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How Long Do You Listen Before Listening Fatigue Kicks In

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I just got my first pair of headphones and headamp(both brand new) last Saturday. They currently have about 30 minutes of play-time as I haven't got much time to listen during the weekdays. Having lived with a loudspeaker-based system for more than a decade now, I find that I can't listen to the headphones for long, even at low to moderate volume levels. Listening fatigue kicks in pretty quickly and I find it quite uncomfortable to have the headphones on my head for long. I find it necessary to take a break between tracks.

 

I have come up with two possibilities with this current situation. Perhaps the gear, both headphones and amp need some time to break-in. The headamp manufacturer/designer suggested that the gear will sound better with 100 to 200 hours of burn-in. Secondly, and most importantly, I think I need to adapt to the new listening experience, to get used to listening to headphones.

 

There isn't any doubt that the sound quality produced by the headphones is quite stellar and enjoyable. It's just that I can't seem listen to it continuously at prolonged sessions.

 

I would appreciate some thoughts and information on the listening patterns or time spent on your headphone system.

 

Thanks.

post #2 of 13

Well. With my HD 650 i can sit all day. They really sound like speakers wrapped around your ears, (not soundstage wise meant). 

I had DT 990 before, and it took 1 hour maybe before the highs got little to much. But they where very fun and I miss them sometimes though. 

post #3 of 13

I can listen for many hours without taking my headphones off. Maybe you just have to get used to having something on your head and ears. 

post #4 of 13

My Ultrasones need to come off in less than 2 hours. I used to own the AKG k240 and DT990, and both of them I could wear without any breaks. It all depends on the headphone, but generally closed headphones are worse because of that isolated sound bubble they create.

post #5 of 13

I can listen all day long with my M-Audio Q40 but I stick to reasonably low/average volume levels.

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

I can listen all day long with my M-Audio Q40 but I stick to reasonably low/average volume levels.

 

Reasonably low volume is 70DB?? or even lesser?

 

At 70DB I can listen upto 2-3 hours on D2K, 5-6 hrs with HD598

post #7 of 13

Yesterday I went four plus hours on my d5k. On my he400's I can go about half that before needing a break.

post #8 of 13

I haven't ever had any fatigue on my HD280s for about 7 years now. Usually I use them the whole day listening to music or playing games :).

I can't listen to the awefully boring sound of my HD650s for too long. Might sell them.

post #9 of 13

My Audio Technica M50 fatigues my ears pretty quickly, after about 50 minutes of listening. Not only because of their more "forward" sound signature, but also because they are closed-back and seal pretty well, putting more pressure on my ears.

My ears are quite sensitive to pressure triportsad.gif.

I still love my M50, even though it fatigues mah ears. Taking breaks after every hour during long music listening sessions helps.

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicinmymind View Post

 

Reasonably low volume is 70DB?? or even lesser?

 

At 70DB I can listen upto 2-3 hours on D2K, 5-6 hrs with HD598

 

Something like 70~73dB probably but I probably listen with A LOT more lows and lot less highs than you most likely. :P

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses. So it appears that most can listen from 2 to 3 hours up to a whole day long(~12 hours). It appears that the headphones are fine and it's me(or my ears) that needs some practice or training. I can easily listen to the loudspeakers in the main system for 8 hours straight, no issues.

 

Cheers guys,

post #12 of 13
Can't say really, since I don't think I've ever had fatigue from my current headphones/system. I can listen for hours and hours and wear them for hours in total comfort. However, that has more to do with my current system than with headphones in general. Headphones are less linear than speakers in general (that is, less linear than relatively neutral speakers in an acoustically-treated space), and most tend to be somewhat bright. If you have a 10db peak in the treble you're getting a lot more listening fatigue at your perceived SPL than you would with something linear. But, there are some high-end headphones that are pretty fatigue-free and not bright in the slightest.

I don't think burn-in will do anything to change the nature of your system. If it's fatiguing now it will be fatiguing 100 hours later. What may happen is you adapting to it psychoacoustically and getting used to its sound.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryder78 View Post

Thanks for the responses. So it appears that most can listen from 2 to 3 hours up to a whole day long(~12 hours). It appears that the headphones are fine and it's me(or my ears) that needs some practice or training. I can easily listen to the loudspeakers in the main system for 8 hours straight, no issues.

 

Cheers guys,

 

"Training" can help. I can wear my Ultrasones for longer amounts of time than when I first got them.

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