AVS Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
9,232 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So these room correction packages like Dirac are great. But what about human age related hearing loss which I have read can be over -30db @ 12khz @ age 50+ ?

So the argument I have is do we tune our rooms for a proper flat response regardless how it sounds?

Some people add a house curve because it sounds better. Is that OK?

And finally do us older folks need to compensate for our hearing losses? (note this does imply the room may not be right for guest listeners).

What's the consensus here?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
So these room correction packages like Dirac are great. But what about human age related hearing loss which I have read can be over -30db @ 12khz @ age 50+ ?

So the argument I have is do we tune our rooms for a proper flat response regardless how it sounds?

Some people add a house curve because it sounds better. Is that OK?

And finally do us older folks need to compensate for our hearing losses? (note this does imply the room may not be right for guest listeners).

What's the consensus here?
I ca-rumba! That's a lot of questions!

IMO:

1. Flat response curves from speakers, have never universally equaled good sound!
2. Making something sound better to your ears, is not only fine, it's the goal!
3. I'd get your hearing tested to properly ascertain the answer to that question.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
Asking for consensuson audio topics is probably a bit to optimistic J

I don’t think there isany relation between DRC and age related hearing loss.
My hearing is gappedat 13 kHz, I might use EQ to increase the treble but that won’t help much.
I simply won’t hearanything > 14 kHz
Indeed using EQ thisway makes it intolerable for others
 

· Banned
Joined
·
5,202 Posts
When I first saw the title I thought someone ran audyssey wrong and went deaf! :eek:

I think roseval said it best, if you eq it too much it may sound terrible to others. If this system is just for you go for it, but if you plan to have guests you may want a 2nd opinion. I would get it sounding good to you since it's your system and see if others still think it sounds fine.

At the end of the day their are no rules here.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
9,232 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
...
I simply won’t hearanything > 14 kHz
As I understand it, and I'm not a medical person at all, human hearing loss is just like electronic roll off. In theory, you can still hear 20khz at 80 years old, it's just a question of how far down in db it is to a reference frequency like say 1khz.

Or is this not true for the human ear?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,160 Posts
So these room correction packages like Dirac are great. But what about human age related hearing loss which I have read can be over -30db @ 12khz @ age 50+ ?

So the argument I have is do we tune our rooms for a proper flat response regardless how it sounds?

Some people add a house curve because it sounds better. Is that OK?

And finally do us older folks need to compensate for our hearing losses? (note this does imply the room may not be right for guest listeners).

What's the consensus here?
Depends on the losses. I have considered telling customers to have their hearing tested before I recommended anything but decided they would either not call back or think I'm insane. I really think it would be a more effective way to make the experience more suited to them, but at what point does it end?

50 is old? Speak for yourself! I turn 58 in less than a month and I'm not oldzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...............Matlock's on!

Seriously, if you have listened critically for any length of time, you may notice that things don't sparkle the way they once did, but it may only take a little boost to get it where you need. I have been fine-tuning my speakers and wanted a better level match between the woofers and tweeters. I set that by ear and then measured the response using Room EQ Wizard. It sounded like the response was smooth from the bottom to the top- no glaring peaks or dips when a synth was the source on the recording. Amazingly, the response curve I posted is the result and I'm not using any EQ or tone controls. I also don't feel that I need them but I don't listen at high SPL- sure, it's loud, but not more than 95dB. I also carry ear plugs wherever I go, so I rarely expose my ears to sound/noise that could damage them.

Flat response? No, unless you don't want it to sound good. The house curve that's mentioned is easy to listen to, won't cause hearing fatigue and any system should have no problem producing it. If you have an equalizer, there's no reason to not use it, although it should be noted that a little goes a long way and there's a strong tendency to adjust a frequency that's higher than needed because it's not always easy to connect a number with a sound or a pitch.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Depends on the losses. I have considered telling customers to have their hearing tested before I recommended anything but decided they would either not call back or think I'm insane. I really think it would be a more effective way to make the experience more suited to them, but at what point does it end?

50 is old? Speak for yourself! I turn 58 in less than a month and I'm not oldzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...............Matlock's on!

Seriously, if you have listened critically for any length of time, you may notice that things don't sparkle the way they once did, but it may only take a little boost to get it where you need. I have been fine-tuning my speakers and wanted a better level match between the woofers and tweeters. I set that by ear and then measured the response using Room EQ Wizard. It sounded like the response was smooth from the bottom to the top- no glaring peaks or dips when a synth was the source on the recording. Amazingly, the response curve I posted is the result and I'm not using any EQ or tone controls. I also don't feel that I need them but I don't listen at high SPL- sure, it's loud, but not more than 95dB. I also carry ear plugs wherever I go, so I rarely expose my ears to sound/noise that could damage them.

Flat response? No, unless you don't want it to sound good. The house curve that's mentioned is easy to listen to, won't cause hearing fatigue and any system should have no problem producing it. If you have an equalizer, there's no reason to not use it, although it should be noted that a little goes a long way and there's a strong tendency to adjust a frequency that's higher than needed because it's not always easy to connect a number with a sound or a pitch.
Hey - we think alike!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
9,232 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Flat response? No, unless you don't want it to sound good. The house curve that's mentioned is easy to listen to, won't cause hearing fatigue and any system should have no problem producing it. If you have an equalizer, there's no reason to not use it, although it should be noted that a little goes a long way and there's a strong tendency to adjust a frequency that's higher than needed because it's not always easy to connect a number with a sound or a pitch.
Well I just did some speaker upgrades. I replaced my tall 12in subs with two new 18in Dayton subs. Then I took the old 12in subs, and added Focal 6in MF and Moral 3in HF drivers taken from my previous biampped D'Appolito mains.

So now my LCR's are triamped with a MiniDSP channel and power amp on each driver, 120w for the 12in woofer, 60w for the 6in midrange (old D'Apolitto mains), and 20w class A on the tweeters. And each driver has full EQ but I plan to set the crossovers and level match mathematically using the measured amp and speaker sensitivities Any EQ will be applied before the digital crossover.

Last month I rebuilt my center MTM D'Appolito by adding a 4in midrange to fix the horizontal cancellation issue. This too is now triamped.

Too extreme? yeah probably is.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
690 Posts
And finally do us older folks need to compensate for our hearing losses?
Setting up a system accurately should not include consideration for the listener's hearing. Here's why. Let's imagine you're watching a nature show and there's a monkey making some monkey noises. And let's imagine his monkey noises have significant content at 12kHz. You happen to have diminished hearing at 12kHz. If you equalize your system flat, you're not going to hear that content. If you then go visit mister monkey at the zoo and he makes more monkey noises, you're again not going to hear that 12kHz content. Clearly, realism has been achieved.

If you would rather hear the monkey as he would have sounded to you when you were 11 instead of how he sounds to you now, that's your call. If you want to experience sounds in your playback area the same way you experience them in the real world, flat (or room curved) is the way to go. Your brain has been trained using sounds modified by your own hearing curve.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,587 Posts
Iirc, for once in my lifdean actual expert agreed with me on a point a few years ago. My thought was that since our brains are accustomed to hearing the world through the flaws in our ears, "fixing" the fr will make things sound unnatural. I think or at least remember psuedofondly, that kal rubinson, who actually studies these phenomensa for a living generally agreed. If you are old enough to remember the painful days when many speakers were hyped in the presence region (say 2000-6000 hz, very broadly) AND many recordings were mastered or mixed with a similar presence peak, the results were very exciting at low levels (maybe 60-65 dB average and pain inducing at near concert levels (even 85 dB average).
As our brains adapt to our ears, cranking up the treble will induce similar discomfort even if it technically corrects for existing deficits. Because our brains never turned off . . .
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,643 Posts
So these room correction packages like Dirac are great. But what about human age related hearing loss which I have read can be over -30db @ 12khz @ age 50+ ?

So the argument I have is do we tune our rooms for a proper flat response regardless how it sounds?

Some people add a house curve because it sounds better. Is that OK?

And finally do us older folks need to compensate for our hearing losses? (note this does imply the room may not be right for guest listeners).

What's the consensus here?

Imo it doesn't matter.


You're not compensating for your hearing loss at a live concert either. The recording of the music will sound similar to you in your listening room . (Ignoring the limitations of recording music in general)


And compensating for hearing loss is highly impractical. It will become too expensive to replace the fried tweeters on a regular basis.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
7,480 Posts
Asking for consensuson audio topics is probably a bit to optimistic J

I don’t think there isany relation between DRC and age related hearing loss.
My hearing is gappedat 13 kHz, I might use EQ to increase the treble but that won’t help much.
I simply won’t hearanything > 14 kHz
Indeed using EQ thisway makes it intolerable for others

+1. Also there isn't much content above 13 kHz so he or you won't miss much anyway.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,630 Posts
You would never use system EQ to compensate for hearing loss, for several reasons. The obvious incompatibility with those without identical loss, but also if you look at the curves of hearing loss vs age, not considering noise exposure, you'll see that you actually can't do that with system EQ anyway.

But most importantly, the target of system EQ is an uncolored, natural sound, in other words, make it sound like real life. Even those with hearing loss are exposed all the time to "real life" that is in no way compensated for their loss, and which becomes the norm that they adapt to. Equalizing to a curve other than "real life" will sound almost as wrong to someone with hearing loss is it would to someone without it, of course subject to the degree of loss.

I was shocked to see my 93 year old mother's hearing curve, with 80dB of loss at 8KHz. And they think that's correctable! Yikes! Not in my EQ world it isn't. But there's also a lot more than EQ going on in today's DSP based hearing aids. Lots and lots more, and they're really pretty good, though their goal is to improve the quality of life, which is quite a bit different from trying to pump high-fidelity music into lossy ears. So focus is on speech processing, noise reduction, dynamic range compression, etc., none of which really work for high quality music. So there may be a really specialized area hear, hearing loss processing for high quality music. It's not something being done, afaik, but certainly could be, though it would probably fall under the "medical device" umbrella.
 
  • Like
Reactions: natchie

· Registered
Joined
·
6,081 Posts
So these room correction packages like Dirac are great. But what about human age related hearing loss which I have read can be over -30db @ 12khz @ age 50+ ?

So the argument I have is do we tune our rooms for a proper flat response regardless how it sounds?

Some people add a house curve because it sounds better. Is that OK?

And finally do us older folks need to compensate for our hearing losses? (note this does imply the room may not be right for guest listeners).

What's the consensus here?
Most people don't like sound over 12kHz or vinyl wouldn't have been so popular compared to "harsh" CDs. My Carver AL-III ribbon speakers naturally start to roll off above ~10kHz so I wonder if that's part of the reason why I always thought CDs sounded just fine. ;)

You also have to wonder if some of the older mixing engineers were unable to hear very well in that range and thus simply didn't realize it sounded harsh to teenagers and 20-30 something adults (you can't turn down what you can't hear).

What really makes me think that's a real possibility is that I work on industrial sorting machines and one day we had this horrific high pitched sound I could hear halfway across the building and our older technicians would walk right by as they simply couldn't hear it.

I'm now in my late 40s and I can hear to 17kHz well in one ear and only around 13-14kHz in the other ear, which is still pretty good for my age, I suppose, but I used to be able to hear ultrasonic alarm systems in stores when I was a child (22-27kHz?). It used to drive me nuts at the mall. No one else could hear it, but I could locate the hardware making the noise every time.

I wonder if there's an anomaly in my ear shape or something as I can still hear 20kHz tones, but not 18kHz or 19kHz, but the 20kHz tones sound like a beat frequency closer to 10kHz in actual pitch. I don't have any higher tones to test if it continues up further, but I've tried the 20kHz tones on several loudspeaker and earphones over the years and it's always audible. Anyway....

I've noticed Audyssey's flat curve is artificially boosted compared to my PSB speakers' natural room curve with no correction and those speakers are flat to well above 20kHz and more importantly it just sounds HARSH on many music albums so I think there's a very real difference between flat near-field response and Audyssey (and REW measurements) measurements and thus tuned response at the listening position and perhaps that is why "flat" sounds so bad to so many people in the first place.

It's not naturally "room decay" flat in reality. It's boosted to be flat at the listening position as if you were listening 1 foot from the speaker or something. I suspect this is why something like Genesis ARC, which is so much more popular with some people for music than Audyssey and even DIRAC as it doesn't change anything above 5kHz.

Perhaps the goal should not be MLP "flat", but perhaps room curves that are known to sound great (like perhaps popular acoustic performing venues)?

As for your question, I think the brain compensates for hearing loss in odd ways so you don't notice it as much (It's often hard to convince people they have a problem for that reason as they don't notice it directly, only indirectly.

I would guess that even if you corrected for your own particular hearing loss, your brain wouldn't readjust instantly and it wouldn't sound good at first and if you didn't use it everyday (hearing aid tuned for loss), it would be counteracted as soon as you stopped listening to the system by everyday sounds. It would certainly sound bad for everyone else.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
6,081 Posts
Here's a look at the only hearing loss vs age curve set I could find that went out beyond 8KHz:
The problem is you can't really make generalities about it, only averages. One needs to get tested to find out how they're hearing is. I was getting my hearing checked and fitted for musician earplugs in my 20s when I heard the doctor in the next room giving a teenager the bad news that he lost a good chunk of his hearing blasting Sony Walkman type headphones (with no seal to isolate outside sounds and no noise reduction back then), people tended to just turn them up more to hear over a noisy lawnmower or whatever and that was often too darn loud. Many teens go to concerts with no hearing protection either.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top