complicated: using EQ to manage specific hearing loss

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by UltraShiva, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. UltraShiva macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2015
    my hearing test shows specific loss in each ear and while hearing aids are in my future, I'm trying to figure out a way to use stereo EQ to "fix" the problem when listening to music w/out hearing aids. I have a MacBook Pro with Audirana Plus and Dragonfly (out to either Studio Monitor headphones or Speakers). Adrirana allows the use of a 31 band EQ - but does not allow the ability to adjust each channel separately (more of an issue with the headphones).


    Software or a plug-in that allows me to adjust each channel separately? (i tried boom 2 but it doesn't work with Audirvana.

    What settings to use on the EQ to adjust for the Left ear (which is the X) and the Right ear (which is the O)?

    An option for playing my iPod classic (it's EQ is very minimal) out to headphones or stereo to adjust EQ in separate channels. I've been looking at headphone amps and or DAC add on's but no luck yet finding something that does this. My iPhone has an add on app CanOpener that allows single channel EQ is good detail - but still no stereo. Thoughts?



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  2. Luap macrumors 65816


    Jul 5, 2004
    I can relate, as I also have hearing loss and hearing aids.
    Although each of your ears has a different response curve, there are still similarities between them that mean you might get away with EQ'ing both channels the same. Meaning you can likely use EQ's you already have.

    I think the bigger problem you have though (and me) is that no commonly found EQ can boost enough to compensate for that level of hearing loss.
    Some EQ's can boost 6db max, others might go to 15db (iTunes for example is +- 12db). But your loss at 2khz is 60db down. Initially that makes a regular EQ look utterly feeble for this task, but what you can try is, boost the frequencies your hearing is deficient in, and lower the frequencies you hear well. Its a hacky way of doubling your mileage from a regular EQ. It is still a compromise though, as the compensation will still fall some way short of what you really need, but... it will also be enough to make a noticeable difference for the better, so it's worth trying.
    Be warned, the EQ curve will be pretty dramatic looking. Also, keep an eye on overall levels, as you may need to lower them if you notice distortion (typically at the frequencies you will have boosted)

    As I say though, this is a compromise. But you may well find the simplicity and convenience is enough to outweigh the disadvantages that a more complicated arrangement would bring.
  3. UltraShiva thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2015
    thanks for the reply Luap. I've started to play w/ the EQ, where I can, and I can tell a difference - but it's hard to tell how much to increase before it's beyond "normal" before it starts distorting...... and to think I thought I was hearing it well before the tests.

    i've yet to look at hearing aid brands, models, etc but I'm told some of them stream bluetooth - I just can imagine the quality of that is any good.
  4. Luap macrumors 65816


    Jul 5, 2004
    You'll have to boost the bad frequencies quite substantially. As well as lowering the good ones significantly too. IE, you'll most likely use nearly all the range of your EQ to get satisfactory results.
    Also, in my experience at least, the louder you are playing something, the less correctional EQ you'll need. So you might want to make 2 or more different EQ profiles that you can recall.

    Yes, they are very high tech these days. And there are certainly models that use bluetooth and have their own iPhone app to control, and stream audio directly to them. Supposedly they are very good, but they are also extremely expensive :confused:

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