurize the room to where it hurts me. The in-room response also boots some frequencies around 60hz so using room compensation helped with that.

You can test your sound pressure levels (spl) with the simple Radio Shack meter. There are tables on the web that show what ranges are harmful.
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post #19 of 26 Old 02-19-2017, 12:43 PM
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Maybe a picture of your room and how reflective the surfaces are would help, (as would going to a doctor...you could have an infection).

What are your main speakers?

Geoff A. J., California
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post #20 of 26 Old 02-19-2017, 12:51 PM
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My System Is Hurting My Ears

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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcolorblack View Post
When I'm watching a movie or listing to musics on my surround sound my ears start to hurt when there is a lot of bass in the song or the movie. I don't have this problem when I'm in a car with a lot of bass, so I think something is wrong. I hope the photos help if you anyone knows what I can change to fix this, if you need more info just hit me up, thanks.
Okay, I'm with M.zilch. You need to clarify for us if when you say "hurts" you mean it's just not comfortable listening to it, or you are actually experiencing pain/discomfort. If the latter, STOP, go to an audiologist and get tested (not the routine test that just checks for what tones you can hear, but the advanced diagnostic test for pain in the ear drums, hearing loss, or tinnitus).

It could be that the stereo is simply making a symptom more acute, but troubleshooting your stereo is not going to save your hearing.

Seriously, go see an audiologist to diagnose the pain, "do not pass GO, do not collect $200/£200" as they say in the game of Monopoly.


Once you've done that and gotten the results, we'll know what to do next.

Question: in one of your pics, you have bi-amp set YES. Do you actually have two sets of leads going to each main speaker, i.e. Each speaker has two red wires and two ground wires? If the answer is NO, then I think you need to reset your amp to factory defaults (p.21 of your basic manual), and set it up again paying diligent attention to the instructions in the manual. Don't enable any features without first reading the manual and understanding what they are for. I recommend this because you may have the EQ or tone controls set up in a way that is compensating for hearing difficulties, and causing more trouble. Instead of asking you to find all the advanced settings and set them to nominal values, completely resetting the AVR will start from square one.

But that audiologist diagnostic hearing test is the first thing you do. I'd stop listening to the stereo until then as you may be causing more damage. That includes gaming (you posted a few months back about an Xbox), and particularly NO listening with earbuds or headphones as they may hurt your ear drums more.



Quote:
Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
...
Either I'm stupid or the Onkyo EQ is stupid as I don't see anywhere to manage crossovers and speaker size in your manual.

http://filedepot.onkyousa.com/Files/...ADV_En_web.pdf
{edited}

OOH, I get it. P. 31 of Advanced manual (63 of the PDF), you simply set each speaker as "Full band" (aka "large") or set a crossover for each (aka "small" and bass managed). Actually, I like that. Sidesteps the whole "large vs. small" confusion factor for consumers. :}

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post #21 of 26 Old 02-19-2017, 12:52 PM
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His subwoofer is Klipsch. I will deduce his main speakers are Klipsch too, because people love to buy all from one brand. Klipsch speakers sound like train horn. Train horn in a room with nasty reflections sounds like a recipe for suicide.

3 solutions:
1. treat reflections
2. dump speakers
3. do both (1) and (2)
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post #22 of 26 Old 02-19-2017, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by donktard View Post
His subwoofer is Klipsch. I will deduce his main speakers are Klipsch too, because people love to buy all from one brand. Klipsch speakers sound like train horn. Train horn in a room with nasty reflections sounds like a recipe for suicide.
I was wondering that too. If what he was describing as 'pain' was really just listener fatigue. Not everyone can use Klipsch speakers without feeling like their ears get tired out.

Lower treble or play with EQ on the receiver would be the first thing I'd try. Or if the OP has other speakers to test, just swap them out and see if the same problem occurs. And of course make sure volume isn't at ear bleed levels.
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post #23 of 26 Old 02-19-2017, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ChromeJob View Post


You saw the manual (PDF) is divided into two books, the second of which is advanced and covers the nifty customization stuff?

FWIW, I can't find speaker size setting either. Pffft. Friggin' Onkyo.
Yeah, I paged through the whole darned thing and dear lord, what a complete lack of customization that AVR seems to offer.

Stunning in this day and age to be honest.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #24 of 26 Old 02-20-2017, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
Either I'm stupid or the Onkyo EQ is stupid as I don't see anywhere to manage crossovers and speaker size in your manual.

http://filedepot.onkyousa.com/Files/...ADV_En_web.pdf.

Can't find a thing about changing speakers from large to small or manually adjusting crossover points; but maybe that's the way Onkyos work.
In Auto mode the crossover frequency is selected by the results of the mic's room calibration readings. In manual mode the user can set the frequency from 40 to 200Hz. see pg EN-31
---

Their terminology of "full band" instead of the speakers being "large" is one of the most important advances in AVR design I've seen in years. Not a few, but rather zillions of people have set up their systems incorrectly because their egos refused to allow them to deem their speakers as "small". This should help with that issue.
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post #25 of 26 Old 02-20-2017, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
In Auto mode the crossover frequency is selected by the results of the mic's room calibration readings. In manual mode the user can set the frequency from 40 to 200Hz. see pg EN-31
---

Their terminology of "full band" instead of the speakers being "large" is one of the most important advances in AVR design I've seen in years. Not a few, but rather zillions of people have set up their systems incorrectly because their egos refused to allow them to deem their speakers as "small". This should help with that issue.
Completely missed that.

Pretty straight forward.
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post #26 of 26 Old 02-20-2017, 10:43 AM
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My System Is Hurting My Ears

Quote:
Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
Yeah, I paged through the whole darned thing and dear lord, what a complete lack of customization that AVR seems to offer.



Stunning in this day and age to be honest.
I later found it and updated my post; zilch also found it as you saw. Took several minutes of searching the PDF in iBooks. :P

@coolcolorblack hasn't returned, so I'm wondering if he only has one set of speaker wires to each left and right speaker, with the AVR set up in bi-amp mode, resulting in an abnormal accentuation of high frequencies, and doesn't realize it? Don't have time right now to look at the manual and speculate on all the ways the system could be mis-configured....


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