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Listening fatigue - Page 3

post #31 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puranti View Post

If you're listening to headphones it's most likely due to loudness or super-stereo, if I find the link I will edit my post but I read that the fact that headphones are completely independant from each other (speakers have a natural crossfeed) the brain takes much more energy into analyzing and interpreting the sound which causes listening fatigue.

 

I have become a great advocate of using crossfeeds with headphones. I "discovered" crossfeed when I bought my Meier-Audio StageDac which, of course, has cross feed. This is the only crossfeed I have ever used so I cannot comment on any other. However I believe this brings great improvements for headphone listening and certainly will help reduce long term listening fatigue.

 

I know there are software crossfeeds but I have never tried one. That might be worth investigating.

post #32 of 44

I'm a big fan of it too. Years ago I regularly had listening fatigue (with different music and cans) until I discovered crossfeed (or acoustic simulator) circuits. I am a big believer of them now.  Headroom, Leckerton, Meier and a few others have them built into their amps, but I am surprised they aren't more common.

 

For me I found a circuit board/kit  based on the Linkwitz/cmoy design a few years ago and built my own. Works great. You add it into the line level signal before it gets to the amp. It's not perfect and I've seen better designs, but this works for me.

 

Advantages:  Less fatique/headaches associated with your brain expecting spacial (delayed) signals from the other channel like you would get from speakers in a room. And a bigger/wider soundstage. I listen to alot of 60/70s music and that was more panned to either side of the channels which makes the affect causing the fatique worse.

Disadvantages - its another device in the signal path, mine takes just a hair off the high end ( the amp makers implemetations may be different - Meier's design is good I hear).

 

For me the advantages are far greater than the disadvantages, as I listen more to my HPs now. - plus you can always disable it at anytime if you dont want it. If I listen for a short amount of time I may remove it - if I want to listen for an hour or more I almost always use it.

 

 

Mine in an Altoids tin:

 

 

post #33 of 44

Personally I do it in software and find it more convenient that way (especially to tweak parameters), but I agree.  Sure, it's not bit perfect anymore that way, but who cares?

 

Inevitably this shifts the frequency response, but arguably in a way that is more "correct" or "flat" anyway.  Depends, and you can always EQ back, never mind the fact that nobody's headphones are perfectly flat on any setup, much less their own ears (compensated or not).  Anyway, especially if you're using headphones, I would suggest relaxing any conception of audio playback purity and just go with what sounds right.  To me, some kind of crossfeed is essential on a lot of recordings, and it's an improvement on pretty much everything else.

 

 

Though honestly, it's the dynamic range compression that's the primary driver of listening fatigue for me on most masters (rather than lack of crossfeed for listening on headphones), if that's what you want to call wanting to take a break.

post #34 of 44

Not a big fan of crossfeed for music myself. Call me crazy but I enjoy the "in your head" sound that headphone's provide. Trying to make it sound like a pair of speakers just sounds odd in a lot of cases.

 

I like it for gaming though.

post #35 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeaj View Post

Personally I do it in software and find it more convenient that way (especially to tweak parameters), but I agree.  Sure, it's not bit perfect anymore that way, but who cares?

 

Inevitably this shifts the frequency response, but arguably in a way that is more "correct" or "flat" anyway.  Depends, and you can always EQ back, never mind the fact that nobody's headphones are perfectly flat on any setup, much less their own ears (compensated or not).  Anyway, especially if you're using headphones, I would suggest relaxing any conception of audio playback purity and just go with what sounds right.  To me, some kind of crossfeed is essential on a lot of recordings, and it's an improvement on pretty much everything else.

 

 

Though honestly, it's the dynamic range compression that's the primary driver of listening fatigue for me on most masters (rather than lack of crossfeed for listening on headphones), if that's what you want to call wanting to take a break.

Totally agree. I use both crossfeed and EQ in my chain - when used judiciously, both add to/better my experience , and that's what it's all about.

post #36 of 44
Thread Starter 
I just realize my mistake lately. I have been a loud listener (who always cranks up the volume) every time I listen to music. This is especially evident when I listen to rock songs, as that extra kick is great!
 
Lately, I changed my earphones to Ocharaku Flat-4-Sui, and then I noticed that when cranking up the volume, the song sounds particularly bad. I don't know why, but I felt that it is quite imbalance. Therefore I started to tame down my volume bar.
 
Surprisingly, the songs are much more listenable! I don't know why exactly, but all the songs seem to be able to portray the details more accordingly. Bass sounds better, tighter, and not painful to listen to. The mids are more noticeable, and micro details are excellent. Sound-stage is more identifiable as I can clearly hearing where the instruments are placed.
 
That's when I started to do it on my T70. It DOES let me appreciate the song better. I think it was due to my ears getting fatigue faster with louder volume and all the instruments are trying to catch my attention. Well, not a doubt my listening session extends longer and much more comfortable.
 
I finally learn to appreciate the balance.
 
-ranting ends-
-thanks for reading-
 
But I haven't experience a suitable xfeed and EQ configuration. Need to gambate!beerchug.gif
post #37 of 44

well id just like to say than imho, eq is the best thing for listening fatigue. iv tried crossfeed as suggested in this (and other) thread and have found it lacking. it makes the music sound too different for my ears, and didnt really do much for the fatigue. however, in the process of eqing my headphones i have found theres a peak somewhere around 7khz. i havnt nailed down the exact center of the peak, nor have i found how high the peak is or the right BW, but so far, in the early stages of searching for them (currently cutting 7db, with a BW of 0.6) it has more or less eliminated the fatigue issue. i hope in time when i perfect it, and find other peaks and notches in the treble ill be entirely fatigue - free. =]

post #38 of 44

Another thing which I think has great impact on fatigue is the actual music you are listening to and how it has been produced.

 

Today I listen to classical music 99% of the time and I find this is really not fatiguing. A significant difference between classical music and current popular forms is that classical music records the instruments in a space whereas your average rock album, for example, fills all of the recording space with the sound of the electronic instruments. Even if the classical music is recorded with every instrument mic'd up closely, there is still some real space around the instrument which of course the producer places within quite a large artificial space in the mix. It really is very different from producing albums from the rock/pop genres.

 

My great increase in using headphones happened around the same time that I shifted from listening to popular forms to classical. This shift happened over roughly a five year period.

 

Now that I listen to classical most of the time when I do listen to music from a popular genre, then it is amazing to me how full up the recording is with sound. On headphones I find this just feels massive, at least when I use speakers there is some space between me and all that sound.

 

 
 
post #39 of 44

I've got some serious fatigue and it's bumming me out.

When I get "head's down" at work, I might be listening to my Sennheiser HD414 set for multiple stretches that are easily 1 hour+.

I tune out distractions.

 

Anyway,

So here's my setup at the office.

 

--> Spotify on my HP laptop -->
 --> "Realtek High Definition Audio" drivers/soundcard (set at 16 bit 44100Hz cd quality) 1/8" out -->
   --> Altec Lansing desktop speakers (it has a volume control knob and a 1/8" out which is handy) 1/8" out -->

     --> Grado 1/8" to 1/4" mini extension cable -->

       --> HD414 -->

         --> my head.

 

Yesterday I passively listened to the following - 

 

Toyamosu Hotei - ELECTRIC SAMURAI, at least 3 times it's a 45 minute album.

Daft Punk - Discovery, 2 and a half times.

 

Today, I put my cans on and hit play, (Discovery was still loaded), I almost instantly felt pain and took them off.

As I sit here writing, they hurt.

 

Not ringing, mind you, just pain.

 

Any advice?

Would "proper amplification" help me avoid problems from extended listening?

 

The other night my Stax were bothering me, too.  

I was running them of my ipod Classic through a Dennon integrated amp (i.e. not a very impressive dedicated source or amp).

 

About a week ago, I had ANC headphones (Audio Technia and Sony; have to check models) on for the better part of a 14 hour flight for movies mostly.  Aside from light soreness on the ear lobes themselves I had no fatigue.

 

So what gives?

 

Thanks for any input

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Aside from mechanical issues of headphones not fitting one's noggin, listening fatigue is almost always a result of imbalanced frequency response. A narrow spike in the upper mids can be pretty much inaudible when listening to music, but it can cut into your ears like a knife. Cranking the treble can do it too, and that's easy to do if you have a little hearing loss at the top.
post #40 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by iAmCalm View Post

I've got some serious fatigue and it's bumming me out.

When I get "head's down" at work, I might be listening to my Sennheiser HD414 set for multiple stretches that are easily 1 hour+.

I tune out distractions.

 

Anyway,

So here's my setup at the office.

 

--> Spotify on my HP laptop -->
 --> "Realtek High Definition Audio" drivers/soundcard (set at 16 bit 44100Hz cd quality) 1/8" out -->
   --> Altec Lansing desktop speakers (it has a volume control knob and a 1/8" out which is handy) 1/8" out -->

     --> Grado 1/8" to 1/4" mini extension cable -->

       --> HD414 -->

         --> my head.

 

Yesterday I passively listened to the following - 

 

Toyamosu Hotei - ELECTRIC SAMURAI, at least 3 times it's a 45 minute album.

Daft Punk - Discovery, 2 and a half times.

 

Today, I put my cans on and hit play, (Discovery was still loaded), I almost instantly felt pain and took them off.

As I sit here writing, they hurt.

 

Not ringing, mind you, just pain.

 

Any advice?

Would "proper amplification" help me avoid problems from extended listening?

 

The other night my Stax were bothering me, too.  

I was running them of my ipod Classic through a Dennon integrated amp (i.e. not a very impressive dedicated source or amp).

 

About a week ago, I had ANC headphones (Audio Technia and Sony; have to check models) on for the better part of a 14 hour flight for movies mostly.  Aside from light soreness on the ear lobes themselves I had no fatigue.

 

So what gives?

 

Thanks for any input

 


if your 414s fatigued you, and the other cans didnt - id say its the 414s... perhaps the stax were fatiguing because you used them shortly after the fatiguing session with the 414s? i know that after getting very bad fatigue, it doesnt pass until at least 48 hours later. thats just personal experience though.

 

as you have quoted, a spike in the frequency range can be very fatiguing. i know that after eqing my headphones the fatigue basically vanished, maybe you should give it a try. i dont know what you mean by "proper amplification", but i dont think thats the case. 

post #41 of 44

I've noticed almost zero fatigue at live venues. or speakers. 

 

I HAVE noticed fatigue set in very quickly with my Amperiors. 

 

I also want to point out that I quit drinking coffee and fatigue takes much, much longer to show itself. Any comments? 

post #42 of 44
Watch this video on loudnesswar.

I think the mastering engineer at (04:28-05:40) may explain the most common physiological reaction leading to listening fatigue in headphones.

It mostly is a combination of ringing in combination with distortion and little dynamic range that makes our muscles tighten up after a while, making us loosing focus on content and wanting relief.

Live music dont have this problem because the instruments and the music have the full un-compressed dynamic range.

Coffee may sharpen your sences making you more concentrated and suffering from fatique faster.
Edited by MatsGyver - 9/24/13 at 1:19pm
post #43 of 44
Forgot to inbed the video. lol.
post #44 of 44

Stupid question: What is ringing? Or does he explain it? I'm at work so I haven't watched it yet. Thanks for the reply

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