Do you ever do this before you listen?


Hello everyone. I was at an audio store today with a friend that was auditioning a pair of speakers and the salesman told us to clear our ears by pinching the nose then blowing through your nose to make the ears pop (clearing them). I have to admit the music sounded  so much better lol. It makes perfect sense why you would want to do this, but I had just never thought of it. So I thought I would see who else is doing this, and maybe discover some other new tricks. SO what strange things do you do routinely before a listing session? (I know thats a loaded question to ask of this group)
barnettk
I do it sometimes, especially when my sinuses act up. Sometimes I do it to ascertain if I hearing something correctly as ears can be a funny thing and slowly plug up without one being aware of it. 

Doing it always seems to improve things but sometimes my ears immediately return to the previous state. Either way, it shows just how we all hear differently due to myriad reasons.

All the best,
Nonoise
Yes, do it before I listen and again as necessary while listening due to sinus issues.
@nonoise 

"ears can be a funny thing and slowly plug up without one being aware of it."

Thats the thing. I had no idea that they were even clogged. I never even think about them being clogged unless i have a cold etc.. but when I cleared them the music revealed itself in an incredible way.  Just have make sure I don't  clear them with two much pressure or my eyes might pop out lol. Then what :) JK.. Now that Im aware I will gently clear them from time to time from now on when listening to music for sure. 
I don’t do it as you can perforate it and that would ruin this whole hobby in 1 fell swoop
It’s called equalizing. This opens the eustacian tubes so that the pressure in the inner ear is equal to the atmospheric pressure outside, and therefore there is no pressure differential across the eardrum. This is the same technique used in scuba diving to avoid a “squeeze”. The eardrum will be in a neutral position and best able to transmit sound through the inner ear bones to the cochlea, where the sonic vibrations are converted to nerve inpulses through specialized hair cells and transmitted to the auditory cortex via cranial nerve VIII.
Especially after a skydive(well...from.anything over 13.5K).
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I take my glasses off, as well.
Yep, most times at least once during listening; especially if I think things aren't right.Takes the ears out of the equation, at least for me.
I do that when I’m in a plane and the cabin pressure starts building as it starts descending. 

I have done it before for various reasons. Flying, colds etc. just never thought to do it before listening to my system. Makes perfect sense tho. 
rschrot......You are correct in your basic knowledge with the anatomy of the ear. However, that doesn't explain away the danger of someone puffing with a closed nose just to hear their music better.
Extreme pressure can cause damage to ear components. At what point does a person stop puffing to clear what may be an inherent hearing loss. Sure, momentary equalization would allow better hearing. But, there may be other reasons to investigate.
People may not be satisfied with performing the "hold your nose" technique and may try harder. Perhaps simply risking damage to the eardrum or perhaps worse. Besides the eardrum, there are ossicles in the middle ear. Most importantly, those ossicles act on the oval window...consider it an inner eardrum. Then vibrations are transmitted to the cilia (hairlike nerves) in the cochleas where the sound is transmitted to the brain. I could talk about the workings of hearing a lot longer.
In the end, simple ear popping is common and cures a simple situation. But, there are those who may take that to an extreme. Temporary hearing loss is one thing but I would caution listeners who would also take ear popping to the extreme.

I do all the time specially when I’m in the airplane during taking off and landing.
"In the end, simple ear popping is common and cures a simple situation. But, there are those who may take that to an extreme. Temporary hearing loss is one thing but I would caution listeners who would also take ear popping to the extreme."

Well hopefully no one will do this to the point that causes damage to their ears. That would make me feel horrible for bringing it up.

So please be careful if you try this technique. Seriously
Now I feel bad :(
Only professionals should do it on a closed course.
What I do before I listen: turn on amp to warm up. Pour a beverage. Why would I want to mess with my ears just before I want them to be nice and relaxed? The lengths some dealers will go to get an edge on the rubes.
"What I do before I listen: turn on amp to warm up. Pour a beverage. Why would I want to mess with my ears just before I want them to be nice and relaxed? The lengths some dealers will go to get an edge on the rubes."

uhh because it works. especially for that short time that you will be demoing a speaker. I can totally understand why a dealer would do it especially. I thought it was a smart move personally. 
Have done this for over 30 years. Often exercising the muscles behind the ears while inhaling/exhaling, as in learning how to just flex them, gives the same result. No need to overdo it.  It’s a personal choice but the reality is you are not hearing what you wish to be hearing until the “equalized” state is reached. People spend 1000’s if dollars and never come close to what the benefit in sound comes from hearing “completely”.
Use a Neti Pot. Clean your sinuses..
chewing gum or just swallowing gives the same effects.............most of the time. Any medical professional will caution against manually popping your ears - how hard do you have to "blow" to achieve it?
@ianrodger 

Not hard. At least for me anyway. I barely blow. Pinch your nose and lightly try to blow through your nose. It’s not that big a deal. Same as equalizing the pressure when flying. Chewing gum does help I would imagine. Drinking something also will often do the trick. I’m not suggesting that you blow your brains out just lightly. Actually I am able to do it without even pinching my nose. You can open your mouth, tilt your head back and breath out through your mouth and achieve the same result. 
@elizabeth regarding the Neti pot. Do they really work? I have been tempted to get one but not sure I would like the sensation of water moving through my nose like that. I have sinus problems and if it works it might be a good thing for me. 
@barnettk

I can confirm that sinus rinsing work. At the very least the irrigation with salts really is very soothing, and sometimes can help end allergies a little faster. I cheat and use the squeeze bottle variety:

https://amzn.to/2THzjjY


Please be _SURE_ you used distilled water or boild water. Distilled is best, because you will add salts, and that makes sure they reach the right equilibrium.

A lady recently died after having her brain eaten by an amoeba because of a netti pot and tap water. Kind of puts a damper on listening to music when that happens. 
Also, in terms of hearing, I have found that Nivea shower wash does a really good job of cleaning out my ears when used consistently.


https://amzn.to/2VSAaAm
@erik_squires

“A lady recently died after having her brain eaten by an amoeba because of a netti pot and tap water.”

Well thatnks for the heads up!! I agree you would pretty much not have to worry about listening to music after that for sure.

I have another friend that swears by it however he is the only person I know that uses one. I don’t want to get to far off topic of this post so if you don’t mind I might send you a private msg to discuss further. I have some additional questions on the subject. Maybe this product will help keep me from getting sinus headaches when I fly which is often.
@barnettk

You already know as much as I do about Netti pots.

I just keep track of obscure ways in which people die too.

Best,
E
@erik_squires 10-4. I will research it. Hopefully you won’t be reading about me 😁
Its also amazing how much putting your hands behind your ears to cup them out seems to clear up the sound.Im suprized that no-one has yet come up with a device that you place behind the ears to do this!
Funny you should say that. My first product was going to be Ortho Ears, based on the cupping of ears idea. However, I found that cupping of ears while interesting and seems to improve dynamic range (primarily) it doesn’t sound natural compared to no ears cupped. Also, I found that room treatments improve dynamic range, thereby neutralizing the effects of ear cupping. Nevertheless...maybe audiophiles in the future may have large ears as a result of natural selection.
geoffkait Haha,yes my one ear is slightly smaller than the other,thus I need to sit slightly offcenter to balance the soundstage...Your comment on room treatments is interesting,I must visit forum threads on the subject.
Former scuba diver. Equalize my ears on occasion, I can usually tell when needed.

I like to run the heat up or air down a bit and then shut the system off before a listening session. My utility room is not far from my home theater and there is a main intake fairly close.