Adventures In Audio

I tested my hearing - You can test yours

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@billymountain1124:  I guess Bluetooth is also full range😉

@kevinsmith5318:  I used the sonic app to test out hearing frequencies. Despite my age (64) i could hear up to nearly 15 kHz if played loud. My Son (22) could hear up and beyond 18 kHz. I was so envious…. No matter. I can still hear reasonably well with a few dips in hearing range depending on the ear. So far so good…

@Stelios.Posantzis:  7:17 I'd be sceptical too about any compensation offered by adjusting the frequency response of amplifiers for listening through headphones or otherwise as this means an increase of volume in the very area(s) where one's hearing is impaired. I can only see this person's hearing progressively becoming worse in those areas as this correction mechanism only serves to exacerbate the problem in my opinion. What I'd offer as an alternative is the following combination of strategies:
a) Avoid noisy environments at all costs such as the tube (subway), motorways, loud venues etc.
b) If you have to be in a noisy environment anyway maybe it is legal to wear earplugs that either block most noise or just decrease the amount of noise that gets through by 10/15/20/etc. db as needed. Musicians use these and they can be ordered tor a custom fit.
If it's not legal to wear such devices, then try to stay in such environments for the least amount of time possible or, even better, try to find a way to avoid them altogether, if possible.
c) If you are in a noisy environment, do not wear headphones listening to music: you will end up raising the volume to mask the external noise and in the process cause even more hearing damage. This applies to any such environment i.e. tube (subway), airplane, bus stop etc. Noise cancellation only works for a range of frequencies and I would not rely on it as a compensation means to use to protect my hearing. Also, prolonged wearing of headphones of any type I believe will cause hearing damage one way or another in the long term. Hearing damage is an additive process, that is, it doesn't matter if you have never been exposed to noises louder than a certain level if have suffered prolonged exposure to a much lower noise level. Despite the lower noise level being perhaps deemed low enough to be safe by you (e.g. a constantly playing tv in the background), the exposure to it over time will result to a certain amount of damage - the more the exposure, the more the damage.
d) If you have to listen to speech or music a lot make sure you invest in a quality audio system, e.g. if you listen to speech a lot on your pc, invest in a set of quality pc speakers: the higher the quality of the audio system used, the lesser the distortion produced by it hence the more intelligible the speech through it will be, hence the lesser the need to raise the volume to make that speech intelligible to you. Do not underestimate the importance of this: nowadays, we are exposed to more and more audio for much longer than before that comes through inadequate playback means such as internal laptop, tablet or smartphone loudspeakers. Such devices can never achieve the sound quality of a proper dedicated loudspeaker and compensate for this inadequacy invariably via tailoring their frequency response to put emphasis on the certain parts of the spectrum. Invest on a good set of external pc speakers now - you can thank me later (about 20-30 years later). Also, the quality of your listening experience will improve drastically, which is an added bonus.

@gearhead366:  Interesting. I would like to see a video addressing the speaker needs for a person with hearing loss. For example, I can't really hear anything above 10KHz. Do I still need speakers that go above 10KHz? If not, I don't need speakers with tweeters. Or crossovers. A good mid range driver will cover all of my hearing above the sub freqs.

@powernattoh:  the name "mimi" is the Japanese word for ear...

@tomstickland:  I'm too scared to test it. Permanent tinnitus and I play in percussion groups, albeit wearing ear plugs.

@ericquasney8832:  The girls🙈

@ericquasney8832:  Been music over 50yr. All of us
Suffer loss to various degree. 🙉

@chuckmaddison2924:  I know mine is not perfect.
It would be stupid to suggest it was like some golden ear 50 year old audiophilly too embarrassed to say " can't hear sonny "

@BsktImp:  If something's free then "you are the product." 😂

@AudioMasterclass replies to @BsktImp: You're not wrong, but this seems to be a 'freemium' offer. You get something free, but then you pay for the rest. Done properly, it's not a bad thing. DM

@brotkastable:  The idea of a test on each multimedia device, an individual test and matching the playback correction to the listener's hearing and environment sounds brilliant, but it certainly won't be free

@QOTSAPT:  I hear higher frequencies on my right ear, however my left ear is more sensitive to everything else.

@english3082:  Tell us how you wrote Hey Jude and Let it Be! I'm your fan!

@margeneroso3101:  Professional audiologists conduct hearing tests inside an anechoic chamber and use calibrated headphones. I tried Mimi app to compare my test results done by an audiologist and the difference is 5 dB, which the app indicated aptly as possibly “inaccurate,” given I did the test in a somewhat noisier environment. With my advanced age, I’m happy with my hearing ability and will continue to enjoy my present audio equipment. Just the same many thanks for your wonderful video! 👍👂🎵🎶🙏

@michaellevis2514:  A great video. I’m 66 and had a formal audiology test a year ago just cuz I was interested and before I tossed a bunch of $ into a new hifi system. My HF was not good and my discrimination likewise. I was v bummed out after that. And I have tinnitus too. Oh well.

@Crumbleofborg:  I'm so depressed. A sine wave sweep shows I hear nothing beyond 8Khz now, which as it happens is also the subjective frequency of my constant tinnitus. I don't really want to take any more tests and I'm not sure an audiologist will be able to do much for me apart from draining my wallet of any residual surplus.
Luckily I can still remember what my favourite music is supposed to sound like and my brain does its best to fill in the gaps.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @Crumbleofborg: You still have nearly nine of your original ten octaves so in reality, apart from the tinnitus, you're not doing too bad. DM

@theundertaker5963:  That last bit with the two AI assistant women had me in stitches 😂

@Alex_Martz:  The app is trash, just take a look at all their reviews on the app store, both iOS and Android

@AudioMasterclass replies to @Alex_Martz: It may indeed be trash. I don't have calibrated headphones so if I did pluck up the courage to visit an audiologist and compare the results then I wouldn't know if the app was accurate or not. I have to suspect though that many of the reviewers similarly used uncalibrated headphones. DM

@Alex_Martz replies to @Alex_Martz: @@AudioMasterclass I used calibrated headphones and the results mean nothing, they don't even have a proper graph with frequency response, The purpose of the app is to sell their EQ software that'll "compensate" for your supposed hearing loss, and their software is just an EQ that it's not even matched to you, it's a generic EQ that anyone can apply on their phones for free with their already built-in EQ and since they know most people don't use calibrated headphones most results will be "hearing loss" and they also now most people nowadays are hypochondriacs, the past 3 years demonstrated that.... Anyway, anyone serious about testing their ears should visit not only 1 audiologist, but at least 2 or 3 to compare different results

@AudioMasterclass replies to @Alex_Martz: I took the time to look at the reviews of this app which you say is trash. I don't know which app store you're looking at but the Apple app store rates it 4.6 out of 5 with 2797 reviews. Of course, reviews of anything on the internet are unreliable but 4.6/5 doesn't signal that people think the app is trash. You say it doesn't give a frequency response chart so I have to wonder what I'm showing at https://youtu.be/kHKpKr9WsHs?t=267 As for being a generic EQ, this is not what I see at https://mimi.io/sound-personalization - I think I'm done here. DM

@Alex_Martz replies to @Alex_Martz: @@AudioMasterclass Wow!, you're certainly thin-skinned! 😅 or more likely your sponsor doesn't like bad comments on their app! 😅 BYE!

@AudioMasterclass replies to @Alex_Martz: I could have skin like a grape and still your comment would either be the work of an idiot or deliberate misinformation. Contrary to what you say, the app has good reviews, it does have a frequency response chart, and personalised EQ is available. Oh, and there is no sponsorship involved. If you have anything accurate and insightful to say then your further comments are welcome. DM

@darionclub2158:  I work as a caretaker of handicapped people in Belgium, and my hearing must be tested yearly for our yearly mediacl exam at work. It's always a beep test. They never give a lot of feedback and never that number you mentioned. They just tell you if it suffices or not. I always wonder if it may be slightly better than the average hearing for my age, because my vision is so much worse, but i haven't gotten a satisfying answer to that from them.

@adge74:  Remember my dad failing his work hearing tests for years, and one day coming home saying it was miraculous he was cured !. I asked how could this happen . Well now I'm in my 60s all is well apparently was his response. Now he is in well in his 70s must say he's definitely not all well , just wish he would wear his hearing aids once in a while lol.

@MikeGervasi:  Ran the test with noise. Result was "Good".

@szeredaiakos:  I can hear jack shit above 14800. I am almost 40 tho.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @szeredaiakos: Don’t worry, you still have nine and a half octaves left from your original ten. DM

@szeredaiakos replies to @szeredaiakos: @@AudioMasterclass it's fine. I don't mind. In terms of frequency response, vinyl has just become viable for me 😆

@geoff37s38:  I went for a hearing test. The Audiologist said “You need a hearing aid”. I replied “Oh no! I would like a second opinion”. Audiologist responded “OK, you are ugly as well”.

@BobGeogeo:  Did she rephrase "baby, baby, baby, oh baby" to "baby, baby, baby, your baby" later in the song?

@fionnmccueil:  Oh, I've worked for a local city government in an in-house print shop for over forty years, and decades ago they started requiring me to take the same annual hearing test, sounding much like the Mimi test you played, that the Public Works Maintenance folk who run noisy equipment, and the Police staff who shoot qualifying tests throughout their careers have to take.

Every year, seeing the degradation of my hearing as compared to my original test has been a bit depressing. But I blame my love of Pink Floyd, and Rush, and AC/DC, and I also blame every pyrotechnic operator who ever fired stuff off on stage without lighting the red, rotating "BIG NOISES COMING!" lamp backstage to give us time to cover our ears.. (I'm also a part-time professional stagehand!)

@AudioMasterclass replies to @fionnmccueil: A sad story that unfortunately applies to many. DM

@ibakedit5850:  Nice video. I am interested in an amp that has a freq. response of 10-150kHz (±3dB). What is the point of having such a wide response considering we our hearing is narrow and music does not contain it? Thanks

@AudioMasterclass replies to @ibakedit5850: Music does contain it. I’d be surprised if cymbals and other metallic percussion didn’t have quite a lot going on up there. Hearing though no, but I think there should be a wide safety margin. 100 kHz maybe. Go too high and interference will be getting in and getting amplified.

@keithholmes6776:  Mimi tells me my hearing number is 28. So it's off to Boots to see about Prescription hearing Aid then!

@AudioMasterclass replies to @keithholmes6776: The Boots near me was offering free tests. Free on the way in and costly on the way out I suspect. DM

@ac81017:  I took the test, I'm an audiophile, and i scored excellent, i also have absolute perfect pitch, but for how long is any ones guess..

@hamishthecat4370:  And the audiologist said, "I see the light from yonder ear".

@jim586:  Hiya. Fun and interesting channel
You are rather too cynical in place’s though.
I promise you, I have no affiliation with any company associated with hearing aids or such like.
Unfortunately I’ve suffered from tinnitus for years. I worked in the printing industry for years and also worked in and around music in my youth.
There are many many reasons to get your hearing tested by a professional. Like many things regarding health - dentistry etc, other underlying health issues can be detected from having things checked out. Recent studies have shown a link between hearing loss and memory and brain function- dementia, Alzheimer’s.
I’ve had my hearing tested many times, due to the tinnitus and my working environment and not once have I had any “power selling” techniques pushed on me. I’ve always had honest results and advice from the UKs largest, high street hearing centres. I won’t name them.
But most GPs actually refer patients to them as they don’t have the testing equipment or the time.
Listening to music is one of life’s pleasures, it’s so important you even have your own channel.
I think you and your followers should do themselves a favour and forget these apps or home tests and just go and get it done. It takes 30 minutes and then you’ll know. And please don’t state that people will get pressured into buying something they don’t need. It’s irresponsible and based on assumption.
Rant over.
I really enjoy the channel but I had to say that.
Cheers
PS I’m 55 years old and luckily all my hearing tests have shown up as normal even though I have tinnitus. Only a professional centre can do this. I’m pretty sure that the tests are free as well. No brainer.

@carlsitler9071:  Using my Fearless Freedom S8 IEMs with Hidizs S9 Pro dac-amp, I could hear 17.5 hz to 15 khz although there may be a db roll off on the top as the amp is quite powerful.

@MikeGervasi:  Had a professional audio test. They told me I had better than average. However it was only for the freqs within the human vocal range and they don't test outside of that. Also the room had no noise. So I felt like I didn't have an accurate real world test at all. I think hearing above 8K is important musically.

@f1addict:  Samsung phones (and maybe other Android phones?) have a feature called 'Adapt sound' which sounds very similar to this MIMI test. It has a number of presets (under 30, 30 to 60, over 60), but also allows you to 'Test my hearing' with random beeps in different ears at different frequencies, and at the end allows you to save a Custom Sound Profile. It actually works quite well. Of course, whether it could be considered 'audiophile' is probably another thing altogether.

@elwap0 replies to @f1addict: Yes the Adapt sound app ..I found it years ago on earlier Samsung phones!!! After using it ..left me in tears...such was the difference it makes!!!

@brianjames5685:  I'm 48 and around a year into having a hearing loss diagnosis. My left ear has slight loss, my right ear is much worse. I worked as a DJ and my right ear was my headphone ear so I presume that was the cause. Any way the world sounds extremely dull which I find extremely depressing. I have an extremely large record stash which I haven't really been near since and I've ceased giving guitar lessons or even playing my guitars. My hearing aids (NHS) make music sound extremely strange by the way, if I go out wearing them it is like being in a riot and makes me jumpy. Also with me it seems like 2 days wearing hearing aids results in 2 days where I am exhausted and barely able to function. I guess don't put all your eggs in one basket would be good advice just in case you end-up like me with aids in both ears lol. I guess my next move will be looking at better hearing-aids once I get my head round all this!

@bytehead904:  I've had my hearing tested. I have reverse slope hearing loss. Which means I have more trouble with lower frequencies than I have with higher frequencies. And... It was good enough that I didn't have to go through a sales pitch. No hearing aids for me, as I thought I was hearing well enough. Now, this was 10 years ago, but my hearing has degraded enough. Yet!

@mysock351C:  Some caveats if you do decide to "test" your own hearing using earbuds or headphones. The first is standing waves, in that there will be periodic cancellations at higher frequencies. This can be seen in FR curves for headphones, in that above 7-8 kHz, there will be periodic nulls in the response. This will happen in your ears as well, and will mask the sound no matter how loudly the HPs are playing if its a pure tone. Second is that most good headphones and IEMs don't produce much content above about 14-15 kHz, so this places a cap on how high a frequency they can audibly reproduce. Lastly, the ear's own response even in healthy children plummets above about 11-12 kHz (See something called the Fletcher-Munson curve), so some compensation is needed to ensure you are actually at an amplitude you can hear. I have done this test under controlled conditions, and since I'm still relatively young, I can hear up to 19 and 18 kHz in each respective ear. But, this required a test setup with a calibrated SPL meter to ensure that I was actually not overloading me or the modified tweeter I was using, and also account for the ears narrow response pattern at very high frequencies. To do it somewhat right right, set the amplitude to the highest you can comfortably tolerate at 1 kHz, and don't change it for the duration of the test. That way you don't run the risk of hearing or headphone damage. Even then, the results will likely be in error.

@manitoublack:  Wish I'd kept all the hearing test results id taken over the years.

Losts of medicals for specialist work

@MaxQNik:  Mimi says my hearing in noise are excellent!

@AudioMasterclass replies to @MaxQNik: Well done. DM

@KenFullman:  So apparently I'm deaf because I don't have a phone.

@hi-techfilmmaker5682:  I always laugh when I see this TV commercial of for hearing aids. when it comes on, the tv volume drops real low. then back up for any other commercial or when the tv program returns.

@jim010109:  The RIND test suggests that I have no hearing loss. For what it's worth. My wife would suggest otherwise.

@colin-christian:  Mimi means "ears" in Japanese

@jimbohnenkamp5082:  You've shined a light (so to speak) on hearing in general and hearing loss specifically. I had a test when I was leaving college in 1971 which the speech and hearing professor administered and advised that I had a slight loss in high frequencies in one ear. I have never felt the need for a hearing aid since then.

@namegoeshere2903:  All those years playing with the Beatles and Paul McCartney still has decent hearing enough to be an audiophile with his own channel.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @namegoeshere2903: Among all the Paul McCartney references I get in the comments, yours rates highly for amusement. DM

@DANVIIL:  What?

@Arfonfree:  I have used the test suite from SoundID. Sounds a lot like Mimi. The results compare pretty well with those from an audiologist. Slight loss above 15kHz in the right ear. I haven't decided whether to correct for it. My reasoning pretty much echoes yours.

@barrieainge4937:  My left ear has been significantly restricted in frequency response for years and is gradually getting worse due to radio therapy treatment I had on my left side 25 years ago. The main issue now is distortion at certain frequencies and at load levels although I've been advised that this is due to the ear over compensating and that a hearing aid should correct this - apparently there is no evidence of damage to the inner ear. However I'm due a further assessment soon so we will see. A simple test I can suggest is to listen to The Monkees 'Daydream Believer' and see if you can hear the alarm clock in the background at the start of the second line - 'but it rings and I rise' etc. I can't any more so I'm obviously aurally doomed.

@kevinleblanc1935:  I had my hearing testing and it was in normal ranges. My hearing goes up to 14k. I told the audiologist this and she said that's great because there is hardly any sounds that high.

@kurthill7030:  Best to test your smell when you go to audio shops lots of bull shit sold there 🤣😂

@RudeRecording:  Audiophiles Anonymous? Wasn't that a prolific medieval composer?

@gingernutpreacher:  Sennheiser 400 it what I have lol

@gingernutpreacher:  I had my hearing tested for a job at JCB and it was normal for my age but it was in quiet box and I could hear my ears louder than the beeps

@christopherchadwick480:  I'm a former Registered Hearing Aid Audiologist (UK) and can confirm that a private or NHS hearing test will measure your response to frequencies between 250H and 8kH. This is because hearing aids are primarily designed for hearing speech. Anything else is an amplifier. Your HF (20kH) hearing begins to deteriorate from around age 20. A lot of my clients had been in the music biz, among the worst affected were harpists. Too right hearing loss is no barrier to successful production! A very well known producer was a client/patient at a clinic i worked for and his audiogram showed hearing problems from a very young age.

@SWATTECHNOLOGIES:  My ears rated equal and they are not.

@nicc5122:  A little background. I'm a cancer survivor over 10 years now but I participate in patient focus groups and research for clinicians.Something I took part in a couple of years ago was, should "Extended High Frequency Tests" be offered to (in particular) chemotherapy patients who often get temporary or permanent hearing damage as a result of treatment. EHF is defined as frequncies above 8kHz to the NHS, and loss of those frequences can be addressed by using drugs to counter the effect of the chemotherapy but only if given during or immediately after treatment, before the loss becomes permanent. The objective was to talk to a group of cancer patients to determine if we felt it could have improved our quality of life, and what approaches in the tests and when during treatment they would be acceptable, bearing in mind treatment is often extremely traumatic, and if any comorbidities (age/occupational noise/other disease) are the cause and not cancer treatment. Needless to say cost was mentioned because calibrated headphones are expensive, and would a 'cut down' test be as effective was one of the questions to our group, with known limitations. The objective was to assess what patients felt was important about the testing as opposed to the specifics. I was lucky to avoid chemotherapy though I had radiotherapy to my head which doesn't appear to have had adverse affects to my hearing, though I live with long term effects of radiation now. What I did learn is that NHS consider that normal speech ranges are important, and the musical range i.e. beyond speech frequencies aren't normally considered. Enjoying music however is a quality of life factor, something that the cancer patient work I am involved with is an overriding factor.

@davidhilston3643:  Mimi means ear in Japanese

@davidhilston3643 replies to @davidhilston3643: And I see somebody has already said that...

@nikthefix8918:  Sensitivity to frequency is a tiny part of the problem anyone with hearing difficulties will likely have reported. More likely it is is 'rattling' and uncomfortable resonance at certain frequencies. Like a wasp in the ear. Once the wax is washed away you're left with a problem. Guitarists and sound engineers know this. And when you get a cold the problem is magnified. In this case a decent NHS hearing test will advise that you either get surgery or go home and try to forget about it.

@hotconductor4749:  It's very frustrating that typical hearing tests don't go beyond 8khz.

@carlitomelon4610:  I rated EXCELLENT on MIMI....able to distinguish important sounds in a challenging environment. Mid to high frequencies. Both ears. I used airtime pro bluetooth iems. Middle volume setting Over mild tinnitus this morning .

I'm a 62 year old music first audiophile, so this was a relief.
Ill try the other test since I'm pretty sure my hearing isnt perfectly balanced.

Back to Florian Berner Bach cello suites 🎶🤫🎶

@AudioMasterclass replies to @carlitomelon4610: Congratulations. I go Janos Starker myself, but that was the first I heard so I probably would. DM

@carlitomelon4610 replies to @carlitomelon4610: @@AudioMasterclass
I have Starker on CD, but i enjoy new pefomances in different halls.
Cheers matey!

@guystpierrecomposer:  So now you know that some young people have way better hi frequency hearing (I did the test and my 21 daughter did it two, big difference). That could explain why some people hear cables or Dac differences more obviously I guess.

@JKadison:  I know my hearing isn’t the same as it was when I was young and I like you will probably add hearing aids 10 years after I actually need them.

@ryansmith8782:  This is awesome! I downloaded the mimi app on my iPhone but I haven’t tried it yet because I have yet to locate a quiet place and also it doesn’t have a headphone jack and my Bluetooth iPods are .. clogged to say the least and also damaged I suspect do to attempting to clean them 🫤. As far as what I would like so hear in future videos, I think it would be cool to learn how to start training my hearing to hear better. Maybe you have some insight. Great video.

@ryansmith8782 replies to @ryansmith8782: Ps. Does everyone have a dominant ear? Everyone is saying their left is weaker.

@peters7949:  Posted on a joke FB page today, seemed made for this video:

I saw an audiologist today, but I think I'II get a second opinion.
Why on earth would I need a heron egg?'

@Uniprnt:  This might be good information. I was at the doctor the other day and I said my hearing seems to be suffering and that I was thinking of getting a
hearing aid. He said before you do that you best get the deep ear wax taken out of your ears. Turns out that deep ear wax should be removed before any hearing test. Believe me it makes a significant difference in hearing.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @Uniprnt: You’re right there. I had my ears syringed once when I really needed it. The difference was amazing at first but after a couple of hours I didn’t notice. DM

@Inquabranq:  I messed up my hearing with studio headphones and Michael Breckers and mine highnotes. But I got it back later hearing all music as low as possible. The high frequency multiphonics which I still hear come from 5G and not from saxophone multiphonics and highnotes. Possibly.🎉

@MAMDAVEM:  I've used the Mimi app with the custom EQ for my hearing, I have mild to moderate hearing loss from my days playing the bagpipes without hearing protection (such a thing was simply unheard of in my day) and I think this has helped with my audio mixing and mastering.

@peters7949:  As a retired audio engineer at BBC Radio (not an audio balancer) my hearing was regularly tested. Having had an eardrum repair long ago my left ear is about 20dB down on my right, and has poorer HF response. Yet the brain compensates incredibly & I have very good L/R balance perception.
I would be interested in a video on if & how the propagation time of modern digital hearing aids, affects sound localisation & their suitability for listening to music.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @peters7949: I would be interested in that video too. I'll probably make it when I'm ready for my hearing aid. Of course, not being qualified in audiology in any way, it could only be subjective. DM

@larryeckerdt9750:  All I found out from the hearing test was that these damned “audiophile” headphones don’t work above 12khz.

@ryansmith8782 replies to @larryeckerdt9750: LoL 😂

@TheJonHolstein:  Unfortunately mimi or other compensatory EQ will not help you to hear dialogue, as the issue is that is it badly mixed, not you poor hearing. The people signing off on the audio mix, are the sound engineer, who has heard the dialogue repeatedly and the director that has both heard it and read it repeatedly. And they also do so in a room where they can play audio above typical listening levels at home, and with better acoustics. Any compensatory EQ will only boost frequencies you have issues with, but that will include music, sound FXs. DTS:X has support for increasing only the level of the dialogue, but it isn't mandatory when making DTS:X mixes, and you will not find DTS:X on any streaming service either. There are some streaming services, that offer dialogue boost, intended mostly for people with actually bad hearing, and unfortunately is sound awful, and I think it is only available for selected shows.
Unfortunately also, the dynamic range of many television shows, will get in your way, as if you try to boost the level to hear more clearer, there will be a blast of loud music occasionally, and you might feel like reaching for your remote. And if you watch at night, with family or apartment neighbors, you may not even be able to listen to any level close to what you need due to that reason.

If mimi works with apple headphones over bluetooth, it may also deal with the level issue, that typically occurs when trying to test your hearing with non professional equipment. Headphone jacks are not calibrated, to make sure the output level is a specific level at a specific level of the volume control. And the thing is that when it comes to hearing frequencies, you start by loosing your sensitivity, before you lose the ability to hear a frequency at all, so with higher levels than a calibrated level, will enable you to hear frequencies that you can't in a proper test. But you could also experience to opposite, with lower levels. And headphone outputs may also not have a flat enough frequency response curve, that may impact the level in either direction.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @TheJonHolstein: Your points are good, particularly the engineer and director being familiar with the dialogue. This is an often neglected aspect of production. DM

@Douglas_Blake_579 replies to @TheJonHolstein: The movie dialog problem is actually fairly easy to remedy ... Most dialog is on the center channel... just go into your AVR or Player's mixer and boost the centre channel a bit... even if down mixing to stereo this will notably increase dialog levels without messing up the music or special effects in any serious way.

@LA-Voodoo:  I've got a pair of big, ugly, (but BRILLIANT!) Sony WF-1000XM4 wireless earbuds. In addition to using some sort of magic Bluetooth compression fixing algorythm (DSEE Extreme) to actually FIX bluetooth audio, they have outstanding noise canceling and an adjustable ambient sound mode that has a sub-mode that "filters in" human speech.

It actually works pretty good too. Background noise is supressed, voices sound clear. Sorta. The microphones and DSP on the buds are amazing for their size, but there's still a bit of artficial digital dithering and tinny audio quality from the pin-sized mics. But speech is more inteligble in loud enviromnets - if less acoustically accurate.

Anyway, audio technology is advancing in regards to in-ear monitoring / listening. I'm a recovering audiophile, and I've owned some of the best headphones in the world. The Sony flagship earbuds are right up there with the best I've ever listened to - bluetooth and all lol - and they really block out ambient noise and can filter in voices brilliantly. This is how to make "hearing aids" ;-)

@spacemissing:  Never mind a hearing aid --- a lot of people need an "attention-paying aid".

@ryansmith8782 replies to @spacemissing: Amen, they might hear good but they need to listen to the words.

@gonnfishy2987:  I find that the speech is increasingly difficult to hear/understand in television and film over the last 25-30 years. Considering that’s a little over half the time i have been alive, it makes me question how audio and dialogue are mixed in the era rather than my own hearing/understanding.
“Active listening” vs “passive hearing” doesn’t seem to make and difference, but watching films through headphones does. I worry that using the subtitles will make my perception lazier.
Using headphones definitely makes impromptu viewing less likely.
Glaswegian dialogue is especially difficult in AV mixes, whereas alone/IRL it’s not.

@Douglas_Blake_579 replies to @gonnfishy2987: David may want to correct me on this one, but DTX standards introduced amplitude bands for movie mixes. Unfortunately, being created for the 1997 re-release of Star Wars, it tended to heavily favour special effects and explosions. So for the last 40 or so years we've been listening to movies that crest at -1dbfs, with dialog averaged at -24db ... and just about everything else mixed somewhere inbetween.

On my setup I simply boost the centre channel about 6db, down mix to stereo then compress the whole thing by about 10 db... It's not perfect but at least the explosions don't try to rip my ears off while I'm straining to hear what the hero whispered to his sidekick.

@gonnfishy2987 replies to @gonnfishy2987: @@Douglas_Blake_579 Thanks for the knowledge!

@Douglas_Blake_579 replies to @gonnfishy2987: @@gonnfishy2987
You're welcome.

@gonnfishy2987:  I agree wholeheartedly with everything you have said and I’m only 25 seconds in.
also, hearing is adaptive and as much a thought process as it is “being exposed to sonic frequencies”.
Any two people can/will hear the same thing differently depending on how they recognise the act of “hearing” something. 😮

@j.t.cooper2963:  A good ear wax removal at the Doctors office works wonders. I remember having to lower the treble on my systems after getting the wax removed.

@tr5848:  I have prescription aids now at age 72, but while falling asleep to music and not using my aids, it sounds terrible. Building a MIMI-like utility into various devices would be very popular for older people like me.

I use a Dolby program on my PC and can set the equalizer at an optimum spot for me, but there the challenge is what is "normal"? I find your videos intriguing and send them to my brother who fancies himself an audiophile.

Cheers!

@billmilosz:  I think all audio reviewers should publish their hearing test results and I wouldn't trust opinions offered by any reviewer who couldn't hear above 13 kHz.

@BobGeogeo:  True but half in jest: Mimi is a super friendly cat I know who is blind but has very good hearing.

@englishdeltajazz:  I failed the hearing test at school aged 15. The nurse said 'Do you listen to a lot of loud music?' 😄

@ACAustralia50:  Please cover balance. I have been aware of lower sensitivity in my left ear for several years. I recently got an amplifier with a balance control and thought that would resolve the issue, but it doesn't. What I have discovered is that our ears can be out of balance at different frequencies and that a balance control needs to adjust levels differently at different frequencies. I hope that makes sense. I have improvised a 2 band balance control using a DSP which gives much better results. Now that almost everything comes with an internal DSP I just don’t understand why manufacturers refuse to add a balance control to their amps and streamers, which is essential for many people with hearing balance issues and anyone who does not want to be restricted to sitting in the middle of the room with their head in a vice.

@carlitomelon4610 replies to @ACAustralia50: Since i run Magnepan LRS, the mid room head vice is my best friend;-)
Room placement is offset 15in/ 40cm.
I use the input level controls on the back of my Bryston amp to set balance. Glad i found them.
Like you, i wish preamps came with balance controls.
Pet peeve!
🎶🎶🤔🎶

@sbbinahee:  I love the content here.. I'm a 'soundaholic '.However, a lot of your technical jargon goes over my head. It's still fascinating and educational for me. But damn it, the older you get, the more you look macca😂. Im a fan of him and all the history et al. I'm listening and learning, but macca is always there 😂. Anyways, seriously, great stuff as always. Respect.

@Seiskid:  This is an important topic for audio engineers. Up to a point our brains compensate for hearing loss in specific frequencies. Time to adjust being the key.

@machavez00:  I had a hearing test due to ringing in my ears about ten years ago. It was a traditional test, in a booth with headphones. The audiologist said I had very slight loss in one ear, he didn’t say which one. I asked what about the ringing in my ears? His reply? “Welcome to your 50’s”

@mysock351C replies to @machavez00: Its actually fairly common, and I actually have had substantial tinnitus my entire life since birth, mainly tones ranging from 15-20 kHz. Very high frequencies to have to hear all the time, and I have never actually heard true silence. I can see this being an issue and driving someone crazy if it just starts out of nowhere, though.

@s_r_v replies to @machavez00: Yes when it started for me in my 50's in just one ear it was alarming indeed went to docs and they did all the checks and calmed me down... they said you will get used to it and I have, just occasionally it stops for a few seconds which is a really strange feeling, they said I had slight hearing loss in the ear I have my tinnitus in....

@alanjerram9258:  I had my hearing evaluated at the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles quite some time ago when still a young man. I was a little alarmed to learn my high range sensitivity was already beginning to roll off. Too much time in front of the trumpet section during big band rehearsals, probably. I'd say you are right in suspecting that a surprising number of people have some degree of hearing loss through one overexposure to noise levels or another.

@keiththompson9446 replies to @alanjerram9258: Same issue here- either a trombone trumpet, keyboard speaker or drumset behind me

@correametal:  Thanks for another excellent video with great content and information. Also, thanks for the good scare at the end with the evil laugh by the "girls", I love horror movies...😂

@sidesup8286:  My hearing doctor is the cheapest one in town.The first time I saw him, I asked him if he used good cables with his instrumentation; and he looked confused, and then said "We don't have any instrumentation here, that stuff costs a lot of money." He has a sp so ventriloquist stand right in front of you and he says words at a very low volume. On words like leap, peep, creep, weep and jeep I had a little problem, but on words like Go, Show, Know, Crow and even Sew, I scored very highly.

The ear doctor I used to go to before had all kind of instrumentation. When I asked him how was my high frequency hearing, he gladly and assuredly said "Mr. *** I have no doubt that you would be able to communicate with bats." That's good to know! Has anyone tried listening to music while upside down? It's an experience. You have to have real strong toes......As a golden eared audiophile, I have always eaten foods that are good for ear health, like Brazil nuts, Bananas, Legumes and of course Spinach, and lots of it. Foods high in magnesium and zinc. I clean my ears with birthday cake candles. The spiral ridges along their length really seem to grasp the ear wax and do the trick. I light the candle first for awhile to give it extra adhesion ability to grab the wax. Not too hot, and I never insert wick side first. If I'm out of candles (usually after my birthday), I resort to using Q Tips. The only product that all doctors say not to stick in your ear; yet people still buy them, mostly for that. The product is still hanging in there, despite such warnings, which give it bad publicity..Good ear health is just as, if not even more important, than finger strengthening excercises and all the other things that true audiophiles do. Those little round plastic white things that the better pizza parlors put on the pizza cheese so if it gets mishandled, the cheese won't stick to the top of the box; make excellent cable risers.

@johnbritton895:  There's loads of apps for hearing tests.. Mimi seems to be one of the worst according to the reviews.

@jimw7ry replies to @johnbritton895: Perhaps because its the most accurate? And tells them they really do have hearing loss? Lots of folks hate the truth!

@gabrielgodwin9953:  Many years ago, I actually woke up near deaf in my left ear. It turned out that I had ever so slightly scraped my ear canal and the blood had run down and dried on the surface of my drum. (please take note- be exceedingly careful if you choose to use q-tips in your ears!)
After the cleaning process for both ears, I was placed in an isolation booth and given a similar test.
In this test it began with silence and a tone was gradually raised. At the point where I could hear the tone I was told to press a button.
The audiologist performing the test was incredulous, he kept asking me, "Can you really hear that!?!"
Of course I could... but that was about 25 years ago.
There are quite a few online tests that one can take for free if you search for them. The last time I did so, my hearing seemed to really suffer beginning around 12k - 16k... not completely gone but clearly compromised. By the time it reached 14.5 - 15 k it was disappearing into nothingness.

@darryldouglas6004:  I just wish I could not hear that frequency that Mariah Carey makes. 😃

@Douglas_Blake_579 replies to @darryldouglas6004: That's easy ... Don't listen to Mariah Carey ... problem solved.

@darryldouglas6004 replies to @darryldouglas6004: @@Douglas_Blake_579 Ah if only us who work in retail could choose the station. 😃

@Douglas_Blake_579 replies to @darryldouglas6004: @@darryldouglas6004
Well yes, I suppose there is that.

@maidsandmuses:  I can clarify one question you had: "mimi" is Japanese for "ear". It is usually written as the single kanji "耳", or it can be written in hiragana as "みみ".

@Facedebouc1:  I'm 59 and my range is approx 30hz to 15khz (but i need to increase the dbs amplitude for hearing the highs) and my left ear is less accurate...

@Lx655321:  My left and right 👂 hearing is different. The left one stops at 13 KHz, the right one at 14 kHz. BUT anatomy also plays a role as i discovered. When i pull on my left ear lobe, i can hear slightly better. I assume my 👂 holes are formed differently. 🤔

So here is my tip: You may improve your hearing by pulling one or both ear lobes in front of your stereo. For more comfort you could clip a weight. Make sure nobody is watching! 😄

@usaturnuranus:  I rated highly on both RNID & MIMI tests, even showed both ears to be nearly equal in perception. I already knew I generally had better hearing than a lot of my friends, we've played the "ticking wristwatch from across the room" and "high frequency animal deterrent" games a number of times, and I consistently beat my friends at both. But to see graphs is really interesting. BTW, turning 66 in a couple of weeks, and music is one of my great pleasures in life. Hey, maybe now she'll let me spend the serious $$$ for a better system (yeah, as if).

@rahulzagade3778:  what are safe levels of volume for headphones and in ears and how long can they be used in a day

@jeffchristian6798:  Nice, thank you.

@lohphat:  Before you test your hearing you have to calibrate your speakers.

If your speakers can’t reproduce the intended tones accurately, your “test” results are compromised.

@MrAdopado replies to @lohphat: That's why hearing tests are not carried out using speakers. They are done using calibrated headphones.

@TheLlandaff:  That mimi test sounds like the test I had at a works medical a few months back. It was a total farce in a room in a building that was far to noisy. I was guessing all the time.
Apparently 59 year old me has 46 year old ears.🤔

@Douglas_Blake_579:  I've always wondered how many mixing and mastering engineers have measurable loss of hearing, how many have tinnitus and how many have unequal left-right hearing. Based on some of my recordings, I'd venture "rather a lot".

I'm not an audio engineer but I just ran some test tones on myself... 35hz to 13khz at conversational levels pretty much in both ears, with just a hint of occasional tinnitis .... Not bad for 73 years old! (Test sweeps show that my speakers can produce 20khz sound)

@davidfromamerica1871 replies to @Douglas_Blake_579: My hearing is all screwed up.
Tinnitus ringing all the time.
Comes and goes with different audible ringing frequencies I have no control over. It is permanent hearing damage. Some of my Tinnitus is from work related noise for decades. . 🙄

Hearing Conversations are problematic for me. My eyesight is 20 x 25.. I can see lips moving 😀👍

73 years old I could be in worse shape, can’t complain, I am still vertical above ground..😀👍😎 I don’t do pharmaceutical dope from the Pharmaceutical drug cartels..😀 That and the Medical Industry Mafia. 😀

I listen to music at lower volumes now to save what I have left until I finally bail out
off this Planet. 😀

@EdEditz:  I had a professional hearing test done last year and they not only test you with headphones but they also have special phones that are placed on the bone behind your ears and I was surprised how good that works. I could hear almost as good through the bone as through my ears. I'm 54 but my upper limit is about 12kHz. I'm told that's reasonably good for my age.

@playbackamusicloversjourne8620:  I still enjoy my stereo system even though I spent 20 years running construction equipment such as excavators, bulldozers, rock haulers and large pneumatic rock drills (which could approach 130 dB noise level!) I always wore both ear plugs and tight fitting ear muffs to help protect my hearing. I do have a bit of tinnitus but otherwise can still make out when I switch cables and dacs, etc in my fairly high end system at moderate 70 dB +/- levels. I know I can't hear anything about 10 kHz though.

@blueslsd:  I assumed doing a hearing test on my monitor setup I could get to 8KH which is fine for audio work ( My tinnitus is at about 6KH ) 20H to 16KH. But! if I run the test backwards I can hear up to 11KH!! I assume that I get threshold shift at around 1KH and my hearing starts closing down hence the 8KH. Anyone else tried this? The test is on youtube. Cheers (ps I'm 65 years old)

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Thursday July 6, 2023

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David Mellor

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of Adventures In Audio.

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