Having Issues Listening to Music — Can This Further Damage My Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by FrontRoomFanatic, Nov 6, 2019.

    1. FrontRoomFanatic

      FrontRoomFanatic Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Damage (Music)
      I bought a digital streamer and speakers recently. I’d borrowed both from a HiFi shop a few months after getting tinnitus. I decided to give up headphones and wanted to use speakers instead to allow the leaks in music to dissipate before reaching my ears.

      I purchased a set of the speakers, and I purchased the streamer (which was the same model but was a 2nd generation which had a new DAC... which is a digital audio converter).

      The set that I borrowed I found didn’t raise the tone/volume of my tinnitus. But the stuff I borrowed seems to a little.

      The DAC in the steamer is from the same company so I’d think that this would be similar to the previous version. The speakers are new and they say it can take 100 hours for new speakers to ‘bed in’. And the speaker cable is different but is oxygen free copper so I would think this would be fine. I’m not listening to a high volume (I use a dB meter to keep track). The sound coming from the speakers doesn’t sound ‘bright’... quite the opposite. They sound warm and non fatiguing.

      Does anyone have any experience of this or any advice? I’m not planning to listen to music a whole lot but certainly a couple times a week. Maybe just at weekends. I’m thinking I have hyperacusis/reactive tinnitus. If I keep listening will this further damage my tinnitus? I’ve read that music is supposed to help so I’m hoping I can keep going with enjoying music. From the dB reader I’m listening to the level between 47dB and 60dB. I’m aware that there can be an ~8dB discrepancy with these readers so I’m thinking this is still in a good ball park for ‘safe’ volume.
       
    2. HeavyMantra
      Bugridden

      HeavyMantra Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2017. Worsened 10/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphones and/or HPPD?
      Give details about the setup you're using.
       
    3. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @FrontRoomFanatic

      Since you have just acquired tinnitus and I assume it was noised induced caused by headphones? It is good idea not to use headphones preferably never ever again even at low volume. I am an Audiophile and reading your post get the impression like listening to music a lot and realise then necessity to have good quality Audio gear to appreciate music to the full.

      There is nothing wrong with listening to music the way you intend but if I were you, I would take things slow since you are new to tinnitus and also have hyperacusis. Please do not put your trust in decibel meters. When I first got tinnitus 23 years ago, playing my HI-FI at 30db very low spiked the hyperacusis. It was a very difficult time for me so I advise you to be careful.

      I don't know how far you are into Audio equipment, but if you want the best sound that will be smooth and without harshness in the mid to high frequency ranges, your best option is Valve/tube amplification. Solid State amplifiers good as some are, cannot match the superior sound of Valves/Tubes and that is a fact. All serious Audiophiles use Valve/Tube amplification. If you are really serious about audio reproduction then consider mains purifiers, equipment supports, specialist mains cables that supply electricity to your audio equipment and of course getting your listening room acoustically treated would be a good idea.

      Take care
      Michael
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FrontRoomFanatic

      FrontRoomFanatic Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Damage (Music)
      Hi there,

      I’m using:

      Dali Oberon 5
      Bluesound Powernode 2i Gen2
      Chord Clearway Cable
      Cambridge Audio Premium Bananaplugs

      Any input appreciated. Thank you.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FrontRoomFanatic

      FrontRoomFanatic Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Damage (Music)
      Thanks. I’m planning on rationing my listening. I’m a bit OCD so I feel I’ve spent enough time researching (5 months) and I’m a bit fatigued with it all now. I have OCD and any more will likely put me off my head, lol. I was aware that the dB meters are often unreliable so I’m using them mostly as a steer while setting the Powernode 2i to a -30dB to keep it in a safe range.

      Because this is all new to me, I’m just scared of making things worse. However, I’m aware I can’t realistically hide from sound as that will definitely make things worse. I’m putting faith in continuing to listen to music being beneficial. I’m just hoping this is well placed and not to my detriment.

      Edit: Sorry, yes I believe it was headphone induced tinnitus.
       
    6. HeavyMantra
      Bugridden

      HeavyMantra Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2017. Worsened 10/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphones and/or HPPD?
      Not much to add on top of what Michael already said. Just that an untreated room can cause problems so if you don't have an acoustically treated room you might want to look into that

      Phase problems is a common cause of fatigue. Go for silk dome or other soft dome tweeters and avoid metal tweeters if you can.

      It will be certain frequencies more than dB levels that cause problems, is what most people report.

      Anyway gotta run, maybe I can expand on this a bit more later
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FrontRoomFanatic

      FrontRoomFanatic Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Damage (Music)
      Thanks. The Oberons have wood pulp woofers and a soft dome tweeter so that’s why I went for those. I do wonder if I’m imagining the increase. Going from music to no music may be bringing it back to my consciousness moreso than at other times. Perhaps anyway.
       
    8. HeavyMantra
      Bugridden

      HeavyMantra Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2017. Worsened 10/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphones and/or HPPD?
      Maybe, I know I'm bothered by my T the most when listening to music since I focus on hearing everything at those times, and my T is so high pitched that its' frequency isn't occupied by frequencies in music. It just sits on top of the music instead and cannot be ignored

      Also listening to music has involved a great deal of stress and fear for me which certainly doesn't help
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FrontRoomFanatic

      FrontRoomFanatic Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Damage (Music)
      That sounds similar to myself then. I’m going to just carry on but only listen at weekends, low volume, and for no more than 40-60 mins at a time. There’s nothing more I can do now I don’t think. I could get a more in-depth streamer that allows me to EQ to remove certain frequencies but I’d never know which ones. And I’m pretty OCD so I’d always be tweaking things and never getting anywhere.
       
    10. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @FrontRoomFanatic

      You have to realise what you are dealing with when it comes to tinnitus caused by noise trauma especially when hypercusis is present. Your auditory needs time to recover and this applies to most people with noise induced tinnitus. For some people this can take up to 2 years it did in my case and this was having TRT treatment. If you are not careful you could make your tinnitus worse. Low frequency bass can be just as harmful as midrange and treble frequencies and it some cases more so.

      I was unable to listen to my HI-FI for 2 years. I am not saying this will apply to you but you have recently acquired tinnitus and therefore you have to be mindful of what you are doing. It all depends how severe the tinnitus is and whether you will need treatment in the future to help with habituation. Hyperacusis, (sensitivity to sound) if you have this, takes time to recover from and in some cases needs specialist treatment. If this does not improve by itself you will need to seek professional treatment, otherwise you might be prone to frequent episodes of tinnitus spiking.

      I do not mean to throw a dampener on you wanting to enjoy your music. However, you need to fully understand what tinnitus is about and what it can do to person should it become severe and intrusive. It is not something to take lightly that I assure you. Please click on the links below and read my articles on tinnitus, that I think you will find helpful, if you want to know more about this condition.

      Please read the posts slowly and thoroughly.

      All the best
      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/new-to-tinnitus-what-to-do.12558/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/acquiring-a-positive-mindset.23969/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-and-the-negative-mindset.23705/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/the-habituation-process.20767/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/is-positivity-important.23150/
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FrontRoomFanatic

      FrontRoomFanatic Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Damage (Music)
      I’m actually not so sure if I have Hyperacusis. I think I’m relating that to my reactive Tinnitus (like the increase when listening to music) but I think this is two separate things? I’ve just read a pamphlet there and it seems like low level noises like the rustling of leaves or running water would be sore to listen to? I don’t have that level of sensitivity at all, just the increase in T after music.
       
    12. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Many people with Noise induced tinnitus also have hyperacusis, sensitivity to sound. There is no such thing as Reactive Tinnitus. This term was made up in tinnitus forums. Your tinnitus is reacting to sound but it is hyperacusis. The condition comes in various levels of sensitivity. From what you describe I'm fairly certain that you have hyperacusis. This may improve on its own in time or specialist treatment maybe required. Please read my post above: Hyperacusis, As I see It.

      Please read the post below that I wrote on another thread.

      All the best
      Michael


      Many people that are new to "noise induced tinnitus" will experience what you are going through at the moment. Your reactive tinnitus is actually: Hyperacusis, an oversensitivity to the auditory system and often accompanies Noise induced tinnitus. The term Reactive tinnitus was made up in tinnitus forums and is frequently used to describe this oversensitivity to sound that you are experiencing. However, there is no such condition. Those reading this post and wish to challenge me on it, will get no reply as I have discussed RT many times in this forum. Some in the medical profession have latched on to this word and attempted to make it into a condition that is treatable alongside hyperacusis. Please do not get swept into believing it because it isn't true.

      It will take time for your tinnitus and auditory system to recover from the noise trauma. This may require seeing a Hearing Therapist or Audiologist trained in tinnitus and hyperacusis management and treatment. Contrary to what some people believe, hyperacusis is treatable and can be completely cured in many instances, with or without specialist treatment. Please keep in mind, if hyperacusis does not improve naturally over time or specialist treatment is not sought, it will always remain a problem and will manifest itself by one's continuous oversensitivity to sound resulting in tinnitus spiking.

      Some people address this anomaly by using earplugs and abstaining from certain sounds in normal everyday environment. What often isn't realized, this can make the tinnitus and oversensitivity worse, and thus becoming a vicious circle without beginning or end. It is treatment that is required not earplugs and deliberately keeping away from normal everyday sounds.

      If you want to help yourself I advise using sound enrichment whenever possible and particularly at night. Someone with tinnitus and hyperacusis that sleeps in a quiet room risks making the conditions worse. Please click on the links below and read my articles which explain tinnitus, hyperacusis and sound enrichment in more detail.
      I advise you not to use headphones even at low volume as you risk making your tinnitus and hyperacusis worse.

      Michael
       
    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FrontRoomFanatic

      FrontRoomFanatic Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Damage (Music)
      Thanks for the info. I’m thinking now that maybe I’ll only listen to music every 2nd weekend. One album in a Saturday and one on a Sunday. For the next 6 months maybe. Would that be advisable?
       
    14. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @FrontRoomFanatic

      I think that is a good idea. Your ears need a rest and if you listen to your HI-FI frequently I don't think your ears and auditory system will get that rest. I bought a Bose Wave Music system many years ago for this reason. If you haven't heard one of these then be ready for a surprise. The sound quality is superb, it is like listening to a HI-FI sytem in miniture form. Do not be fooled by its small size as the sound can fill an average size room with ease. I am a very critical Audiophile and sound quality is paramount to me. The Bose will deliver high quality sound without the very low Bass frequencies that speakers on stands or floor standing can generate which will irritate the ears for someone new to Noise induced tinnitus.

      I suspect that you live in the UK? If so go to the Bose UK website and look for Bose Musicwave system. You can even try it at home for 30 days and return it if not pleased for a full refund. I promise you once you hear it you will not return it.

      All the best
      Michael
       
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FrontRoomFanatic

      FrontRoomFanatic Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Damage (Music)
      I’ve paid for the system now and while I could return it, I’m very happy with how it sounds. So I’ll resign myself to fortnightly listening for the next 6 months. I can always sell it should things not work out.

      I also have a audiology appointment due soon. I’ll speak with them about this also.
       
    16. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @FrontRoomFanatic

      Whatever you do Don't sell your HI-FI. Your ears will recover. I still use my Bose and I have two HI-FI systems at home. HI-FI has a low resale value that's why I never went down this road. keep your system and don't sell it.

      Best of luck
      Michael
       

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