Speaks for sensitive, tinnitus-y ears?

I know this is a tough one, but I would really appreciate some help. I listen to most of my music in a small room (10x20) at my desk. My music is on my mac (emagic audiowerk soundcard)which is routed to a decent small mixer (spirit), then to a adcom gfa 535. I had been using some old polk monitor 4a's (I think, though they are not labeled), but wanted a change so I bought some axiom m3ti's. Unfortunately, some music (other than acoustic/quiet) literally hurts my ears at even fairly low volumes. I can tell they are decent sounding speakers, but the sound seems too bright for me. I think part of the problem is I'm too near, but I can't change that. Any ideas for different speakers? Something that makes "rage against the machine" sound like Muzak ;-) I have assumed bookshelf monitors would be the way to go (looked for b&w, monitor audio, mission, wharfedale since at least some people say they roll off the highs), but maybe some nearfield monitors would be better? Or something else? Thanks, kj.
Try turning the tweeters away from you, even if it means turning the speakers so the backs face you.
Or, place an object in front of the apeakers so the objects block your view of the tweeters.
Cheapest alternative.
The tweeters are beaming the highs right at you.
Good luck
I would check out small speakers from spendor. Though I don't own them myslef I have auditioned them and they have a very non-fatiguing quality.
You can try carefully applying various layers of tissue over the tweeters untill you find something acceptable. Of course this may compromise other aspects, and perhaps crude, but none the less may be helpfull. If you proceed carefully, it will cost you very little to find out if it works for you.
Use the EQ feature in iTunes.
IMHO you'd do much better getting the sound card out of your computer. Doing that conversion inside the environment of a computer has the potential to add all kinds of electronic grunge to your sound. Use either an external USB convertor, or a good USB DAC - convert the digits outside the computer. Also, make sure to rip your tunes as either Apple Lossless or WAV (uncompressed) format. If you are currently listening to MP3's and or downloaded music that could be the culpret right there. Compressed files certainly hurt my ears. As far as speakers go, look for soft-dome tweeters to cut down a bit on the harsh highs, but I really think my other suggestions will lead to more significant results.

I totally second what Marco said. Get the conversion out of the computer. Also, I'd get that mixer out of the path -- a decent external USB DAC (e.g., M-Audio, Presonus) will be all the preamp you need.
Thanks all, so far. I'm sure the sound card isn't optimal, but pro's used them for years with good results. I've had a usb m-audio, and the sound wasn't even close, even if it was cleaner. Unfortunately, I need a mixer, as I have all kinds of inputs to deal with. I would like to get a nicer mixer though, possibly usb/firewire, as you say.

My old polks weren't nearly as harsh though, so I kind of think the speakers might be the biggest contributor. I've never heard the spendors, so I'll try to look for a chance to listen to them. Are there others that are especially good that way? I'll remember the soft-dome tweeter part. I hadn't thought of it, but it does seem like metallic tweeters could be more harsh.
As far as itunes, I only import apple lossless. The eq in itunes is a good idea. I tried it on the treble reducer setting, and it is much better. At one time, I stopped using it for some reason (bad distortion, i think?), but I don't hear anything odd, so that might be an option for at least a while. Anyway, thanks again, kj.
Although I can't use the word "painful" I also don't like bright sounding speakers. The smoothest, that's my word for easy to listen to, speakers I've owned are Meadowlark Kestrel Hot Rods. These speakers truly get out of the way and bring no attention to themselves. Very mellow. They are however, floor standers. I've ried to figure out which speakers use the same Peerless tweeter without much luck. I believe the Sony SS-M3 uses it or a variation. Those Sonys were nice sounding speakers.
I highly recommend these if they fit. If not, definitely find a speaker with a soft dome tweeter. Good luck.
Thanks. Is a soft dome tweeter the same as a textile dome? Or are just some textile domes soft domes? kj.

The problem might not be the beaming at the top end of the tweeter's range.

The problem might be excess off-axis energy in the lower end of the tweeter's range, 3-4 kHz. This is typically where the ear is most sensitive, and most speakers have a very wide radiation pattern in this region.

Amphion comes to mind as a possibility, with their shallow-waveguide-loaded tweeter. That shallow waveguide will control the radiation pattern in the lower treble region. Other possibilities are coaxials, like KEF. In either event, instead of aiming the speakers at your ears toe them in severely, so that the axes criss-crosss in front of your listening position. This warms 'em up a bit and avoids a strong early sidewall reflection. You might even point them directly at one another.

You can e-mail me for some other suggestions if you want.

Soft dome, usually fabric such as silk, instead of metal dome tweeter is what I look for. Yes, this is generalizing but from my experience harshness or excessive high frequency energy is associated with metal tweeters. The only speaker with a metal tweeter I've owned that did not exhibit this character was the Vandersteen 1C. While metal domes may be quicker with more extension, my ears don't appreciate them. This is my experience, others may vary.