Are my headphones STILL too loud? (long post and lots of pictures inside) - Gearspace.com
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Are my headphones STILL too loud? (long post and lots of pictures inside)
Old 10th January 2019
Here for the gear
Are my headphones STILL too loud? (long post and lots of pictures inside)

Hi. I'm a 32 year old male and I like to listen to music. It's almost an addiction that I can't live without. Well I have a slight hearing loss in my left ear and I have always listened a bit loudly.

Well in the last year I've really tried to change that seeing as how I have unilateral hearing loss. I bought a sound level meter back in October (link: https://www.amazon.com/BAFX-Products...ed+sound+meter) that i've been using to test decibel ratings with. I've gone around and tested sounds with this.

It comes with two different "weightings". One is A which is apparently what the ear is more sensitive too and C which takes lower frequencies into account. I have tested this all around and found out the following:

Bedroom Fan decibels 58 to 60 dbA, 65 to 67 dbC. Bathroom sink 73 to 75 decibels dbA, 70 to 72 dbC. Bathroom vent fan 58 to 60 decibels dbA, 65 to 67 dbC. Toilet after flushing 60 to 62 decibels both dbA and dbC. Stove fan 70 to 72 decibels dbA and 72 to 74 decibels dbC.

Now I can hear all those sounds somewhat except for my bedroom fan and the toilet after it's flushed (but I can hear it while its flushing) above my music. I listen at 60% of the volume on my note 8 and have the volume limit set so I can't turn it above 60% (or 9 steps out of 15). I use Spotify with the volume normalization setting on quiet and use the following settings. (Note: there's 8 pictures and they are kind of out of order so please look at them all.) At times I've listened for three hours, a fifteen minute break than another three hours. Since then I've listened for 80 minutes, 100 minutes, and 60 minutes. Here is the detail at what settings i'm listening to my music to:

Imgur link: Imgur: The magic of the Internet

The headphones I mainly use are Sony mdr-zx300 (24 impedance, 102 sensitivity), Creative Aurvana live 1 (32 impedance, 103 sensitivity), and the monoprice 8323 (40 impedance, 100 sensitivity). Same settings with all three headphones.

Could it be that even with these settings that I could be damaging my ears? I mean I can hear sounds in the low 70s decibel wise ok over it but I still have what seems like a temporary threshold shift when I'm done. What can I do? I'm going nuts. I have two bluetooth speakers but I can't use those at night as I have a roommate and live in an apartment. So any suggestions would be great! Thank you very much!

Last edited by Bikozi; 10th January 2019 at 02:33 PM.. Reason: Clarifying the volume normalization setting i use on spotify
Old 10th January 2019
Gear Nut
🎧 5 years
I don't want to be bad with you, but the best thing to do is to stop headphones and go for speakers instead.

The reason why so much people get tinnitus and hearing loss these days, is because of headphones and earplugs.

Having something pulling sound directly into your ears is not something good...
Old 10th January 2019
Here for the gear
What spotify says about volume normalization:

We currently use ReplayGain, which was the most recognized standard for calculating loudness when Spotify first started.

In the future, we plan to use a new standard for calculating loudness, called ITU 1770 (from the International Telecommunication Union). This defines the integrated LUFS (Loudness Units Full Scale) measure, and it’s what we recommend you use to measure the loudness of your tracks.

ReplayGain doesn’t specify a measurement unit for loudness, so we’re unable to give an exact measure in LUFS used by ITTU 1770. However, we adjust tracks to 3 dB higher than ReplayGain algorithm specifies, which is roughly equivalent to -14 dB LUFS, according to the ITU 1770 standard.

When we receive your audio file, we transcode it to delivery formats Ogg/Vorbis and AAC. At the same time, we calculate the loudness level and store that information as metadata in the transcoded formats of your track.

Playback levels are not adjusted when transcoding tracks. Tracks are delivered to the app with their original volume levels, and positive/negative gain compensation is only applied to a track while it’s playing. This gives users the option to adjust the Loudness Normalization if they want to.

Negative gain is applied to louder masters so the loudness level is at ca - 14 dB LUFS. This process only decreases the volume in comparison to the master; no additional distortion occurs.

Positive gain is applied to softer masters so that the loudness level is at ca - 14 dB LUFS. A limiter is also applied, set to engage at -1 dB (sample values), with a 5 ms attack time and a 100 ms decay time. This will prevent any distortion or clipping from soft but dynamic tracks.

The gain is constant throughout the whole track, and calculated to match our desired output loudness level.

Premium users can choose between the following volume normalization levels in their app settings:

Loud - equalling ca -11 dB LUFS (+6 dB gain multiplied to ReplayGain)

Normal (default) - equalling ca -14 dB LUFS (+3 dB gain multiplied to ReplayGain)

Quiet - equalling ca - 23 dB LUFS (-5 dB gain multiplied to ReplayGain) This is what I use.

This is to compensate for where playback isn’t loud enough (e.g. in a noisy environment) or dynamic enough (e.g. in a quiet environment).
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