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Ways to improve hearing ability? - Page 3

post #31 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by calvinjai View Post
As a person who has spent hundreds of dollars on headphones and such, i'd like to hear whats different about my headphones...
I was being sarcastic ofcourse. The desire to understand things is the basis of science - in fact it's the definition of science: "1 : the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding".
post #32 of 55

whaaat?

Some semantics needed?
The Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Centre: home of TRT


Imho must read for every hifist. Whether you have tinnutus or not...

Also it has intresting implications, if you believe you can't hear difference then you most likely won't, but if you believe in double blind abx equipment being different, then you most likely will find difference... funny ehh??

maybe we get one day brain-scan blind-tests?!?
post #33 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePredator View Post
Now I just outright don't understand. You spent hundreds of dollars even though you didn't hear a difference and now you want a post-justification (with the possible side effect of enhanced music enjoyment)? Are you listening to equipment or to music?
When you've spent $400 on an amp/dac and not hear the differences exaggerated here on Head-Fi, I'm sure you'd be disappointed too.

I think, the biggest problem here is that Calvin doesn't have a reference to compare his equipments with. Mind you, that most reviews written here on Head-Fi are very vague. People like to throw in terms like "warm", "cold", "detailed" and such.. Without really explaining the reason why those particular terms are used.

Sometimes, I wonder why I paid $200 for the Minibox E+, when it sounds exactly like the PA2v2 that I paid less than 1/3 for. People need pointers, especially those who are not trained to listen critically to discern the differences.

When you fully understand your equipment, you can then really enjoy every bit of the music. Some people are just like that.
post #34 of 55
I think the descriptions are a problem in language and the small differences in sound that are hard to pinpoint. I know there is a difference between my headphones and it's clearly audible but I still use murky descriptors like warm and cold.
post #35 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by xkRoWx View Post
When you've spent $400 on an amp/dac and not hear the differences exaggerated here on Head-Fi, I'm sure you'd be disappointed too.

I think, the biggest problem here is that Calvin doesn't have a reference to compare his equipments with. Mind you, that most reviews written here on Head-Fi are very vague. People like to throw in terms like "warm", "cold", "detailed" and such.. Without really explaining the reason why those particular terms are used.

Sometimes, I wonder why I paid $200 for the Minibox E+, when it sounds exactly like the PA2v2 that I paid less than 1/3 for. People need pointers, especially those who are not trained to listen critically to discern the differences.

When you fully understand your equipment, you can then really enjoy every bit of the music. Some people are just like that.
Agreed, knowledge plays a key role in my perception of sound quality
post #36 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiisinux View Post
The Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Centre: home of TRT
Imho must read for every hifist. Whether you have tinnutus or not...
great link, thanks!
post #37 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post
great link, thanks!
This. Website needs work though (not much needed, just a better background, better hyperlinking via images, a more 'standard' top header font = vastly improved website).
Learning heaps
Also remember that deafness as you get older is not due to aging. It is due to the industrialisation of our society.

A couple more tips relating to IEMs/canalphones:

* Clean your filters every so often (once every 1-2 weeks) Takes <5 minutes to do and all you need really is a cotton bud and some isopropyl alcohol, or if you don't have that, some liquid antiseptic does the job as well (isopropyl alcohol being slightly more effective).

* Remove the eartips and gently remove the filters. You don't have to remove the filter if you don't want to / don't want to risk it. A pair of tweezers is good for this.
Slightly dip (not soak it) one tip of the cotton bud into the isopropyl alcohol / liquid antiseptic and lightly swipe and clean the filter and around the tubing of the IEM.
Clean the filter with the other side of the cotton bud. Reattach the filters carefully and gently. Clean the eartips and reattach them on. Enjoy your nicer sound due to the filters being clean and dirt not blocking the sound coming out of your IEM's/canalphones. Saves your hearing too as you don't compensate for the blocked sound with increasing the volume.

Also of course, eartips selection and underrated but if your IEM / canalphone has an adjustable cord that goes up to your neck..use it!
Tight enough so it wraps around your neck nicely but of course not to the point in which ya strangling yourself! :P
Wearing stuff over-the-ear also helps with fit.
post #38 of 55
You can't blame people on forums for sounding like they are exaggerating sound differences. Language should adapt to your personal experiences, not the other way around. Really absurd to assume it is because you don't have sensitive hearing or need to improve your auditory discernment skills. If you don't hear much of a difference between $100 and $1000 headphones, or headphones of similar prices but are said to sound really different, then just keep that in mind whenever you read the forums discussing such topics. Oh and a laptop isn't really the best headphone output for testing differences of headphones .
post #39 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePredator View Post
Now I just outright don't understand. You spent hundreds of dollars even though you didn't hear a difference and now you want a post-justification (with the possible side effect of enhanced music enjoyment)? Are you listening to equipment or to music?
I listen to both. Sure music is important, but i want to know what my equipment is doing to the music as well. I'm sure alot of people here are happy with just listening and enjoying music, but after i chose to take audio as my hobby, I like to be able to hear differences in equipment as well. Krow puts it very well. I spent 400$ on my compass and am still in the process of trying to find the differences. It was quite disappointing after many people on head-fi said the compass would make a big difference in SQ, yet i didn't find it so.

Yes, i would like post-justification. Who wouldn't after spending a chunk of money and not hearing much difference? The purpose of this thread is to help myself find ways to improve my hearing so that all my money spent on audio gear is more worth it.
post #40 of 55
Guys, I just had to do some cleanup here. Either keep the discourse civil or the privilege of posting will be revoked.
post #41 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by calvinjai View Post
Does anybody know of ways to improve hearing? I find that when comparing 2 different headphones, i have incredible difficulty picking out specific differences. All i can do is pick out the overall feel of a headphone.

Perhaps i'm listening for the wrong things when doing comparisons?

BTW, i have no musical training and don't really play any instruments.
exercise your ear drums with silence and needle drops at varying lengths away from you.
hearing is nothing but a sensitivity issue.
once you have concluded that your hearing sensitivity is superb.. then listening to different headphones will simply be what you hear.

what you like is what you want to divulge in.
later on in life, you will be presented with what is factual and truthful.. rather than your personal artistic opinion.

flat frequency response is the first thing you want to achieve (but today's market will sell you a wide sound-stage before offering you a flat frequency response)
good headphones tally progressive movements towards both flat-response & wide sound-stage.

while a wide sound-stage sounds kinda cool.. is kinda neat..
you will benefit higher from a flat frequency response.

an example:
white walls painted in a room..
the size of the room is the flat frequency response
the shade of white that is painted on the walls is the sound-stage.

there is no point in having a room if there is literally NO ROOM and you are bumping elbows on all four walls.

and thus,
there is no point in listening to music if there are dips in the frequency causing things to NOT BE HEARD.

sound-stage simply means that when you put on the head phones.. the noise sounds as if the speaker is 6 inches away (rather than directly on your ear)

AGAIN..
train your ears with sensitivity exercises before comparing sounds.. and be sure to take a rest often.
post #42 of 55
I'd like to offer the OP a way to listen, I have hardly read anyone talk about ways to listen.

When we listen for differences we need contrasts, for contrast we need to change something. Lots of the time what people change is one component, in this case a headphone and listen one recording or clip and then switch headphones.

Try and do it in a little bit of a different way. Select a group of recordings say 6 or more. Try to select them to be from a large range of genres and recording styles. If you can select music that you're not that intimately familiar with will help.

Now pop on one pair of headphones and listen to the selected tracks completely. Try to listen for the way the headphone plays back the different recordings. You're looking for differences between the recordings. You can listen for variations in soundstage, bass or whatever you like but try to hear how each recording is different from each other.

Listen to the whole of the selected tracks, switch headphones and listen again in the same way. Once you have listened to all of the music you should probably find that there are some characteristics that are the same across all of the recordings with a particular headphone.

Maybe the soundstage is quite similar or the bass is huge regardless of the recording this is going to show you where the headphone is adding it's own sound characteristic to the recording. My AKG k340 for example has a bit of a boxy echo that it adds to every recording.

The more variations between recordings you hear the better as far as the neutrality of the playback.

Our ears are all a bit different and we hear headphones a bit differently from each other. People like different things and most people have a preference of the coloration they like or things they hate.

This is just one strategy for listening to differences, I'm sure there are others but this one I personally like.
post #43 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by calvinjai View Post
I listen to both. Sure music is important, but i want to know what my equipment is doing to the music as well. I'm sure alot of people here are happy with just listening and enjoying music, but after i chose to take audio as my hobby, I like to be able to hear differences in equipment as well. Krow puts it very well. I spent 400$ on my compass and am still in the process of trying to find the differences. It was quite disappointing after many people on head-fi said the compass would make a big difference in SQ, yet i didn't find it so.

Yes, i would like post-justification. Who wouldn't after spending a chunk of money and not hearing much difference? The purpose of this thread is to help myself find ways to improve my hearing so that all my money spent on audio gear is more worth it.
Of course they raved about the SQ, they payed $400 for the thing.

Problem is, buying gear that you haven't actually demo'ed is a gamble, especially when the only other source of info tends to use words that really don't mean much. Personally I assume that all reviews are exaggerated (in either direction) even if such exaggerations are unintentional (e.g.: wine tasting better when the price is marked up).
post #44 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JadeEast View Post
I'd like to offer the OP a way to listen, I have hardly read anyone talk about ways to listen.

When we listen for differences we need contrasts, for contrast we need to change something. Lots of the time what people change is one component, in this case a headphone and listen one recording or clip and then switch headphones.

Try and do it in a little bit of a different way. Select a group of recordings say 6 or more. Try to select them to be from a large range of genres and recording styles. If you can select music that you're not that intimately familiar with will help.

Now pop on one pair of headphones and listen to the selected tracks completely. Try to listen for the way the headphone plays back the different recordings. You're looking for differences between the recordings. You can listen for variations in soundstage, bass or whatever you like but try to hear how each recording is different from each other.

Listen to the whole of the selected tracks, switch headphones and listen again in the same way. Once you have listened to all of the music you should probably find that there are some characteristics that are the same across all of the recordings with a particular headphone.

Maybe the soundstage is quite similar or the bass is huge regardless of the recording this is going to show you where the headphone is adding it's own sound characteristic to the recording. My AKG k340 for example has a bit of a boxy echo that it adds to every recording.

The more variations between recordings you hear the better as far as the neutrality of the playback.

Our ears are all a bit different and we hear headphones a bit differently from each other. People like different things and most people have a preference of the coloration they like or things they hate.

This is just one strategy for listening to differences, I'm sure there are others but this one I personally like.
I do something similar, but i think your idea is better. I have 2 or 3 songs that i know very well as reference, and try to compare through those for an initial impression. Then after that i listen to other songs to try and hear differences. It wouldn't hurt to have 8 songs or so from all different genres/ recording styles as references. Thank you for the suggestion, i will try it as i try to compare my 701's with my friends HF-2.

If i still don't hear any noticable differences, i'm just going to have to assume my headphone jack is a bad source as haloxt noted
post #45 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePredator View Post
Of course they raved about the SQ, they payed $400 for the thing.

Problem is, buying gear that you haven't actually demo'ed is a gamble, especially when the only other source of info tends to use words that really don't mean much. Personally I assume that all reviews are exaggerated (in either direction) even if such exaggerations are unintentional (e.g.: wine tasting better when the price is marked up).
I agree, it definitely was a gamble. Having no experience with amps or dacs, i had no idea how much better the compass would make my music sound. The reviews however were good enough to push me to purchase the compass and have my first taste of amplifiers (my dac cackles off my laptop so i don't use that). While i feel that the compass does improve my music a little, it is nowhere near as good as the reviews made it sound. This leaves me with 2 conclusions, the reviews of the compass was exaggerated whether intentional or unintentionally, or my ears simply aren't that good.

Edit: Oh and of course it could be because of my laptop's headphone jack

I'd like to explore whether it could be my ears before i make any further conclusions, hence this thread. I will try some of the methods suggested here to see if it helps me discern more differences when music is played through different audio gear.
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