How I Used a Parametric EQ For Partial Hearing Loss

I just ran across an interesting read that perhaps would be useful for using with Pro Q-3, being as it has the EQ matching capabilities.

Here is the link:

The video is what inspired the guy to attempt this procedure.

I would love to give this a try. I just need to figure out how download and play the test tones and to set this all up.

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Just download some test tones put on your headphones with everything set flat. That’ll probably tell you more than you might want to know.
Jacob turned me on fabfilter EQ, I blew out my left eardrum during accident so my high frequency is compromised. With the EQ boost my headphones imaging is quite good now.

2xHD Hi Res System set-up product has a bunch of frequencies to test system as well as your hearing

I’m not sure that you guys saw this link to the free ‘do it yourself’ hearing test produced by the University of New South Wales, Sydney Australia, found in the WikiAudio article that I posted here previously:

Quote: “This free hearing test measures the relative sensitivity of your ears at different frequencies. It produces equal loudness contours or hearing sensitivity curves – the frequency response of your ears.”


From @Agoldnear I got the tip for the db112 headphone monitor plug-in. Crossfeed is applied here. Where the stereo image should sound more like when you listen to speakers.
Also, some of the information from the bad ear ends up in the good ear. The order of plug-ins should therefore be: first crossfeed then the EQ.

I can imagine that a combination of some corrective EQ with some crossfeed can improve the musical experience.

I never really like the headphone experience. But last night I just listened to music for a while with the DB112 plug-in. I think it is quite an improvement.


Further detail on Head-Related Transfer Function (HTRF):

The 112dB Redline Monitor has the unique function of ’ virtualization’, which can be used to closely match the sound-field of a near-field monitor system in a studio, However, for general music auditioning, they provide the ability to disable the room virtualization by setting the virtual listening position ‘distance’ to 0 (zero) inches or (OFF), therefore applying only the parametric Left and Right channel signal presentation-angle spatialization and the level-adjustment of the ‘phantom’ Center channel image with absolutely zero coloration from room virtualization.… (My preferred high-resolution auditioning configuration is with the listening position set to ‘OFF’ (zero inches) and the Left and Right channel presentation setting is 75 degrees with 0 (zero) phantom Center Channel attenuation.)


It has been a while since I posted an update with the progress.

I used two different sources for the test tones, one being the hearing test site that was provided here and test tone files. The end results were averages from 4 different tests.

  • 2 with headphones from both sources, 1 each
  • 2 with the main speakers from both sources 1 each

Why the average? While all 4 were head and shoulders better than anything I’ve heard for years, different areas of the listening spectrum were slightly flawed.

This got me extremely close. I then did very slight tweaks in Pro Q3 and I now have the the best sound, something I haven’t heard for 15 plus years!

How I derived at the settings in Pro Q3:

  • For the digital files, I used a similar process mentioned above with a different approach, as I don’t have the knowledge of creating the source for EQ matching.
    • I played the test tones starting with the suggested start frequency and found a volume where I could just hear it. All other frequencies played were found on the spectrum analyzer and I adjusted from the peak to find the frequency. Plus or minus db until I could hear it.
  • The hearing test was done on the website provided above.
    • I followed the instructions from the website. I then used the 1k middle frquency as a zero db starting point in Pro Q3. All other frequencies were adjusted from the db difference of the results from the test.

All final results in the EQ were then adjusted with the yellow curve making them flow without any overlap.

I also made different presets of the final result with plus or minus gain of the same adjusted frequencies.

I actually have 4 presets for different listening volumes, named for the db level to be played at.

The reason for this, because @Jacob posted about the loudness knob on many of the old amps got me thinking.

The end result are actually better than mentioned above. I don’t think I have ever heard music this good.

Is this scientific? No! To me, what really matters, is I can enjoy music!

Thank you @OffRode for the Pro Q3 suggestion and troubleshooting, @Agoldnear for the valuable reading material to help with the decisions during this lengthy process and @Jacob for the insight of perceived loudness at different volumes.

Sorry for being so long winded.


Glad to read that you’ve elevated your enjoyment of listening to the music… It was a scientific approach, fine tuned by your sensibilities… :sunglasses: :+1:


I find your prose quite succinct, nicely spread out and easy to understand. So good to hear you are as well having great results. Is your hearing issue more symmetrical or asymmetrical like mine ?

I completely understand the loudness button thing I still like to play with that on my vintage gear :sunglasses:

Hopefully others will read your novel j/k and think to test their frequency ranges or consult a Audiologist. Though I see a good reason to test with our personal equipment to enhance and correct music reproduction.

Big props to @Jacob again, his knowledge and ability to share it in a easily understandable way was priceless

I am not sure, as I have never looked into this, or the meaning of these terms.

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I think OffRode is referring to his hearing damage in 1 ear. To compensate for this, he looked for an EQ that could handle asymmetric left-right settings.

Very cool what you’ve done. Worked very constructively towards a result. And now enjoy the Music.

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Relevant to the discussion regarding both symmetrical and asymmetrical hearing impairment…

Quoted from the article linked below:

Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) indicates defects in either the cochlea or in the neural transmission to the central nervous system. Table 1 demonstrates the wide range of possible aetiologies of SNHL. The more common causes of SNHL include presbycusis, noise induced hearing loss, Meniere disease, drug induced (ie. aminoglycosides) and infectious causes.

Asymmetrical sensorineural hearing loss (ASNHL) is defined as binaural difference in bone conduction thresholds of >10 dB at two consecutive frequencies or >15 dB at one frequency (0.25–8.0 kHz)3 (Figure 1). Poorer speech perception will often accompany poorer hearing and may be the reason for the patient’s presentation. A difference of >15% in the maximum speech discrimination score is also significant.

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Excerpt from article above

hearing loss is the most prevalent sensory deficit reported by patients. ten to 20% of Australians have some hearing impairment and approximately 50% of those over 65 years of age are hearing impaired. in 2005–2006, 2.6% of all general practice encounters in Australia were for ear symptoms with an additional 0.8% for vertigo and dizziness.1 hearing loss can be conductive, sensorineural or mixed. the most common type of hearing impairment in adults is sensorineural

The numbers are quite high for the elder group. The audiologist is going to be heavily focused on the hearing of speech ( rightly so ) but with the tools available to the audiophile/ music aficionado you can tune up your own music system. Pretty cool


It has been a while since I visited this topic and a few things have changed.

-1 I found a wonderful no strings attached web site for doing a hearing evaluation. It can be found here:

-2 I have changed the plugin used for this correction. I am now using HiFi Aid from @Home_Audio_Fidelity

It is quite a simple process. You get the numbers from the hearing test provided and plug them into HiFi Aid. Anything 60db or lower in the 1kh frequency and there will be no adjustment needed. So basically for me, I never have to tweet the listening loudness knob, as I never go above that.

Using Pro EQ3, yielded the same results, however, tweaking was needed for different listening levels and now, a simple, set it and forget it.

Thierry from Home Audio Fidelity helped me though the the process getting me up and running.

I have no affiliation with his company, but I am enjoying the the product and results and thought it best to share my change.


I’m curious… How did you acquire the calibration for the hearing test? Did you administer it by using your speakers or your headphones? If you used your speakers, did you perform any speaker/room compensation to flatten, as best possible, their response at the listening position?

I’m also curious, what is the functional benefit HiFi Aid brings to the table, once your personal audiogram was accurately acquired, as compared to (for instance) Pro EQ3?

Are you employing other Home Fidelity Audio room/speaker DSP?

I’m adding another reference for the revised Equal Loudness Contour:

I only tested with headphones.

For some reason, I either had Pro EQ3 improperly adjusted, or something. With HiFi Aid, it is pretty much set it and forget it once the figures are plugged in. I am loving the sound I was missing. Pro EQ needed tweeted periodically.

I am not using Home Fidelity room correction.

Sorry for the late response. It had been a hectic week so far.

Interesting… I’m presuming HIFI Aid, is applying the compensation to a template of the Equal Loudness Contour at approximately 60 phon… The Pro EQ3 compensation was probably not based on a template of the Equal Loudness Contour, in the context of your previous explanations prior to applying HiFi Aid… If speaker playback is your primary mode of listening, you will benefit from another audiogram acquired from the listening position…

To answer your question, Hifi Aid is working dynamically as an hearing aid device : if the sound level is above your hearing threshold there is no need for amplification. To say things differently, if you have a slight hearing loss in the treble range, Hifi Aid will amplify trebles only when they are below your hearing threshold. This is why you need to set your actual listening level or at least an approximation.

Is this this being applied dynamically to the center frequencies of the user audiogram individually or is it applying volume adjustments dynamically to 8 bands based on the user contour profile? … What is the maximum sample-rate HiFi Aid is able to render?

The first part @Home_Audio_Fidelity will have to answer. The second part quoted here, there seems to be a limit. I am not sure what it is though. Before your advice, up sampling to DSD, I was up sampling by x2 or x4 and some files there was a problem.

Thanks for the input… Do you playback DXD files?