How I Used a Parametric EQ For Partial Hearing Loss

EDIT: This thread started as questions and after many trials and errors, arrived at a solution that is working for me.

It was called to my attention that perhaps others would benefit from the results and hence renaming the thread.

The renaming has been done, but to find the answers, you will need to go through the thread. there is a lot of valuable stuff along the way.

Forgive me for my ignorance, as I am fairly new to this digital stuff and also not sure if this is the correct forum for this question.

I have slight hearing loss in the upper middle frequencies and higher.

My current setup seems to be doing well, but what I am reading, it seems a digital parametric EQ would be better.

My current approach:

  • analog EQ after the DAC with everything in the lower to mid frequencies set at minus 3db and gradual increase on the remaining up to 0db, keeping the whole spectrum at or below 0db. This seems fine with no detectable noise.

I am running the latest Studio version on an older 2013 Mac, sofware version 10.1.

My questions to all you experts, would there be an advantage using a digital parametric EQ? If so, is there anything that will work on my older system? Most of what I have found requires 10.8 of higher. Also, I don’t have a clue, as to how to install to get it up and running.

This will be used for Flack and Tidal/Qobuz streaming, not DSD.


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Not sure if this will work for you or your os version but I find it quite useful for headphones listening with my hearing loss in one ear . It will correct for left and right channels independently

Thanks for the tip @OffRoad.

This was an easy install for a beginner. I have it up and running testing currently. It is supported with my OS.

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Looking at the tutorials for this software, it seems that instead of the way of the old analog EQ’s where best results were accomplished by lowering everything else than those needed boosting, you should now do this reverse.

I boost the frequency’s as I need then reduce the overall gain to keep the vu meters out of the red.

I think I have it pretty well dialed in with one exception. Where to you reduce overall gain? I see them peaking a bit high.

Look at my screen shot, lower right corner put your cursor over it and the controls pop up. Also will pop up over your EQ settings to allow bandwidth and gains settings

Got it. Thanks so much!!

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Evidently this works quite well with standard FLAC and Qobuz.

I must have to change a Studio setting somewhere to do Tidal MQA’s. When trying to play MQA’s, I get the major distortion issue.

Do you have Audirvana doing the MQA decode or your dac ? I was annoyed by the volume jump when using the dac, that’s probably pushing your gain too high again.
I now have my dac setting to non MQA and let Audirvana do the work

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I went over all the settings and cannot get the EQ to work with MQA;s.

I have the DAC doing the final unfold. My settings do not look like that, as I only have one toggle for MQA. I guess that is because the DAC is MQA. Turning off the MQA decoder does nothing though. Still major distortion. The only way the MQA will play, is shutting off the real time in the plugin section. Doing this however, does not utilize the plugin though.

Ain’t main reason of mqa existing is you can’t change it? Locked format ?

Both of my DAC are MQA as well, you should have same as my screenshot?

For me its about having Audirvana do the decoding thus keeping volume level and not jumping up when having DAC do MQA decoding
What’s your thoughts on that ?

I will have to investigate more when home. I am out now. All I have in the DAC settings for MQA is auto detect, either on or off and neither one stops the distortion playback.

This is what my settings look like.

Suggestions to try, Goto your computer settings and enable SysOpimizer, Toggle Auto detect MQA to off, Turn Integer Mode on

To process MQA you can no longer use the DAC as a decoder. The whole idea of ​​MQA is that the file being converted in the DAC is the same file as the authenticated studio file.

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I got it figured out @OffRode. I had to shut off autodetect MQA for the DAC, close Studio and fire it back up. I then had a dropdown for the MQA section and the only one that works with the EQ plugin is the option not MQA. It now works with all file types.

The only thing left to do now is some more testing to see if the MQA sounds better with the software decoding, or the way I had it previously, letting the DAC decode.