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Question: Does this sound rediculous to you?
Yes. It makes no sense at all.   -5 (55.6%)
Mostly, but it kind of makes sense.   -3 (33.3%)
A little, but it mostly makes sense.   -0 (0%)
No, it makes perfect sense.   -1 (11.1%)
Total Voters: 9

Author Topic: "Low quality sounds damage ears" - Do you think this sounds rediculous?  (Read 4021 times)
jaychant
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"Low quality sounds damage ears" - Do you think this sounds rediculous?
« on: May 27, 2009, 11:28:08 pm »

My Geo-Physics teacher once said something that I now think sounds totally ridiculous. He claimed that "low-quality" sounds actually damage your ears, defining "low quality" as being for example headphones/earbuds instead of normal speakers.

Do you think that this sounds ridiculous?

I think it sounds ridiculous, but I thought I'd ask the older and wiser nerds from the UQM fan club. Tongue
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Dragon
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Re: "Low quality sounds damage ears" - Do you think this sounds rediculous?
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2009, 11:48:55 pm »

That sounds (haha) like it's right up there with wooden volume knobs affecting sound fidelity.
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Re: "Low quality sounds damage ears" - Do you think this sounds rediculous?
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2009, 11:58:22 pm »

That sounds (haha) like it's right up there with wooden volume knobs affecting sound fidelity.

What's this about wooden knobs?
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Draxas
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Re: "Low quality sounds damage ears" - Do you think this sounds rediculous?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2009, 12:10:56 am »

The damage you do to your hearing with headphones / earbuds isn't from "low quality" or any other kind of bunk; it's from too high volume for extended periods of time. Keep the volume on your MP3 players to a reasonable level, kids, and your hearing will thank you later.

***The More You Know!***
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Re: "Low quality sounds damage ears" - Do you think this sounds rediculous?
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2009, 11:29:26 am »

Perhaps the type of noise you listen to does matter at higher volumes though? Different sounds might put the ear drums under different kinds of stress. The type of music you listen to probably matters more than the quality of the sound, so don't listen to low quality music Tongue
« Last Edit: May 28, 2009, 11:31:15 am by Arne » Logged
AngusThermopyle
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Re: "Low quality sounds damage ears" - Do you think this sounds rediculous?
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2009, 01:16:46 pm »

Perhaps when he was referring to quality, he was actually referring to genre.  For example, perhaps he believes that a "low quality" genre of music (such as heavy metal or rap) is more damaging on your ears than "high quality" music (such as classical) at equal decibel levels.

In any case, I think you need to get some clarification as to what he actually meant.
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Re: "Low quality sounds damage ears" - Do you think this sounds rediculous?
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2009, 01:38:22 pm »

Perhaps the type of noise you listen to does matter at higher volumes though? Different sounds might put the ear drums under different kinds of stress.
Interestingly, I just googled ``ear drum resonant frequency" and some worrying results turned up . . .

For example, perhaps he believes that a "low quality" genre of music (such as heavy metal or rap) is more damaging on your ears than "high quality" music (such as classical) at equal decibel levels.
High quality music like classical usually has much greater dynamic range, meaning that one often has to turn it up louder. Probably still not a problem unless one is into headbanging Stravinsky or something Wink
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Re: "Low quality sounds damage ears" - Do you think this sounds rediculous?
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2009, 02:05:11 pm »

High quality music like classical usually has much greater dynamic range, meaning that one often has to turn it up louder. Probably still not a problem unless one is into headbanging Stravinsky or something Wink
Mosh pit with Rachmaninoff.  Hell Yeah!

Perhaps the type of noise you listen to does matter at higher volumes though? Different sounds might put the ear drums under different kinds of stress.
The only mechanism which can damage your hearing is a change in pressure against your eardrum, or more importantly the rate at which that pressure changes.  I suppose (although I haven't googled and am just making this up) that one could listen to louder bass frequencies because the waves are longer and thus the relative pressure changes are slower.  Dunno though.

Jaychant, what you teacher might have been refering to is a badly encoded MP3 which makes those ****ing horrible (and very loud) popping sounds; that could count as low quality....  Also google "idiot audiophiles" for the wooden knob thing.  There's this strange and bizarre sub culture of sound fanatics who believe that one can get better sounds by painting arrows on audio cables to massage the electrons or that by using wooden volume dials one creates less harmonic interference.  Or something.  It's all a load of bollocks really.

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Re: "Low quality sounds damage ears" - Do you think this sounds rediculous?
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2009, 04:13:54 pm »

The damage you do to your hearing with headphones / earbuds isn't from "low quality" or any other kind of bunk; it's from too high volume for extended periods of time. Keep the volume on your MP3 players to a reasonable level, kids, and your hearing will thank you later.

***The More You Know!***

There is a vocational school on my bus route so at times I share the bus with 15-18 year old boys and girls. It's amazing what kind of volume they squeeze out of those earbuds. Sitting several seats away, I can still hear the music just as well as if it was on loudspeaker. Sometimes I'll get a sensory overload because there are five different kids with five different songs playing around me. It saddens me that they're probably all going to be half deaf in a decade, but what can you do?
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Re: "Low quality sounds damage ears" - Do you think this sounds rediculous?
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2009, 05:47:47 pm »

I expect they're half-deaf already. That's why they have it up that high.
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Re: "Low quality sounds damage ears" - Do you think this sounds rediculous?
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2009, 06:27:51 pm »

Probably. It's a vicious cycle that perpetuates itself until you can't hear anything.
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Re: "Low quality sounds damage ears" - Do you think this sounds rediculous?
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2009, 09:08:37 pm »

The damage you do to your hearing with headphones / earbuds isn't from "low quality" or any other kind of bunk; it's from too high volume for extended periods of time. Keep the volume on your MP3 players to a reasonable level, kids, and your hearing will thank you later.

***The More You Know!***

There is a vocational school on my bus route so at times I share the bus with 15-18 year old boys and girls. It's amazing what kind of volume they squeeze out of those earbuds. Sitting several seats away, I can still hear the music just as well as if it was on loudspeaker. Sometimes I'll get a sensory overload because there are five different kids with five different songs playing around me. It saddens me that they're probably all going to be half deaf in a decade, but what can you do?

They have volume set to max (or close to it). I don't understand this either. For me, if the volume is much more than half max, it starts to hurt my ears. My guess is that they go to too many live performances (concerts), or another possibility is that they want to drown out all sound around them.

Quote
Perhaps when he was referring to quality, he was actually referring to genre.  For example, perhaps he believes that a "low quality" genre of music (such as heavy metal or rap) is more damaging on your ears than "high quality" music (such as classical) at equal decibel levels.

While the music he listens to is boring by my standards, he doesn't listen to classical. He listens to old rock (classic rock?) music.

He made a claim that most of the concerts he had been to, at bars, were "low quality" and he also said that headphones are "low quality". He never said that his rock-and-roll music was bad quality and he never said that classical music was good quality. In fact, besides the fact that he listened to rock-and-roll, he didn't mention genre at all.

Quote
Jaychant, what you teacher might have been refering to is a badly encoded MP3 which makes those ****ing horrible (and very loud) popping sounds; that could count as low quality....  Also google "idiot audiophiles" for the wooden knob thing.  There's this strange and bizarre sub culture of sound fanatics who believe that one can get better sounds by painting arrows on audio cables to massage the electrons or that by using wooden volume dials one creates less harmonic interference.  Or something.  It's all a load of bollocks really.

He made no references to MP3 players, just headphones. In the context he put it in, a CD player and an MP3 player are no different: they both use headphones. He also said that "headphones are not as bad [as ear buds]" because they are over a wider area.

I should make something clear: He has shown himself to be rather stupid at times and is a horrible teacher. I have no doubt that he is wrong about this.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2009, 09:13:25 pm by jaychant » Logged

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Re: "Low quality sounds damage ears" - Do you think this sounds rediculous?
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2009, 09:40:31 pm »

I think if you substitute "high volume" for "low quality", his statements make perfect sense in every case. Concerts, especially at small venues like bars, tend to be much louder than necessary. And earbuds can also seem louder than headphones when set to the same volume, because the buds are placed inside the ear canal.

Why he insists on referring to this as "low quality" is a mystery, though.
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Re: "Low quality sounds damage ears" - Do you think this sounds rediculous?
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2009, 09:45:20 pm »

Concerts, especially at small venues like bars, tend to be much louder than necessary.

Pretty often if you go to a bar here they'll give out free earplugs. If not, I usually have a spare copy with me anyhow. No use in blowing your eardrums because of some half arsed band. I've full understanding for the bands using high volume, but you need to be sensitive enough to protect yourself.
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Re: "Low quality sounds damage ears" - Do you think this sounds rediculous?
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2009, 09:51:46 pm »

I think if you substitute "high volume" for "low quality", his statements make perfect sense in every case. Concerts, especially at small venues like bars, tend to be much louder than necessary. And earbuds can also seem louder than headphones when set to the same volume, because the buds are placed inside the ear canal.

Why he insists on referring to this as "low quality" is a mystery, though.

I seriously think he isn't referring to volume. He seemed to think that normal concerts (outside of bars) were high quality.
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