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Microphone Month 5

Ear Fatigue

The literal translation is ‘tired ears.’ Ear Fatigue is not really a clinically recognized state, but audio professionals have been referring to it for years. It’s caused by a combination of TTS (Temporary Threshold Shift) and general fatigue. The condition we call ear fatigue usually occurs after many hours of listening to or working with audio, especially when working at relatively high SPL‘s. It causes us to not hear the sound in the same way we do when we are fresh. Sometimes people report soreness of the ears associated with this, but not always. There are ongoing studies of this phenomenon, and the phenomenon of fatigue and how it affects performance in general, but much remains unknown. Suffice to say that making critical audio decisions while in a fatigued state is not advised and generally results in doing the work over again.

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