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Old 8th April 2006, 02:55 PM   #1
bvan is offline bvan  Denmark
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Default compensating for hearing loss in one ear

Hi, I'm hoping someone can help me.

I have hearing loss in my right ear, about 8dbl from 8khz up, relitive to my left ear. I need to somehow booste these frequencies in the right channel.

I concidered modifying my acoustical treatments, and even surgery to my amp, but am now of the belief that modifying my speaker is the way to go. unfortunately I dont have any speaker buliding experience, so I've come here to see if what I have in mind can be done, and whether it might solve my problem or simply create more.

What I'm thinking of doing is using an extra, external tweeter with its own amp and crossover, mounted in a tiny cabnet and placed on top of my right speaker( speakers are Dynaudio Focus 140's)

I'm wondering, firstly, will it sound good, or will it cause phase/soundstaging or any other problems?

Secondly, is it easy enough to make a custom high-pass filter to allow only frequencies above 8khx through? I'm not concidering making this myself as it would be my first speaker d.i.y project, I was thinking rather of finding a d.i.y'er in my town who could do it. If it is infact possible?

If anyone can help I'd be really gratefull.

Cheers

Bevan
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Old 8th April 2006, 05:26 PM   #2
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I would suggest you get a commercial quality equalizer. I have one I got off eBay for $75 that originally sold for $250. I can hardly detect its presence in the sound chain, it is that "transparent."

With it I can selectively boost or cut almost any frequency or range of frequencies desired, plus I can boost slightly the volume in one channel.

All in all, all you can do is reach a compromise because whatever sound changes you make in one channel will be heard by both ears as the sound mixes and reflects within the room.

Now, if you want to use headphones, you could really adjust the equalizer to provide in one channel what that ear lacks in acuity.

Trying to modify one speaker is not a good idea.

Such is life. Good luck......
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Old 8th April 2006, 08:32 PM   #3
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Bevan,

I agree with Dick. As well as what he mentioned, there is a handy little bypass button for when your friends are over.
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Old 8th April 2006, 08:44 PM   #4
owdi is offline owdi  United States
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I'm of the opinion that you leave things alone and let your brain sort it out. My hearing is far from perfect, and I wouldn't want to do anything which could make it worse. I'm sure someone with much more knowledge of psychoacoustics could chime in, but I'm pretty sure your brain is already doing a good deal of equalizing for you.

As has been mentioned, increasing the volume of highs on the right speaker could be offensive to your left ear. Have you considered using a hearing aid of some time? Maybe you could diy it :-)

Dan
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Old 9th April 2006, 04:06 AM   #5
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Hi Bevan,

I agree with Dan in that you probably should not try to compensate for your hearing loss. Your auditory perception already includes compensation for any hearing deficiencies. To artifically equalise your hearing for reproduced music will sound unnatural.

It's similar to vision. We all have a blind spot where we cannot see anything at all. The brain fills in the missing area so that we never even notice. To have a very bright spot of light on a TV to compensate for the vision loss (were it possible) would alter the reproduced image, and hence represent a distortion.

A difference between ears is normal. A few dB above 8kHz doesn't seem a condition needing compensation to me.

Having said that, if you enjoy the music more with some equalisation or an additional tweeter, then go for it.

Cheers,
Ralph.
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Old 9th April 2006, 07:10 AM   #6
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Its strange to see this post because i recently discovered i have a slight hearing lost in one ear due to an accident when i was young. I am a young fellow; albeit i have been into Hi-Fi for quite a few years and only recently, into DIY. Many a time, i struggle to appreciate a system outside of my own. My deficiency, perhaps makes me more meticulous to how my hi-fi sounds.

Through systems that i have appreciated, these common theads exist:

1) systems that have lower floor noise makes details more apparent

2) speaker placement along with room tuning to compensate perceived hearing at the "sweet spot"

3) balance controls, ala "car stereo", to boost the above compensation.

I guess if these 3 done subtle can help you enjoy your system more whilst still trotting the hi-fi path.

Another approach

Get a Beringer digital crossover and hide a tweeter somewhere behind the main speaker. Its probably easier and more cosmetically friendly.

Hope I could give you some ideas.
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Old 9th April 2006, 07:56 AM   #7
sbrads is offline sbrads  United Kingdom
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I would say that if your system sounds better when you hold a cupped hand behind your dodgy ear, acting as a reflector to higher frequencies, then it's worth persuing a better fix. Personally I would go for directional speakers with the angles slightly off to favour the worst ear combined with a small balance adjustment for a central image.
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Old 9th April 2006, 08:13 AM   #8
el`Ol is offline el`Ol  Germany
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I wouldn`t correct since your brain already corrects based on your experiences in real life.
I don`t assume that you listen to your hifi equipment all day.
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Old 9th April 2006, 09:48 AM   #9
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I would let your brain sort it out.
I have different hearing on left and right ear too,
and from my experience it's really best not to think about it.
Your brain is a wonderful device,
if left to to it's job.


Good luck!
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Old 9th April 2006, 01:39 PM   #10
bvan is offline bvan  Denmark
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thanks very much for all your replies. i'm not yet decided what route i'll take, there are more options than i had expected. but i'm feeleing a bit better about my bad ear now, which helps.

cheers

Bevan
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