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(The feeling is is subjective, but it is very hard to describe technically.) I have a speaker with very strong bass, which is fine, but when I play music with it, even in extremely low volume, it feels as if something gets stuck in my ear, and it is hard to tolerate. It causes headache.

In a real concert (classical or pop or whatever), the sound could be 10 times louder, without any discomfort.

I presume this speaker is designed for people who prefer that (is that heavy-metal??) feeling.

I am trying to understand what's going on here. Questions:

  1. How does a speaker manage to create such an impact, making your head resonate, at a low volume?
  2. Adjusting the balance of high and low frequencies doe not help at all. I need to make the bass barely audible to alleviate the discomfort. That's strange. What is going on?
  3. Obviously, the answer to "how to improve this" is "to buy a new speaker". Are there any other ways to change this?

To clarify, I have emphasized that other speakers and concerts are fine. So I don’t think we should consider other factors such as the room.

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  • Does this ability to make your head resonate change between days?
    – Dekkadeci
    Jun 23, 2023 at 12:44
  • @Dekkadeci Of course it does not depend on the time. Why do you think it could be time-dependent?
    – Ma Joad
    Jun 23, 2023 at 12:53
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    Well, it could be biological. Meanwhile, I'm wondering about the acoustics of the space in which the speaker is. There are a lot of components here: The device outputting the audio, the speaker itself, the space in which the sound is being produced, and finally your own ear. I'm wondering whether the room has a resonant frequency that's involved. If you can, try the speaker in a different space. Meanwhile, I'm afraid this is more an audio gear issue and isn't covered here; it might be good on Sound Design Jun 23, 2023 at 13:49
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    I’m voting to close this question because questions about audio gear are off-topic music.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic
    – PiedPiper
    Jun 23, 2023 at 14:13
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    Wait what kind of speaker? Also have you tried the same speaker in a different room? Seems like room resonance to me Jun 23, 2023 at 14:19

2 Answers 2

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Sometimes a small speaker achieves the impression of extended bass response by engineering a strong resonance at just one low frequency (yes, I'm looking at you, Bose). You get bass, but it's always the same note! Perhaps this is what's happening.

But if one frequency, even at low volume, is causing real discomfort, I think you need to see a doctor. Also, of course, stop using that speaker!

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    Also possible that the room is responsible for the resonance. Or it could both, resonating at the same frequency- that's a worst case scenario
    – Edward
    Jun 24, 2023 at 0:26
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In small spaces, room resonances can cause your left and right ear to hear the bass with very different levels or phases, creating a wildly unnatural sound. I can't say for sure that this is what you are experiencing, but it seems like a possibility. You can verify this by moving around the room and seeing if the effect changes.

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