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what causes listening fatigue?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I know that by listening to phones that harsh harsh highs, or boomy lows and rough mids, or high volumes, or moderate ones at an extended time can lead to fatigue. But how does one recognize it? and what are other causes of this fatigue? Whats the long term/short term effect of this listening fatigue?
post #2 of 25
I have never found a corrolation between a frequency response and listening fatigue in my experience. I have never found the HF-1 or the Ergo AMT to be fatiguing in the slightest, despite their treble spikes or treble balance. Conversely, I found the HD545 to be fatiguing after only a few minutes, and that had the characteristic senn house sound.

I think that fatigue stems mainly from what your ears are not used to, if you experience a new and unfamiliar headphone sound, it is more likely to be fatiguing.

Listening fatigue manifests in many ways depending on how wide one casts the net of its definition. The main catagory would be that your ears or head start to hurt or feel acutely uncomfortable during listening. Discomfort or pressure from headphones which do not fit suitably, irritation from prolonged wearing. All of these are types of fatigue.

Short term effects are just those I have listed, long term effect? Well if your fatigue stems from high volume listening then a long term effect could be detriment to your hearing. Aside from that I dont think that theres any long term effects of listener fatigue onset.
post #3 of 25
For me its treble (5k-20kHz) thats boosted over the mids... 30 minutes with a DT880, EX51, HD280 and my ears are ringing. While forward upper mids and bloated bass dont bother me at all.
post #4 of 25
I experienced fatigue for the first time when I combined my SA5k's with my Zhaolu D2C. It was incredibly bright/harsh to my ears and eventually fatiguing after ~20 minutes of listening. It got fatiguing when the sound was just too harsh/shrill, there was sibilance, and my ears started ringing. You should recognize it when it happens.
post #5 of 25
I don't have a problem with big bass or mids (as long as they're smooth) but it's the bright highs that really get to my ears.
post #6 of 25
One of the biggest causes of listening fatigue is the inability of headphones to produce a realistic stereo soundstage. Your mind has to work harder to try to compensate for the unrealistic soundstage and imaging that headphones produce. After a while, it becomes fatiguing, and that's why some people can't live without cross-feed.
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by goorackerelite View Post
I know that by listening to phones that harsh harsh highs, or boomy lows and rough mids, or high volumes, or moderate ones at an extended time can lead to fatigue. But how does one recognize it? and what are other causes of this fatigue? Whats the long term/short term effect of this listening fatigue?
Brightness leads it to me, along with harshness, & mild distortion in the treble..When I get listening fatigue my ears call timeout, & I have the urge to pull off my headphones & just use the speakers on my TV.. Its like I'm not enjoying the music anymore, becomes a chore getting through the next song..Lose interest, & want nothing on my jead..
post #8 of 25
Don't be fooled into thinking there is just one thing that causes listening fatigue, and that that can be remedied with some sort of silver bullet. It's more complex than that.

My experiences point to the psychoacoustical processes done by the brain to try and make everything sound "normal", homoginization I guess you could call it, as the lead culprit. Things like unusual frequency response variations like treble spikes, phase irregularities, artificial tonal bodies, clipping and compression, and of course playback of stereophonic material with a binaural playback medium are all things that make one's brain work harder, despite not having that large a conscious effect on the sound.
post #9 of 25
Yeah, like "Teh HUEG!"

If you want a more balanced sound without the Ax00 "midrange funk" try the AD700. It has reduced bass, but some people perfer it over the A700 for having unrecessed mids.
post #10 of 25
Listener fatigue..

It's probably caused by having a large frequency range of sounds being fed to your ears from a source two inches away from your head. And the fact that this source is strapped to your head. Just a guess.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by dulath View Post
Yeah, like "Teh HUEG!"

If you want a more balanced sound without the Ax00 "midrange funk" try the AD700. It has reduced bass, but some people perfer it over the A700 for having unrecessed mids.
Wrong thread, mate.
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hmm it'll be interesting to list the most and least fatiguing earphones that one has experienced. my least was Senn hd595 and my most was my grado sr-60.
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kramer5150 View Post
For me its treble (5k-20kHz) thats boosted over the mids... 30 minutes with a DT880, EX51, HD280 and my ears are ringing. While forward upper mids and bloated bass dont bother me at all.
What volume are you listenning to the DT880s at?
post #14 of 25
When I first got my SR60s I couldn't listen to them for even an hour before they started physically hurting my ears and fatiguing as well. But I guess my head, ears, and brain adjusted because now they feel about just as comfy as my Beyers. I guess fatigue comes from that which you are not used to, and sometimes you can adjust to it.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by humanflyz View Post
One of the biggest causes of listening fatigue is the inability of headphones to produce a realistic stereo soundstage. Your mind has to work harder to try to compensate for the unrealistic soundstage and imaging that headphones produce. After a while, it becomes fatiguing, and that's why some people can't live without cross-feed.

Very well put - I really agree with that - without xfeed I am knackered very quickly. It is only since using xfeed that I get real pleasure from 'phone listening
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