Mental and auditory acuity, and aging

Mental and auditory acuity, and aging

Once we hit 60 or concerns change. Besides the obvious ones, I wonder if our ability to stay in the moment and enjoy music lessons. Heaven forbid.

I thank my mother for opening my eyes to healthy food as a boy. I’m 70 at the moment, and as mentally sharp as ever. I remember eating alfalfa sprouts instead of lettuce. I can still hear the jeers at cafeteria, “Look, he’s eating grass.” I smiled secretly and watched them eat their white bread ham sandwiches and guzzle their Cokes.

I know this is off our usual topics, but after a lifetime of ‘not indulging’, and researching health, I’d be happy to share a few things that really help to keep my mind sharp. I don’t feel it is correct to name the regime or products here. If you’d like to know, just PM me. I’m not affiliated with any of the products. I’m hoping admin will allow this.


Taking your post to lean to the audio hobby: 

Not far behind you, for sure things change. As we age, the fluid in our inner ear thickens reducing our high frequencies. Getting old stinks, but I don't like the alternative. 

Going through life most people have some hearing loss from loud sounds. Gunfire ( defective Military ear plugs), Who concerts, Lawn mowers etc. We have been pretty careful, but where I had been tested to 22K in my 20's, the last tweeters I tested on the bench seemed to roll off above 15K. Not bad for an old fart though.  My father loved his AR-2's, but he flew both seats in B-25's so had no HF hearing at all.  Everyone ends up in a different place. 

How important music is and can you continue to get evolved for listening I do not think is directly age related.  Not for me at least. I want music almost all the time and I still just sit and listen. 

How to keep your mind sharp is a topic that fortunately has been studied a little. Good old crossword puzzles, constant reading, thinking and discussing not just watching the news.  Basically, to keep your brain, use it. The topic of age and retirement comes up occasionally. I have known people in their 90's who were sharper than I ever was, and people in their 50's that should be put to pasture.   It depends.  ( I have also known people in their 30's that were dumber than a stick in the mud, so age may not treat them well) .

How we deal with stress effects our thinking. I loved the quote from Junior Johnson ( NASCAR driver, chief, owner)  " I don't get stressed, I cause it".  I suggest, just my personal view, stress has a lot more to do with health than just food.  I have been on a "seafood diet" all my life. I see food. I eat it.  We are learning it all has far more to do with genetics.  I am so far very lucky to not be on any medications. I should take Glucosamine for my joints, but I forget. ( it does work) 

Clearly our auditory acuity is reduced with age, but often our listening skills and appreciation go up… so it is pretty easy to have that a wash.


I’m 71. And I appreciate music and my system much more than ever. My system is better than it has even been before, I have more time to enjoy it and without work and so many other “have to” activities it allows greater opportunity to just be. Mindful meditation has further uncluttered my mind to be able to experience music and deep rumination’s on philosophy and science.


I try to walk a line with a healthful lifestyle and indulgence.


So I ride my bicycle to h]get fresh vegetables, a steak, and red wine.

Also, while I can tell I have some diminution in hearing (part of which is periodically restored by ear cleaning) I do not have it measured because like a flaw in a sound system, once I am specifically aware of it, I become conscious of it and cannot “un-hear it”.  I prefer to enjoy life, focus on all that I have, not at what I do not have.

I am 72 years old and i had tuned my room 100 resonators by ears in a one year period...Use what you have for what you have : your ears/brain...

Perceiving sound is not explained by frequencies Fourier linear analysis , it is way more complex... If the window of your house is more narrow now than it was before because you decrease his wall dimensions , you can anyway see and RECOGNIZE the scenery as well than before... Why ? it is because you had learn how to perceive sensible qualities of sound which cannot be described and understood only by mere references to the frequencies responses maps...There is other acoustic, psycho-acoustic factors...And concepts cannot be erased by a decreased frequencies perception...We can think with half or almost no brain , in the same way we can listen and conduct an orchestra in old age with a lower high frequencies perceptive ceilings... For sure we need some level of frequencies perception and not a too low level ...Nobody want hearing aids... But old age of healthy people dont erase music and sound PERCEPTION...

My wife with better measured hearings than me could not have tune my room because she never learn how to perceive sounds in a small room... Perceiving is also conceptualization...Without concept you cannot identify the song of a bird as the "song of a bird" only as an unknown noise...


«We see sounds , we do not only hear them» Anonymus acoustician to a deaf patient learning echolocation

Last night, after what's been a rather emotional week, I sat down and listened to Jennifer Warne's SACD of "The Well", and had tears in my eyes for nearly the whole disc. Not tears from sadness, but from joy from what a wonderful and well done, but understated disc of music this is.

This after finishing Beethoven's Complete Symphonies by The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, and to finish it off as I was falling asleep, Doug MacLeod's "Brand New Eyes". This kind of music making (or I should say music listening), for a 76 year old guy that's had a stroke, and looks after his 77 year old Dementia affected wife, makes the world go 'round for me.

In spite of difficulties, it makes life worthwhile. Some of the difficulties are due to learning of my current limitaions (and they are hard lessons), but my hearing hasn't been affected in a manner that diminishes my enjoyment of music. 

Thank God for that!

Regards, and enjoy,


Yea, learning our limitations. Worked too hard in the yard and man am I in pain. :)

So, a bit of Harry James and life is good. 

I evolved to be broth eating vegetarian after hitting 50. Instead of meats or cold cuts I simply use bone broth preferably Vietnamese style



👍😀. Thanks for sharing… stay well. My partner is not well. I need to stay nearby… love my time with my system as well.

I'm 83 and still hear quite well but obviously not as well as 30 years ago and am still mentally sharp and in good health. But here's the kicker for the past 15 years I have been single and as a result have had the worst dietary habits, very few vegies and too much fast food. I guess I've been lucky so far but you should wait a few years beyond 70 before crediting diet with good health. 

Guys, diet and genetics are not mutually exclusive.

Diet affects gene functions...

Exercise is the only quantified healthy life extender other than genetic luck. Unless you have some allergy issue your diet isn't that important, within reason...don't get stinking drunk everyday and pound six cans of Spam but simply pay attention and don't be stupid, although you might die shortly anyway. That's just life.

Most of the guys my age I’ve known who have already died did so as a result of smoking cigarettes or over-indulging in drink. The others just got unlucky, dying of various cancers not caused by personal choices.

Sure are a lot of guys in their 70’s (including me) on Audiogon! That may be because having a good hi-fi system was a pretty common pursuit for our generation.

Thank you Dan for the wise words. I'm about a decade behind you and learning that this aging thing is not all cotton candy and puppy dogs

I don't know if really enjoying a listening session keeps you sharp- handicapping the thoroughbreds is pretty good brain exercise- but I'm convinced it is great for managing stress. I have a pretty stressful job- running our states prison system and state police agency- and I try to spend a couple hours every night just taking in the music with lights out. I'm convinced it's a healthy endeavor and provides a great escape from the stressors of the day. Something I look forward to

I also enjoy reading these posts and I learn a lot from all- well, most of you  thanks for that 


thecarpathian made my week, that article is basically a replica of my diet. No wonder my hearing is still very good at 69, even so I have tinnitus.

So many people think they can somehow control the aging process and maybe they can, but at the individual level luck/genetics are bigger factors.  You can drink, smoke and not exercise and still make it to 90, or you could abstain from all vices and die at 32.  It happens!  In the end do what makes you most happy in both the short and long term.  It also really helps if you have money and access to good health care services.

If eating 🥓 makes me happy, I’m going to eat 🥓.  If listening to Kenny Barron makes me happy, I’m going to listen to Kenny Barron.

Period, end of story.

I know this topic is geared towards the elderly (I'm 71) but after reading this thread, are there any audiophiles under the age of 50? While we are at it, any women? If so, speak up. For me being an audiophile started young (early 20's) paused for 30 years or so to raise a family, and resumed when time and money allowed. I'm enjoying good sounding music now more than I ever did, and like me, I would hate to see (hear) it die. 


I know this topic is geared towards the elderly (I'm 71) but after reading this thread, are there any audiophiles under the age of 50? While we are at it, any women? If so, speak up. 


From what I can tell, this stereotype of the 'aging male' audiophile seems to be a bit biased by what is seen in the US, and the UK.

All one has to do to see it does not apply to a good chunk of the rest of the world, is watch audiophile show coverage on YT from shows in: Hong Kong, Poland, Tokyo, Hungary, Manila, Singapore. 

You will see plenty of younger people, women, families. In fact, on one of Fremer's show coverage videos from Hong Kong, he comments several times how the attendees lean much younger than the US.

There is also a video from Singapore, where the presenter is giving tour of an audio mall (yes, Singapore actually has mall, several floors, with nothing but dozens of high end dealers in every store front), where you can also see that the majority of the shoppers are fairly young.

i eat relatively well because my wife cook supper...

Dinner is less well chosen... 😊

But i take this : astaxanthine ( one of the most powerrful NATURAL anti inflammatory) the most efficient for me of all my supplement because i need it ...

Berberine ( powerful diabetes ptrevention )

Black cumin or nigella sativa ( the list of proven benefits is so long it takes many pages)

Curcuma +gingember+black pepper for absorption here also too much benefits proven to write them...😊

Vitamin d each day ( 4,000 mg )

Vitamin c each day (2,000 mg)

Omega3 fatty acid oil

Minerals each day ( small dose)

It is my each day supplement for years...

I even felt the effect of astaxanthine on my eyes fatigues and on some inflammation zones as the gall bladder inflammation...

curcumal is magical for the metabolism and elimination...

Berberine is so powerful i take only 500 mg a day with 2 i feel disconfrort where you done need to ... I take it as a sugar bad effect control... It work...

my eyes and ears are stable at 73 three...

Nigella sativa and curcuma and astaxanthine are powerful ... Read about them...

Each of us are different than you must research FOR YOUR SPECIFIC NEEDS and take care of the possible secondary effects... Interaction with other drugs is very dangerous then take nothing without extensive research... Try anything one products at a time and watch your body to see negative impact and taking the right dosage...Berberine for example for my sugar level ask for my actual dosage of 500 mg...Not more...

Ask your doctor if his mind is open to something which is not big pharma drugs...

I did not ask mine because she is mind controlled... And instead of berberine for my sugar level she will advise me WRONG with a pharma  drug etc ....I am not diabetic but on the borderline.... The last time i measure it was OK thanks to berberine...

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I am 67, with hearing that sits in the upper percentile for my age.

But, even with the inevitable loss of some high frequency hearing that comes with age, there is so much more that I don’t think diminishes.

Dynamics, soundstage, imaging, the rest of the frequencies, attack/decay, timbre, can still be heard and evaluated.

Not to mention, that the musical instrument that goes the highest, is the violin, at 16K hz, and that is including the harmonics. The instrument with the highest fundamental is the piccolo, at 4K. The majority of instruments, including harmonics, are under 13K.

So, the detriment to listening to music/audio that comes with age related high frequency hearing loss, may be a bit overstated.

See this interactive chart for more info -

Interactive Frequency Chart


Each person is different. I have two friends my age who have to wear hearing aids but aren't audiophiles. I, on the other hand, lost 80% hearing in my right ear at age 20 before I became a full fledged audiophile and enjoy music as much as I did in my 20s. Have I lost hearing range.... I don't know but since I don't and still enjoy music as much as always, it doesn't matter. Life goes on. 

Being old may be not a problem for many , but for many others getting old is...

We do not choose our genetics, and sometimes we do not choose or are not able to choose our environment and in many cases we are not able to choose what we eat...Look at an earth globe....And roll it , pick a country and thought about it... or look at any american cities and analyse its population behaviour...


I dont feel old at 72 because i was lucky with my genetics and environment and i am able to eat minimally well... And i can think ....It is result from my past  choices sure but i was lucky enough to be able to express them in the right place ...

Others are not so lucky...

Getting old is not the problem, being old is.


I"ve had Tinnitus for 50 years, so it takes a really nice setup to keep  my attention.   Otherwise I get music fatigue really fast


Yes I'm 71,and walk when i can 5 miles a day ,just keeping up a nice pace .I only drink with friends and not alone. Gave up smoking 35 years ago .I eat pretty much what i want .I had a 2 1/2 tumor removed in 2018 the Sat after Thanksgiving. I have Gist cancer .Been taking one pill a day for 5 years now.Being alive is a gift.Yes Sitting in the front row was something i had done a few times .Black Sabbath, Yes,Traffic.but that was went i was young .We were young and stupid. I went to a concert to see Robin Trower had seat in the front ,to the side .My ears were killing me after the concert ,never again that close.You think i would of learned....try and get some exercise, Walking is the best thing for you...My doctor told me if i hadn't been a walker ,the tumor would of probability killed me.

@giantsalami ,

"Eat right, exercise, live well, die anyway..."

But do it in beautiful Connecticut!


I was at an Art Museum the other day for an enjoyable hour.  It occurred to me that my 65 year old eyes aren’t as sharp as they were when I first viewed Seurat Sunday at the Grande Jatte, but I seem to appreciate it much more than back then, having learned much more about Art in the in general.  It made me reflect on the angst that declining hearing has produced in me.  Mahler’s Eighth Symphony is his one Symphony that previously I had respected more than I have loved.  However I just had a composer friend describe his appreciation of the piece, and what he listens for.  Coupled with appreciation for the rest of Mahler’s output, and armed with his insights, I ‘ve listened anew this week and am now finally developing a real affection for it.  So my ears aren’t as acute as previously, but as with my eyes and Seurat, my overall appreciation has increased immensely 

Great story!


We perceive more with attention permeated by assimilated concepts than with only a gross resolutive power of amplification of the senses in the frequencies band...

The only exception is when a sense is over developed like dogs nose or bat hyper hearing...But here there exist other limitations because we are captive of one sense...


Don’t allow your age to define you.

Baseball great Satchel Paige quote; "How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was?"