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Question and debate, it is well known that our hearing diminishes as we grow older, so with that in mind, is our ongoing quest for the perfect and highest quality sound system a waste of time after we reach a specific age - maybe 60 or so?   I mean, at a certain age we loose the ability to discern the higher frequencies (and maybe have a more narrower range of frequencies in our heating spectrum) - so why do older people spend large amounts on very nice equipment, when in fact their older ears may not fully “acknowledge” or appreciate the ability of that equipment?  So should we all stop our searching and upgrading for better equipment after we reach 55-60?

 

is this a fair question? 

 

anyone care to comment?

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It’s a fair question and has been discussed many times in other ways. At 60 for average males and better for females hearing ability is still good enough, with high frequency loss at about 12000-14000

Fear not fellow aged members - hearing loss is why god invented hearing aids. I went through the process of looking at hearing aids a decade or so ago and was not able to find anything that was a

We still hear the real world in whatever diminished form it is. Music coming out of hi-fi doesn't sound like the real world which remains our reference. The better the system, the more it will sound l

It’s a fair question and has been discussed many times in other ways. At 60 for average males and better for females hearing ability is still good enough, with high frequency loss at about 12000-14000 hz, and most recorded music reaches about under that. At around 75-80+ it starts to reduce greatly but can still be enjoyed on average even with no more than 10000hz ability. 

 

One in five of the general population have hearing loss problems depending occupation, disease and health, male or female. Heaps of online info out there, free online and private free hearing centre hearing tests available.

 

Reason why older people spend big is they have accumulated wealth and years of experience to know what to buy.

 

Some graphs below 

 

 

4CF6589D-0CF8-4715-ADE6-73BCFED22AAC.jpeg

D5613292-ADCF-41FB-8662-36B73E5125C2.jpeg

8EBDE76C-BC69-4374-A868-8C9B4285683A.jpeg

ABEE2F9A-2809-40F4-A9B4-56FD156DA370.jpeg

Edited by Al.M
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Youth is wasted on the young ?

 

but yeah, basically this 'Reason why older people spend big is they have accumulated wealth and years of experience to know what to buy. "

 

Slower reflexes but now can afford the Ferrari and Porsche.

 

Taste diminishes but can now afford the expensive wines.

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I think your statement " perfect and higest quality system" says it all. The range and combinations of equipment that SNA members have could be related to the differences in hearing and hearing range/age / social standing/ level of income, and dedication in chasing the perfect system, or just enjoying the music. lots of other considerations, WAF, room sizes, ability to audition/location, brand support..........

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I'm sure my hearing has declined with age and tinnitus, so I accept that my upper hearing limit's not as high as it used to be.  However, I have evidence that I can still appreciate good hifi and discern differences: 

When visiting the hifi show I can certainly detect differences between different equipment.  I could appreciate the naturalness of the sound, the dynamics, depth, the staging, etc. - everything that makes the difference between high-end, hifi, and low-fi.  I can certainly appreciate the difference between my TV's internal speaker, and the TV audio when it's diverted through my 2-channel system.  I have been able to do equipment comparisons with a friend's collection, with my opinions correlating with what he reports hearing. 

 

So although I might not be hearing as well as I did in my earlier years (when unfortunately I didn't have the hifi I wanted to go with it), I feel that I can still enjoy my hifi, and I can still enjoy improvements/upgrades when I'm fortunate to do so. 

 

 

 

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I think there are 2 parts to this question.   one for music / audio  ( and the main sail no doubt ) and the other for movies which is not part of your query but still very relevant to your probe :

 

1).  Yes, as we get older our hearing does diminish ( as is well established by scientific research )  but let me say unequivocally that our discernment of music does NOT diminish........ it is not some cold mathematical equation that says that scientific hearing measurement equals musical enjoyment........    as I have journeyed on  my quest for great music ( always within the bounds of your monetary and time restraints )  I have found that carefully selected equipment, well informed discussion and some leap of faith diy tweaks ( thank you stereo net for the majority ) have provided me an evolving system that provides with a wonder and joy in music regardless of age.

2 ) Bloody Hell .....    TV broadcasts ( regardless of ABC, Netflix, commercial etc are pretty terrible for above 60 viewers .......  I have spent high money on AV receivers, centre channels etc etc .....    just go   titles        and suck it up ...... works for me )

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16 hours ago, Rockford said:

Youth is wasted on the young ?

 

but yeah, basically this 'Reason why older people spend big is they have accumulated wealth and years of experience to know what to buy. "

 

Slower reflexes but now can afford the Ferrari and Porsche.

 

Taste diminishes but can now afford the expensive wines.

Which is why they also ride Harleys.. no need for the sharper reflexes... LOL

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On 26/09/2020 at 10:45 PM, captain starlight said:

Question and debate, it is well known that our hearing diminishes as we grow older, so with that in mind, is our ongoing quest for the perfect and highest quality sound system a waste of time after we reach a specific age - maybe 60 or so?   I mean, at a certain age we loose the ability to discern the higher frequencies (and maybe have a more narrower range of frequencies in our heating spectrum) - so why do older people spend large amounts on very nice equipment, when in fact their older ears may not fully “acknowledge” or appreciate the ability of that equipment?  So should we all stop our searching and upgrading for better equipment after we reach 55-60?

 

is this a fair question? 

 

anyone care to comment?

Just remember what part of the hearing diminishes. I can no longer hear the 15kHz tone that you used to get from the old CRT TV's - I think the last one of those we had was back about 15 years ago, and I'd lost that already. I can still hear it  (annoyingly) when I'm listening to a frequency sweep, but it has to be louder and I find it uncomfortable to listen to.

 

So, sometimes you can have appreciable hearing loss in the upper frequencies, yet still have as good hearing in the midrange.

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1 minute ago, Cloth Ears said:

Just remember what part of the hearing diminishes. I can no longer hear the 15kHz tone that you used to get from the old CRT TV's - I think the last one of those we had was back about 15 years ago, and I'd lost that already. I can still hear it  (annoyingly) when I'm listening to a frequency sweep, but it has to be louder and I find it uncomfortable to listen to.

 

So, sometimes you can have appreciable hearing loss in the upper frequencies, yet still have as good hearing in the midrange.

I have that 15Khz (like) tone ringing in my ears, pretty much constantly, more of a square wave than a sine wave from the sound of it.. It would be interesting to see my results from an audiogram these days, after working on and around military jets for nearly 30 years. Even though I left that working environment 13? years ago.

 

Actually the tinnitus sounds very similar to standing beside the intake of a Canberra Bomber, but at a much reduced level.

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14 hours ago, mfforever said:

but let me say unequivocally that our discernment of music does NOT diminish

True, I’m 66, suffer a big hearing drop out at 12.5Khz right where the tinnitus takes over ? but am happy to spend because I still want the bits I can hear to be great.

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As an example if ones hearing test audigram looked like this (first picture), one has significant loss and if the left and right ear were more uneven, then likely to have issues with appreciating stereo imaging, very rolled off highs and the hifi system sound balance you might prefer is a very bright sounding one.

 

Average males around 60 with normal age related hearing loss would be up to 12-14khz limit at normal levels and overall the audigram loss of about 10-20dB, which is not significant enough to impair music enjoyment and the volume can be adjusted upward to compensate.

 

Second picture of average loss by age and gender.

 

 

4DAC40C8-4C01-487D-8202-01A0540EB557.jpeg

 

754B107E-CD70-46A2-BEA3-4D9857DB92DC.jpeg

Edited by Al.M
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An interesting and potentially useful topic started by captain starlight.

 

When I started thinking about investing in what will be our last system, I got a proper hearing test, organised by my Doctor, and done with Attune Hearing Pty Ltd.  They have hearing labs in some 60 locations around the country (including one in Coffs Harbour, close to where I live).

A proper hearing test, giving graphed results much like those posted by Al.M.

Definitely worth having done - in my own case my hearing loss was much less than I had feared, and I got useful advice about the various causes of tinnitus and how to minimise it with lifestyle changes etc.

 

Can definitely recommend Attune if there is one near your location (or any alternative company which provides same sort of service). 

 

Only need some border restrictions to change in order to complete the auditioning I would like to do, before making the final decision. 

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what was that i didn't quite catch that, jokes aside i definitely fit into the older category,been into hifi for 50+ years,
i still enjoy my music session's on a regular basis,still play around with different components and cables and enjoy what i hear, that's what happens to you when you start down this hifi journey,in the end though it is about the music that we love as i am sure most of us got into hifi to make the musicians sound so good,as an example was not that really into the carpenter's but lately have realised just how beautiful karen carpenter's voice was,sure we (older folk)don't hear what we did when we were younger but still love to have a few beers and crank her up?

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On 26/09/2020 at 10:45 PM, captain starlight said:

so why do older people spend large amounts on very nice equipment, when in fact their older ears may not fully “acknowledge” or appreciate the ability of that equipment? 

We still hear the real world in whatever diminished form it is. Music coming out of hi-fi doesn't sound like the real world which remains our reference. The better the system, the more it will sound like the real world regardless of how good your hearing is. Think when you're walking down the street and you hear a busker playing a violin or something - you instantly know it's real. Walk past most hi-fis playing the same violin and you know it's hi-fi. When people come to the door they ask me who's playing piano or violin or whatever when I have the hi-fi going; they don't ask me what sort of hi-fi I have. That's what I'm trying to recreate, and I can appreciate it sounding more real irrespective of how dodgy my hearing gets.

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Hearing and listening aren't the same thing. I have typical diminshed hearing for an over 60, but can "hear" things that younger people can't - because they haven't trained their brains to listen properly.

 

There is anecdotal evidence that loss of high frequency hearing actually makes one more sensitive to the sounds of bright systems - they sound harsh. No one knows exactly why; one of the ideas is that the loss of ability to hear the high frequency harmonics makes the high frequencies one can hear sound harsher.

 

One of the advantages of modern digital audio is that we can use DSP to make up for some of our hearing losses. I  boost some of the frequencies that I don't hear as well. I use it as a given in my system. It probably would make it sound "off" to younger people, but it improves the sound for me.

 

I think it's also true that you don't need to hear the extremely high frequencies to fully enjoy music - they are a pretty small component on most recordings.

 

All that said, it does make me wonder if it is worth it to invest in any expensive upgrades at this point. Is it worth it, or will my hearing just deteriorate to the point where I've wasted my money on a system I can't really enjoy?

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23 minutes ago, Nordust said:

In some ways getting old and not able to hear high frequencies as good is a plus for poorly recorded discs. Played my dad a pop cd not to long ago that has a hard sound especially in the higher frequencies and he said beautiful smooth sound, I was thinking to myself what the hell?

Maybe he was taking the p1ss LOL

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Considering that much of all perception is brain processing, you can compensate for some diminished acuity in later years by using your awareness and your 'trained' ears. Still, the diminishing returns of buying expensive hi-fi indicate that a system of the 'top of the middle range' of hi fi gear will be just as rewarding at any age. I think that much of the readership of this Forum have such a system. Some have the 'top range' all round--and good luck to them. I've heard these components at shows and they are great. No, I don't drive a high end car either...

 

Musical pleasure is available at any age and in any state of health. 

 

I think that mp3 is a blot on the scientific record and a crying shame of sonic mis-representation BUT I have enjoyed a lot of Spotify. Don't tell anyone. And then there's the car radio...for fun.

 

I have never reliably been able to discern between single and bi-wired speaker cables, or between digital 16/44, 24/96 and 24/196 coded music, or even always get phase appreciation correct. I prefer the sound of vinyl, of tubes, of single-ended amps and of hi-res music in most cases. I do trust my hearing like that--but I can't hear many things that other pundits say they can.

 

That doesn't apply to listening to live music. I am a music lover and don't have any enjoyment problems there at all even if my actual acuity (and thus some of my perception) at age 70 is poor.

 

Just like nobody should tell you what to like musically, I think it's worth ignoring any decline in ability with ageing. As long as you're having a go. Probably also why geriatric sex is so popular?

 

Just my 2c worth.

 

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, doogie44 said:

Considering that much of all perception is brain processing, you can compensate for some diminished acuity in later years by using your awareness and your 'trained' ears. Still, the diminishing returns of buying expensive hi-fi indicate that a system of the 'top of the middle range' of hi fi gear will be just as rewarding at any age. I think that much of the readership of this Forum have such a system. Some have the 'top range' all round--and good luck to them. I've heard these components at shows and they are great. No, I don't drive a high end car either...

 

Musical pleasure is available at any age and in any state of health. 

 

I think that mp3 is a blot on the scientific record and a crying shame of sonic mis-representation BUT I have enjoyed a lot of Spotify. Don't tell anyone. And then there's the car radio...for fun.

 

I have never reliably been able to discern between single and bi-wired speaker cables, or between digital 16/44, 24/96 and 24/196 coded music, or even always get phase appreciation correct. I prefer the sound of vinyl, of tubes, of single-ended amps and of hi-res music in most cases. I do trust my hearing like that--but I can't hear many things that other pundits say they can.

 

That doesn't apply to listening to live music. I am a music lover and don't have any enjoyment problems there at all even if my actual acuity (and thus some of my perception) at age 70 is poor.

 

Just like nobody should tell you what to like musically, I think it's worth ignoring any decline in ability with ageing. As long as you're having a go. Probably also why geriatric sex is so popular?

 

Just my 2c worth.

 

 

 

 

Hhahaha ... Dem bones dem bones... dem rattlin' bones...

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I agree with much that has already been said, especially regarding hearing vs listening.  The latter is a skill that is developed over time with some practice and the more experienced we are at listening, the better we are at discerning quality sound.  A good listener uses experience to analyse sound rather than an ability to hear to 20kHz (although that would still be useful).

An analogy I like to use is elderly musicians.  Many conductors of orchestras reach their peak when their hearing is well passed it's best and it would be a brave critic who suggested that this conductor was unaware of what was happening in the back row of the orchestra!  Similarly many jazz performers produced their best sounds in the latter years of their lives.  Whether it be wine/food, perfume or music, the authenticity of a critic is based upon their wisdom.

Conversely, I have met few teenagers who know how to listen despite their fabulous hearing xD

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When you're young you have the ability to fully appreciate high end audio gear but don't have the money to acquire it, and when you're older you have plenty of money to acquire it, but then no longer have the ability to fully appreciate it haha.... sigh....

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15 minutes ago, bruc3 said:

When you're young you have the ability to fully appreciate high end audio gear but don't have the money to acquire it, and when you're older you have plenty of money to acquire it, but then no longer have the ability to fully appreciate it haha.... sigh....

“Youth is wasted on the young.”

- George Bernard Shaw

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Fear not fellow aged members - hearing loss is why god invented hearing aids.

I went through the process of looking at hearing aids a decade or so ago and was not able to find anything that was able to mitigate my loss. I repeated the same exercise about a year ago and there had been massive changes in hearing aid capability.

I went to Melbourne Uni audiology because they had access to nearly all the quality gear and were happy to set each up for me with numerous programs for extended (~2 week) tests. I worked with an audiologist that was happy to spend lots of time programming specifically to improve my music appreciation.

I found what worked for me, but a word of warning - the aids themselves are not where the cost stops. With my new found hearing I had to upgrade all my AV and audio gear and am still going through that process!

Now enjoying my music like I did 30 years ago.

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I haven't listened to any music for about 5 days because of blocked ears AGAIN. Happens about every 6 months , Got them syringed yesterday AGAIN.

So ! I'm in my mid 60's and know my hearing is not real flash, but, I think I know how to and what to listen for when I'm in the mood for a serious 'hifi' session - most times it's just sit back, crank the volume on favourites and enjoy the tunes..

Not sure if this is what the thread is about, because I didn't hear the first question - sorry!

 

 

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For those of us with a few years under the belt, there is much in the responses so far which I think can be useful to others.

1. Al.M's 2 posts from Sept. 27 and 28 give us an idea about what we can learn from getting proper tests done.

In my own case, I was delighted that despite tinnitus (and occasional blocked ears like Grumpy, Sept.30) my hearing has held up really well....which was a pleasant surprise, considering some of the dumb things I did when I was younger in relation to exposure to loud noises.

2. For those in the fortunate position as was Fast_Eddie, and  who are able to get tests done at somewhere like the Uni; I suggest that it is really worth it. Really chuffed for Fast_Eddie that you have been able to get the assistance from the hearing aids which has occurred.  Bloody brilliant that you are back to getting the enjoyment from music that you had 30 years ago.

3. bob_m_54, working on military jets for nearly 30 years (Sept.28).  Feel for you mate.  Would it be worth getting a new test, as you wondered?   Hopefully you may also get a pleasant surprise as did I, that the hearing has held up better than feared.

4.  Many, other interesting and thought provoking responses to this topic from many other members.

 

For all of those who are wondering "what is the state of my hearing at present?", stop wondering, get some testing done, and with luck you too may be pleasantly surprised.

 

Back to the music.

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Several posts thinking that with normal (and gradually getting worse as one ages) hearing loss through natural ageing is somehow compensated by learning to hear better or improved “hearing acuity” occurs is a common misconception. There is no research indicating that exists or occurs at all and therefore it’s only a perception. One can gain improved recognition skills in many new tasks including learning to ride a bicycle or how to listen to music or sounds even with moderate hearing loss, but it is not the same thing as compensation for sound frequencies your ears are no longer capable of or at some stage one is diagnosed with severe overall hearing loss across a range of frequencies.

 

In fact many science articles indicate when the brain stops receiving those sensations or signals those brain neurons just wither away as they are not needed anymore. There is nothing suggesting the brain does some rerouting to compensate to slow down or match the hearing loss mechanism or organs involved, instead it diverts to other senses in an attempt to compensate but not hearing acuity. The brain tries to compensate like looking for visual nonverbal cues so this won’t work for a severely hearing loss affected audiophile staring harder at their inanimate shiny new speakers. See article https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/52469-New-study-shows-hearing-loss-impacts-brain-function

 

As mentioned in the graphs above the majority of sound frequencies in music are well under what most males will continue to hear well enough until a very old age, so not a great deal to be worried about overall but a significant percentage (25-30%) of us at certain older age will have problems to varying degrees and at some late stage severely impaired enough to matter, some will not be able to know it or admit to it without testing leading up to this eventual stage.

 

 

Edited by Al.M
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Well said @parrasaw 

In my case just to be clear - Melbourne Uni has a commercial arm as part of its audiology department. It is also used as a training entity for students and also for research. It is available to anyone that wants to use its services.

I used it because, whilst it is a commercial operation, that is not its main raison d'être. It has access to all major brands of aids and does not push any brand over another - simply tries to find each client the best solution for them.

I purchased from them after extensive testing and found them to be quite competitive price wise.

FYI, I have no ties with the Uni at all - simply providing further info for others that may be interested.

It may be the case that similar services exist at other unis for those who are not Melbourne based and do not want to be channeled into  a sub optimal solution.

Hope this helps.

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8 hours ago, Al.M said:

Several posts thinking that with normal (and gradually getting worse as one ages) hearing loss through natural ageing is somehow compensated by learning to hear better or improved “hearing acuity” occurs is a common misconception. There is no research indicating that exists or occurs at all and therefore it’s only a perception. One can gain improved recognition skills in many new tasks including learning to ride a bicycle or how to listen to music or sounds even with moderate hearing loss, but it is not the same thing as compensation for sound frequencies your ears are no longer capable of or at some stage one is diagnosed with severe overall hearing loss across a range of frequencies.

 

In fact many science articles indicate when the brain stops receiving those sensations or signals those brain neurons just wither away as they are not needed anymore. There is nothing suggesting the brain does some rerouting to compensate to slow down or match the hearing loss mechanism or organs involved, instead it diverts to other senses in an attempt to compensate but not hearing acuity. The brain tries to compensate like looking for visual nonverbal cues so this won’t work for a severely hearing loss affected audiophile staring harder at their inanimate shiny new speakers. See article https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/52469-New-study-shows-hearing-loss-impacts-brain-function

 

As mentioned in the graphs above the majority of sound frequencies in music are well under what most males will continue to hear well enough until a very old age, so not a great deal to be worried about overall but a significant percentage (25-30%) of us at certain older age will have problems to varying degrees and at some late stage severely impaired enough to matter, some will not be able to know it or admit to it without testing leading up to this eventual stage.

 

 

Thank you Al.M !  3 posts, all with important, useful info.

 

This article referenced above is really worth reading e.g. "Even early stages of hearing can lead to cognitive decline. Healthy hearing and early intervention in the event of any degree (of) hearing loss are essential to maintaining strong cognitive function ". Also..."less than 25 percent of people who need hearing aids actually get them"   etc etc.

While the initial purpose of the posting by captain starlight was in relation to impacts of hearing loss upon musical enjoyment, there is quite a bit extra at stake on top of that, as the referenced article makes clear.

 

Many thanks also Fast_Eddie for letting us know about the facilities which are available in Melbourne (and also likely, the other capital cities), and the expert assistance which is available to find the best option to address hearing loss where it has occurred.  Brilliant that the assistance which you were given has been so beneficial.

Other capital cities would be similarly well served - Sydney for example has RIDBC with their connection to cochlear implants etc.

 

In the regionals there is Attune Hearing (to which I have no affiliation, but whom I found to be very professional and helpful) and similar companies who are not just trying to sell hearing aids, but who are conducting informative, accurate testing.

 

So....much to gain from getting properly tested, and nothing to lose.

 

Morning walk done and dusted.  Time to turn on "the system", settle back into the comfy chair with a cuppa, and listen to the new Bach CD.  (yep, an old fart who still listens to CDs).

Good listening fellow SNA members.

 

 

 

 

 

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The ' Very Best' ( certainly the highest paid) Audio engineers for example don't technically or necessarily have 'Great Hearing' if submitted to an Audiogram hearing test. These engineers are often in their 50's 60's and 70's and while their hearing doesn't necessarily measure well, unlike Children who technically have ' fantastic hearing,  they are able to hear' deep into a mix through years of experience.. .. Audiophiles here, aren't at that level of course unless they've spent years in a studio environment but have more experience than the general public at listening into a mix.. Most hearing loss in later age occurs in higher frequencies outside of musical notes. 

Edited by bryansamui
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I had a discussion about this with an Audio Engineer some time ago, and it dawned on me.  Why has someone not designed systems with age-related output compensation?  I work daily with machines that make automatic real-time adjustments, based on (rather complex) mathematical algorithms, for a person’s age, weight, sex and so on.  Would it not be possible, based on either a single listener’s audiological data or an algorithm based on “median” hearing at given age, to tailor a system’s output to match?  I’d marine the technology exists, but I’m not aware of actual implementation? 

Hmmm....

Edited by Mat-with-one-t
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You can use DSP to do this so long as you have your personal data. This works OK unless you have a large differential in hearing between ears. Not sure if there are DSP programs that allow for separate channels - that would work for headphone use in particular. Otherwise hearing aids are the only way as far as I know..

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As an older musician I think I have to take some issue with the idea that hearing loss definitively causes levels of trained acuity to deteriorate or vanish. To be clear I think the  research would have to take into account the depth of training and which cognitive elements have been fully developed prior to hearing loss becoming more prevalent - to really be informative.

Having played gigs and transcribed music for 40 odd years - I can still (and am as good if not better at it) hear and recognise sounds to notation or the instrument even though I now have tinnitus and some hearing loss while tone colours and frequencies are still present for me in the mix if not as visceral. I wont argue that some things are harder to hear - the tinnitus in particular is particularly annoying, but you cant unlearn what you know about music unless of course you start to suffer from serious memory loss too (not yet thankfully!) - and there is a lot to know especially if you play, record and produce music. I am many times more sensitive to intonation now than ever.

 

One thing I will say - is that these hearing changes have altered my reflex action when playing - but I wouldnt say its a good or bad thing. Cognition in an area like music is always going to have an element of the subjective - so my experience makes some things easier whilst hearing loss will mean that some things go unperceived no doubt. But hasnt that always been the case? If you have the sharpest hearing but little sense of context then a new aural event can remain just as obscure. I still hear new things - but they will be no doubt within the bounds of what I can capture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 30/09/2020 at 11:31 AM, Fast_Eddie said:

Now enjoying my music like I did 30 years ago.

Thanks for sharing @Fast_Eddie If you are willing and able can you shed a little more light on the quality of  the sound via hearing aids. You say you had to upgrade your gear in what respect. I know hearing aid engineering has made leaps and bounds in recent years.

 

Marvellous that you are able to enjoy music to that degree still. I think on Beethoven and what he was able to achieve as truly amazing considering....

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PS Audio's Paul McGowan says in a short video on youtube called 'Why do my ears fail me' that some of the best listeners he knows have hearing that cuts off at 2k!!!!. (I know this is a cue for a PS Audio pile-on, but please don't, resist the temptation, and respect the OP's question.)

For what it's worth, a friend of mine who has fairly severe hearing loss had a listen to Nura headphones, which correct for your hearing deficiencies, and he found they immediately made an easily audible difference. (It was a very quick experiment, and he didn't have long enough to really evaluate the difference). 

Such technology seems a no-brainer (pun intended) when it comes to audio, but I think the barrier to its take-up is simple human vanity: it's difficult for advertising/marketing/sellers to appeal to something that the buyer is in denial about (hearing loss).

I know my hearing rolls off before my dac, amp etc does, but I'm not enjoying music any less as I get older. 

 

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The argument for the resurrection of tone controls gets a leg up here. A bit of EQ and you hear it how you like it.

 

The cynic in me responds to suggestions that amp makers would rather sell you another amp than let you dial up a different sound.

 

I understand the desire by designers to reduce introduced sources of distortion, but that ignores room effects, speaker effects and hearing effects, so we may as well have a tone dial or two for those who need a tweak but are not keen on the whole DSP adventure.

 

Your stereo only simulates sound sources anyway so I see it as a waste of time to pursue audio perfection and settle for enjoyment of the result. 

 

If I want to hear a real authentic sound, then I'm out in the world, not in my lounge room. In my lounge I just want pleasure. I don't care any more if it sounds "real", I only care that it sounds good.

 

So while I'm not deaf I can learn to be happy. One of my favourite lines : "there's man all over for you, blaming on his shoes the faults of his feet" Samuel Beckett

 

 

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1 hour ago, Mickstuh said:

PS Audio's Paul McGowan says in a short video on youtube called 'Why do my ears fail me' that some of the best listeners he knows have hearing that cuts off at 2k!!!!. (I know this is a cue for a PS Audio pile-on, but please don't, resist the temptation, and respect the OP's question.)

For what it's worth, a friend of mine who has fairly severe hearing loss had a listen to Nura headphones, which correct for your hearing deficiencies, and he found they immediately made an easily audible difference. (It was a very quick experiment, and he didn't have long enough to really evaluate the difference). 

Such technology seems a no-brainer (pun intended) when it comes to audio, but I think the barrier to its take-up is simple human vanity: it's difficult for advertising/marketing/sellers to appeal to something that the buyer is in denial about (hearing loss).

I know my hearing rolls off before my dac, amp etc does, but I'm not enjoying music any less as I get older. 

 

Funny you should mention Nura. I just ordered some. Very interested to see how they work!

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28 minutes ago, gator2310 said:

Funny you should mention Nura. I just ordered some. Very interested to see how they work!

In my opinion, the Nura are pretty good, with/without the hearing correction enabled. (They copped a bit of flak around here for silly advertisements, but ignore that ....) Enjoy them!

 

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8 hours ago, allthumbs said:

Thanks for sharing @Fast_Eddie If you are willing and able can you shed a little more light on the quality of  the sound via hearing aids. You say you had to upgrade your gear in what respect. I know hearing aid engineering has made leaps and bounds in recent years.

 

Marvellous that you are able to enjoy music to that degree still. I think on Beethoven and what he was able to achieve as truly amazing considering....

The sound that I hear is not from the hearing aids as such - they simply augment what I hear normally.

Like most older people my losses were in the higher frequencies - ~3kHz and up so the aids really only needed to obviate those frequencies. The choice of dome was really important for music as I did not want to attenuate the low frequencies in order to get even better highs or to completely eliminate feedback. (The dome is the small plastic bit that holds the transducer in the ear and for music it is critically important I found).

 

So the end result was, as with most things, a compromise that enhanced the higher frequencies (as needed for me on a by frequency band basis), but used a very open style dome that did not block the lows to any discernible extent.  There are a many, many domes available from different manufacturers, but they don’t cost anything and are very important for music (at least for me) - so well worth testing time.

That’s the music set up. I have a number of other programs for various other situations.

 

Because my hearing loss is in the higher frequencies the aids have been highly successful.  I suspect that for people with issues at lower frequencies they might be much less successful. I say this because in my testing the transducers on any of the products were not able to provide good lower frequency outcomes (In fact they were all very poor).

 

I had been playing around for some time with computer audio, but was not getting the results that others were reporting with changes that I made and could not work out why.

I had also over the years tried upgrading some components but could not find anything that gave significant SQ improvements (given the $ that I was prepared to spend at the time).

With the new hearing aids the reason became immediately apparent!!

I had been missing out on so much music and I didn’t even notice (frog stuff I guess).

The sound that I was listening to was dull and lifeless - no soundstage, instrument separation……

Also the little things that add so very much to music enjoyment - like a finger sliding on a guitar string as notes change, etc.

Lyrics that I thought were just poor recordings now became audible.

No wonder I could not hear big differences in equipment - much less cables.

 

At that time we changed to a much smaller house and I had to get a couple of bookshelf speakers - B&W 805D3 and a single DB2D sub. Really excellent speakers for such a small foot print IMO.

 

Then my son's amp carked it and I had the excuse I needed to look for a new integrated and pass my old one on…..just to help him out of course!  Set myself a $10k budget and tried a few before getting a Musical Fidelity Nu Vista 600 - 200W hybrid dual mono with valve pre.

 

Having now experienced the massive improvements that these made both I and more importantly, my partner, were sold on the need to at least look at a new DAC…….. and we welcomed Dave to the home after trying Lampizator Atlantic, Denafrips Terminator, Chord Hugo TT, PS Audio Directstream, Bryston BDA 3. 

 

I now use Dave as the preamp as well, bypassing the MF valve pre.

 

Tried a few conditioners: Thor PS10, Isotek EVO3 Sigma and Gigawatt PC-2 with DC blocker. The Gigawatt was the only one that did not choke the amp.  (Need to check out a PS audio P15 post Covid).

 

Then Covid hit and my partner was working from home so I got out the IEMs and AK120 that I had not used for some time…..for about 30 seconds!

Straight out and bought an AK S1000 and Focal Utopias. Then purchased Nordost Heimdall cables as they lift the veil that the standard cables provide over the music. Big improvement.

Note that I wear the aids even when using the Focals because that is a far better result that I can get using DSP on the AK SP1000.

 

Played with the source gear as well and settled on an Antipodes DX from an SNA member.

 

Plenty of cable playing - cause now I can hear the differences!

 

Now looking at changing the amp - its less than a year old and still under warranty, but the thing is that the new found hearing has added just so much to the enjoyment of music that my value perception has changed completely.

 

Now considering a Burmester 911 or Pass Labs X250.8 or maybe even class D???

 

Hope all this helps and isn't too much waffle…

 

Thing is that the benefits can be massive and it costs nothing of substance to go through the process. If you are going to try out the Uni or want more detail just PM me and I will help as best I can.

Edited by Fast_Eddie
stupidity
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  • 2 months later...

I'm a few months short of 70 and my high frequency hearing starts falling off at around 8kHz but I can still hear frequencies at 10-12kHz.  There's not much musical information above 10Khz so I can still enjoy my mid/high-end Linn/Naim system.  

 

Just a word of caution - if you need hearing aids, forget it.  

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