Hyperacusis. Looking for recommendations

Hello everyone. Haven't posted to the forums in years but certainly been buying up all sorts of things lately. Ordered an Angstrom Stella amp that should be here next week. While the audio bug has reignited, unfortunately, so has my inability to actually enjoy music the way many of you might. If you are unfamiliar with Hyperacusis, it is the over-sensitivity to sound. Anything and everything can get very loud and sometimes painful. Sometimes it messes with my head so much I wind up half way ill for a few days. So, of course I haven't "turned it up" or anything. I've refined the DSP output through Roon to level out the peaks that really drive me nuts. However, the problem still lies within the overall mixing of most music. There's a reason things simply sound better when you do turn it up. Unfortunately, I don't get to experience that. 

So, I'm here to ask for assistance from you knowledgable folks on recommendations for speakers and, perhaps, amplifier combos that can still sound lively and engaging at low volumes (50-55dB, tops). Seems that speakers are going to be the main component at this stage so that why I posted here. But I'm looking for anything else that may be of help. While I'm typing, I thought that maybe electrostats might be a good way to go since they aren't point source (the spread would actually help I think). Hell, maybe those paired with the Angstrom would be a good fit? Maybe. Anyway. Trying not to write a book here. You get the picture. I've never tried to go the ultra-low volume route before so I don't know what would work well. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, folks!


I am not sure how horns and other ultra efficient designs factor into things??

At 50-60dB one could have super inefficient speakers at 80dB/W/m and use a 1W amp and easily power them.


The other half also has some hyperacusis but speakers that are not overly bright do the trick and she likes the volume up for TV.
Any normal/typical sound bar drives her away.

Dynamics are a salient characteristic of horn-loaded speakers. Accordingly, electrostats are probably your best bet - as aptly mentioned above.

More importantly, I hope your condition improves and that meanwhile, you enjoy a few happy tunes!

I’ve been listening to the Peachtree GaN400 amp, which has an exceptionally low noise floor. Surprisingly, it is an excellent match with my Zu Omen Dirty Weekend speakers. The Zu has basically no crossover (just a single cap on the super tweeter). The combination is superb at low volume (perhaps not quite the equal of the Quad 57 I owned for a long time and sold, regrettably), never sounding strident and always serving the music well. Tone and refinement are not great strengths, but we make tradeoffs. So I think full-range or nearly so paired with very quiet amplification, including preamp, may be one good path to getting what you’re after.

I agree that Soundlabs would also be terrific for listening at modest levels, but, the models I really like are monsters in size and they look bigger than their specified dimensions would suggest.  

I don't know if you are still in the Virginia Beach area, but, if you can get up to the Tyson's corner area of Northern Virginia, stop into Deja Vu Audio--they specialize in tube gear and speakers for tube gear.  I think the Audio Note line that they carry will be of interest to you.  They also make their own custom designed system, mostly using a mix of vintage and new drivers, and many of their high efficiency systems are terrific at low volume levels.

Another nice system at low volume level is the Soundkaos Model 42, but this Swiss made system would probably be extremely hard to find.  

My hyperacusis only affects high frequencies and will result in pain. It's intermittent and can happen at any time as well as being triggered by music.

I love the sound of tubes. I also found that using combinations of tubes throughout my entire chain in combination with soft dome speakers has increased my listening time.