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Author Topic: DSP solution to hearing loss?  (Read 3836 times)


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DSP solution to hearing loss?
« on: May 10, 2015, 01:46:42 pm »

This must be an issue other music lovers have come across and therefore I am hoping someone already has a solution.

Like a lot of the “less young” population I suffer from hearing loss. Therefore I was surprised and delighted when I bought my Samsung galaxy S4 Mini to find that Samsung have an in-built app called Adapt Sound which does a “hearing test” on your hearing and adapts output of music played using Samsung’s music player to correct what comes out of the head phones based on the hearing test. Not a perfect solution but it improves my listening experience.

What I wondering is whether there is an equivalent solution for use on my Hi-Fi system. My music is ripped to Flac and stored on my Synology NAS drive. Currently music is streamed to my SONOS connect and output via my Rotel amplifier and Quad speakers. Therefore, is there some app/hardware that can do a hearing test on me and which I then stream “compensated” FLAC files through my Hi-Fi system?

I also manage my music collection using JRiver and a therefore s solution someone has proposed is:

"suggest you do a spectral analysis of your hearing using Audio-CD or similar (AUDIO-CD Hearing Test (compact disc for testing of hearing)). You can use the results to program compensatory filters into your system. Just be conservative, use soft (wide bandwidth) filters and do not attempt to correct fine aberrations or the most extreme ones. It will be trial and error.

I do not know what music player program you use but foobar, JRiver, etc. all have DSP capabilities/plug-ins for this."

What do JRiver users think of this solution and what JRiver DSP plug in would you recommend for this, and how would I go about it?



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Re: DSP solution to hearing loss?
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2015, 02:33:07 pm »

I can't answer your question, but you might find this thread interesting:

Jonathan DA

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Re: DSP solution to hearing loss?
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2015, 12:06:07 pm »

I know this an old thread, but I just ran across it and thought I'd share an anecdote about the topic.  My father has very bad hearing loss in both ears and has been wearing hearing aids for the last ~4 years.  He says music sounds awful through his hearing aids, so I suggested I could try to compensate using a parametric eq in JRiver. I took his audiogram from the doctor and created several different inverse peq curves to compensate.  Varying from complete correction to mild boosts in the higher frequencies.   He did an informal A/B test with each filter vs flat, while listening through headphones without his hearing aids.  My initial hypothesis was that one of the milder correction curves would be his preferred (the full correction curve sounded hideous to my ears).  Interestingly, he preferred the flat response in every instance.  The possibilities why a multiple--it could be that the eq wasn't precise enough, or that his hearing loss can't be compensated for in frequency boosts alone, etc.  The simplest theory, however, is that he's had bad hearing loss for so long (decades) that he's just more comfortable with the depressed highs in the flat response.  As long as he listens through headphones or IEMs that isolated him from outside noise and the complexities of room acoustics, he can still hear enough of the music to enjoy it.



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Re: DSP solution to hearing loss?
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2015, 12:27:19 pm »

If you are doing any boosting in PEQ, you really need to also use an Adjust the Volume filter to lower the overall volume by the maximum amount boosted. You may know this already, but if you don't do this you can easily clip the signal which sounds terrible and would make anyone prefer a flat response. I would also suggest that you don't do any boosting above 10 kHz. The majority of music is below this frequency. Also, any boosting can be uncomfortable even if you don't actually hear in this range.


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Re: DSP solution to hearing loss?
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2015, 04:53:19 pm »

The simplest theory, however, is that he's had bad hearing loss for so long (decades) that he's just more comfortable with the depressed highs in the flat response.

This is most likely the reason.

It takes time to adapt, and after an extended period with bad hearing it takes quite some time to re-adapt to a more correct sounding spectrum. Most of the better hearing aids of today has a built-in feature where they apply more of the intended correction over time, for exactly this reason.

Also, it is common to correct roughly half of what the audiogram test shows, as that is what most prefers long term.
Working on my 12 channel JRiver entertainment center :-)
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