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Has anyone else experienced something like this?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Ive been really curious if anyone else has experienced this.

 

theres been a few points when i've listened to music that ive noticed that my headphones sound brighter than they normally do, i've always blamed it to the poor recordings, loud volume, earpad positions, or  just the fact that they where bright headphones. sometimes they just sound completely different (ie. sometimes i feel like hd 800s are bass anemic, sometimes i feel they're quite punchy or sometimes i feel like my LCD-2 sounds quite shouty and congested, other times, i think they sound absolutely amazing)

 

A few weeks ago, i remember I had a bit of a headache, not too annoying, but it was there slightly. anyways i put my beyer T1's on and listened to music. and i noticed it sounded quite harsh. as if the treble was very hot, even on good recordings. the sound was kinda congested and well overall, harsh. Anyways, i thought i'd pop in some different tubes, maybe something was wrong with the amp or it wasn't warmed up enough? 

 

nope, still the same harsh sound, i ended up playing around with my setup for a few hours and then i just got bored and went to sleep. the next morning, i woke up and i put my T1's on again and i was surprised, it sounded normal again, it sounded as good as it should. thats when i began thinking, how much does our mind/body really matter as far as what we hear? 

 

today i had another experience that led me to finally realize headaches can affect sound quality negatively. today i decided to listen to my Denon D7000. now sometimes, i feel like the d7000 are too bright and sibilant and recessed in the mids, other times, i feel like they sound amazingly detailed for a closed headphone and feel like they're very fun and dynamic.

 

well today, i woke up with a headache, and to my surprise, the denons sounded quite bright and harsh, i thought at first that maybe since i was just listening to my LCD-2 the day before and i wasn't used to the denon sound again. but then i remembered my experience with the T1 a few weeks back. so i just popped an advil and kept listening to music, though at a lower volume since it was bright sounding.  eventually, my headache went away, and then i raised the volume back up on the denons and there it is again, they sounded like they should! smooth with no fatigue.

 

so now im pretty sure headaches have something to do with how my music sounds. but what shocks me is how a simple headache can drastically change the way my music sounds!

 

 

so now, im starting to think, what else affects our hearing, like besides psychological things (like your mood)? like has anyone sometimes felt that when they're tired, music sounds different? or sometimes when you're stressed out, music seems to sound different too? like sometimes it feels like music is going too fast, or too slow.  similarly, we know some substances can also affect the way our ears perceive sound as well.

 

 

anyone got any experiences like this or is it just me? 

post #2 of 11

I'm not allergic to anything per se, but I suffer from mild nasal congestion usually in the morning and sometimes during the night. The thing is, I hear my music different during the day. Funny thing though, the problem is always high frequencies... I tend to lower the volume until the treble stops being annoying for me even with the darkest headphones. 

post #3 of 11
Hey there, first post here so slightly nervous. redface.gif

In a previous life, I used to mix live sound. Everyday was a different venue, sometimes enclosed spaces, clubs, fields, shopping malls etc...

Every venue is different in size, reflective areas, audience size, stage size hence we had to equalize the system to suit the venue and also eliminate feedback from multiple microphone setups. This would mean equalizing the front of house system for the audience and at times even the stage monitors for the performers. Equalizing feedback out of a system isn't that hard but equalizing feedback out plus making the whole rig sound good is another matter.

On good days, the job was easy, we go in and setup, do a quick soundcheck with a CD and start equalizing from there followed by the microphones. Now on bad days (meaning days where we had different shows everyday of the week with 4 hours of sleep per night) it wasn't so easy to equalize a venue or a stage. Yeah, I could eliminate feedback from the stage monitors but they sounded as flat as a pancake. And there are days where you realized it would be better to come in early the next morning and do a quick soundcheck before everyone else got in rather than staying on late and wasting hours trying to get the system to sound right.

Yes, the state of your body does matter. If you're feeling irritable then chances are things aren't gonna sound that great either. With me if I was dead tired, things could sound a bit harsh. I'll look at my EQ curve and realize that its not the system sounding harsh, it was just me and I needed to get some rest.

I don't really know how to describe it but I've done a few live shows where I was very well rested and all I had was one hand on the mixer and the other hand in my pocket with my foot tapping away watching the show. Those days every frequency on that EQ band came together and it all just flowed.

Hope this helps and confirms your suspicions somewhat. smily_headphones1.gif
post #4 of 11

Yeah your mood, state of mind, and state of body have a drastic effect on how things sound. For example new toy syndrome tends to increase soundstage and add warmth. Sometimes removes fatigue as well. A hangover will quadruple the volume of the high frequencies and remove all musicality.

post #5 of 11

I would blame your (our) neurochemistry.  Acetylcholine is important for selective attention, which focuses attention on relevant stimuli and suppresses processing of irrelevant and distracting stimuli.  Reducing the cholinergic modulation of the frontal cortex makes the brain more susceptible to distraction, as more stimuli irrelevant to the task at hand (e.g. following the melody) is allowed through, letting the cacophony of the world intrude into thoughts and experience.  Acetylcholine release is also important for waking, and it is gradually suppressed the longer you are awake, which underlies sleep drive.  So I'd venture that sleep deprivation lets sound in without filters and without focus, making the experience overwhelming and unpleasant, particularly with a headphone so intense and treble-heavy as the D7000 tongue.gif.

post #6 of 11

I always notice that when I yawn the pitch changes drastically and the music sounds out of tune. I imagine that if you have a cold the different pressures in your eardrums would have a similar effect.

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy4 View Post

Yeah your mood, state of mind, and state of body have a drastic effect on how things sound. For example new toy syndrome tends to increase soundstage and add warmth. Sometimes removes fatigue as well. A hangover will quadruple the volume of the high frequencies and remove all musicality.


LOL. I agree completely.

post #8 of 11

I used to think my Little Dot sounded way different than my integrated marantz amplifier. I thought bass was lighter but more controlled on the little dot, that it had a better sound stage, but also that the sound was less 'weightier' etc.

Few days ago, I hooked up my Little dot to the marantz. I could then very quickly alternate between little dot and marantz. I level matched volume and what do you know. I did test after test over a period of days and all I can conclude is... They really sound exactly the same.

 

Thinking I was so convinced about those characteristics between them... It's pretty funny looking back. What's also funny to me by the way is how two amps of totally different topologies can sound so similar. I guess it means amping has pretty much been figured out and differences, whichever there are, are very small at best... Either that or my ears are just plain bad I guess. It doesn't matter anyway, because in the first case, the same pair of ears heard great differences where they heard basically zero in the second situation.

 

Anyhow, to me it's definitely an example of how your mind's ideas and beliefs can affect an experience.

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy4 View Post

Yeah your mood, state of mind, and state of body have a drastic effect on how things sound. For example new toy syndrome tends to increase soundstage and add warmth. Sometimes removes fatigue as well. A hangover will quadruple the volume of the high frequencies and remove all musicality.

 

Yeah i definitely agree with this.

post #10 of 11

Yeah, I find its the same with pretty much all forms of content, be it audio, or something else. A good mood makes it easier to enjoy things.

 

How many here would like to listen to house/trance with a headache? It feels terrible.

post #11 of 11

The more tired I am, the more fatiguing headphones sound, and the less bass they seem to produce.

 

Anybody know when you are sick, and you are afraid that your hearing/ears still will suffer from it, even when you become fresh :S My hearing sounds SO much off, and I miss my headphones!


Edited by davidsh - 2/1/13 at 5:14am
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