Could a Car Audio Equalizer Fill Any Purpose — Because Aren't the Higher Frequencies More Dangerous?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Stacken77, Dec 26, 2020.

    1. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      Over the years, I have collected a lot of original car accessories for my Volvo. Since I have suffered from tinnitus induced by noise for 2 months now, I was thinking about auctioning off this sound equipment, but I had some second thoughts.

      I would never listen to loud music in the future and I usually drive with earplugs. Oftentimes I have the radio on, just so I can barely hear it.

      So, to my question; could there be any utility in keeping this setup to maybe lower the higher frequencies? From what I've understood, it's those frequencies that are the most dangerous. Any thoughts?

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      Best regards,
      Stacken77
       
    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      You have had noise induced tinnitus for less than two months. Your ears and auditory system will need time recover. For this to happen you need to take certain steps. Please read the following posts on my started threads: New to tinnitus what to do. Tinnitus, A Personal View. Hyperacusis, As I see it. The habituation process. I advise not to use headphones, earbuds or headset even at low volumes, more about this is mentioned in the above posts.
      Using noise reducing earplugs while you drive is okay for a short duration, but I advise not to make this long term as you risk, making your auditory system more sensitive to sound, by lowering its loudness threshold. More is explained in the post: Hyperacusis, As I see it.

      Equalisers were introduced around the 1980s, as a standalone unit/accessory for domestic audio HI-FI, if memory serves me correctly. Its purpose was to enable more control over the audio frequency than Bass, Treble and Balance controls will provide. I used an equaliser which was connected to the audio amplifier via the Tape & Record sockets. Back then I wasn't an experienced Audiophile as I am now. I later learned an equaliser degrades sound quality and doesn't improve it, as the audio signal is passing through what is essentially a filter. Keeping the single path as short as possible without going through Bass, Treble and Balance controls is the preferred method as no colouration will be introduced to the signal and thus impairing sound quality. This was also advised in HI-FI magazines. This is the reason you will not find Bass, Treble or Balance controls on good quality audio amplifiers. I have two audio amplifiers both having: Volume, source selector and On/Off switches and that is all, keeping the signal path as short as possible and not colouring or degrading the sound.

      Similarly, a good quality car audio system doesn't need a frequency equaliser for the above reasons. Whilst you will be able to tailor the sound to your requirements, please be aware what you'll be listening to is a degradation in sound quality. Playing your domestic audio system or car stereo in what's known a FLAT response is the preferred method. If your car or home stereo has Bass, Treble and Balance controls set them at Middle/Flat.

      Your ears will recover with time so please be patient, the inclusion of an equaliser is a step backwards, not forwards.

      All the best
      Michael
       
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    3. Pulsing Ear
      Frustrated

      Pulsing Ear Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Not needed with most modern cars since so many now come with a stereo that has an electronic EQ built in. Both of my wife's Volvo XC60s have it. One is a 2010 and the other a 2018. It's an electronic EQ screen that you pop up on the display.

      My Cadillac has one too. Not sure if its just "luxury" cars that have it but I'd guess no. My Porsche 911 has it and it is a 2007.
       
    4. GlennS

      GlennS Member Podcast Patron Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1992
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      My car has a 3-band EQ in the infotainment system and I do adjust it to compensate for my hyperacusis. A real graphic EQ like that would be even better. So yes, it can help.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      Thanks @Michael Leigh for the very insightful response!
      I took heed to this advice very early on and did away with my headset. So far it has been going pretty good. I'm using computer speakers instead, trying to find a balance in volume but finding it hard. Do you still listen to music, and if so, do you listen with very low volume?
      I've read some about it. Here, I also find it hard to find a balance in protection. I have never experienced any "spikes" after a drive, but I know that my car has a loud road noise, not to mention the noise made by the studs from the snow tires this time of year. Do you drive without ear plugs and have you ever experienced any negative effects in tinnitus by driving?
      I do still believe in recovery, I'm just going to give it time. I primarily were thinking if the equalizer could help in reducing any harmful frequencies, but maybe it's just more efficient to have the volume turned as low as possible?

      Best regards,
      Stacken77
       
    6. Pulsing Ear
      Frustrated

      Pulsing Ear Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Yeah, in that case it probably would help. The EQs we have are about 5 or 6 band, can't remember.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      I drive an old Volvo 850 from 94', so there ain't no built in advanced technologies. ;)
       
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    8. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      You are welcome @Stacken77. Most of the questions that you have regarding your tinnitus, which is "Noise induced", you will find in the posts that I have mentioned to you which are on my started threads. Please take your time and read them. There are other posts too that you might find helpful: Tinnitus, and the negative mindset & Acquiring a positive mindset. Please take your time and read all that I have mentioned. They are based on 24 years experience with noise induced tinnitus. Corresponding with people at tinnitus forums, by email and counselling some by telephone. You will also find some helpful people in this forum.
      I don't need to listen to music at very low volumes although when I first got tinnitus 24 years ago and severe hyperacusis, conversation with anyone resulted in my tinnitus increasing and making the hyperacusis worse. It took 2 years to recover.

      I can safely listen to audio up to 70 decibels. As mentioned in my post: Hyperacusis, As I see it, I went to a venue where the sound level was 100 decibes and stayed their for 30mins without any problems. This was a test and don't encourage anyone else to do it. You have tinnitus for just 2 months, your recovery will take time. Use low level sound enrichment as mentioned in my posts, during the day and especially at night.
      I only use earplugs when using noisy gardening equipment like a petrol lawnmower or electric power tools. My hyperacusis was cured over 20 years ago, using white noise generators as part of TRT and hope it remains this way.
      When driving my tinnitus is not affected in anyway and there's no need to wear earplugs.
      With time you will recover. My advice is not to use headphones, earbuds or headsets ever again. When you habituate which I'm confident that you will, you maybe tempted to use the above devices, I strongly advise that you don't.

      Adding a graphic equaliser to your car stereo will allow you to tailor and shape the sound but this comes a price. As I have mentioned in my post, an equaliser degrades sound quality it cannot enhance it. All good audio systems whether for the home or car do not have a graphic equaliser because it cannot improve the sound quality of the recording when it was originally mixed by the studio engineer. The audio system in my Lexus is a Mark Levison. Anyone that knows anything about high-end audio, will know Mark Levison is up there with the best. Whether it's audio for the home, car or studio. Mark Levison audio is meant to be set to Flat response and would be aghast to see the addition of an equaliser.

      I am a purist when it comes to audio. Whether I'm listening to classical, opera or jazz fusion in the car or on my home HI-FI system, I hear the music as it was intended by the audio engineer as a flat response. Bass, treble, balance all sound equal. Throughout the frequency range the music sounds well balanced and mixed. There's no need to adjust bass, treble etc or the need for an equaliser. If your system already had one fitted then I suppose it could help with your oversensitivity to sound, by adjusting it more to your liking while your ears heal. As I have said, this comes at a price, because you're not improving the sound but degrading it.

      Michael
       
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    9. Pulsing Ear
      Frustrated

      Pulsing Ear Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      On the home stereo I like using Audyssey for DSP. I use a Marantz receiver as a pre-amp and an Aragon dual mono block to power some Martin Logan Prodigy speakers up front. Never notice any tinnitus problems with it.
       
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    10. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      It's nice to meet a fellow Audiophile. I have never listened to Martin Logan speakers but know they are high-end electrostatics. Well done. I have two systems featuring ProAc speakers. D28s and Tablette Ref 8 signatures. Marantz SA11s3 CD player. Using its on-board DAC to stream music from my PC and output at 192 kHz/24 bit to my 300b tube amplifier. Using screened mains power cables and power conditioners.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    11. Pulsing Ear
      Frustrated

      Pulsing Ear Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Once you go electrostatic, I think most don't go back to dynamic. In the theater I have an electrostatic speaker for the center channel too.
       
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