We all tend to listen to our sound systems a little loud. And we all know that at spl’s (sound pressure level) above 85dB we may permanently damage our hearing. So why do we need to listen so loud to get the satisfaction we want?
I think part of the answer is that the recording and playback processes lose some of the vital cues that tell us just how loud a sound is. In particular, the leading and trailing edges of the music - its micro and macro edges- convey important information for our brains to use to assess just how loud something is. If we convey the musical edges with anything but true fidelity the music sounds a little softer than real life. So we turn up the volume to compensate.
Here’s what I base this statement on. Over the course of many thousands of hours of experiments developing Omega Mikro and Clearview audio products, my partner Pierre Sprey and I early on discovered that, as we made improvements in our products that better captured the music’s leading and trailing edges, the music always sounded louder with the improvement than it did before even though we didn’t change the volume level and even though our audio sound level meter showed the same spl. It just sounded louder to us. So, when we better capture the leading and trailing edges, we can turn the volume down a little and still get as much if not more satisfaction from the music.
Many of our customers tell us they have experienced the same thing. Try it yourself. It may save your hearing!
Save your hearing!
"...nothing gets you closer to the music."