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.



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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.