For older audiophiles

I wonder if It might be a good idea to have a thread directed at the target audience of older audiophiles. There is a large target audiophile audience consisting of older people, like me, whose hearing has incurred some natural decay. Virtually all the threads (as well as U-tube videos) are directed to the larger audience where that is not necessarily an issue, and a thread directed at people with less than perfect hearing (mostly older) might make a lot of sense. Issues that could be discussed could include whether it makes sense for that group to spend as much money on better audio equipment as those with better hearing, equipment recommendations for that group, etc. In short, I believe there might be a significant interest in many of the usual topics, but tailored to that group.

(Feel free to move this to any existing thread that you feel this might belong in. I thought about “Hearing and Health” but that seems to be more directed to hearing health issues.)

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Good idea. I’m 59 and can’t hear anything at all above 14kHz. So if reviewers give a negative review to something like the TinHifi P2 IEM because of too much treble energy in frequencies higher than that, that criticism would not be applicable to me. Of course, I’m aware of my limitation, and a good review will have a chart and an explanation for the criticism and ranking. I’ve learned to look for reviews that address frequency response problems, and interpret them.

Everyone above a certain age could benefit from audiocheck.net’s since sweep tests to learn about their own hearing, or visit an audiologist for a check-up.

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Try this one – it’s for tinnitus but works for other needs too.

https://www.audionotch.com/app/tune/

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I did think of this topic, but it wasn’t specifically for audiophiles but also audiopharts

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As we get older, we have more to spend on what we can’t hear

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I’m 70 and I’ve been wearing hearing aids for about 20 years or so - so much happier with them!! I may not hear like people with better hearing do, but I can certainly tell the relative differences between various pieces of gear. Eyewear for the eyes, hearing aids for the ears, it’s all good… I upgrade every 4 years or so, and I recently got in-ear hearing aids so I can use them with headphones!

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SAY WHAT???

Exactly the questions I am asking myself. I recently dipped a toe into headphones with some HD560s (and so probably don’t qualify as an audiophile) but sure wonder how much more I could enjoy with better equipment. They did show me that I can hear plenty through my tinnitus. It would be nice to learn the experiences of other seniors.

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Could you please type louder.

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This begs the question of “unintentional subjectivity” by professional reviewers. If a reviewer has a deficit in a certain frequency range/ranges, she or he is not starting at a baseline of normal hearing or a flat line with zero dB loss across all involved frequency ranges. Thus, they may naturally favor equipment that somewhat compensates for their deficits, known or unknown.

The next question is what do they do to provide a review devoid of issues related to their possible “less than perfect” hearing. I’m not challenging professional reviewers but rather I am interested in how they overcome this obstacle.

Finally, there is something to be said about subtle, or not so subtle, EQ for us old fogies/codgers.

Might I suggest we consider changing the title of this post from “For Older Audiophiles” to
“For More Mature Audiophiles”, even though some of us may not act particularly mature. I just think it sounds better. Besides the former may not be politically correct and might be a form of elder abuse. I’m not sure of this but the last thing we need is some government agency investigating our wacko community. Who knows if anyone will be left.

Just turned 69 last week,. Its not age, its just the facts of getting older and maybe wiser. Hearing gets weaker among other things but the music still means a lot. PS: Older usually means > 60.

I’ve been meaning to post a review of this app. I think this is the perfect topic for that.

I’ve used this app for a couple of months now. I have some issues with tinnitus that are exacerbated by my allergies. I also have typical high frequency hearing loss due to age.

Does it work? I think so. It has a built in hearing assessment tool and my scores are noticeably higher. Subjectively I seem to enjoy my headphone music listening more as well as favor lower volume levels than before. As for my tinnitus I can’t really tell since I am also treating my allergies and it comes and goes anyway.

It’s important to use it daily for an hour. I did not notice results until I was able to add it to my daily routine instead of trying to remember to use it once a day. I highly recommend using it with ear buds that either do not seal or have a transparency mode so that you can watch TV or carry on a conversation during a therapy session.

The app is pretty buggy. Often times when I switch to it on my phone it asks me to log in again. Instead, restarting the app brings me right to the main screen. The music player is a very welcome addition, but the interface is clunky, slow, and sometimes becomes unresponsive. The worst is that therapy session timer sometimes stops. It’s only happened a couple of times but very annoying.

In all I highly recommend any older audiophile try this app out. I’d appreciate anyone else’s experiences if you do.

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OMG… I just noted the other like on this post was by @Dudley_Doody and saw his icon. TWO old fart icons from the same show.

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LOL. I experimented with using both Dudley Doright and Howdy Doody as the avatar image, but finally opted for Dudley, simply because it’s more colourful than the B&W images of Howdy that I turned up via browser search.

Twin farts! Blonde hair, big cartoon noses, big cartoon chins. Facing the same direction too.

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Tyll Herstens tells the story from before InnerFidelity when he had a small headphone amp-making shop (Home Theater Geeks 297: Headphone Q&A - YouTube). A customer with hearing loss in the highs emails to ask if he could have the amp he’d purchased from them customized so it was a bit “brighter” to compensate. Happy to oblige. Guy emails back in a few weeks saying it’s a bit too bright, please make the difference a little less. Done. Guy emails back again, same request. They don’t have any meaningful margin left to play with so they simply restore to the original level. The guy emails back in a few weeks and says that’s perfect.

Our brains are prediction engines. We don’t hear the raw sound signal from our auditory nerves, but instead get a highly processed version. For one thing our physical outer ears and ear canals are shaped the way they are to amplify high frequencies. Presumably, a survival benefit to hear faint high-pitched sounds. But our brains extract and retain the extra detail while dropping the subjective loudness of the high frequencies back to their normal/un-amplified level. Our brains also automatically correct for the difference in the acoustics of one room vs another, at least in the vocal range. Walk from outdoors to indoors then from one room to another while in conversation with someone — you’ll hear zero change in the other person’s voice. (But move your 2-channel system from one room to another and just try to re-create the same FR…)

In the case of hearing damage, our brains use the sound signal from one ear to supplement the other ear’s signal where needed due to damage. For example, I have significant loss from 1.5 to 2.5 kHz in my left ear due to an ear infection. At first I needed to fiddle with the balance control to get the phantom centre channel to manifest in the middle. Over weeks I kept having to reduce the balance shift, then eventually I no longer needed any shift at all. If I listen to stereo sound from my headphone the balance sounds fine. If I block the good ear and only listen with the problem ear, I immediately hear the loudness loss. [BTW, same thing with vision. I have some damage to a portion of the retina in one eye. If I cover the good eye, I can plainly see the blur in the area of my visual field that’s damaged. If I travel to a part of town I’ve never been in, the blur in the bad eye is apparent again. My brain simply has no data from either eye to use to correct the visual field.]

However due to simple aging, my air octave (10 kHz+) hearing is long gone. Since it’s gone fairly equally in both ears, once again my brain doesn’t have any actual signal to use to fill in the blanks. Instead, it generates a sort of ideal air region frequency response, so all my headphones sound just fine above 10 k. No sense of room ambience, but no bothersome peaks either.

The upshot of all this is that if I EQ my headphones to theoretical neutral for healthy ears they sound perfect. No correction needed in my case – and I’m ultra-fussy about this after half a century spent playing acoustic guitar. This is true now that over a year has elapsed since the ear infection. But during the initial brain adaption period I tried all sorts of EQ corrections to no avail.

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I just hit 70 this year and am finally finding the best HP audio experience I’ve ever had. Beginning to think audio response past 15kHz is overrated. Our level of enjoyment and appreciation for that which we love should easily outweigh the missing 5kHz.

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Just think he started on TV 1961 .

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Good idea for a group thread! It will be interesting what we perceive vs the young’n ears, too.
I’m just starting down the audiophile path. Want to find a good balance of what I need. Law of diminishing returns is my watch words.

15-20 kHz is a mere 5 kHz, not even 1/2 an octave, and in almost all music the amount of energy in that area is very low…

Just call me circling the drain of turning 65.

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