Aggrivated tinnitus from speakers?


I'm new to the forum and was looking for some advice. I recently put together a system comprised of a McIntosh MA6900 + a pair of KEF R7s.

I've always had hearing sensitive to high frequencies, and have a very high frequency tinnitus at 18,000k. That's why I went with the Mac, as everyone talks about how smooth and musical it is. When I was shopping for speakers, I was doing a lot of research but then the KEF R7's went on crazy sale and I was able to pick up a pair for under 2k. It seemed like too much of a deal to pass up, especially with all of the glowing reviews, but maybe that was a mistake on my part...

I'm noticing when I listen to the system, my tinnitus activates at a lower frequency for several hours afterwards. I notice this most on FLAC / MQA - quality tracks on Tidal (via WIIM w/ integrated DAC, at very reasonable volumes - <85db ) It seems to happen less when I listen to vinyl or CD-Quality tracks, but it still happens.

It's driving me crazy and I'm so disappointed as I thought this was going to be my ultimate setup and I dropped a lot of $. The Mac has just been to an auth service center for new lamps and was bench tested and given a perfect bill of health after a small bias adjustment, so I don't think it's the problem.

I decided to use some headphones to see if I experienced the same thing... Senn. HD650's let me listen for long periods without problems. HD660S2s seem to give me maybe a little sensitivity after awhile, but the sensitivity I get from the KEF's is totally different.

I realize I should have demoed the speakers, but I just jumped on the deal - partially on their reputation and also because their narrow, tall size was ideal for the room layout.

Any advice on how to get to the bottom of this? Do I need to test different speakers or do I need to treat the room? I'd hate to give up the Master level recordings because I mentally swim in the detail and love it. I just hate the thought of not being able to enjoy the system properly, but I'm not sure where to start on making  it work for me.




Try moving the speakers off axis—don’t aim the tweeters at your ears.

Change tubes in the amplifiers to say, vintage Mullards. Oh wait, that’s a solid state amp. Maybe a buffer preamp with tubes could do the same.

Better DAC? There’s obviously some sort of distortion or high amplitude, high frequency noise that’s causing damage.

Dump the speakers. Your hearing is not to be trifled with.

Post removed 

OP I’m noticing when I listen to the system, my tinnitus activates at a lower frequency for several hours afterwards.

All speakers in the world behave like a left speaker in below video. I can’t say all tinnitus come from this reason, but my tinnitus is much easier (it’s there but not bothering) after this natural sound technology (right speaker) applied on my system in below video.


As all audio systems sound unnatural like the left speaker, all recording and broadcasting equipment sound unnatural too. All they are made by same technology. So, we are hearing these unnatural sounds from everywhere constantly and they are somewhat responsible for severe tinnitus I believe. Alex/WTA

My wife has the same problem.  I stay under 75dbs when she’s around. We are looking at getting her some hearing aids to help with the Tinnitus.

All the best.


Your Mac has a five-band equalizer; have you tried using it to ameliorate your problem?

yeah, I have tinnitus as well.  I bought Wharfedale Lintons and class A amps, smart cabling and limited the volumes, really helped.  Then I moved to new house with a lot bigger room.  Now, I have McIntosh MA 8950 Integrated and Polk Audio R700s, I settled on this combo because it works, doesn't aggravate my tinnitus.  I find myself getting away with higher volumes with this combo. 

Coming from a newbie, as I read your post, your descriptions are somewhat similar to what I had experienced. with my KEF speakers(Though not as nice as an r7) I could not turn the dial past 45 without after 30 minutes having to turn the music off. my solution was to get a case(12) of 703 Owens Corning, rigid fiberglass panels, Joanne fabrics, colored burlap, and fir strips to frame. Placed them strategically around the room. Now I regularly start my listening at 55 and on really good recordings will push it to 65 and listen for as long as I care too. If you have WAF issues professional panels can be purchased at sites like GIK Acoustics. Hope your Listening will once again, be enjoyable. 

I’ve always had hearing sensitive to high frequencies,

a) Never point a concentric driver directly at away. Toe it away 15 to 20 deg.

b) If a) wasn’t sufficient, get a Schiit Lokius EQ and start cranking the high bands down.

It is also a wise idea to absorb/place absorptive panels on the ipsilateral/contralateral reflection points.


Thanks for the replies everyone - I currently have the speakers straight out although I did like the sound initially when toed in before my ears started to hurt. I'll try toeing them out too. I do think it could possibly be the room...There is a wall of glass on one side and a brick fireplace on the other, but a big sectional sofa in front of the windows and 9x12 shag rug in the listening area under the sofa .help  The ceiling is strange too with low sections and a channel above where the speakers are. I wish I could upload a photo of the room to share. I know it's not ideal. When I do the clap echo test in the seat where I listen, it's not too bad/loud at all . But when I clap near the fireplace or the windows of course it's amplified a LOT and hurts my ears. Is there a way I can post a photo of the room?

I do have an EQ - part of my problem is I historically favor a V shaped setting, which I'm sure dialing up the treble isn't helping the problem. I probably need to learn to enjoy a more neutral sound. I've heard that it's like many of the best things in life, an acquired taste. That said, I don't think my ear is sophisticated enough yet to adjust the EQ for the room conditions.

I was wondering if I should bring the amp somewhere with me to test different speakers (it's 75 lbs!)  Or on the other hand, try to audition speakers in the space? I feel like my SO would kill me. haha



Have you tried using quality sound filtering earplugs.  I have used Alpine Cleartone ear protection plugs when attending concerts etc. takes the edge off.  Available on amazon. 

Your speakers are bright. a pair of Harbeth die at 15k get them…

beside your speakers are not that good anyway, they won’t be missed

I’ll be blunt - WIIM is a POS and the McIntosh integrated DAC is as well (it’s harsh sounding). Add to this the KEFs and you’re drilling holes in your ear drums.
Since you will definitely benefit from a DAC upgrade, I’d start there. Try a warm sounding DAC. Go used. Denafrips, Lab12, even a Chord Qutest with the warm filter engaged will be more pleasant. Then upgrade your streamer. Get whatever room treatments you can deal with, especially for the first reflection points and tame the bouncing high frequencies. Play with speaker toe in as well - more direct toe in gives you sharper image but might reduce wall reflections especially at lower volumes and sound less irritating. You never know until you try. Good luck.

@OP 85dB is quite loud so listening at a lower volume level will help. However, improvements to room acoustics and probably a more refined speaker will too. However, I would still be careful with the volume levels. You may be tempted to play louder with a more refined speaker which, in the long term, is not good for your tinnitus.

I also have tinnitus, here's my path...I do listen to one or more of my systems most of my non at work life. First thing was adjusting my expectations regarding "perfection" and I recalibrated my Enjoyment Meter (too many of us think a thing is the end of the world, when it really is the beginning of a new era). I relocate and position my speakers in the main system more often than most folks, a pair of KRIX Euphonix (change seems to be a benefit in my case). I experiment with room treatment in my old house with very high ceilings, I use mostly tapestry and fabrics. I am using an SAE pre and equalizer system (not only because of tinnitus, but to compensate for years of ear abuse). I limit my high volume exposure (I never thought I'd say that out loud!!!). Hearing aids help with my tinnitus out in the world, but I seldom wear them while listening. I don't do much streaming, mostly as audition and background, (no television in my house) as I am a record/music collector first and an "audiophile" second. I watch my salt intake (something that I noticed for myself). When I do add to my systems I now tend to the British Sound, or more mids, and "softer".And finally, I enjoy the blessed days when the tinnitus recedes back into the background.

You have what they used to call a bright system.  Brightness is elevated  by hard walls.  Glass and brick. Some wire also leads to more high frequency  output. Interesting  you find the streaming worse than cd or lp. That tells you your streamer is bright. What do you have for a cd player? Turntable? Cartridge? Personally  I like walls treated with refraction  and only a wee bit of absorbsion. A thin curtain  a sheer on the wall behind the speakers  will help. Just for a try grab some bath towels and tape them on the walls at the first reflection  points. Find those with a mirror. Sit in you chair have someone  else hold a mirror along the wall and move back and forth  till you can see the center of the speaker. Hand the towel up at that point. The second  reflection  point is where you can see the opposite  side speaker hang another towel there. Listen  and see what you think. Then if you like that the quest becomes finding  the right material  that is even better and looks decent.  Before you spend anything  you cam try it  and see what you think. 



What was your previous system? Just headphones? Is it possible that the increased bass with the R7’s is causing the problem? I have KEF’s and tinnitus, and a very smooth system that makes it easy to play louder than my ears care for.  And loud for me is still less than 85 db. I find my tinnitus acts up after some sessions when the volume has creeped up a bit, and more bass seems to make it worse. 

I wish there was some easy inexpensive solution for you, but I seriously doubt it. Since vinyl is not as painful to your tinnitus as your streaming I definitely agree with starting with a tamed dac like Denafrips, even the entry level Aries 2. Then a dedicated streamer at least to the level of the Node. At this point, working with the room's acoustics in your current setup is unlikely to cure your problem. However, to tame the brightness, and contrary to the previous poster, I recommend more absorbers than diffusers. You can see my experience with room acoustics under my system.

I have tinnitus that comes and goes and, for the life of me, cannot determine any correlation to what may trigger it.  When it does bother me, I do not like to listen to headphones.  Between my two systems, one of them is in my basement man-cave with laid-back Elac speakers in a heavily damped room.  I can tolerate listening here a little better than my main system, where the room is a little livelier (but not by much).  I always listen at moderate volumes (in the 60s and 70s).

There are many things that can cause or trigger tinnitus, so the experience of others may not apply to you.  That said, your description of the room leads me to suspect it may be too bright with too much reverb.  For the clap test, put your phone in the listening position and record your clap (from the speaker position).  I suspect you might hear much more of an echo.  Your ears work to mask it a bit.

Also, have you tried the Wiim through your amp's DAC?


"have a very high frequency tinnitus at 18,000k."

I have RAGING tinnitus.

How did you get that number confirmed?

There is no "one size fits all" tip for managing/living with it. Try everything till something sticks.

Tinnitus here too.  Not severe though.  I usually use lower volume.  I even called the tinnitus hotline, but they never pick up, it just keeps on ringing.......

I am really sensitive to high frequencies, have been since I was young.  I’ve found speakers make a huge difference in listening fatigue, a ringing in my ears after a listening session.  I think you have gotten some great advice on room treatments, using an EQ and the DAC.  Even if you get that all “right” decent probability you’ll still need to address your speakers if they lean toward the brighter side.  I’ve tried to take brighter speakers and while making changes to the room, electronics, using an EQ helped, didn’t solve the issue.  

Soft Dome, silk tweeters along with various Ribbon tweeters paired with designs that trended toward a warmer, less analytical pull every drop of detail out of the music type speakers helped me out quite a bit, as much or more than any other change.  Once I got the speakers right, the gains made through room treatment’s, electronics were enhanced verses masking the issue when I had brighter speakers.  

I’d start with speakers so that you can then build around them when doing room treatments, making changes to electronics but you can also go the other way, do everything possible to make the speakers work and then swap them out but it’s a little like trying to modify an engine that isn’t really the best engine for the application to get it to work just good enough verses starting off with the right engine, then making modifications that only enhance the performance.  I chased trying to make several different speakers work in my set up because they were highly regarded and with the right recordings sounded breathtaking, best advice I got along the way from Audio Dealers was that you can’t cable your way, electronic your way (DAC’s, Pre’s, Amps) around speakers that for whatever reason, fatigue, sound signature, aren’t a fit for you.  Good News is that you have Mac gear, most of their gear is known for being more musical, less analytical, fatiguing, assuming the Mac already has their famous EQ settings, you have the right Pre / Amp to build around.  If you treat the room a bit, even without a speaker change, you should notice a difference, drop the right speakers in and should be a noticeable improvement, tweak your DAC / Streamer and that should be the whip cream and cherry on the Ice Cream Sundae.  

Good Luck! 

My Tinnitus started with a pair of KEFs, LS150metas. I wont blame the speakers though, more likely the Shingles vaccine I got earlier in the week. I’ve since tweaked the system, changed DAC and speakers, room treatments and played with cables. I listen to smoother recordings and never very loud. It’s a shame but it’s something some of us will have to live with. 

I have a McIntosh 352 Hybrid integrated amp.  I bought some new speakers and wanted a new amp to push them and so I got the McIntosh MC462 and the C53 preamp.  There was some additional clarity but the high end really aggravated my ears, so I had to go bak to the MA352.  The tubes give me a much warmer sound and I can listen for hours without fatigue.  But I still try not to go above 82db.  

I too have tinnitus but listening to my music never seems to bother me even when played loud.   I am using Martin Logan electrostatics….you might consider auditioning this type of speaker, there’s no specific driver emitting high frequency sound and instead the sound spectrum is produced by a large membrane so it’s a far less focused high frequency source.  Magnapans could provide the same benefit. 

It's not about the freq. I have a pair of NHT 2.5 towers as my daily drivers.

Last week I fired up my Velodyne sub and began positioning & EQ'ing. Youch! My tinnitus lit up to a degree I've not experienced in a long time. 

Eventually we came to an agreement. I suspect inaudible SPL issues and interference patterns because the 2.5's go well into the Velodyne's range.

Science/medicine is making progress with hearing issues. Last week I found a white paper discussing tinnitus and how conventional hearing testing doesn't identify associated nerve damage. 

I have more noticeable tinnitus in my left ear vs the right and any bright sounding system will cause me to turn down the volume if my system isn't set right. I recently moved to a new home and just finally got around to using the Audyssey software on my Marantz receiver to "correct" the speakers to my listening space. A vast improvement. I tend to EQ my treble flat and bump the midrange a bit and I never listen to music at high volume for extended periods. Typically I might crank it for a particular song but then dial it back down.

Your setup sounds like it is too heavy on the treble end and the brightness is causing you issues. I would suggest listening to music w/ flat/neutral EQ settings for a while as you address room treatment. Then make adjustments after that. Not sure that you need to run out and start equipment swapping if you haven't fixed the room first and made adjustments to what you have on hand. 

I had a similar experience last year out on the astronomy field. This is a very quit place, but both my telescopes emit a high frequency sound that many can't even hear. I set the telescopes up closer than normal resulting in spending several overnights within the range where these high frequency whines could be clearly heard. It took a week or so for my tinnitus to return to previous levels. 

What does this mean? I'm trying to convey that in my experience it is not the volume of the sound, but rather the frequency and exposure time. Based on my experience I suggest a solution that involves truncating the high frequencies as a test. That could be your EQ or test driving a set a speakers that are less bright.

60 years old here.

Long time Tinnitus sufferer.  However, I can say that I’ve had it for so long that most of the time I “tune it out”………….until I see something like this post topic, OR someone mentions it, then it starts ringing like crazy again until I forget about it.

I can’t say that my music system affects it one way or the other though.  I’ve actually never heard anyone mention this until seeing the topic.

Merry Christmas, from Tomball, Texas


I’m 59 yo and have had tinnitus for 30 years. I’m listening at 85dB peaks 10 feet from my speakers, avg is more like 70dB which is very satisfying and far too loud to talk over if we have company. This is a very safe zone.

I just had an audiogram which confirmed no changes in the past 15 months. However I "feel" like my tinnitus is louder sometimes, and/or a different frequency, sometimes pulsing but just one one side.

I’ve learned to live with it.

As far as I know, there is no way to measure tinnitus so not sure how you came up with 18khz? And audiometers only measure to 8khz anyway.

Anyway, I built my system around my attenuated range of 500hz-4khz. Good midrange from my Harbeth 40.3 XDs and smooth highs. Details in my profile. The key is rich, full, smooth sound, at very safe levels.

Definitely try and warm up your system as others have suggested. I had more issues with harshness on the digital side than analogue initially, but that problem is solved now.

Know that your ears will get over excited and that may also mean increased or variable tinnitus tones, hopefully temporarily, but as long as you are careful with SPLs, you should not be concerned about worsening hearing loss - other than age related.

Hearing aids won’t solve the problem. They may make tinnitus less prominent by amplifying certain frequencies, and some have white noise but they are often oversold for tinnitus.

Lastly, I asked my audiologist about hearing aids and music, and my fear that they will poorly amplify what my speakers put out, and she said some have a music mode that can help PLUS she can drill tiny holes in the membrane that allow more external / unamplified sound through. Not sure I’m ready to drop $6K on that experiment just yet.

In living with tinnitus over ten years, I can understand the frustration and depression when you love listening to music. There is one thing I have learned - if I listen to a combination of tube electronics and electrostatic speakers, most of the time there is no further excitement of the tinnitus. Since tinnitus varies from day to day, there are some days I can't listen to any music at all and I turn it off. Thank goodness that is rare. I have listened to other systems (transistor and/or cone, for example) and within minutes, the tinnitus increases and becomes unbearable. I am not an engineer or an audiologist, but maybe emphasis of brightness or the lack of distortion of the higher notes may be the reason?

You made a mistake when you bought the speakers. As you know. You were thinking proactively about you tinnitus but the sale made you forget all about it. According to the data I see, the response is flat in the listening window between 3 and 10k with some notable peaking in that zone. I would think that ideally there should be a slight diagonal down even for those who do not have tinnitus.  So, I'm not sure toeing the speakers out will help all that much. Changing your dac and treating your room is kind of like rearranging chairs on the Titanic. You got a good deal on the speakers so you might not lose much selling them. Another fellow mentioned the Polk R700s. They are well known for having a restrained upper end. And are usually on sale these days. Shouldn't cost more than $2,000. If it were me, I would move on from the KEFs. And also move on from the v curve.  You probably knew the speakers were bright as that has been your preference. Accept the things you cannot change.

Also a tinnitus sufferer here although I just went though a someone experimental and expensive treatment which was pretty successful depending on how you gauge success.

As far as listening to music, I find piano music brings it out the most.. I listen to a decent amount of chamber music and that can also induce the tinnitus

im copying and pasting my experience of the Lenire treatment I had that I wrote about on another forum:

I just went through the Lenire treatment… and have had a pretty positive experience.
I think I was one of the first ppl in New York to get it.
My story below:
I started to experience troubling and constant tinnitus in one morning in January of 2022.
I woke up one morning with a loud mid-high tone squeeling away in my brain. That was exactly 2 weeks after my Covid booster. Not saying they are related but it’s just a data point.
I saw multiple audiologists and a couple ENT’s and everyone said essentially the same thing … learn to live with it.
My whole 2022 was pretty rough. Psychologically the tinnitus took a toll.
But, I started to habituate and, while it didn’t necessarily go down or even decrease that much in volume, it started to be less troublesome.
I ended up going to NYU audiologists after my less than great experiences with the previous docs.
I was told that I do have some mild but significant hearing loss in my left ear only (4k- 6k) and that that was what was causing the tinnitus.
*Note- I don’t perceive the hearing loss in my everyday life and they aren’t advising me to hear a hearing aid at this point. I don’t have problems with listening to music as far as channel balance goes.…The audiologists were concerned about the asymmetrical hearing loss. Apparently one-sided hearing loss is actually quite rare and they usually see it from soldiers or military who shoot rifles.
It can also be a sign of “acoustic neuroma”, a type of brain tumor that puts pressure on the cranial nerves which can cause one sided hearing loss. They then sent me to an Otologist.
I had to do 2 brain scan MRI's and, thankfully, everything looked kosher.
But, I was still really troubled by the ringing… even if it was better than it was.

Around that time I signed up for notifications from Lenire before they were FDA approved and I was on their email list keeping me informed of their treatments and when they would be going live.

Then about 6 months ago I got an email from telling me they’ve been fda approved and asking if I wanted to be connected to an audiologist who can prescribe treatment with Lenire. I said yes and within a few weeks I was at a new doc office in NYC discussing all things Lenire.

Insurance doesn’t cover it . It was about $3800 out of pocket.
My wife and I decided to make it happen because it’s been quite the ride since this all began. We were prepared for it not to work.
You can’t really sell it when you’re done with the treatment.

At the end of the day, I believe it did work.
The tinnitus is not 100% gone… but it’s so reduced , so receded , that I think about it so much less. In other words, it’s not impacting my life in a negative way.
Yes , I still have spikes on occasion and it’s there if I really tune in and listen for it.
But , that’s ok for me. I would say my symptoms have reduced by 75%.
It’s not a miracle cure, but then again it kind of is. It’s brain retraining to ignore to the electrical tones being generated in your auditory system.

I did it for 12 weeks … an hour a day.
Half and hour in the morning, half an hour in the evening.
It’s a audio track of very strange tones sort of set to a “musical” soundtrack and, at the same time , a little electrical device in the mouth that sends a mild electrical impulse into the tongue. The idea is BIMODAL STIMULATION of the trigeminal nerve.

Happy to answer any questions for anyone who is interested.
Overall , I am very happy I did it and feel super grateful that the treatment was made available.
It’s important to remember that it’s a tool, not a silver bullet .

Read about that in the internet not on TV on twitter, since Musk it is more free of censorship ...

If you think that this tinnitus after a booster is a coincidence you are misinformed ...

Dont ask a doctor , more than half are sleepwalking ...

Just in this thread there is another poster just like you ... Talk to him ... We live in a society who lost freedom without even our own knowledge of it long time ago ...

My wife is boosted because she trusted his doctor... I am pretty angry...

They forgot their Hippocrates oath ..


By the way i am happy for your recovery, but everyone boosted as you were with negative adverse events sometimes heavy one , are not as lucky ... Our duty is to inform ourself and not put this under the rug  ... The ostrich era has ended ...


I woke up one morning with a loud mid-high tone squeeling away in my brain. That was exactly 2 weeks after my Covid booster. Not saying they are related but it’s just a data point.

I am a tinnitus suffer, too.  But I have a different issue.

Please read what you write before you hit send.  There are so many grammar mistakes, typos, acronyms, convoluted sentences and I don't know what, that I often cannot figure out what the writer is trying to say.




@j_andrews - that's very interesting; I may look into that. I've worn hearing aids for about 20 years and have a hissy tinnitus that is sometimes louder and sometimes softer. When I first had my hearing checked back then, there was a difference between the left and right hearing, so I got sent for that MRI, too, and the results were fine. People aren't always symmetrical! 

Your WiiM is fine - if it is the Pro Plus, with its much better DAC inside, (not the hockey puck one).  Several reviewers on YouTube say if you use it to feed an external DAC, they are fine up to the price point of say a $2000 DAC to get as much from it as you can. 

The real question is what is exciting your tinnitus? It is not well understood, nor funded from a research perspective compared to say dandruff, and that is a huge problem for the millions of people out here who have it. 

You are blaming it on the highs coming from your R7 and maybe so, but if you are EQing those down -3dB to -6dB then why would they continue to cause a problem? Counterintuitive, don't you think? 

No, whatever is exciting your tinnitus isn't JUST the highs you are hearing.  

Maybe demo some other speakers if you can, especially ones noted for a smooth treble or even "warm" rolled off treble.  You may also try other things I'm sorry to say such as cutting out all alcohol and caffeine (boring I know) and lowering your stress level as much as possible.  

@j_andrews Thanks for sharing. I have a Lenire provider near me, something I am considering. But it's $5K, inflated for California I suppose.

Can you share what caused your tinnitus (I.E., aging, exposure to noise, pharma?) and what does your audiogram look like or can you note you hearing loss ranges? I'm happy to share mine.

Mine was caused by getting too close to a massive bank of JBLs at an outdoor rave 30 years ago. 



According to the docs, my tinnitus is caused by my asymmetrical hearing loss.  I was in loud rock punk bands when I was in my late teens, very early 20's.  I'm now in my late forties.  I've listened to music all my life and seen a lot of shows.  I suspect my lack of concern in my youth is what has lead to my hearing loss and symptomatic tinnitus.  The hair-like cells in our inner ear die off with age and damage they die, they emit electrical impulses which are interpreted by the brain and cochlear as ringing/tinnitus, etc.

My audiogram essentially shows a few dB dip on my left side only between 4k and 6k.  I don't really notice the hearing loss at all on a daily basis.   Listening to music is 99% fine....not counting the tinnitus which can sometimes disrupt it.

That said, the Lenire treatment has improved my daily quality of life no doubt.

@evanpress Thank God someone else is noticing it! 'It' being the total lack of spelling, punctuation and,,, just writing a coherant sentence in general! Did some of you not go to school? Go back. It seems like many who post regularly on here are illiterate. Or lazy or with sight issues. Some may not have English as their native language, which is understandable, but there's many on here who are American born, and should have been educated to at least be able to write and punctuate a simple sentence. Rant over.

I have tinnitus from gunfire, and a "missing" band of high frequencies. It is especially aggravated by horn tweeters, but not by ribbons, AMT, electrostatics, or soft domes. RAAL tweeters are especially lovely to me. I think your problem is probably your speakers, and maybe the room as well. As I understand it, there is no final solution to your problem, but definitely try some different speakers. I doubt that it is the electronics.

I have tinnitus also.  Try to keep in mind this is a medical psycho acoustic condition.  I would recommend going to a medical professional to have your hearing checked.  Tinnitus typically is a sign of some sort of hearing loss.  So far as fixing the problem there are hearing aids that can filter it.  Just try to find the best sounding speakers (for you) and enjoy them.  Life is all about compromise.

I also deal with tinnitus. Mine is in the 8-9Khz range. I will be receiving a new FDA approved medical device (Lenire Neuromod) later this month in hopes of mitigating the 50 dbs ish tinnitus level.

Having said that, I treat my dedicated listening area with hanging acoustic drapes behind the front wall behind the ML Ethos speakers, and behind the listening position....this has helped, along with equalizing down the 8-9Khz range of frequencies that seem to "excite" my tinnitus. I will send an update on the Lenire treatment progress in a month or so.



@daveteauk - totally agree with you, but I gave up on being frustrated or irritated by it a long time ago; it will never get better. 

It’s been a few days since I last responded, but I have been reading all the responses coming in and really appreciate the comments and advice, especially about possible tinnitus treatments. It’s nice to know I’m not alone, and I hope that we can all get some relief one day.

@tablejockey, you asked about how I determined the audio frequency of my tinnitus. There are videos on YouTube that feature tones at different Hz. You can go through them until you match the tone in your head.

I think I’ll try some easy and inexpensive temporary room treatments to see if that makes any kind of difference. I’m also going to look into different speakers. Those Polks seem like they might be great contenders, and I welcome any advice on other brands I should cross-shop that might be easier on my ears.

Regarding the WIIM, I do have the latest model with the highly-rated DAC. I’d love to integrate tubes into the mix somewhere someday, and a DAC might be the easiest way to do so. I will experiment for sure.

@brev , your synopsis of what happened was dead-on. The sale is what diverted my focus and drove me to make the impulse buy of the R7’s. Hope to be smarter next time! 😂

Lastly, for @evanpress @daveteauk (and the others horrified by my grammar) I don’t know what to say other than I just ran this through AI on Chat GPT for a grammar check as I’d hate to ruin your weekend 😄! If there are any problems with the above, please reach out to Sam Altman.


One thing I’d like to mention for those suffering from tinnitus is there are some medications that can aggravate or even cause the condition. I was using Prilosec for GERD. Also started to have tinnitus. The connection wasn’t clear to me for many months. After seeing an audiologist and using white noise apps, I finally did a Google search for medications that might cause tinnitus. Prilosec was one of the top ones. Motivated to stop the Prilosec, I did a thorough dietary check on my GERD. I found out that wine was a clear factor. So I stopped drinking wine and stopped taking Prilosec. My GERD and my tinnitus cleared up. I don’t think stopping wine was a factor but sharply reducing my alcohol consumption couldn’t have hurt. There are several other medications listed that could also play a role in tinnitus.

I'm not a doctor so don't stop taking any medication based on anything I've said. Just something to think about. Maybe talk to your doctor.

I’ve had tinnitus for 15 years. My audiologist said it probably came from taking gabapentin. So I stopped taking gabapentin. The hissing did not disappear.

I had to give up listening to music via speakers eight feet across the room. The entire space between the sound and my ears was taken over by the hissing. It was truly overwhelming. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you I was in tears.

I had been ripping my CDs to different hard drives, and eventually I had them all digitized. I attached a pair of Bowers & Wilkins MM1 computer speakers to my laptop, and all is well again in my audio world. As well as it can be, at least. Listening nearfield has been my saving grace.

I can’t say whether this would be a solution for anyone else. I don't have to tell you it was a lot to give up. But I am able to enjoy music again.

I never had tinnitus until now.  Thanks long covid!  Mine actually couldn't be worse, so any music helps.  Too much Aspirin can also cause tinnitus.  Unfortunately, it appears that there isn't a remedy.  I will add that most of my speakers roll off @ 13-15k just like me ears~

@omegaman79 Neither I nor @evanpress were 'speaking' about YOUR grammar, but the appaling writing that exists, in general, by several regular, and some less regular, posters on here.

I don't know how you get to hear an 18KHz tone through your PC/Laptop/Tablet/phone speakers, and even less, how you can actually HEAR an 18KHz tone yourself in any situation, let alone differentiate between similar frequencies. You must have the hearing of a Bat!

@jay15206 That is a very interesting comment. Interesting as I too have Tinnitus which also manifests itself as a hissing, rather than a 'tone'. I also took Gabapentin for about a 9 Month period c10yrs ago, and although not sure, I do seem to remember my Tinnitus began at roughly the same time. This needs looking into further IMO.