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UDial & Hearing Damage

Forgive me if this isn't the proper forum section for this, but I do feel compelled to share it.

I was doing some...shall I say "recreational listening ABX tests".  Trying to hear differences between different types of resamplers & codecs, lots of fun things.  But thats not the important part.

Just because I was, for lack of a better term, too lazy to generate my own test files, I figured I would just use Udial.  I knew well that it could certainly damage a dedicated tweeter if played loud enough, so I used headphones.

To backtrack a bit, I would frequently test my hearing sensitivity with -21dB sine wave sweeps from 20hz to 20khz, to see not really where I "Stopped" hearing, but more importantly, where my sensitivity diminished. Just a few months ago, I was able to hear the sine wavs at a relatively high "intensity" up to about 17.5khz.  This was "good", I could hear them very clearly even at low amplitudes.  18khz was noticably lower than 17.5 but still audible.  Once it got to 19khz, it was a very very faint sound, but could clearly be heard if I raised the volume (cheating). 20khz was inaudible at normal volumes, but a faint sound when made loud (cheating).

That was before my udial tests.

After my udial listening tests, which I want to stress, were NOT done at high volume.....  I had a very bad headache.  The kind I had never had in my life.  I have had headaches.  This was not a headache.  It was pain in my head....but nothing like you expect a headache to be.  Long story short, my hearing sensitivity is noticably diminished.  Using the same frequency sweeps I had used many times in the past.... I hesitantly re-tested myself (this was WEEKS after the udial exposure, I gave myself time to "rest").  Previously I could hear everything fairly well up to 17.5khz.  Now, 15khz is equivalent to what used to be 17.5, amplitude-wise, subjectively, to me.  The 18khz tones I used to be able to hear more or less fine, are now ALMOST inaudible at normal volumes. 19khz, which used to be audible but low, is now effectively inaudible. 20khz is just as inaudible as it ever was.

I had read things about people destroying their tweeters.  I don't care about a tweeter.  I can buy a new one.  These ears are with me for life.  I am fairly certain that other people have damaged their hearing with this test file or similar ones as well, but it may be hard to notice.  My music doesn't really sound different in a way that I could notice----in fact if I did not get the massive headache post-testing, I would not have re-tested my hearing, and probably would never have noticed that it changed.  But changed it did... 

Funny thing is if I just retested myself randomly for no specific reason, I would have attributed the drop in sensitivity to aging

UDial & Hearing Damage

Reply #1
You should visit a otorhinolaryngologist as soon as possible.

UDial & Hearing Damage

Reply #2
It's possible that the severe headache and apparent hearing loss might be caused by some other pathology, rather than by the listening tests you did.  I second the recommendation to see an MD of some sort.

Better to check things out.

I say this having weathered through the worst sinus cold I'd ever had a few years back, which led to severely painful inner ear pressurization, and didn't go to a doctor.  Two weeks later, that ear started ringing, and it hasn't stopped since.  I went to a doctor then, but by that time it was too late to reverse the damage.

-brendan

 
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