Ear fatigue getting more frequent but less significant

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by youraveragevinylcollector, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. youraveragevinylcollector

    youraveragevinylcollector Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Commerce, GA
    Lately, I've been getting ear fatigue, but to nowhere the degree of fatigue I used to get, but it's happening more frequently. I'm not sure if it's my love of boosting the lower frequencies on my music app (VOX) on my iPhone, or my headphones themselves (5 year old pair of Skullcandy HESH 2s). I've been wanting to upgrade headphones for about a year now, but I can't spend big money right now, saving money for a car and having parents breathing down my neck about spending any amount more than $10 on anything because of that... kinda kills me. Should I just listen to my speakers (Kenwood KL999Z) on low volumes without any EQ, and ditch my headphones, or should I see a specialist over my ears constantly getting fatigued, even with the usual breaks from headphones (I never listen at high volumes)? Or should I even just buy monitor speakers? Any help is highly appreciated, I'm getting tired of my ears being like this.
     
  2. lv70smusic

    lv70smusic Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Does the fatigue go away when you're not listening to music? If so, then it's likely not anything health related (though if you are concerned that it might be, see your doctor). I generally only experience fatigue when I listen to something that just isn't pleasant to listen to. Since my system is generally satisfying to me, that means that certain recordings just make me want to turn them off after a while -- sometimes after a very short while. If the frequency response of your system tends toward the bright side, that may be causing fatigue. Also, since you do a lot of listening via headphones, it may be that your headphones just aren't very comfortable to listen to long-term (many aren't). If you don't feel like you need a medical examination for this (and if I were in your shoes, I probably wouldn't pursue one), you can simply experiment with different things to see what, if anything, helps. Try listening flat (without the bass boost). Try attenuating the upper frequencies somewhat. Try listening to your speakers instead of the headphones. Try turning down the volume, even if you think you're not listening at an excessive volume.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  3. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    Skull candy and an iPhone seems like the perfect recipie for fatigue to me.

    I'd say speakers at a lower volume is the right move.
     
    Bolero, SandAndGlass, Spsesq and 2 others like this.
  4. youraveragevinylcollector

    youraveragevinylcollector Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Commerce, GA
    It doesn't seem to go away completely. I rarely game with headphones on (new games' sound design is crap, compressed as heck), and I may listen to music ~1 hour a day or less, and it seems like my ears are almost always fatigued. Even when I listen to music through speakers, my ears get fatigued after a while.
     
  5. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    I went through a phase like that when I was about 20. Turns out what I thought was good sound (when I was ignorant about this sort of thing), like cheap gear and EQs, was actually distorting the sound and creating ear fatigue. Eventually, I developed tinnitus which freaked me out and I stopped listening to music cold turkey because I was afraid this would be permanent. It took about a week for the ringing to stop and I've been extremely careful (some say paranoid) ever since which in turn allowed me to discover ear fatigue, the loudness war, audiophile gear, etc.

    You only have one pair of ears. Don't foolishly destroy them by using crappy gear. And keep the volume at a reasonable level.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
    Bolero, gryphongryph, Dave and 5 others like this.
  6. youraveragevinylcollector

    youraveragevinylcollector Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Commerce, GA
    I'm a sucker about the loudness war. I've given all my compressed CDs to my dad and have went for original US presses of CDs. I've been wanting to find a different receiver with better sound, but this stuff is expensive...
     
    Kristofa likes this.
  7. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    It can be expensive but not necessarily. When I came home for summer from my first year of college in 95 I got a job working in a kitchen and saved up $700 for a denon receiver that I have to this day. I saw one just like it on Craig's list this week for $10. I'm not saying it's the best amp ever made but it was to me for about ten years or more.

    If back then there were old guys on the internet to give me advice I could have probably bought a fisher 400 or sansui g9000 for $50. Both of which go for over $1,000 in good condition today.

    If you educate yourself, ask questions and put in some work you can put together a great system on the cheap. You can even buy and sell enough to where it pays for itself.

    I don't know if it resolves this issue you're having with fatigue but I for one can listen to music for 8 hours at a time (and often do) if it's analog. Cd's or media files wear me out after an hour or so.
     
    John Woo likes this.
  8. wwaldmanfan

    wwaldmanfan Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    What did your dad do to you to deserve that? Or, are his old ears already wrecked?
     
    timind likes this.
  9. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    In some cases, that might not do much. What kind of music do you tend to listen to? Any specific artists you can share?
     
  10. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    Read through the 'Solid State' forum over at Audio Karma to learn about inexpensive, very fine sounding vintage receivers from the 70's. :)

    I'll recommend two:
    Sony STR-6055 receiver
    Marantz 2238B receiver

    No matter what you listen to you need to keep the volume down. Good luck.
     
    bloode and SirMarc like this.
  11. SirMarc

    SirMarc Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    Pick up a pair of Koss Portapro headphones for 35-40 bucks. Fantastic cheap headphones that are not fatiguing at all.
     
  12. youraveragevinylcollector

    youraveragevinylcollector Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Commerce, GA
    Classic rock. Eagles, Bob Seger, some classic country like George Jones, Garth Brooks, Alabama, and some rap.
     
    Frosst likes this.
  13. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Well, the rap albums are most likely all brickwalled regardless of pressing. For the rest, pre-90 CDs should be fine.
     
  14. youraveragevinylcollector

    youraveragevinylcollector Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Commerce, GA
    I listen to the old stuff, back when it somewhat had dynamics. I don't listen to it nowhere near as much as the rock stuff, though.
     
  15. youraveragevinylcollector

    youraveragevinylcollector Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Commerce, GA
    Yeah I'm trying to upgrade from my Pioneer VSX-454, but I can't really complain, I got my receiver and speakers for free, as a gift from an Uncle, who is an audiophile himself, and has a nice receiver and monitor speakers and as many HDTracks and other HiRes downloads you can think of. I need something powerful enough to drive my speakers (Kenwood KL-999Zs from 1975, with either a 150 or 175 watt limit, need at least like 80W+ per channel to drive them decently)
     
  16. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    Skullcandy Buds 2 user here. A very happy one at that. Nice clarity, very well balanced little in ear headphones. Work nicely with my Samsung Galaxy S7.

    To the OP, is the fatigue physical, as in, discomfort from the wearing of headphones, or through the act of listening to music, films, etc?
     
  17. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    Well, don't forget, original Marshalls were only 45 watts. Sounds like the Kenwoods need to be played too loud to be safe. You can always get new equipment, never new ears though. :)
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  18. youraveragevinylcollector

    youraveragevinylcollector Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Commerce, GA
    Through listening to anything. Anything loud impacts my ears. It's getting to where being in a noisy classroom or lunchroom makes my ears fatigued.
     
  19. youraveragevinylcollector

    youraveragevinylcollector Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Commerce, GA
    I don't listen to it at high volumes, I rarely do, if I'm cleaning elsewhere in my house, I just turn it up. My equipment definitely does well at hearing it throughout my house... and maybe outside of it. :D
     
    bluemooze likes this.
  20. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Stop cold turkey like I did for a week. Honestly. Stop toying around with your hearing.
     
    Dave, SandAndGlass and Dennis0675 like this.
  21. Higlander

    Higlander Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Florida
    I remember reading somewhere that ear fatigue, unless recently exposed to very sound sounds or what have you, is often hearing issues going undiagnosed.
    I rarely ever see a younger person say they have "ear fatigue", so my guess it may be more health related or hearing related issues.
     
    Dennis0675 likes this.
  22. youraveragevinylcollector

    youraveragevinylcollector Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Commerce, GA
    I work at an amusement park type place, and they usually stick me at go karts, which means I have 6-10 go karts running pretty much all the time in a small area. Can't get earplugs because employees use walkie talkies for communication. I believe it's law that they have to give me earplugs when sound gets over 90dB, but I doubt that will happen. And there's loud, bassy music where laser tag is held, and loud music and arcade games in another building. I can't escape from anything loud. I've had sinus problems over the past few months, but I doubt that's what's been causing the fatigue. It may have to do with my sinuses though, my dad and I have problems with our ears getting clogged.
     
  23. Sevoflurane

    Sevoflurane Forum Resident

    Location:
    West Yorkshire
    You need to get a proper pure tone audiogram and have your hearing properly assessed. Your occupational noise exposure is highly likely to be well over safe limits. If you cannot escape from loud noises you need hearing protection or a quieter job. Sorry, that is how it is. You only get one set of ears. Look after them.
     
  24. Fishoutofwater

    Fishoutofwater Forum Resident

    i think it might be a good idea to see a specialist; Sevoflurane has a point.
     
  25. Sevoflurane

    Sevoflurane Forum Resident

    Location:
    West Yorkshire
    Unfortunately, due to a combination of childhood ear infections and probably too many loud gigs when I was a student, I have a reasonable degree of high frequency loss and permanent tinnitus. As a result I am pretty careful about hearing protection at gigs and use noise cancelling headphones a lot so I can listen to music at lower volumes without fatigue or further damaging my hearing.

    The OP's description of his occupational noise exposure is what worries me. That volume for hours on end cannot be safe without hearing protection.
     

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