Listening fatigue

angelmf2704

Well-known member
Nov 15, 2020
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545
Hello everyone, recently I tuned my headphones with an eq so I could have a better frequency respone (less bass, more detailed midrange and crisp highs). The sound quality has improved a lot, but I have struggled to listen music for more than 15 minutes. My ears hurt, like they were inflamated or something. Ith's hard to explain. I have only experience this with the EQ preset. I would like to keep it because the qualilty is really nice, is there any frequencies I could change to make it more comfortable?
Thanks in advance
 

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nopiano

Well-known member
I’d suggest using much subtler tweaks than shown. Many headphones are bass heavy, because that impresses folk that enjoy modern techno productions. But their unnatural balance is soon betrayed when listening to simple speech, say on a BBC news programme.
Reducing the lower frequencies may also mean you’re turning them up too loud. Take care of your hearing, because damage can’t be repaired.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Like when I walk by a parked car and the voice on its radio is so bassy it makes me wince...
Well, a bit like that I guess, but in your scenario you’re hearing no direct treble at all. That’s why all car audios sound boomy from outside, surely?

However, many ‘beat’ orientated ‘phones have that very emphasised bass that’s entirely unnatural.
 
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Deleted member 116933

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Hello everyone, recently I tuned my headphones with an eq so I could have a better frequency respone (less bass, more detailed midrange and crisp highs). The sound quality has improved a lot, but I have struggled to listen music for more than 15 minutes. My ears hurt, like they were inflamated or something. Ith's hard to explain. I have only experience this with the EQ preset. I would like to keep it because the qualilty is really nice, is there any frequencies I could change to make it more comfortable?
Thanks in advance
You have made a change but not for the better, it might be perceived as better sound but id say you have introduced an imbalance that is leading to pressure on the ear. I suspect your pushing the drivers too far and causing distortion.

Eq'ing for the most part needs to be done with a MIC in controlled conditions speakers or headphones alike (or you need a very very keen ear), manufacturers spend a long time balancing them out. If you have to add an EQ to a headphone /mod then headphone isn't for or fit for purpose. Sorry. A headphone is not affected by the environment so need for EQ other simple tone controls that are adjusted for taste eg bass/treble controls.

Id probably head over to a headphone furom to get a more concrete answer
 

angelmf2704

Well-known member
Nov 15, 2020
96
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545
You have made a change but not for the better, it might be perceived as better sound but id say you have introduced an imbalance that is leading to pressure on the ear. I suspect your pushing the drivers too far and causing distortion.

Eq'ing for the most part needs to be done with a MIC in controlled conditions speakers or headphones alike (or you need a very very keen ear), manufacturers spend a long time balancing them out. If you have to add an EQ to a headphone /mod then headphone isn't for or fit for purpose. Sorry. A headphone is not affected by the environment so need for EQ other simple tone controls that are adjusted for taste eg bass/treble controls.

Id probably head over to a headphone furom to get a more concrete answer
So, I'm adding pressure if I emphasize trebble. But, does it make more pressure if I decrease the amount of base? The treeble response out of box is good, so I rather decrease the bass amount because it feels very muddy and not great.
 

angelmf2704

Well-known member
Nov 15, 2020
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545
Well, a bit like that I guess, but in your scenario you’re hearing no direct treble at all. That’s why all car audios sound boomy from outside, surely?

However, many ‘beat’ orientated ‘phones have that very emphasised bass that’s entirely unnatural.
I get that, however this headphones are very comfortable and I liked them a lot. So that's what I tried to improve the sound.
 

angelmf2704

Well-known member
Nov 15, 2020
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And that is very important of course (especially for long listening sessions).
Out of interest, what is the make / model of your headphones?
What do you power them with?
Or do they sound as bad to you with any source?
The sound is not bad, I just don´t like to much bass honestly. Model: Sony WH-1000XM3 Power on Wired. My source is usually Tidal or Samsung Music in my S10e. I understand that this is not a high end setup, but it's portable and comfortable for me.
 

Gray

Well-known member
Interestingly another poster was using the same model wired.
His were hurting his ears and he was experimenting with EQ too.
Where he differed from you was that it was the higher frequencies bothering him.

Plenty of people EQ headphones, some wouldn't dream of not EQing them.
Ideally you wouldn't need to though.

Might be worth a look:
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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Hi OP, I use Sonarworks when I reference my mixes on headphones. Your headphones do seem bass heavy. And seem to have recessed mids also.

Based on average frequency response of your headphones and EQ you're using I'd suggest you try these settings

63Hz -8dB
125Hz -6dB
250Hz -2dB
500Hz +2dB
1k +1dB
2k +3dB
4k no change
8k -3dB
16k no change
 

angelmf2704

Well-known member
Nov 15, 2020
96
16
545
Hi OP, I use Sonarworks when I reference my mixes on headphones. Your headphones do seem bass heavy. And seem to have recessed mids also.

Based on average frequency response of your headphones and EQ you're using I'd suggest you try these settings

63Hz -8dB
125Hz -6dB
250Hz -2dB
500Hz +2dB
1k +1dB
2k +3dB
4k no change
8k -3dB
16k no change
That seems pretty good. I liked that HF are untouched. I will give it a try for sure. Have you tried this settings? Is it comfortable to you?
 

angelmf2704

Well-known member
Nov 15, 2020
96
16
545
Hi OP, I use Sonarworks when I reference my mixes on headphones. Your headphones do seem bass heavy. And seem to have recessed mids also.

Based on average frequency response of your headphones and EQ you're using I'd suggest you try these settings

63Hz -8dB
125Hz -6dB
250Hz -2dB
500Hz +2dB
1k +1dB
2k +3dB
4k no change
8k -3dB
16k no change
So far so good, I'm trying it for the next few days. I can still feel bass present, but it is tighter and more subtle. Vocals and instruments are super clear, it doesn't feel unatural. Thank you for the advice.
 
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insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
1,182
636
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So far so good, I'm trying it for the next few days. I can still feel bass present, but it is tighter and more subtle. Vocals and instruments are super clear, it doesn't feel unatural. Thank you for the advice.
Glad you found it useful. These filters are based on average frequency response of your headphones as measured by Sonarworks. I haven't got the same headphones so can't comment, but I was able to replicate the filters for your use. I do use Sonarworks to further flatten my AKG K371 which sound great either way but put my mind at ease knowing that there's very little colouration, which is important to me as I use them as one of the references when mixing.

Let us know how you get on after a few days.
 

Sliced Bread

Well-known member
Jul 28, 2010
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You could have a peak at 3-7 hz. In fact looking at your graph, this may very well be the case. If your eq allows for manual adjustments then it might be worth reducing this a little bit.

Assumjng you’re not using a mic with a target flat curve, adjusting EQ can be quite tricky. What might be a good tweak for one instrument can be detrimental to another.

I also agree with the other poster to keep eq changes small.

Ive found the EQ cheat sheet in this link quite useful for this sort of thing:

 
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Sliced Bread

Well-known member
Jul 28, 2010
466
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18,970
Actually, looking at the amount of bass you cut and how you’ve boosted the mids and upper mids, I do wonder if you would be happier with a pair of quality in-ear monitors like the Shure SE425’s
 

Vincent Kars

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Mar 6, 2021
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