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Music sounding better on some nights than others?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hi, I've experienced a phenomena that possibly somebody can explain here.  I have nights where I can listen to my headphone setup, and the music will sound very clear and detailed and I will listen all night losing sleep.  Than I would have days, it would sound really bad.  What is the reason for this?  What causes me to be in a state when I can listen to music with more clarity?

post #2 of 23

I would say it's pretty much all about stress,

emotional stress effects hearing, you may feel calm but your stress level can still be higher than normal.

 

I have in my stereo setup (not hedphones) also experienced a less detailed and a "nervous" soundstage gets better at late evening or night due to less noise on power lines, but a part of this can of course be just lowered stress level, plain relaxation and lower ambient noise from the street outside.

 

I dont Think powerlines do have any certain effect on a low Power system such as a headphone amplifier, the PSRR and regulation is  most likely better than in any power amplifier.

 

Also, alcohol have strong effect on hearing but i guess that's not any news :)

 

 

 

ps. English is not my native language so i'm sorry for any misspelling or unclear sentences...

post #3 of 23

Listening volume

 

Outside noise

 

Emotional state

 

All of these (especially the last one) and other things can affect how 'good' music sounds.

post #4 of 23

I find that when I listen to my headphone gear, I don't enjoy it as much as when I listen to the music. 

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

Anybody know of any studies done on this?  You buy new gear, it makes sense to listen with it for a period as you maybe in a emotional state to really not like the gear.

post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by triatic View Post
 

[...]

 

I have in my stereo setup (not hedphones) also experienced a less detailed and a "nervous" soundstage gets better at late evening or night due to less noise on power lines, but a part of this can of course be just lowered stress level, plain relaxation and lower ambient noise from the street outside.

 

I dont Think powerlines do have any certain effect on a low Power system such as a headphone amplifier, the PSRR and regulation is  most likely better than in any power amplifier.

 

[...]

The mains here in the UK is really poor during the evening.  O-scoped it once and could't believe what I saw.  During the day two of my CD players' transformers are quiet, in the evening they emit a hum.  I suspect it is all the CFL's (compact fluorescent lights, thanks Brussels!) and switching power supplies in TV's that are switched on during the evening, which play havoc with the mains.  I fondly recall the days when every appliance had a linear power supply!

 

As triatic View Post said,If properly designed a headphone amp shouldn't suffer, but power amps are a different ballgame altogether.

 

I wish I could justify the cost of a main regenerator, but if it gets worse I might yet bite the bullet...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

Anybody know of any studies done on this?  You buy new gear, it makes sense to listen with it for a period as you maybe in a emotional state to really not like the gear.

In the good old days whenever my dad bought new HiFi equipment, he could take a few components home for a couple of weeks or so to compare and decide.  Some outlets still let you do this, but it now really is the exception rather than the norm.

post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post

I have nights where I can listen to my headphone setup, and the music will sound very clear and detailed and I will listen all night losing sleep.  Than I would have days, it would sound really bad.  What is the reason for this?

This is entirely due to mood. It has nothing to do with AC "power" issues. This effect is the single most confusing aspect of hearing for many audiophiles! It leads them to believe that swapping wires etc improved the sound, when all that changed was their own perception.

--Ethan
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 

I can see that happening Ethan.

post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EthanWiner View Post


This is entirely due to mood. It has nothing to do with AC "power" issues. This effect is the single most confusing aspect of hearing for many audiophiles! It leads them to believe that swapping wires etc improved the sound, when all that changed was their own perception.

--Ethan

 

Anybody do any studies on this?  Using such variables such as sleep/rest duration/tiredness or when in depressed mood or in best mood, and etc..  Are there any published articles?

post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by EthanWiner View Post


This is entirely due to mood. It has nothing to do with AC "power" issues. This effect is the single most confusing aspect of hearing for many audiophiles! It leads them to believe that swapping wires etc improved the sound, when all that changed was their own perception.

--Ethan

Agreed, for a headphone setup mains quality issues should not be problem (short of blackouts, that is :p).

 

However, even if you may not hear any audible impact through the speakers when using a power amp on a dirty mains, any resulting physical transformer vibration & hum in the background can be seriously irritating!

 

Mechanical background noises generally do not seem to get the attention it deserves (rarely mentioned in reviews).  This alone rules out most CD players for me for example.

Most seem to use cheap CD-rom drives that spin the CD as if it is a Dremel attachment.

post #11 of 23

Yeah, I've noticed this a few times and I think I do agree it might have something to do with stress.

post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 

Ok, something I observed today.  When I didn't get enough sleep, and during the day, the music didn't sound very good.  Then I got some sleep, and feel rested, music sounds better, but it's at night though.  Music to me sounds better at night though, so I'm not sure if it's the rest or being at night.

post #13 of 23

I feel you, sometimes I also stay up late just because the music sounds so bloody good that you get so much enjoyment out of it that you can't stop. For me it's probably down to stress, the pulse is always pretty high for me it seems too but at late I tend to get very relaxed.

Sometimes this hobby gets awkward haha.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 2/23/14 at 10:15pm
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 

So  you mean when stressed out music sounds bad. Correct?  And in those times, the pulse is high?  So when the pulse is high, or in state of anxiety, people are not in state of acute perception of sound to hear a good represenation of the music?

 

I really want some studies done one this with medical equipment hooked up.  It would reveal so many things.

post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post

So  you mean when stressed out music sounds bad. Correct?  And in those times, the pulse is high?  So when the pulse is high, or in state of anxiety, people are not in state of acute perception of sound to hear a good represenation of the music?

I really want some studies done one this with medical equipment hooked up.  It would reveal so many things.

To test people's moods based on how well they are hearing? Or the pulse-mood correlation? Maybe both.
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