I like the Etys, but can I live with them?
Mar 16, 2005 at 12:22 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

bobeau

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Just over the past few days I have been using my Ety ER-4P for extended periods - more than a couple hours - without a break. Also I just got a new headphone amp about a week and a half ago. I'm beginning to notice a very faint ringing in my ears at the end of the day, not immediately, more like later in the evening when I'm at home. I'm only wondering if it's placebo or not. I still seem to sense it when I wake up, by the time I'm at work again it's gone.

Every morning when I first shove em in my ears there is some slight discomfort for maybe the first half hour... horns, vocals, electric guitar can seem to put too much strain in the upper mids/treble and there are moments where I wince a bit. This doesn't appear to be an issue with volume, I can turn it down to the point where I can barely hear anything and still feel some discomfort. After the initial period of discomfort in the morning the rest of the day is great, I'm totally loving the Ety sound. I go out to lunch, come back, they still sound great with no discomfort. And like I said before if I don't wear them for extended periods, like an hour at a time throughout the day I don't really seem to notice the ringing.

Something else to mention is I've had severe ear wax issues for years, to the point where my ears would literally plug up for months at a time and I'd have to self-medicate to clear the wax out. They've been plugging up again with the Etys, so I've been routinely cleaning them out with one of those drug store kits. Now they may be more clean than ever and I'm somewhat afraid they're oversensitive to treble. Or again, it could just be all in my head. I'm no stranger to a distinct ringing in my ears, been to too many rock shows/clubs over the years - hence the wax build-up issue. This ringing is very much threshold level, I've experienced far worse from thrashing my ears when out and about.

Am I worrying about nothing or is it time to give something else a try? I'd rather not trash my hearing. I'm only 29. I have plenty of years left to go insane. And again, I really don't think this is a volume issue. I'm listening to these guys at much less volume than I do with my MP3 player at the gym due to the level of isolation and sound quality I'm getting. I simply don't feel the need to blast these, as I've noticed many suggested I turn it down about as low as I can without blocking fine details.
 
Mar 16, 2005 at 12:31 AM Post #2 of 7

Oink1

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Never had any such issues with mine - Go see your doc to put your mind at rest if you are worried at all
etysmile.gif
 
Mar 16, 2005 at 12:57 AM Post #3 of 7

bobeau

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It would interesting to see if I have hearing damage, but without direct experience/issues/past patients with this canalphone how would an audiologist be able to give advice? I guess I can try to see if this issue pops up when listening to the ipod all day at a specific volume and then he could instrument the output of that setup... just wanted to know is current or past Ety users have suffered an issue like this.
 
Mar 16, 2005 at 2:51 AM Post #4 of 7

Blitzula

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All an audiologist is likely to do is test your hearing, pronounce it ok if it is, and tell you to limit your headphone time if you ears bother you. By the time an audiologist notices hearing damage, you're already screwed. But it's a good idea to get a hearing test so you have a baseline to compare future results to.

I noticed you also mentioned the problem started after you got your amp. I've noticed that my ears (which I've had very significant problems with since starting headphone usage) bother me when I use an amp, even at low volume levels. Of course, the gain on amps is so high that you're not listening as low as you would on other devices even at low volume levels.

I'd consider taking a break from the amp and see what happens. If you still have an issue, limit your Ety time if the volume is already low. That's all you can really do I'd say.
 
Mar 16, 2005 at 3:57 AM Post #5 of 7

bobeau

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Blitzula,

That's reassuring... and not, all at once!
etysmile.gif
Yeah, I guess the amp could very well have brought this on and I should try to go without it for a while to see how I fare. There was a discussion on the amps forum about how an amp could increase the dynamic headroom of a set of cans so that an otherwise quiet song could have passages which could blister the eardrums. Of course the phones in question must possess the ability to achieve such heights in the first place, but with a weak source that is not an issue. Also I imagine any range extension provided by an amp may do some harm, everything else equal.

I'm thinking about checking out the Senn HD-25, as I know sennheiser is known for a more mellow sound in the same price range. Return it if I no likee, sell the Etys if I do. This is for a work situation so isolation is paramount.

Listening with headphones to recordings made for a speaker world is beginning to look like a treacherous endeavor indeed...

Thanks.
 
Mar 16, 2005 at 12:27 PM Post #6 of 7

midlife

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I have a pair of ety6i's and I find if I use them too much it effects the pressure in my ears. I have sensitive ears to things like airplane altitude pressure and after a flight I can have blockages and even headaches for several days. I think the ety's to a much lesser degree do this as well. It's not a hearing problem per se, but it can be alarming. I never experience these symptoms with regular headphones.
 
Mar 16, 2005 at 1:24 PM Post #7 of 7

Yikes

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Doctor, Doctor.... It hurts when I go like this. What should I do?

Doctor: Don't do that.

Seriously. Try wearing some non-headphone flange earplugs for an extended period. Do your ears ring after wearing just earplugs without playing music in them? My bet is that they won’t.

The longer the exposure is for the greater the potential damage. If you are going to listen for ½ hour you can safely listen at a higher level than if you were going to listen for several hours. Most people listen at too high a level.

Unless you are cranking the hell out of your system I doubt that the ringing is due to your amp usage. It’s as simple as you are listening for too long at too high a level.
 

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