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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:07 pm 
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Location: GTA, ON, CA
I've been dealing with tinnitus for many years, over the last few years it has become more prevalent. As it has progressed, I find I listen to music significantly less often than I used to - I still have music on in the background quite often, but actually sitting down for a listening session happens infrequently.

The main issue is that the tinnitus seems to get impacted/exacerbated when I listen for anything more than 20 minutes. I keep volumes to mid level, since the louder the db the worse the impact - even at mid volume levels the issue occurs. Post the listening session it takes a few hours for the sensation to subside (basically back to the standard level of ringing).

I'd be interested to hear (no pun intended) from others who have the same condition - have equipment changes helped? I've thought of a few options, e.g.:

1) bringing tubes into the equation - DAC, pre or integrated.
2) moving to a speaker with a textile vs metal tweeter
3) moving to a bookshelf/sub combo - thought here is that I can increase bass output a bit to "feel" the music, while keeping volumes a bit lower. I recognize this might throw off the balance of the music.

I'm open to suggestions if you have an alternative that worked for you. I'm certainly hoping to find something that helps, as I'd really like to get back to enjoying listening sessions again.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:27 pm 
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Hmm, I'd think you'd discuss that with a doctor, or on a health or hearing related forum. Here? I doubt we have very many regular readers with chronic tinnitus.

My only contribution here would be keep volume moderate and if you have an analog source, a phono, you might find it a bit gentler on your condition, just a guess.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:42 pm 
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There has been a few threads on T if you want to do a forum search...Quite a few have expressed complaints,luckily mine is tolerable....Loud and lengthy sessions obviously flair it up.....A solution for you is to ask advice on speakers that sound full at lower volumes....My T can be flared up by too much caffeine, prescription drugs can have an effect,anxiety can make it worse...I'm sure you know all about your condition already...Any way a high efficiency speaker at lower volume could be you answer...

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:51 pm 
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Location: vancouver, BC, CA
I'm very sensitive to certain speakers and set-ups: part physiological and partly due to too much live music in my carefree past. :)

I've had to ditch speakers because, in part, they caused ringing or low level humming: i.e., PCM twenty5.22 speakers, which I loved, but caused fatigue and what a friend dubbed "virtual reality fatigue". I tried them with tubes/solid state, on axis/off axis.

I think your first point to consider might be detailed speakers that sound good at a reasonable/quiet volume. The reason many sound engineers/mixers are so smitten with Amphion one15s and one18s is that they translate at low volumes. Mixers/producers are prime candidates for tinnitus, and most studio speakers are painfully mid-forward, so this move to speakers that translate at low volumes has some application here. Tchad Blake is a good example: he mixes on Linn 328a monitors, which are (arguably) more hi-fi than professional monitors, as they translate at low volumes. Most studio environments are set up to mix torturously loud, and Tchad's admission that he mixes at low levels was kind of a sea change.

I don't have the expertise to recommend 100 contemporary speaker brands, but in my experience the old school BBC British sound translates the best at low volumes: Spendor, Quad ESL, Harbeth, which might makes sense as the Spendor/Harbeth come out of a professional application tradition (but one that predates intensely loud monitoring). I find I'm really engaged and can get lost in the music, but at reasonable volumes. For what it's worth, I prefer the Spendor SP1/2es I have now to the 30.1s, perhaps because they are even softer, but I actually find them more engaging. Just an aside, I suppose.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:16 pm 
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rvb5 wrote:
I've been dealing with tinnitus for many years, over the last few years it has become more prevalent. As it has progressed, I find I listen to music significantly less often than I used to - I still have music on in the background quite often, but actually sitting down for a listening session happens infrequently.

The main issue is that the tinnitus seems to get impacted/exacerbated when I listen for anything more than 20 minutes. I keep volumes to mid level, since the louder the db the worse the impact - even at mid volume levels the issue occurs. Post the listening session it takes a few hours for the sensation to subside (basically back to the standard level of ringing).

I'd be interested to hear (no pun intended) from others who have the same condition - have equipment changes helped? I've thought of a few options, e.g.:

1) bringing tubes into the equation - DAC, pre or integrated.
2) moving to a speaker with a textile vs metal tweeter
3) moving to a bookshelf/sub combo - thought here is that I can increase bass output a bit to "feel" the music, while keeping volumes a bit lower. I recognize this might throw off the balance of the music.

I'm open to suggestions if you have an alternative that worked for you. I'm certainly hoping to find something that helps, as I'd really like to get back to enjoying listening sessions again.


What type of music do you listen to ?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:29 pm 
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Location: Mont St-Hilaire, QC, CA
I have tinnitus as well. It's tolerable. By that I mean, when I dont think about it, I dont hear the hiss in my head... Writing this, I can hear it over the music I'm listening on my 2 ch. right now. just because I'm concentrating on it. Listening with the 2 ch. system doesn't have effect on my tinnitus. Its not louder afterwards. And sometimes, I can listen 4-5-6 hours... and loud (well loud for me) and I never notice a change. I've had many systems and same thing: tinnitus are the same. I have the same speakers for 5 years so maybe that has an effect but frankly, I dont think so. I have them for at least 30 years + now...

Now, I also love listening with headphones and in ear. Its a very different audio and musical "trip" . And HP do have a certain effect on my tinnitus. When I get up in the morning following a good HP session (meaning 1 hour + and fairly loud), I hear them loud and clear in the morning. I notice them. So I tend to limit those sessions and, of course, I keep the volume down... I'm sure that if I didn't have tinnitus, I would listen much more with HP.

I had a listening test last year... All was good... No problem with my ears. Blood pressure is the cause for me (so eat well, exercise, etc - dont drink too much... yeah sure...lol). Music on 2 ch., no effect at all. HP and in ears, limited time. Thats the way it is for me. Check the cause of your tinnitus and have a regular hearing test. Maybe theres no relation between sound and tinnitus.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2015 7:52 pm
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Location: North Gower, ON, CA
I'm open to suggestions if you have an alternative that worked for you. I'm certainly hoping to find something that helps, as I'd really like to get back to enjoying listening sessions again.[/quote]

No known Tinnitus as far as I know, but my right ear can get bothered in live music situations, So I sit with my left ear facing the band, but I don't get out often.

At home I've noticed that I can do longer listening periods thru my Sennheiser HD 590 headphones.
Since everything is so clear, maybe the volume level is not as high as when I'm trying to listen on my speakers and dealing with house noises at the same time.
It might be worth borrowing a good pair from someone if you can.
Ott.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:51 pm 
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Location: GTA, ON, CA
To answer some of the questions:

- I have been seeing medical professionals for this for about 5 years now, have regular hearing tests (last one 6 months ago). They really have no recommendation for audio equipment, and can't really prescribe why listening to music impacts the effect (at least short term) of the tinnitus.

- Music, I listen to classic rock, alternative/punk, jazz, and classical.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:04 pm 
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I have had Tinitus for a number of years. 3 years ago it became worse due to an explosion that damaged my left ear. The tinnitus intensity goes up and down with the volume and type of music.

Heavy bass actually causes a bone in my ear to rattle which causes a sound similar to when a voice coil has come loose. Bright higher frequency sounds , just hurt.

I have two main systems tailored to aggravate it the least.

First system is low powered Tube system.
Main Amp is a 2A3C , I also have a MP301.
I rotate Speakers and are A. Sound Dynamic 10s Efficiency 100db, B. Martin Logan LX16, Sensitivity 92db , C. Rega Ela around 91 db Efficiency. I also have a number of 1960’s 12 in Tri-Axial and Bi-Axial Jensens. They are very rolled off and great for low SPL listening

Second system is a Solid state but also warm.
Nad 1600 preamp with either a Hafler dh-200 or a LXI 4222 Power amp (Sherwood S-6040CP)
and a pair of Magnepan MMG’s.

They both sound good at low volumes or louder. I might cut loose a few times a year and really turn it up with some heavy rock. I do end up paying for it a few days, though.

For me , listening with headphones seems to aggravate it.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:30 pm 
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Location: Ottawa, ON, CA
i tend to notice my tinnitus more in the night when i awake from sleep.
i guess the silence makes it more pronounced?
i'm a musician and music lover who has no one else to blame since i have been happy to surround myself with all sorts of music over the past 50 years. i can't imagine a life without music.
i can't suggest anything about what sort of equipment might help or not with hearing issues.
one small thing that seems to offer some relief to the ringing in my ears is to let warm water fill my ears when in the shower.
i don't have a scientific explanation, but i find it helps to clear my ear/throat/nose passages and somehow soothes those areas.
best of luck.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:45 pm 
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Location: Sherbrooke, QC, CA
It has little to do with the equipment. You are already doing the important things: lowering the volume and keeping listening sessions short.

I have had the condition for years and it does seem to abate for periods where I can listen for longer periods. I have not traced the onset to any factor, but stress seems to be a trigger.

I now get more enjoyment out of listening to YouTube videos through a small HK speaker then my main system.

I don't think that the choice of equipment offers much of a solution although I do use my tube power amp instead of the transistor amps when I find the sound generated by my ears bothers me too much.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:08 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
racecars wrote:
Hmm, I'd think you'd discuss that with a doctor, or on a health or hearing related forum. Here? I doubt we have very many regular readers with chronic tinnitus.

My only contribution here would be keep volume moderate and if you have an analog source, a phono, you might find it a bit gentler on your condition, just a guess.


I think you are way off here with this comment.
Most of us that listen to music love to crank it.
Most of us that love music have gone to concerts where the volume is loud enough to cause problems.
A lot are also musicians in bands.
Our love of music is why most of us are prone to tinnitus.
I think the input will be valuable to the OP.

Anyways,

Take Care


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:21 pm 
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I think this effects sacks of folks on these pages and I am so thankful to have only had bouts of this condition. Don't get me started on hearing problems though...


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:54 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
rvb5 wrote:
To answer some of the questions:

- I have been seeing medical professionals for this for about 5 years now, have regular hearing tests (last one 6 months ago). They really have no recommendation for audio equipment, and can't really prescribe why listening to music impacts the effect (at least short term) of the tinnitus.


This is my experience too. I suffer from tinnitus and hearing loss. I see an ENT and a Hearing Aid Instrument Specialist. They are medical professionals, and at first I thought they were going to tell me about everything that is wrong with my hearing. Big disappointment. They are treating people with hearing problems such as tinnitus, but they have no real life experience. Tinnitus cannot be measured. It can only be described to them, so they are clueless when it comes to tinnitus. That's my experience anyway. So advice such as "go see a medical professional" is not useful. Even downright depressing, especially when we are already seeing one with disappointing results.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:03 pm 
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I have tinnitus as well. After years of suffering and online research I finally broke down and went to an audiologist for testing.

One weird fact I learned is that the frequencies of the ringing/buzzing/hissing coincides with lost hearing in those freqs. The latest theory is that since your brain never receives those freqs, it fills in the missing sound itself. The louder the ambient sound, the louder the fill-in noise added by your brain. When the room gets quieter, it takes time for your brain to quiet the fill-in noise. That's why you can hear the ringing even when the room is loud.

So what to do? Here's a mix of general advice and suggestions based on how I listen to music.

1) Accept that you no longer need to obsess over achieving perfectly flat reproduction of music from 20-20,000 hz. Your ears have dead zone gaps.

2) Based on my personal experience, keep the music soft. Otherwise you will trigger your brain to turn up the volume on the tinnitus. Also, you reach fatigue more slowly that way and can listen for longer. I listen all day long at my desk, at about a 1 out of 10 volume. I turn it up to 2 to rock out on the best songs. I find that I can't really work without soft music because the ringing is a distraction. Music takes my mind off the tinnitus.

3) Go to an audiologist. There is a new tool for "curing" tinnitus, or at least mitigating the effects. It's custom-recorded music or white noise with super-loud frequencies added that match the dead zones in your hearing. You brain gets to hear the tones, even with the broken ear cilia, and stops needed to generate the missing sound. The theory goes that after you listen for a while and then move back to regular music, you'll have a period without the ringing. I can't say if this works. I didn't try it.

4) Earplugs for concerts. I no longer go to stadium shows. I go to small venues where you don't have the echos of 10,000 screaming fans.

5) Cars are noisy, especially from road noise on the highway. I no longer play my car stereo. I invested in noise-cancelling over-ear closed-back bluetooth headphones linked to my cell phone. The noise cancelling means I can keep the volume down. Does they sound as good as the stereo? No. Do they sound as good as my Grado cans? No. But I'm interested in being able to hear music for the rest of my life.

6) Don't let anybody dismiss your discomfort. People kill themselves because of Tinnitus. Apparently, they couldn't sleep because the ringing was so loud. Finally, out of exhaustion they chose suicide. If you feel you're getting close, see an audiologist.

7) Make sure your equipment has an equalizer of some kind. I'll often turn down the base or highest treble on some songs. Not as exciting, but I'm hoping for another 30 years or so of listening to music.

Finally, a request. If any of you ever build a time machine, please go back to the Beach Boys concert in Central Park in 1977 and tell me to get out of the speaker enclosure. The ports in the huge woofer cabinet were to let sound out, not let stupid teenagers in. :roll:

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