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Soft ear ringing in a very quiet soundproof room

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by beamthegreat, Jan 14, 2010.
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  1. beamthegreat
    Is this normal? I dont listen to very loud music but everytime I enter a sound proof room (I play drum kits) and I hear a very soft ear ringing in my ear. I dont usually notice its there but its there. Does anyone experience this problem or is it totally normal? thanks.
     
  2. EnOYiN
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by beamthegreat /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Is this normal? I dont listen to very loud music but everytime I enter a sound proof room (I play drum kits) and I hear a very soft ear ringing in my ear. I dont usually notice its there but its there. Does anyone experience this problem or is it totally normal? thanks.



    That's normal. I can't remember how this works exactly anymore, but it's something like this: Your brain/ ears are used to sound. Since it's hardly ever completely quiet you're not used to complete silence. Your brain/ ears make up for the lack of sound which is perceived as a slight ringing. The same effect can be heard in anechoic chambers. Like I said I don't know exactly how this works, but there's a good chance someone else around here knows a bit more about it.
     
  3. MrGreen
    IIRC there was a study done on this (for research into tinnitus) and something ludicrously high (>90% i think) of people reported sound in a silent room.

    Out of interest, do you hear the same sound at night with ears against pillows or with isolation headphones on?
     
  4. DaveBSC
    Most people who enter an anechoic chamber will experience ringing in their ears. We are accustomed to an ambient noise level of 30dB+, and when you enter a really quiet space you can notice that sort of thing. Have your hearing tested if you are concerned about it. And of course always be safe and wear protection in loud environments.
     
  5. etiolate
    it's funny you mention this, because i've recently noticed this myself when my room is really quiet... i just bought a new dac and i'm worried i might've gone overkill on my ears while testing it out. [​IMG] lol
     
  6. googleborg
    yes it's normal, total and utter silence is almost painful, feels like my ears are being sucked out haha.
     
  7. wantmyf1
    I've noticed it as well but it's not a concern. If you only hear it in a dead quiet area it's normal. When/if you start to hear it during your daily activites you should definitely get it checked out then.
     
  8. salannelson
    This is off audacity's manual. i remember reading it a while back...

    Quote:

    Have you heard of those silent rooms, where they test speakers and microphones ? They're great if you don't happen to be inside of one. After a few minutes you hear the blood in your ears roar like an ocean. You hear only your inner voice when you speak. The room swallows almost everything else. Most people can't stand being in a room like this for more than 10−15 minutes. I am told that this is very different to wearing ear plugs. Those only attenuate sound from the outside. A silent room kills it completely. This room is horrible to listen to, because it basically features no room reverberation, i.e. it doesn't reflect anything at all. It doesn't reveal any information about its size or surface composition. You may be surprised to know that many vocals are actually recorded in similar environments. Vocal booths are little rooms, in which the walls reflect sound as little as possible. During mixing, digital reverbs are used to create a virtual space.



    i hope that helps
     
  9. googleborg
    ok now i'm scared.
     
  10. mattcalf
    I'm scarily intrigued.
     
  11. th3bl0b
    Yeah, this is totally normal. As many people have said, this is your brain trying to make up for the lack of sound in the room.
     
  12. Blue Monday
    My uncle knows a guy who does all sorts of research on the ear at KU medical center (my uncle is a doctor there) and one time I got to follow him around and see what he does. I remember stepping into the sound proof room and as soon as the door shut it there was this odd pressure on my ears. He said that it's normal to hear ringing in a very quiet environment. They're still trying to figure out exactly what causes it.
     
  13. mabus627
    As a few have said, it's normal. Your brain is used to the constant stream of information. When that stream disappears, your brain compensates by making it own noise. It's comparable to when you close your eyes, you see pictures, shapes, words, etc. This is because your brain is able to create a set of information to be processed, and perceived. Another thing that come of this, strangely, is your brain forcing other senses to comply with each other, like when you spin in circles for a few minutes. Your brain makes the room seemingly "spin" because the balance regions in your ears are spinning.
     
  14. Jema
    So, just to clarify - you mean this ringing is not simply a very low level of tinnitus that most people could have, but doesn't notice unless in extremely quiet surroundings? Is it actually a fact that the brain does this sound as a compensation for lack of stimuli?
     
    If there are any articles or tests on this, I would love to learn more about it.
     
  15. xnor
    Quote:

    Tinnitus is a sound your brain creates too. It's level can be so low that you can only hear it in very silent rooms.
    And of course, if suddenly all you can hear is this ringing and therefore concentrate on it ...
     
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