Better Hearing During the Night
Oct 4, 2009 at 6:40 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 53

Menisk

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This is something I've noticed for a while now; I always notice heaps more detail in my headphones at night than I do during the day. At first I thought it was to do with the fact it was generally quiet at night and dark, so my hearing would compensate for reduced vision in low light. It made sense to me until I started closing all my curtains and turning lights off during the day. To a degree this worked as I had less distraction and was able to focus on the music and the detail, but it was nothing near the level of detail I was able to perceive at night.

During the day with the lights off and in a perfectly quiet room I still heard my headphones with my 'day hearing' even if I'd been in the dark and quiet room for a while. So it's made me think that maybe hearing changes as part of the day night cycle of humans, maybe as it becomes evening we naturally start to hear better because we've evolved with reduced light and hence reduced vision at night. Curious to hear other opinions on my theory.
 
Oct 4, 2009 at 7:15 AM Post #2 of 53

Nedman

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I have read that at night time, because there isn't as much of a load on the power suppliers. That the power your amp receives is a bit more stable/clean.

But I have also read, that it shouldn't make that much of a difference. So I don't know.
 
Oct 4, 2009 at 7:17 AM Post #3 of 53

HONEYBOY

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I have no idea if it's my hearing getting better or what but I just seem to enjoy my music and discern the differences between various sources and headphones between the hours of 4-6AM and 4-6PM. All I know is that there's some cycle with my hearing and it seems rather consistent.
 
Oct 4, 2009 at 7:34 AM Post #5 of 53

Menisk

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We'll that's what I'm thinking, your brain's auditory system is better at picking fine detail in the evenings, because I definitely notice a big difference.
 
Oct 4, 2009 at 8:11 AM Post #6 of 53

krmathis

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Chances are that it might be related to our night cycle, as you say. Cause when the dark comes over us it might be useful to focus more brain capacity to other senses, especially hearing.

Then there are of course also power grid pollution, external noise, ...
 
Oct 4, 2009 at 8:45 AM Post #7 of 53

applaudio

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Quote:

Originally Posted by krmathis /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Chances are that it might be related to our night cycle, as you say. Cause when the dark comes over us it might be useful to focus more brain capacity to other senses, especially hearing.

Then there are of course also power grid pollution, external noise, ...



I think you nailed it! When you take away the light, your brain is able to allocate more resources to other senses instead of sight. Plus, at night there is generally less ambient noise, so if you're listening to open headphones or speakers, then that makes a difference too. Basically, when night rolls around there's less junk for your senses to be preoccupied with, so your focus is better and your ability to hear subtleties and nuances in your music improves.

The only thing you mentioned that I just don't buy is this supposed "power grid pollution" phenomenon. I'm skeptical of the whole notion that the power supply, during times of heavier load, would actually fluctuate or become variable enough to distort the audio reproduction. Anyway, I too find that I 'hear' my music better at night, and at no point in the chain from my mp3 player to my ears does the power grid come into play in any way.
 
Oct 4, 2009 at 12:50 PM Post #8 of 53

Shike

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It could also just be that you're just tired. Ever notice how some people say they do an activity better when they're drunk? Same thing . . . your perception can be inherently skewed. Just something worth considering too.
 
Oct 4, 2009 at 2:14 PM Post #9 of 53

Menisk

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Quote:

Originally Posted by applaudio /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I think you nailed it! When you take away the light, your brain is able to allocate more resources to other senses instead of sight. Plus, at night there is generally less ambient noise, so if you're listening to open headphones or speakers, then that makes a difference too. Basically, when night rolls around there's less junk for your senses to be preoccupied with, so your focus is better and your ability to hear subtleties and nuances in your music improves.


I figured it was sensory deprivation for a start and I think that plays a bit of a roll, but if I close all the curtains in my room when the house is empty and quiet and chill for a bit and get used to it I still don't get the same detail as I do at night. Which makes me think that it's to do with the day night cycle as well as sensory deprivation.
 
Oct 4, 2009 at 6:13 PM Post #11 of 53

Uncle Erik

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Quote:

Originally Posted by alvin sawdust /img/forum/go_quote.gif
There is a lot less polution on the mains at night time,sure this makes a difference to how our systems sound.


The power does not go directly into your circuit, though.

Power goes through a transformer and then into a network of devices designed to filter the electricity. There are diodes, tubes, capacitors, chokes in a number of different configurations that remove noise from the power and turn it into clean DC.

If you want an analogy, think about a water filter. Suppose the filter is capable of filtering out up to 100ppm of pollutants. Say the water you're filtering has 10ppm of pollution. Now, if something happens to the water supply where the pollution goes to 20ppm or 30ppm, the water coming out of the other side of the filter is going to be the same because the filter removes up to 100ppm.

Power supplies are exactly the same way. Maybe there is nominally less noise on the line after dark. But all of it should be filtered by the power supply equally, even if it's a little less noisy at night.

I think the phenomenon of better hearing at night is part psychological and part physiological. Our bodies change over the cycle of the day. Night might sync up well with our ability to hear. Psychologically, you're tired and know the day is nearly over and are anticipating a relaxing night. During the day, you usually have some anxiety about things that need to be done.
 
Oct 4, 2009 at 8:27 PM Post #12 of 53

THAY BRAN

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[size=x-small]Have to agree with Alvin definitely best to have night sessions as the less people using the lecky on the street and in the house definitely gives serious sound improvements especially in the micro detail area.[/size]
 
Oct 4, 2009 at 9:01 PM Post #13 of 53

Steve Eddy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I think the phenomenon of better hearing at night is part psychological and part physiological.


I think it's largely due to the fact that generally speaking, ambient noise levels are much lower at night than during the day.

se
 
Oct 4, 2009 at 9:17 PM Post #14 of 53

DoYouRight

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yes and that makes it easier to focus less need for alertness of that around you.
 
Oct 4, 2009 at 10:04 PM Post #15 of 53

Steve Eddy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by DoYouRight /img/forum/go_quote.gif
yes and that makes it easier to focus less need for alertness of that around you.


More than that there's simply less noise, which means there's more that can be heard. We can only hear so far into the noise floor, so less noise means more to hear.

se
 

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