Extremely sensitive to sound
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TheGiantHogweed

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I hope this is appropriate for this thread.

Throughout my life I've always been hypersensitive to sound and my other senses as it happens. I do have Autism which I'm pretty certain will make it worse.

Anyway, my main problem is getting driven mad by interference, or high pitched buzzes from transformers or other things. I sometimes wonder if i should be able to hear many of the things I do. I'll just do a list below of some of the things I notice.

Every time I go into shops or other places that have CRT monitors used for either CCTV or other stuff, I'm usually pretty desperate to get away from them as I find the high pitched sound painful to hear. When I was a kid, We did have a CRT TV but I don't remember it sounding this annoying other than when first turned on and you got all the static. But maybe I was just less aware at the time.

The vast majority of phone chargers (or any other sort) seem to make an annoying high pitched buzz that is probably from the transformer inside. I usually try to buy expensive ones from brands such as Anker as I find they make next to no noise at all and are find at a distance.

I've even noticed a great deal of modern lamps even from proper brands like Philips often make some kind of buzz that I can sometimes hear from quite some distance away.

Is it really normal for people to hear audible noise from almost all electrical things? Although luckily it isn't my monitor, another one in my house makes a constant buzz. it is a fairly old and thick flat screen and I'm guessing it maybe florescent tubes that are doing the backlight and it is just the ballast buzzing or something.

I even once ended up buying a Dyson fan as I wanted an extremely quiet cooling device for my room. The reason I ended up returning that was for the most strange reason... The little screen on it displaying the speed number/timer and other things made a high pitched buzz whenever it was lit and i could hear that over the sound of the fan motor when it was low. Deep and consistent sounds i can cope with so long as they are quiet. But anything high pitched just drives me mad and there seem to be so few electrical devices that are quiet to my ears.


Onto a more audio related topic. I recently purchased a Topping Ampster BT amplifier to go with some old speakers and a subwoofer. Now the audio quality is not a problem and is fine for the price. But the unit itself has a really irritating whine coming from inside. When measuring it against online tone generator, it emits a frequency between 8 and 10kz and it just rings in my ears close up. It certainly isn't loud, but i just find high frequency tones like this really hard to cope with. I find that a little strange as all my headphones (Audio technica ATH-AD700, Beyerdynamic DT880 pro, AKG K550 original & MKIII) are all really bright and I like them all. I'd even say treble is what I like most in my audio.

I ended up building a shelf out of worktop to put around the amplifier just having the back open. Luckily you can do everything on the remote and it has an IR extender which in my case is critical.



You will probably get the idea by now that I'm far more sensitive than average but it would be interesting to know if anyone else on this forum is at all similar. Especially as many of us will have very good ears for sound on headphones!




On another note, I would probably say that touch is the other sense that I notice too much. Will be interesting to know if others think this is normal. Virtually every electronic device with a metal shell seems to give a slight tingle to my skin. Admittedly only really noticeable if you use the back of your hand or brush up against it really gently, but when I was much younger, this made me pretty nervous at times. Even when I did an electrical installation course at collage, my tutor didn't really understand what I meant. Even really low voltage stuff such as my FiiO A3 amplifier, when that is on charge, and i brush my fingers on the top of it, it feel what I've been describing. Interestingly, it is only when connected to devices that somewhere along the line are connected to the mains. (a USB hub to my My PC for example). If I charge the A3 from a power bank, I don't notice this at all. What made me question this here is that it is especially noticeable on my tangent amplifier too. Unless you switch it off at the rear, if i miss the volume dial and brush the metal front, this feeling is pretty obvious. Despite having done a fair bit with electrical stuff, I'm really not sure what this is. But it is obvious that a great deal of devices have it and clearly pass safety tests. I just wonder why I'm alone with noticing stuff again!
 
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bigshot

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Most of this noise is above 17kHz, so thankfully, this won't be a problem forever. Your hearing will start to roll off up there as you get older. I remember going to our local Sears store when I was a kid and the squeal from the thousands of bad ballasts in the banks of fluorescent light would drive me nuts. I would get nauseous, and I thought it was the smell of popcorn, but in retrospect I'm pretty sure it was the high frequency squeals.
 
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I hope this is appropriate for this thread.

Throughout my life I've always been hypersensitive to sound and my other senses as it happens. I do have Autism which I'm pretty certain will make it worse.

Anyway, my main problem is getting driven mad by interference, or high pitched buzzes from transformers or other things. I sometimes wonder if i should be able to hear many of the things I do. I'll just do a list below of some of the things I notice.

Every time I go into shops or other places that have CRT monitors used for either CCTV or other stuff, I'm usually pretty desperate to get away from them as I find the high pitched sound painful to hear. When I was a kid, We did have a CRT TV but I don't remember it sounding this annoying other than when first turned on and you got all the static. But maybe I was just less aware at the time.

The vast majority of phone chargers (or any other sort) seem to make an annoying high pitched buzz that is probably from the transformer inside. I usually try to buy expensive ones from brands such as Anker as I find they make next to no noise at all and are find at a distance.

I've even noticed a great deal of modern lamps even from proper brands like Philips often make some kind of buzz that I can sometimes hear from quite some distance away.

Is it really normal for people to hear audible noise from almost all electrical things? Although luckily it isn't my monitor, another one in my house makes a constant buzz. it is a fairly old and thick flat screen and I'm guessing it maybe florescent tubes that are doing the backlight and it is just the ballast buzzing or something.

I even once ended up buying a Dyson fan as I wanted an extremely quiet cooling device for my room. The reason I ended up returning that was for the most strange reason... The little screen on it displaying the speed number/timer and other things made a high pitched buzz whenever it was lit and i could hear that over the sound of the fan motor when it was low. Deep and consistent sounds i can cope with so long as they are quiet. But anything high pitched just drives me mad and there seem to be so few electrical devices that are quiet to my ears.


Onto a more audio related topic. I recently purchased a Topping Ampster BT amplifier to go with some old speakers and a subwoofer. Now the audio quality is not a problem and is fine for the price. But the unit itself has a really irritating whine coming from inside. When measuring it against online tone generator, it emits a frequency between 8 and 10kz and it just rings in my ears close up. It certainly isn't loud, but i just find high frequency tones like this really hard to cope with. I find that a little strange as all my headphones (Audio technica ATH-AD700, Beyerdynamic DT880 pro, AKG K550 original & MKIII) are all really bright and I like them all. I'd even say treble is what I like most in my audio.

I ended up building a shelf out of worktop to put around the amplifier just having the back open. Luckily you can do everything on the remote and it has an IR extender which in my case is critical.



You will probably get the idea by now that I'm far more sensitive than average but it would be interesting to know if anyone else on this forum is at all similar. Especially as many of us will have very good ears for sound on headphones!




On another note, I would probably say that touch is the other sense that I notice too much. Will be interesting to know if others think this is normal. Virtually every electronic device with a metal shell seems to give a slight tingle to my skin. Admittedly only really noticeable if you use the back of your hand or brush up against it really gently, but when I was much younger, this made me pretty nervous at times. Even when I did an electrical installation course at collage, my tutor didn't really understand what I meant. Even really low voltage stuff such as my FiiO A3 amplifier, when that is on charge, and i brush my fingers on the top of it, it feel what I've been describing. Interestingly, it is only when connected to devices that somewhere along the line are connected to the mains. (a USB hub to my My PC for example). If I charge the A3 from a USB hub, I don't notice this at all. What made me question this here is that it is especially noticeable on my tangent amplifier too. Unless you switch it off at the rear, if i miss the volume dial and brush the metal front, this feeling is pretty obvious. Despite having done a fair bit with electrical stuff, I'm really not sure what this is. But it is obvious that a great deal of devices have it and clearly pass safety tests. I just wonder why I'm alone with noticing stuff again!

That sounds really rough. I hope you've found ways to cope with that errant noise in your daily life. I know many people that have one or two sounds that completely drive them nuts. Things like forks scraping across plates or electronic feedback. Mostly things that are easily avoided though. Minute hums from electronic gear is a pretty ubiquitous sound however. It's got to be very difficult to avoid that stuff most of the time.

I occupy the other end of the spectrum when it comes to noise and have a sort of preternatural tolerance, even admiration, for it. There is literally no noise or combination of noises that bother me. I was clued into this uncommon tolerance for the first time when I was in college. Some friends came up to me while I was reading, and demanded to know what the hell I was doing reading there. After an exchange in which everyone was confused, I finally grasped that they couldn't understand why I was reading there in that particular spot. About 50 feet away, some construction workers were using power saws to cut rebar and sheet metal to size before throwing them onto stacks or drilling them into place. It hadn't really occurred to me that someone would find that bothersome and initially thought my friends were concerned about the dust!

Moreover, the sorts of sounds that people find uncomfortable or unpleasant are the same sorts of sounds I find interesting and engaging. I listen to a lot of harsh noise, the world's most appropriately named genre, and have for decades now. I find it exhilarating and compelling in a way that most other music is not. Of course, when I share that stuff with others they almost universally agree that it is terrible and demand to know, often hostilely, how I could possibly enjoy noise. It seems people are always very keen on imposing their way to experiencing the world on others.
 
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That sounds really rough. I hope you've found ways to cope with that errant noise in your daily life. I know many people that have one or two sounds that completely drive them nuts. Things like forks scraping across plates or electronic feedback. Mostly things that are easily avoided though. Minute hums from electronic gear is a pretty ubiquitous sound however. It's got to be very difficult to avoid that stuff most of the time.

I occupy the other end of the spectrum when it comes to noise and have a sort of preternatural tolerance, even admiration, for it. There is literally no noise or combination of noises that bother me. I was clued into this uncommon tolerance for the first time when I was in college. Some friends came up to me while I was reading, and demanded to know what the hell I was doing reading there. After an exchange in which everyone was confused, I finally grasped that they couldn't understand why I was reading there in that particular spot. About 50 feet away, some construction workers were using power saws to cut rebar and sheet metal to size before throwing them onto stacks or drilling them into place. It hadn't really occurred to me that someone would find that bothersome and initially thought my friends were concerned about the dust!

Moreover, the sorts of sounds that people find uncomfortable or unpleasant are the same sorts of sounds I find interesting and engaging. I listen to a lot of harsh noise, the world's most appropriately named genre, and have for decades now. I find it exhilarating and compelling in a way that most other music is not. Of course, when I share that stuff with others they almost universally agree that it is terrible and demand to know, often hostilely, how I could possibly enjoy noise. It seems people are always very keen on imposing their way to experiencing the world on others.
That's awesome. I need total silence to work or concentrate on anything. I can hear a dog scratching fleas in the next town.
 
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Kammerat Rebekka

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That is indeed rough. I work with autist children and almost on a daily basis run into problems because of some external noises..be that from fridges, choppers, TV’s or merely other children making noises one often only encounters in horrorflicks.
For me personally it has taught me to zone out most of the infernal racket. There’s just no other way to exist in such a milieu. It’s literally like going to work in a mad and very loud Monty Python sketch.
Though when I get home and pop on an album it feels as if my ears perk up and ultimately zones in.
I’m not sure what my point is other than I fully understand the OP and that perhaps there are ways to train one’s own threshold for unwanted noise. Either way, I wish you the all the best:)
Cheers
David
 
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You are not the only one! Now that I'm old, it's only the low frequency noise (that others don't notice) that bothers me. My wife has one of her mother's wrist watch's. I make her keep it in a drawer in another room, so I don't hear the ticking. In the pre-CD era, I would go into my buddy's hi-fi shop and the older guys that hung-out there were listening to MC phono cartridges that brought pain to my ears.
* * * * * * * * *
now it's cell-phones and on TV 'shelter in place' audio that drives me nuts.
Oh, and TV sports that crank the crowd noise way up.
 
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TheGiantHogweed

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I just get surprised by the amount of Hifi that sends a permanent hiss to the speakers. I notice them even when not that close to the speakers. I just find it a bit poor that the Tangent amplifier I bought doesn't just have the squeaking from inside the unit, it sends a lot of hiss to the speakers. Admittedly, my pioneer A-209r has some of this hiss unless the direct button is on, but I can accept it more on this as it has many inputs connected, one of which is my PC which has so many wires on it noise could easily be introduced to this. But the direct button filters this out. The location that I have the topping amp isn't crowded with cables, but the hiss on the speaker output from that is poor IMO and it is yet another thing that I just don't see reviews mention. I do wonder if people are so critical of their hifi sound, how can they not notice a permanent background hiss? The professional reviews such as trusted reviews mention that the bass could be more expressive where as I can't say it't any worse than my proper amplifier. But they don't mention something that Seems more obvious. Can a hiss really be too high pitched for some to hear? I wouldn't even describe this sound as high pitched really.
 
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The professional reviews such as trusted reviews mention that the bass could be more expressive where as I can't say it't any worse than my proper amplifier. But they don't mention something that Seems more obvious.
"professional" reviews, as well "non-professional" reviews, are often full of nonsense,
reviewers often hear what they wanna and expect to hear based on all kinds of crazy audiophool believes,
or sometimes they just want to kiss the butts of the companies that provide them with devices to test.
And if there is actually something real and important to hear you shouldn't be surprised at all if they don't spot it.

[Edit: Of course it is also possible that you just have a bad specimen of the product.]
 
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I just get surprised by the amount of Hifi that sends a permanent hiss to the speakers.
You might want to check your cabling. Do you have a power cord twisted around a speaker cable? Or some sort of fluorescent light nearby? Hiss is usually electromagnetic interference.
 
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I believe most people don't care about their senses deteriorating, as they don't plan to use them extensively. Which leads them to not automatically interpret everything what these senses deliver. I don't like loud or irritating sounds, but over time I started to realize it's me trying to retain what I think of as "my good hearing". Just like people in audio mastering say they need fresh ears after some time at work. Meanwhile I think, when my hearing will be used and will become more insensitive, I'll just move from one "market segment" to another. I'll find other things to care about.
 
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Hiss is often a 'stage gaining' problem. That's when the level controls for all the stages are not set to their best position and one stage needs to do a lot of amplification.
 
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I just get surprised by the amount of Hifi that sends a permanent hiss to the speakers. I notice them even when not that close to the speakers. I just find it a bit poor that the Tangent amplifier I bought doesn't just have the squeaking from inside the unit, it sends a lot of hiss to the speakers. Admittedly, my pioneer A-209r has some of this hiss unless the direct button is on, but I can accept it more on this as it has many inputs connected, one of which is my PC which has so many wires on it noise could easily be introduced to this. But the direct button filters this out. The location that I have the topping amp isn't crowded with cables, but the hiss on the speaker output from that is poor IMO and it is yet another thing that I just don't see reviews mention. I do wonder if people are so critical of their hifi sound, how can they not notice a permanent background hiss? The professional reviews such as trusted reviews mention that the bass could be more expressive where as I can't say it't any worse than my proper amplifier. But they don't mention something that Seems more obvious. Can a hiss really be too high pitched for some to hear? I wouldn't even describe this sound as high pitched really.
One solution for hissing speakers and headphones is to start purchasing some that have lower sensitivity. The background hiss when no music is played will be whatever voltage the noise from the amp is. If your speakers are 10dB less sensitive, that voltage will cause a hiss half as loud subjectively. And for background noise, often that's really all it takes to have peace.
Obviously you can also invest in a very clean amp. And pay attention to the gain options/power output. Because in general, the more gain you have, the more noise you have. So, you obviously need enough gain for your listening habits on a given pair of speakers, but avoiding the "more power is always better" rational when buying an amp is also a good idea for noise IMO.

And I guess there is also the path of ground loop hunting. But it's hard for me to know if that's your problem with this system or not.
 
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You might want to check your cabling. Do you have a power cord twisted around a speaker cable? Or some sort of fluorescent light nearby? Hiss is usually electromagnetic interference.
I'm doubtful it is to do with this. The old set up was more messy than this. The unit used then was a sharp xl-hp737e. Although the quality of the amplifier was not as good, it didn't emit any obvious hiss to the speakers (which were the same as I'm using now - the ones that came with it were not very good). The unit did hum a little but that was something related to the tape deck wasting power i think. I just find that some devices send noise to the speakers and some don't and price often seems nothing to do with it.
 
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You've definitely got something wrong. I haven't had an amp that hisses since the 70s.
 
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TheGiantHogweed

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You've definitely got something wrong. I haven't had an amp that hisses since the 70s.
Every single amplifier I have sends some hiss to the speakers, even if it is a clean setup for testing. But with many i only hear it if i put my ears right next to the tweeters. This amp and a few others are just a bit worse so it is audible from a distance and it is as simple as that I think. But it may be because I am incredibly sencitive again that i notice it. IMO it seems pretty common for this to occur on amplifiers. I'm just disappointed by the extent it does on some of them.
 
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