I have had tinnitus forever it seems, it bothers me when it’s really quiet so usually I listen to music to drown it out.
50+ years of live music and baro-trauma and yes I have tinnitus. Also found out my hearing generally stops about 12Khz although this varies. Not sure any notch filters etc. are going to help. Explains why many headphones/iems that people find bright/splashy/harsh don’t seem to bother me.
I have tinnitus. The funny thing is that it isn’t from all the years of drumming I’ve done, as I have taken steps to protect my hearing as best I can. Of course, the drumming probably will have contributed a little bit over time, as its kind of unavoidable. The tinnitus mostly stems from when I was a very little kid and had continuous ear infections, as well as a surgery on my ears. I just do my best to watch my listening levels, especially if I’m going to be listening for an extended period of time. “If you think its too loud, it probably is…” seems to be the best way to go about things.
I keep a decibel reader on my desk, just to make sure I’m staying in my comfort zone. Good whiskey and good music tends to see me unconsciously turning the volume up. I also have tinnitus that stems from ear infections as a kid (lots of surfing in cold water I think contributed to this) loud car stereo phase in my twenties, and shooting guns in the military. Being more aware is helpful, also I carry db blocking earplugs now.
I used to be of that mind, but not so much now (see my other related posts in this forum). I now think tinnitus sometimes follows from non-resolvable auditory confusion – either through past damage at high volume, or neural interference and cross-talk at any volume. I say this from personal experience with quiet but inherently disorganized audio content.
Test track: Suzanne Vega Woman on the Tier, which includes female vocals over trash can percussion. Trash cans are effectively tuned white noise with a large amount of randomness. This particular song can cause instant hissing or ringing, and an extremely odd ‘fan’ sensation whereby the sounds seem to move in a plane. The sensation varies by playback method too.
General test: Pick your favorite live concert with an echoing large PA system. For example, many the videos of the Glastonbury Festival or other live festivals have this profile. For me, the studio versions of a given song are far less fatiguing/ringing. I interpret this as non-resolvable 2nd and 3rd order reflections.
My strategy has been to retrain my hearing to minimize ringing with clean, high quality systems–it truly works for me. Over time, my ability to resolve live echoes has improved substantially, but the trash cans remain true noise and problematic.
I have quite bad sinus problems sometimes which can lead to problems with blocked ears. Seems to be the left side which is worse. I sometimes get a little ringing but very infrequently to be honest. I am so glad it isn’t a permanent thing as it drives me round the bend.
I am always mindful of volume as I can be quite a bad volume nudger. Always asking myself is it too loud?
Mine fortunately do not ring. I went to audiologist a little while back and they told me frequencies about 95% in one ear and 85% in the other. Not bad for a 68 year old guy. I feel for those dedicated to music and equipment to hear it. Hopefully it’s not too bad.
I too have upper frequency loss. Down to around 1400khz now. For that reason I do like my treble a little hotter than some. I do feel blessed to not have tinnitus though.
So, just an update to my earlier posting… In my case the level of annoyance from any tinnitus effect seems directly related to the level of tiredness, stress, illness, hydration, or anything else that can reduce neural capability. It was explained to me by an audiologist that the body makes so many sounds but normally the brain is very good at filtering these out so that they can go unnoticed, and this is the basis of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or training the brain not to worry about the effect it is perceiving. Therefore with CBT the treatment is normally to play a continual low level noise to mask any Tinnitus. I’m sure many of you have noticed that having been subjected to a constant noise for a while, when it is stopped you can feel instant relief even though you may not have particularly considered it’s presence. You may even hear an “antinoise” when it stops. So back to where I started, if you are in good health, well rested and hydrated you may not notice tinnitus as much as when you are not in peak health. You can also think of it a little like the processor on a computer - if it tries to do too much everything slows. Well, if the brain is too busy fighting an illness or stress then there is less resource to do the noise cancellation required to counteract tinnitus.
The other point that I’ve yet to look into and understand is that with the effects of age and misspent youth at concerts the tiny hair cells inside the cochlea get damaged, and then the transmission paths from these to the brain effectively become open-circuit. As with any open-circuit connection they will pick up noise from neighbouring interference and so you can get ghosting pick up when other nerve cells are transmitting… another source of tinnitus heard triggered by other sounds being present, rather than just heard when there is silence.
All of which has nothing to do with headphones, so maybe I just posted all of this onto the wrong forum
I find this the case with mine, when I am super tired and hopped up on coffee it can become more apparent. I also talked with ENT doctors and they have all said similar things. I have noticed when I am well rested and low stress I can go months without tinnitus showing up…but…that almost never happens (the sleep, low stress lol). But my tinnitus is very minimal unless other factors kick it off, then it can spike for a couple minutes, but usually I’m “eeeeeeeeee…” free lol
If only we had the option of changing the ring tone with a download.
I opt for Beyoncés “put a ring on it” for mine… lol
last year, I started having tinnitis in my right ear and I’m still in my early 20s so this freaked me out. It was especially more noticeable when I listen to vocals. When I got my hearing test, I was told my left ear had perfect hearing while my right ear had sudden hearing loss in the low and mid frequencies, which is unusual because common hearing loss affects the high frequencies (according to my ENT). I was already pretty stressed from being overworked at my research job and I honestly thought this was God or whatever higher power playing this cruel joke on me for spending so much on audio equipments I received some corticosteroid injections in my ear which improved my hearing loss, but WOW that was painful as **** Not going to lie, I did tear up a bit after my first injection haha
what really kept me hopeful about my situation was the audiologist who told me about his situation that also had tinnitus like me and told me I shouldn’t let the tinnitus deter me from enjoying music because life is too short. Also after finding out that he’s also an audiophile like me, we talked about headphones for a good 30 minutes and yesterday we even brought each other’s portable setup and had a short listening session in his office.
After He listened to my HD800, he thought his HE560 sounded “blurry” compared to the HD800 and literally went on audiogon and bought himself one hahaha
Flash forward to today, I still have very very minor tinnitus that comes and goes, but I just see it as a part of me and don’t let it affect my listening experience. The experience, however, was a wake up call for me and I’ve been trying my best to take care of my body through healthy lifestyle and diet.
Sorry if this got a bit off topic, just wanted to share my experience w/ you all
Low stress, limit caffeine ( I suck at limiting caffeine) and healthy living. All help me keeping mine under control.
I agree! I keep the caffeine at a bare minimum and work out 5-6 time a week at the gym Since I switch to a new job w/ healthy lifestyle, I haven’t noticed much tinnitus
Planar headphones involve dispersed output across the drivers and indeed often have a harmonic blur or resonance. I find it pleasant sometimes, and prefer it when fatigued from a punchy dynamic driver.
I hope to try more planars in the future but currently I only have an OTL for my amp so
I am having some success with Mullein and Garlic eardrops in olive oil, organic, etc.
I have to stick to it 3x a day for a week but after 2 days I am hearing a substantial reduction.
I don’t know where the tinnitus came from but I’ve had it for years, decades even.
hahah oh god this is so true.
I find I do get a bit of ringing by the end of the day after working and listening to music throughout. But nothing nearly as bad as after a drumming session. Somehow I’m still able to reliably hear 17khz (18k on a good day), maybe that’s why the beyers are so rough to me, and I need to wait a few decades.