Listening Fatigue, what is it? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 36 Old 02-27-2019, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Listening Fatigue, what is it?

How do you define listening fatigue?

I personally think its when I feel mild physical discomfort from listening. Thats because of distortion or resonant frequencies, usually mid-high.

How have you experienced listening fatigue?
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post #2 of 36 Old 02-27-2019, 08:43 PM
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If I run low on energy and am not enjoying the music anymore is when it's time to quit. I can listen to music nearly continuously for 2-3 hours and am currently going into over an hour. The energy I use enjoying the music for that long is what makes me tired.
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post #3 of 36 Old 02-28-2019, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by warnerwh1 View Post
If I run low on energy and am not enjoying the music anymore is when it's time to quit. I can listen to music nearly continuously for 2-3 hours and am currently going into over an hour. The energy I use enjoying the music for that long is what makes me tired.
I get what you are saying. But wouldnt that mean, sooner or later, all systems are fatiguing?


Just thinking out loud.
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post #4 of 36 Old 02-28-2019, 06:48 AM
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post #5 of 36 Old 02-28-2019, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Checking it out. TY!
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post #6 of 36 Old 02-28-2019, 08:16 AM
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post #7 of 36 Old 02-28-2019, 10:29 AM
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There is a difference between - I'm tired of listening - and - Listening or Listener Fatigue.

I'm tired of listening
simply means - did this, now I'm done. Like I'm tired of reading a book, or I'm tired of watching TV. It is more an indication of boredom or an indication of a desire to simply do something else.

Listening or Listener Fatigue indicates a weariness or irritation with listening to music, typically brought on by distorted or unbalanced speakers , or from resonances and abnormalities in the room brought on by poor room acoustics.

I'm done with this
fatigue is like boredom - time to move on.

Listening Fatigue
is you reaching your limit of irritation caused by some aspect of your system.

But then ... that's just my opinion.

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post #8 of 36 Old 02-28-2019, 11:07 AM
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^^^^^^this ^^^^ is how I would explain it....and agree 100% on what the meaning is.
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post #9 of 36 Old 02-28-2019, 04:04 PM
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Bright speakers do it every time.
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post #10 of 36 Old 02-28-2019, 06:25 PM
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There are recording studio personnel who have experienced these symptoms or condition.

In the audiophile world, ignorance truly is bliss. Save your money.
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post #11 of 36 Old 02-28-2019, 06:40 PM
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Acoustically flat response speakers will induce fatigue pretty quickly I find.

I have to roll off pretty well from about 5khz slowly and then 2db down to 10khz, and about 6db down by 20khz. When I do that I can listen for a long time before I get tired of it. And this is with an AMT tweeter which are known for being pretty laid back and very easy to listen to since the transients are almost instant.

It is especially the case with movies, maybe more so than music I find.

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post #12 of 36 Old 03-01-2019, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Javs View Post
Acoustically flat response speakers will induce fatigue pretty quickly I find.

I have to roll off pretty well from about 5khz slowly and then 2db down to 10khz, and about 6db down by 20khz. When I do that I can listen for a long time before I get tired of it. And this is with an AMT tweeter which are known for being pretty laid back and very easy to listen to since the transients are almost instant.

It is especially the case with movies, maybe more so than music I find.

Interesting because there is no musical instruments producing notes above 5KHz except for the piano and synthesizers. I guess I'm lucky as my speakers have a flat response and I enjoy them very much.



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post #13 of 36 Old 03-01-2019, 11:10 AM
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Would listening through the quality headphones be less fatigue than quality speakers? In my experience, I would think so.
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post #14 of 36 Old 03-01-2019, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by natchie View Post
Would listening through the quality headphones be less fatigue than quality speakers? In my experience, I would think so.
Does reading a "real" book produce more eye fatigue than reading from a "quality" Kindle or Nook?



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post #15 of 36 Old 03-01-2019, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
Does reading a "real" book produce more eye fatigue than reading from a "quality" Kindle or Nook?
Actually, that might be a case of personal preference. I prefer actual printed matter over window screen of cell phone, ipad, and nook. It is also a generational thing, as I can't read an article or essay on a cell phone, while my sons can. So yes, I get fatigue from cell phone reading.
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post #16 of 36 Old 03-01-2019, 12:07 PM
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As I get ear fatigue from headphones. Personal preference.
IMHO.... either/or.
Reading, listening, eating, watching a movie/TV, etc... too much of anything good can become fatiguing over an extended period. Even a bowl of your favorite ice cream.


FWIW... I still use a "flip phone".
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post #17 of 36 Old 03-01-2019, 12:15 PM
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I used to have listening fatigue from hearing other people talking, but since I have become internet warrior I mostly have eye fatigue.
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post #18 of 36 Old 03-01-2019, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by 3db View Post
Interesting because there is no musical instruments producing notes above 5KHz except for the piano and synthesizers. I guess I'm lucky as my speakers have a flat response and I enjoy them very much.


That's definitely not true if you have ever looked at a spectrograph of some music, it can go right up to 22khz if you have the right content.

I guess it's the fundamentals that do it.
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post #19 of 36 Old 03-01-2019, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by donktard View Post
I used to have listening fatigue from hearing other people talking, but since I have become internet warrior I mostly have eye fatigue.
Well neighbor... you should become an internet "helper" instead of a "warrior". Oops! There's my doorbell. Mr. McFeely just delivered my mail. have a nice day!
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post #20 of 36 Old 03-01-2019, 02:41 PM
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Well neighbor... you should become an internet "helper" instead of a "warrior". Oops! There's my doorbell. Mr. McFeely just delivered my mail. have a nice day!
Puny human. Helping is the lowest form of education. There is no better way to educate masses then the hard way! Ridicule and mockery will be my sword!


Anyway, ontopic. Disbalanced sound (overall) and long energy storage at annoying frequencies are imo primary cause of fatigue. As a drastic example you can take a baby crying in very lively room.
As a better example you can take a ****ty speaker with bright balance, kind of like those tiny things in TVs, laptops, etc. Some of these squeakers have over 10dB swings in frequencies in most sensitive region for human ear and you can't withstand that for very long.
As for "real" speakers, flat can be harsh in lively rooms, but other then frequency balance problems, there can also be distortion problems which will sound fatiguing (so...poor speaker design, imd...)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Javs View Post
Acoustically flat response speakers will induce fatigue pretty quickly I find.

I have to roll off pretty well from about 5khz slowly and then 2db down to 10khz, and about 6db down by 20khz. When I do that I can listen for a long time before I get tired of it. And this is with an AMT tweeter which are known for being pretty laid back and very easy to listen to since the transients are almost instant.

It is especially the case with movies, maybe more so than music I find.
Thats because flat response at listening position in reality is not natural (in most situations). However speakers response anechoically must be flat and off axis well behaved (and gradually weakening) to maintain balanced room response, which usually looks like downward slope like you described.
Flat can be fine as well, especially nearfield, but you must brutally deaden the room to prevent fatigue.

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post #22 of 36 Old 03-02-2019, 05:40 AM
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My test to see if speakers are too bright and hence will be fatiguing - listen to the clocks at the opening of Pink Floyd's Time at 80-85db. Do you cringe and have to turn the volume down? If so your speakers and/or room are too bright.
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post #23 of 36 Old 03-02-2019, 05:52 AM
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My understanding of listening fatigue applies particularly to high volumes. I believe if speaker quality isn't sufficient to maintain clarity at those volumes (ie no distortion etc) then it can quickly become damaging to your ears. I believe your ears actually become less sensitive to sound as a mechanism to protect themselves in this scenario. The same way your ears become more sensitive if ambient noise is lower.

This is why some really top end speakers induce less fatigue at higher volumes than others - and you can therefore listen louder without finding it 'abrasively' loud, if that makes sense.

At the highest end of audio, my impression is that the question of how loud your speakers can play becomes irrelevant, and the question instead becomes how loud can your speakers maintain exactly the same audio characteristics as intended.
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post #24 of 36 Old 03-02-2019, 07:17 AM
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Ear/listening fatigue is when you either are bored with listening at the time, no longer like the sound/performance of your speakers, have poor acoustics, poor speaker placement and/or perhaps many explanations. It's a personal experience that can only be identified and resolved by the individual. (especially during income tax refund time. )



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post #25 of 36 Old 03-02-2019, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Javs View Post
That's definitely not true if you have ever looked at a spectrograph of some music, it can go right up to 22khz if you have the right content.

I guess it's the fundamentals that do it.

Yes its the fundamentals but the harmonics are low on amplitude compared to the fundamental.

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post #26 of 36 Old 03-05-2019, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by djp2k7 View Post
My test to see if speakers are too bright and hence will be fatiguing - listen to the clocks at the opening of Pink Floyd's Time at 80-85db. Do you cringe and have to turn the volume down? If so your speakers and/or room are too bright.

I dont cringe and my speakers have a very flat frequency response.

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post #27 of 36 Old 03-05-2019, 06:15 PM
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Yes its the fundamentals but the harmonics are low on amplitude compared to the fundamental.
If you go here: http://www.independentrecording.net/...in_display.htm you'll see a much more accurate and complete frequency chart, which has harmonics and a legend. This is what we hear.
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post #28 of 36 Old 03-05-2019, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Graustark View Post
If you go here: http://www.independentrecording.net/...in_display.htm you'll see a much more accurate and complete frequency chart, which has harmonics and a legend. This is what we hear.
It doesnt address the amplitude of the harmonics which are at a reduced spl from the fundamental frequency.
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post #29 of 36 Old 03-05-2019, 08:31 PM
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It doesnt address the amplitude of the harmonics which are at a reduced spl from the fundamental frequency.
Your post implied that Javs' statement was essentially suspect, because there was nothing happening above 5kHz. You ignored the fact that so much of the music we enjoy consists of harmonics. Engineers don't cut the frequency at 5 kHz, and we would all likely have a different hobby if music were so restricted as you suggest.


The chart I linked to, and there's quite a few like it on the internet and elsewhere, may not be perfect, but it is a very good guide for those engineering and recording music, and for any lay person who wants to understand just where on the frequency spectrum different instruments fall audibly. If you think harmonics do not go into an engineer's consideration, then you are quite wrong. Otherwise, studio equalizers would be considerably smaller.


Yet they aren't. Wonder why?
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post #30 of 36 Old 03-05-2019, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Javs View Post
That's definitely not true if you have ever looked at a spectrograph of some music, it can go right up to 22khz if you have the right content.

I guess it's the fundamentals that do it.
Definitely agree. Looking at the bass for example, it appears* that the range shown is the fundamental range for a 5 string 24 fret BEADG bass. Harmonics go a lot higher than that.


* My specs are broken so based on blurry vision.

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