What do people with excellent hearing think of your sound quality?

I’m single. Besides that, my system has one definite sweet spot. Most of my listening sessions are for me and me only. I sometimes wonder how other people really perceive the SQ of my system. Whether the overall SQ of my system is pleasing to others, or too adjusted to my ears.

I’m guessing the majority of us are in, or near, the “Golden years“ of life. Unfortunately, Golden years often do not equal Golden ears. Do you ever get honest feedback from someone with excellent hearing about the sound quality of your setup. Specifically, the EQ curve your setup presents to the listener.

I’m interested to find out if listeners who have better hearing, generally find our systems to be out of wack in certain frequencies. If you quiz them, do they reply your high frequencies are too strong? (Screech). Maybe your midrange seems more foreword than in real life.

Do we older folks, with less than high quality ears, have our systems tuned, using our hearing ability, to the detriment of someone with a good pair of ears? Or, are our ears still good enough that someone with an excellent set of ears will still find our SQ to be tasteful and generally pleasingly.


As I upgrade my system over time, including room treatments, I usually ask my son and daughter who are in the age range you mention, to let me know what they think.

They almost always tell me it sounds better than it did before. Recently when auditioning new cables, my son told me he liked one set of cables whereas I liked another but they were both better than my prior cables. Since the system is for me, I purchased the ones I liked. :slight_smile:


It would need a young person who cares and has experience with how music sounds and can sound if recorded. If you find such a young person, I guess perceptions are similar and the ear‘s EQ curve can be ignored.

If you ask a person (regardless of age) who doesn’t fit this preconditions, you get random results, often without real understanding of what you ask is all about in that detail.

It’s as if you give a cheap and your best whisky to someone who doesn’t care for it and has no experience. He might prefer the cheapest with appreciable probability. It’s you who matters, even if you are the one who doesn’t know how it should or could sound :wink:.

What I noticed is, that a very high overall SQ standard is recognized by everyone, but generally, inexperienced music listeners mostly care most for richness and bass amount, lacking presence and dynamics. They are usually happy with pleasing and rich enough or even fat sound, which shouldn’t sound real but recessed in case of e.g. horns playing. They wouldn’t prefer live sound from close distances to this either. Has nothing to do with old or young.

There’s a very popular high end brand I call the Harley Davidson of high end audio, which imo successfully addresses this kind of preference to a degree.


Thanks, but I don’t think a person needs to be a connoisseur of music to be able to tell you if some part of your music sounds out of wack. It helps to have someone who is musically knowledgeable, but I’m not sure that’s a necessary qualification.

Most people like music, and if they dislike a part of your sound it might be something to note. I wonder if people, in general with better ears, ever dislike the way our older ears set our music up.

For a critical evaluation I definitely would use an audiophile, but what does an average younger person, with better ears, think of our sound. Are we still pretty close to what is generally perceived as a good overall balance, or have our old ears caused us to over compensate in some frequencies causing people with more normal ears to back off.

Better hearing (anatomically) doesn’t mean more sophisticated listening. Sorry, but when you insist on repeating the question in a way the experienced listeners and audiophiles on this forum are attempting to gently indicate isn’t quite on target maybe you should reconsider the question. The reasons we tend to invest more in our systems over time (and with age) are: 1) we have more disposable income to spend; 2) we become more mature in our knowledge of what we are listening to, we’ve accumulated more experience in concert halls and venues where unamplified performance puts a premium on sonics and our yardstick for comparing what we hear at home to reality; 3) sophisticated listening is actually an acquired skill and nobody I know with a good system mistakes what he/she is achieving with his/her system as simply unperceived screechiness.

Finally, I must dispute the premise, since a number of recent studies are showing an alarming trend in hearing loss in the young due to unsafe listening practices. One such study published by BMJ Global Health concludes that more than 1 billion adolescents and young people worldwide could be at risk for developing permanent hearing loss from exposure to common and unsafe listening practices. I would say, with due respect, that is what as a society we need to be focused on.


My son who is going to be 40 is “all about the bass” but not about anything else audiophile related. As long as it will play loud and shake the building he’s good to go.


My experience is few are invested in audio, age irregardless.


Depends on which system, but yes, comments from my daughters that my main system emphasizes the extreme high end, I can’t hear it. They both have reasonably nice analog oriented systems with streaming provisions.


I have probably expressed myself in a misleading way…I didn’t want to imply, only a person experienced with music (live or recorded) can tell is a setup’s sound is out of wack.

Just regarding your initial question I wanted to make clear that I think the way young and/or rather inexperienced listeners judge your hifi is not dominated by the few dB their top end listening ability is above yours, but by the usual focus (I described) which imo most have who didn’t care much about the sound of acoustic instruments before.


Cultivate the appreciation of music, the community that surrounds it, and the abilty to reproduce it in your own abode. Did that with both daughters and they truly appreciate music, live performances, and a quality sound system. Both being in Chicago tap into the strong music scene there, maybe not dad’s music but, they do enjoy the experience all the same. Dad’s music tends to be “edgier” than what they choose.

@elk, irregardless, hmm, surprised me. Regardless all cool.


Yes, that’s the way to care for the younger caring, you seem to do this well!

For the latter I’m with ELK (assuming with “investing” he means “caring much for quality regardless of cost”)

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“Depends on which system, but yes, comments from my daughters that my main system emphasizes the extreme high end, I can’t hear it. They both have reasonably nice analog oriented systems with streaming provisions.“


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It is an amusing word.


Depends I suppose, as “ir” connotes negates. Many equate irregardless and regardless as equivalent, my teaching has been otherwise, best to side step the use of irregardless. Possibly a local thing.


I doubt local anywhere, certainly not in my experience.

I am amused by its use as an intensifier.

And by watching the grammar police jump on this 200 plus year-old word with righteous indignation.

My intent wasn’t to be righteous. My education frowned on its use. Enjoy and be amused.

I suspect all here have the same education as far as this word goes.

Intriguing how old it is.

Like “ain’t”. Non-standard but Merriam-W has it.

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Here we differ. No big deal, but our experience(s) inform us as well as education.

One more point. I have coached my kids on what good sound is about.

While they may not have the means to build a reference system at this point in their journey, i have no doubt that they will over time.