Are high frequency losses compensated by low frequencies?

As an ageing music lover I appreciate that I am losing my high frequency hearing. As a recent purchaser of a sub-base speaker I’m wondering if the boost to low frequencies allows my brain to compensate for the high frequency loss? Of course it may be time to get a hearing aid!?

I wouldn’t say they compensate, as I’ve always felt that full bass is a key part of maximising enjoyment of music, and with some music a lot of emotion is conveyed in the deep bass. I guess this is why I’ve always attached such importance to speakers. Maybe you’re just discovering what has been missing from music all these years!

As age- related hearing loss gradually filtered out high frequencies I never noticed, and I’ve had no diminution of enjoyment. Having been fitted with hearing aids a couple of months ago I realise what I had gradually lost, and it is great to hear fully again. Can I say I enjoy the music more? I suppose yes, but not in a way that makes me think it was not completely enjoyable three montgs ago.

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I have heard before the idea that if you lose an octave at the top end, for music it’s good to add an octave at the bottom end. (An octave is a doubling of the starting frequency).

Anyway I would encourage trying hearing aids too sooner rather than later. There is advantage in doing so before your brain forgets what it should do with stimuli from that end of your cochleas. It’s a sort of use it or lose it.


Once your ability to hear a certain frequency has gone, it’s gone and you can’t get it back. A hearing aid, properly tuned by your audiologist, compensates for the loss in frequencies where your hearing is diminished but not extinguished. This is the higher frequencies when we’re talking about age related hearing loss. I too would recommend you get your hearing checked out sooner rather than later. Modern aids are much more compact and discreet than they used to be.

A good subwoofer underpins all the music played in your system to the benefit of all listeners, no matter how good their hearing. I added a sub to each speaker last year and I wouldn’t want to be without them now.


You might well find you have one good ear for bass and the other a good ear for treble.
This could be a basic way of mapping the location of sounds.
Much like our forefather hunters.
Although we all owe much of our senses to our gathering mothers.

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My wife always reminds me that she wears Hearing AIDS, so it aids her hearing, but doesn’t fix it to be like it was.

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What’s that you say? Speak up young man!

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A sensible approach.

But they can improve on unaided hearing when age has taken its toll.

It’s strange how she can perfectly hear the phrase “Would you like a cup of tea?”, yet any discussion about HiFi, the hearing aid doesn’t work. Perhaps it needs adjusting

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Simple test: just say “I assume your silence is agreement to my proposed purchase”. You’ll soon find the hearing aid is aiding perfectly!


:smile: she would probably hear that bit

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