$250,000 Ears? How do you know your hearing is different?

Just wondering if others experience events regularly that demonstrate a level of hearing that is beyond normal?

What event highlighted to you that your hearing is more acute or discerning than others?

I have had many experiences through life from being able to hear a baby cry when others could not to being able to determine live instruments from music playback from outside a venue.

My most recent experience was in church last week. We arrived late. We were seated at the back. Very quickly I became entranced by the sound of the piano played during the first hymn. After a few minutes I remarked to my wife if she could hear something special about the piano. Even after pointing it out she did not hear anything at all worth remarking. Although we could not see the piano from the back I said to her well they seem to have a new piano (purely judging by the sound). After another hymn I asked her if she could hear that the piano was not just different but it was remarkable in its clarity, balance, timbre and tone. I said I don’t think I have ever heard a live piano sound so good. The wife kind of puzzled now just shrugged. Probably even more puzzled because we went late to mass due to commitments and we had not been to this particular cathedral in months - so what basis could anyone have for discussing the relative sounds of a mere piano with the last listening being months ago. After the service I went up front and took a good look at the piano. I was not at all delusional. It was a stunning Steinway Grand (on loan to the church). The organist was very proud and apparently the value of this Steinway was $250,000 !!!!!

7ac929ee be73 4853 8000 abc8d06023d4shadorne
Great story! I think on the seventh day HE listened to music...
Nice catch shadorne!

Maybe you found the sanctuary's sweet spot?

Wow this church indeed has solid funds to play with!
I bet that pope is enjoying his $250k Bentley as well and villa in Golden Beach! Creator is very generous indeed!
He did say the piano was on loan! :)

But any way, my last audio show. There were many rooms I could not stand to be in but many others were enjoying themselves. I had previously noticed that I didn't have to go into a room to tell if I was going to like it or not. Hearing the music in the hallways was enough.

At some point during the visit I chatted with the ASC rep who gave me some very good tips on setting up my speakers in a difficult apartment. He independently mentioned this effect to me. That well treated rooms sounded so good you didn't have to spend time in the room to hear good music, and those rooms of course had significant room treatment.


I'm not sure how different my hearing is, but I am pretty sure that listen more carefully and know a little bit about what to listen for.   I'm also a wine nerd and on that front I also think it is more of an issue of knowing what to look out for on the nose and palate (and learning the vocabulary) than having a better nose or palate.  That said, some extra nature given sensitivity can't hurt!
I concur-

on the 7th Day, God rested and listened to Music!
OP....I think you talk too much in church :-)


I'd like to play a little game with you. Please indulge me: let's assume you got your drivers license around the age of 16/17. 1)did you pass? 2)if parallel parking was part of the test, did you find it easy? and do you still find it easy?.

Let's look at dyslexia: when you where younger, did you have a problem with lower case b's and d's?. For some of us, we still have to think before putting pen to paper. Typing on a keyboard saved a lot of us from embarrassment.

erik, if you could also answer the questions. I suspect you'll answer yes to all of them. I'll explain why after a few responses.

All may respond.

To your questions
1) Yes
2) No not easy - my parents had a Surburban - which is like a large SUV much like the Ford Expedition (big) and not fun to parallel park. I find it easier today but I will still make errors with a larger vehicle that I am not familiar with.
3) no trouble with dyslexia but I do understand why it is a problem because our brain is actually correct in thinking d and p, m and w, u and n are identical (just rotated). And left and felt are are the same except for the order from right to left.


I agree. I suspect critical listening is a skill that can be learned and your ability can be greatly improved with effort and training. A mere interest in a life long passion is likely to hone a particular skill immensely. Adequate hearing is necessary but brain training may be what makes an exceptional listener. In that sense hearing is "ear organ + brain processing/filtering" combined. I don’t think ears grow with use like muscles but the part of your brain that does the hearing processing may likely strengthen with use.

I suspect titinitus may be a brain processing problem rather than purely a physical hearing malfunction. titinitus may be triggered by physical hearing malfunction that then challenges the brain processing which leads to invented sounds (ringing being amplified instead of filtered out)

Analog diehard folks may cringe at this fact: our hearing is digital in nature - minute hairs in the ear move or oscillate in response to acoustic waves and the hairs trigger a nerve signal to the brain. The brain is interpreting digital nerve signals as each hair or hair bundle is either on or off!!! This cannot be denied even though many will try. This fact forms the basis for MPEG audio compression (removing detailed high frequency stuff from acoustic waves that you cannot hear because nerve bundles are already "on" in response to existing lower frequencies)

jafant4,954 posts12-14-2016 6:19pmI concur-

on the 7th Day, God rested and listened to Music!
...and on 8th Day, God rested and listened to Music, and still continues to listen to music...
Very interesting topic!

I suspect people hear differently meaning that they listen or focus on certain things better than others and probably miss the boat totally on others.

Just like you can’t take in a beautiful panorama in nature and also focus on specific details at the same time.

Some people learn to focus on both at different times since doing both at the same time to the same degree is probably not possible or at least realistic. Others focus on certain things mostly or always and that’s it. I was like that when younger.

So what’s better? The ability to hear specific things better than others or the ability to choose what one will focus on and learn to hear that?

When it comes to listening I think I am pretty good at changing my focus and then synthesizing things together to gain a better appreciation of the whole using multiple perspectives.

At teh same time I am over 50 and know I do not hear higher frquencies I could when young. However I can hear the frequencies where most music occurs and not so well the ones that are often troubled by extreme high frequency noise and distortion.

All things considered, music sounds better to me than ever these days and my enjoyment for all forms of music as well. I am also able to appreciate good but different sounds coming from different sources/systems/venues/players/recordings rather than just some "absolute sound" that is rare at best.

Bottom line is it is truly a blessing to be able to enjoy all forms and kinds of music in many ways and I would leave it at that.
This is one of the best Agon discussion in a while! HaHa! Love it!

All that is important is you love what you hear at any given time. Joy is the key.

Be wary of what you hear at shows. Being down the road from RMAF, I know what trouble these shows are to audio gear and mfgs. No offense to dear friend Marjorie! But it really is a challenge!

Play with gear if you want to voyage, use Agon!

Always remember the music is key, and the trip we take while listening is what makes high-end special. Enjoy the joy! Whiz on the cynics.
You are fortunate to be able appreciate the difference.

I can hear the high frequency pitch of some low cost switching power supplies like the one that plugs in the wall for my phone. It is somewhat annoying and other people I have asked can't hear it. My hearing tests don't reveal any advantage in my frequency range. In fact I have a slight dip in the midrange on my left ear.

Most of the time I can distinguish if music is live or recorded playback when I am outside of the venue. Somehow I just know how it sounds. Not sure if it's attack, decay, reverb or what.

TITinitus sounds like a good thing to have.
After  while, still outside of the given room....you can hear if the given room at the show has ported speakers, whether it is analog or digital being used as a source, or whether it is the popular amp of the year in use (4-5-6 rooms, etc), or if it is high or low slope crossovers, tubes or solid state, and so on. All this from listening outside the room, in the hallway.  the better the AC power and native room qualities at the given show, the easier its to discern the above with better accuracy. YMMV.

Some guesses can be pretty accurate. No cheating. No reading the sign on the door.
Well trained ears indeed. I remember reading of "golden ears" being able to discern different DAC chips in CD players back shortly after they came out. A well trained ear, eye, nose or tongue can easily tell the differences. We just don't give ourselves enough credit, and envy those who do.

All the best,
I hear a little percussion part, WAY down in the mix, at the start of Dire Straits' "Water of Love" that my buddies don't seem to hear. That said, I don't think my hearing is inherently better than anyone else's (or that my rig is capable of a sonic "dissection" that lays bare such information). Probably just hearing things! :)

Ah, but can you hear a phone ringing in the background on Led Zep's The Ocean?

Nice! shadorne-

Happy Listening!


I haven't listened to "The Ocean" in a looong time, so if there is a phone ringing in the background, I've long forgotten about it. I'll put it on my to-do list!