The end of headphones - Tinnitus and portable listening

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Ghostworld, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. Sevoflurane

    Sevoflurane Forum Resident

    West Yorkshire
    The amount of environmental noise that exceeds safe limits is worrying. Went to buy some firewood a few hours ago. There was a machine running breaking coal up at the depot. At maybe 30 yards I get a measurement of 88dBA on my phone. The employees were all standing next to this machine with no hearing protection. Last year on holiday, the PA system for the kid's entertainment in the evening was averaging 90dBA at maybe 40 yards with everyone's kids stood right at the front. Try taking your noise cancelling headphones off mid flight for an idea as to how loud the interior of an aircraft really is. I don't doubt that excessive volumes via headphones and earbuds is causing a lot of hearing damage, but the outside world is far from quiet.
  2. bob_32_116

    bob_32_116 Forum Resident

    Perth Australia
    I've never used headphones. I never found them comfortable, Nor did I particularly like the sensation of having that device provide practically all the input to my ear, to the exclusion of everything else.

    I sometimes almost freak out when seeing some people - usually young people - who seem to LIVE with headphones on. the phrase "be there without being there" comes to mind. I can understand the appeal of sitting listening to music while doing nothing else, as a form of relaxation without disturbing the peace of those around you. I could never wear headphones while running, or walking in the city. And definitely not while cycling. On the road i want to hear whatever is around me, because it might be very important for my health to do so.

    The prospect of tinnitus seems just one more reason to avoid them. I admit that I cannot understand why a particular level of sound should cause more damage coming from a headphone than from a speaker a few metres away, but since that seems to be people's experience, one can't deny the evidence.
    Eigenvector likes this.
  3. Otlset

    Otlset free-range audiophile

    Temecula, CA
    I really agree with this, although you and I may be in the minority apparently.
  4. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Dedicated Listener

    New Mexico USA
    My (relatively modest) hearing damage and tinnitus was induced via a fair number of very loud rock shows and chronically playing cheap Walkman headphones cranked up for years when I was young and heedless.

    I regret nothing. (Mark Twain: The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not.")

    I still like to listen to music fairly loud, but my opinion is that using good gear tends to have an ameliorative effect because you don't need excessive volume to make everything sound great and viscerally present.
    Mr Bass, fogalu and The Revealer like this.
  5. TonyCzar

    TonyCzar Forum Resident

    PhIladelphia, PA
    I was surprised when I discovered that the sound of a normal-sized vehicle traveling down a rain-covered street can obliterate what I am listening to on my earbuds. Buses in any weather are another problem in the city. I really hope young kids aren't trying to overcome those everyday events by turning up the buds. [shudder]
  6. TonyCzar

    TonyCzar Forum Resident

    PhIladelphia, PA
    It's a youth thing, I guess. Guilty as charged (well, of not being young anymore, at this point).

    I just finished watching a video from RMAF about "Young Guns" and audio pros in the business of selling hardware were talking about ways to entice young people into audiophilia, and one actual young person in the audience talked about his living situation (roommates, shared walls, can't afford a house, etc.), but he still likes to crank his cans.

    I was waiting for the other shoe to drop: One adult - just one - on the panel or in the crowd to turn to him and ask him to rethink that or to just not do that.

    It can work. I had a doctor who addressed my 13-year-old self as an adult, and I stopped using my co-branded Sears/KOSS over-the-ear headphones. The idea of not being able to hear music one day just scared the humors out of me. Every young person is different, and will crank headphones, or smoke meth or whatever, but I think as an adult, you can at least simply ask.
    PhilBiker, Stone Turntable and fogalu like this.
  7. J. R.

    J. R. Forum Resident

    Kansas City, MO
    I have Tinnitus and listen to headphones just fine. First of all, I try to ignore the Tinnitus as long as I can.

    I also have hearing aids from Costco - I can now listen to the higher frequencies.
  8. audiomixer

    audiomixer As Bald As The Beatles

    No problem. I hate headphones because I don't like sound that close to my ears.
    The Pinhead likes this.
  9. Phono Groove

    Phono Groove Forum Resident

    Montreal, Quebec
    I too bid farewell to headphones. I cherished my Sennheiser HD600s but it was getting to a point that my ears were getting very sensitive. When I would switch to listening to the Hi-Fi it felt different, my ears were tired , the music had lost it's magic. I rather stick with listening to my Hi-Fi that way my ears get used to listening one way. Also , I have very mild tinnitus in one ear and I surely do not want it to get worst. It's been 2 weeks without headphones and I have to say, my ears are thanking me!
  10. Chazro

    Chazro Forum Resident

    West Palm Bch, Fl.
    I've had tinnitus for over 4 decades! I can remember the EXACT moment I came away with my ears ringing. Nowadays I see space at concerts between the front row and the actual performing stage. Back in the day we were allowed to lean up on the stage, right in the bands face! I went to see Leslie West & Mountain at a college and I wound up directly in front of a literal mountain of speakers facing the audience. Man, West comes out and all he did was start to tune up his guitar, I had never experienced such piercing volume! I did what I'd never done before or since, I left (in the middle of the 1st tune!) and I left with the ringing hiss that I've learned to live with ever since.
  11. Sevoflurane

    Sevoflurane Forum Resident

    West Yorkshire
    Yes. Living Colour, 1991ish, Leeds University, Vernon Reid’s whammy pedal. Left ear whistling ever since...
  12. TimB

    TimB Tube be or not Tube be?

    Galion, Ohio USA
    I understand where you are coming from. Check out this research at U-M

    U-M tinnitus discovery opens door to possible new treatment avenues | Michigan Medicine
  13. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Not listened to h phones for 6/7 years.
    Always wanted a pair of StaX cans. Too late now.
  14. tagomago

    tagomago Original Wrapper

    I've had pretty severe tinnitus in my left ear for 5 years now due to an accident at work. Loud concerts or listening to headphones do not really influence it at all. I would even say my lowest ringing I manage to get by listening to music normally loud, not caring at all and use ear plugs blocking all noise for sleep. I'm still under 40 I wonder how it will be when I'm old.
  15. dougotte

    dougotte Vague Waste of Space-Time

    Washington, DC
    I commute on the DC Metro. Nearly every day, I encounter a young person with earbuds that are so loud, I can hear the music from 5 feet away. I stifle the temptation to warn them, because I'll probably just get :rolleyes: if not :cussing:.
    fogalu and TonyCzar like this.
  16. No Sleep Till Download

    No Sleep Till Download Member

    Tinnitus is horrific and can send you crazy. I have done the same as many here, loud gigs, band rehearsal in small spaces, headphones cranked up when home from the pub in my late teens and early twenties. I now suffer with tinnitus and have for 15 years and I worry so much for the younger generation with the in ear buds and have banned my son from using them.
    I saw an audiologist and I have damaged my hearing in the 16khz range, so I hear a constant high pitch whistle and he said I won’t hear anything around that frequency on the music I listen to. He also said as it got worse I was probably boosting the treble to make up for what was missing, which is now why I just cannot hear that tone, I am not allowed to listen to music through headphones and have been advised to just not go to concerts any more. I cut the headphones but I cannot give up the concerts but i am never forward enough for the levels to even cause any after gig ringing let alone the next day deadness of years past. I would say please look after your hearing it’s awful to never get a true moments silence and know it cannot be fixed.

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