Listening Fatigue

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Listening Fatigue
« on: 25 Apr 2018, 05:33 am »
I want to discuss 'Listening Fatigue' before moving on to other topics.
IMO there are mainly two types of listening fatigue- short term and long term.

Short Term:
The cause of short term fatigue can be distortion. The recording, poor source, over driven amp, speakers, you simply don't like the music, mental fatigue from active listening. Listening time can be anywhere from 1 to 4 hours of active listening.

Just take a break, no worries, your hearing will recover after having a rest or sleep.

Long Term:
Assuming you have a good low distortion stereo system. Long Term fatigue sets in after many hours of extended active listening.

In my case I thought I was going deaf. I had lost interest in active listening and took a break from active listening for a few weeks. I only played music at low volume in the background.

When I was mentally ready to return to active listening. I found with my system, I could listen for hours at a time without fatigue until I was mentally tired.

Active listening is more a function of mental conditioning as opposed to hearing. It takes many hours and you are pushing the boundaries of safe listening. Once you have achieved the mental conditioning for active listening, you can listen for hours until you are mentally tired. :smoke:

Comments?


FullRangeMan

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Re: Listening Fatigue
« Reply #1 on: 25 Apr 2018, 06:14 am »
In the 1970s I worked two years as stage roadie in a rock band, the ear fatigue from those nasty pro-audio drivers were brutal, at one point happened to me the Mati Otala effect, when I was listen a hi-fi system I feel lack of that bright in treble (plus 10% distortion) from the pro drivers :lol: my brain was conditioned.

If I had not left that job I would be deaf today, all people I knew in that area think pro-audio drivers have great sound.

GRACE RUBY

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Re: Listening Fatigue
« Reply #2 on: 15 Feb 2019, 05:00 am »
I want to discuss 'Listening Fatigue' before moving on to other topics.
IMO there are mainly two types of listening fatigue- short term and long term.

Short Term:
The cause of short term fatigue can be distortion. The recording, poor source, over driven amp, speakers, you simply don't like the music, mental fatigue from active listening. Listening time can be anywhere from 1 to 4 hours of active listening.

Long Term:
Assuming you have a good low distortion stereo system. Long Term fatigue sets in after many hours of extended active listening.

In my case I thought I was going deaf. I had lost interest in active listening and took a break from active listening for a few weeks. I only played music at low volume in the background.
Comments?

with CD's sounding so dam surreal, I almost only always listen to upper end rigs,
and with that later mentioned arena, its almost always sibilants, treble, and other junk between 1000 and 16,000 Hzt that hurts my ears.. fact is, the search for "Detail" over what makes music music--TONE, has destroyed the industry.
 
But all just in my very humble opinion,   :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown:  I mean I m just saying.
« Last Edit: 15 Feb 2019, 08:58 pm by GRACE RUBY »

OzarkTom

Re: Listening Fatigue
« Reply #3 on: 16 Feb 2019, 12:52 pm »
My biggest complaint has been AC fatigue. Much of it comes before midnight, after midnight much less or no fatigue. Battery systems have solved a lot of the problems over the years. I am happy my AC system does not exhibit any fatigue any longer.

RandyH

Re: Listening Fatigue
« Reply #4 on: 16 Feb 2019, 04:37 pm »
I don't know how else to explain it...and indeed the explanation may only work for me but I seem to respond to the sound of a system in one of two ways.  Either I am listening to a system that is putting on a show or I am listening to a system that pulls me in.  In my case I experienced it with a change in speakers.  I had a nice pair of monitor speakers...lots of detail..midrange. etc...a really nice sounding system.  As good as it sounded I found myself listening less and less and when I did listen my sessions were usually shorter.  I upgraded these speakers a couple of years ago...and WOW, my listening experience is totally different.  I can literally listen for hours and when I stop I am usually still wanting more.  It is hard to pinpoint exactly how these speakers are different except to say that the monitors were a bit more flashy but lacked the ability to draw me in.  The new speakers have a subtle characteristic that just pulls me in.  The new speakers are Vandersteen Quatro CTs...and are substantially more expensive than the monitors so I am sure there is a general upgrade in quality...but the difference between the two is not so much noticed upon first listening but only after an extended period of time.  I think the adage is true that the characteristic of a component that is immediately striking is the same characteristic that will drive you crazy over extended listening. I think much of this listening fatigue must affect us in a subtle, almost subliminal way.

Elizabeth

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Re: Listening Fatigue
« Reply #5 on: 16 Feb 2019, 06:00 pm »
Fatigue (for audiophiles) seems to come from listening to 'too loud' music. Or, to music with problems in the treble. Sometimes with damaged equipment the bad sound for a midrange driver can ruin the experience. but that is usually very noticeable, and fixable. The largest group of complaints seems to be the nasty treble variety. Some subtle enough the person does not even know why they do not want to listen!
(At some point in the distant past I sold a nice Hafler DH110 I really enjoyed to buy the first digital processing preamp from Sony. After tiring of the bells and whistles on the Sony, I stopped listening to music. When i finally realized the Sony was killing my interest, I got rid of it.)

Plenty of solutions.. To me though, folks who say their speakers are "too bright" usually have some upstream problem, and not a speaker problem. MY Magnepan 20.7 have a five foot ribbon tweeter.. if there is a problem upstream, the Magnepan is going to show it.

witchdoctor

Re: Listening Fatigue
« Reply #6 on: 16 Feb 2019, 06:54 pm »
Very timely post, I found Quboz is a little two bright in my system and listening fatigue set in. I tried redbook and hirez tracks, just too much micro detail and it gets fatiguing. That never happened to me with Tidal or even Spotify.

OzarkTom

Re: Listening Fatigue
« Reply #7 on: 16 Feb 2019, 08:01 pm »
Very timely post, I found Quboz is a little two bright in my system and listening fatigue set in. I tried redbook and hirez tracks, just too much micro detail and it gets fatiguing. That never happened to me with Tidal or even Spotify.

That answers my question. I hate brightness. And I can get Tidal at half price with the military rate.

geowak

Re: Listening Fatigue
« Reply #8 on: 17 Feb 2019, 01:34 am »
"That answers my question. I hate brightness. And I can get Tidal at half price with the military rate." OzarkTom

Thanks for your service, I am a veteran too. I would like to add, as many have before, the quality of original recordings is very important to the end product one might hear in Tidal as an MQA album. Something may sound bright, it have have limited freq range, and the experience of the producer in some recordings really makes or breaks the SQ. Some recordings were done in mono! So keep that in mind when evaluating MQA albums in Tidal

SET Man

Re: Listening Fatigue
« Reply #9 on: 17 Feb 2019, 03:22 am »
Hey!

    I love listening to music on my system, I love to just sit in a dimmed light, a glass of red wine and my MacBook Pro and just listen to music. I usually like to listen to music in the evening usually between 7PM to 11PM. Although, when I do that after work I tend to fall asleep after a long day of work. So, my best time is on my days off when I'm fully rested a night before. But unfortunately I don't have much time lately to actually sit and listen  :?

   Anyway, there's one thing that always cause listening fatigue... very compressed recordings! Yes, there are some musics that I like, but so badly compressed that I find it hard to listen too. Now that's really give me listening fatigue.

Buddy

GRACE RUBY

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Re: Listening Fatigue
« Reply #10 on: 17 Feb 2019, 06:58 am »
Hey!

    I love listening to music on my system, I love to just sit in a dimmed light, a glass of red wine and my MacBook Pro and just listen to music. I usually like to listen to music in the evening usually between 7PM to 11PM. Although, when I do that after work I tend to fall asleep after a long day of work. So, my best time is on my days off when I'm fully rested a night before. But unfortunately I don't have much time lately to actually sit and listen  :?
Buddy

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« Last Edit: 17 Feb 2019, 09:21 am by GRACE RUBY »

GRACE RUBY

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Re: Listening Fatigue
« Reply #11 on: 17 Feb 2019, 07:21 am »
I don't know how else to explain it...and indeed the explanation may only work for me but I seem to respond to the sound of a system in one of two ways.  Either I am listening to a system that is putting on a show or I am listening to a system that pulls me in.   I think the adage is true that the characteristic of a component that is immediately striking is the same characteristic that will drive you crazy over extended listening. I think much of this listening fatigue must affect us in a subtle, almost subliminal way.

As a therapist, one of the main first goals is to get folks to listen to their body's,
40 % percent of what a therapist can tell a client is already being said by the clients body.
The american life style in the main is to run out the door and go into slow induced head injury by life style.
The most physically fatiguing dam-ageing rigs i have ever heard 50 % of the time are the most expensive.
treble is nerve wracking for a cognitive normal.

people have not relaxed in years.
« Last Edit: 17 Feb 2019, 09:26 am by GRACE RUBY »

alanrab

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Re: Listening Fatigue
« Reply #12 on: 26 Nov 2019, 10:28 pm »
I had fatigue only when a pair of speakers made my tinnitus worse. Some speakers do it the brand doesn't seem to matter.

It's just impossible to sit in front of, while others I can listen to for hours.

I actually had to return a really beautiful pair of speakers I did not demo because the BE tweeter was killing me could not sit in front of them for 5 minutes. Same brand non-BE tweeters I sit in front of every day for hours and no issues. Same brand higher level BE tweeter demoed and no issues. - So future purchase after another demo to make sure. It's bizarre. Even tried soft-dome and that was too tough so not sure exactly the issue, just know that if a speaker causes my tinnitus to go, I cannot sit in front of it for long.


audioengr

Re: Listening Fatigue
« Reply #13 on: 26 Nov 2019, 10:37 pm »
Having listened to a lot of different systems over 30 years I have come to some conclusions:

1) Two types of distortion cause most fatigue: Harmonic Distortion and Jitter Distortion
2) When either of these are high, it is almost impossible to talk to another person when the music is playing at any volume
3) When distortion is high, my tinnitus in one ear starts to buzz.  I must back-down on the volume.

Since I have been able to reduce jitter to unprecedented levels I have literally had no tinnitus attacks and I can listen to music at glass-breaking levels without fatigue. I can even have the volume fairly loud and easily talk over it to another person.

Based on my experience, it is more of a source issue than a speaker issue.  Some systems with poor active preamps may also exacerbate the situation.

I do agree on the massively compressed recordings.  Just try to listen to Bruno Mars albums...

FullRangeMan

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Re: Listening Fatigue
« Reply #14 on: 27 Nov 2019, 12:47 am »
I suspect Jitter Distortion is all about xover in a multi way loudspeaker.

S Clark

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Re: Listening Fatigue
« Reply #15 on: 27 Nov 2019, 03:01 am »
I suspect Jitter Distortion is all about xover in a multi way loudspeaker.
What???   I know you're a fan of single driver speakers, but is there anything to support this claim?

FullRangeMan

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Re: Listening Fatigue
« Reply #16 on: 27 Nov 2019, 03:31 am »
What???   I know you're a fan of single driver speakers, but is there anything to support this claim?
I was asking to Steve N, but since jitter is time fluctuations I suspect there is due the action of inductors and caps to attenuate the signal and impedance, especially in high order xovers.

FireGuy

Re: Listening Fatigue
« Reply #17 on: 27 Nov 2019, 12:58 pm »
Don't see a particular mention that the fatigue factor is solely relative to loudspeakers. 

With that said I'll go ahead and toss in this effect relative to headphones.  Of these I routinely switch out (Beyer T1, Senn HD 800 & HIFIMAN HE-400) for me there's never been an instance where I needed to take a listening break.  Never.  Maybe due to the quality drivers or the on-ear sensation.  Mid to high level cans is one caveat I'll say is applicable.

jriggy

Re: Listening Fatigue
« Reply #18 on: 27 Nov 2019, 02:31 pm »
Having listened to a lot of different systems over 30 years I have come to some conclusions:

1) Two types of distortion cause most fatigue: Harmonic Distortion and Jitter Distortion
2) When either of these are high, it is almost impossible to talk to another person when the music is playing at any volume
3) When distortion is high, my tinnitus in one ear starts to buzz.  I must back-down on the volume.

Since I have been able to reduce jitter to unprecedented levels I have literally had no tinnitus attacks and I can listen to music at glass-breaking levels without fatigue. I can even have the volume fairly loud and easily talk over it to another person.

Based on my experience, it is more of a source issue than a speaker issue.  Some systems with poor active preamps may also exacerbate the situation.

I do agree on the massively compressed recordings.  Just try to listen to Bruno Mars albums...

Happy to see that my thoughts are with someone as knowable as Steve. After doing my current-best of ridding the system of distortion and some jitter, I can listen louder and longer now without “setting my ears off.”

 And speaking to ‘excessive detail’ adding to mental OR brightness/treble related fatigue, then there is still an issue; either simple gear synergy, power issues (not mentioned much herein yet), or distortions. A hi-fi system should be able to handle any level of inner-detail IF properly balanced.


OzarkTom

Re: Listening Fatigue
« Reply #19 on: 27 Nov 2019, 02:45 pm »
AC distortion has been my long time frustration. I don't have it now, but I would have to wait after midnight sometimes for the fatigue to go away. Battery systems never had that problem.