Car Subwoofer ear pressure

razorblade

CarAudio.com Newbie
Nov 13, 2021
14
1
Hi everyone,

A couple months ago I bought a 200W JBL BassPro Nano under seat subwoofer for my car. The sound seems good, but I think I tested the volume a bit too much in the beginning, which caused me to have to see a doctor with tinnitus-like symptoms. Now I am trying to play the subwoofer more moderately, but I still experience air pressure on my ears and after a longer ride a beep in my ears, while I feel like the sound is loud, but should not be too loud. I have a small car. Could it be my (equalizer) settings?

My current settings are
Subwoofer +0 (with quarter of subwoofer volume open)
Bass +7
Mid + 7
Treble + 7

On the subwoofer I opened the gain a bit more than half. The low pass filter is at its lowest and the bass boost is off. In my car radio, the bass boost is +2.

I have a JVC KD-R871BT radio with volume around 30. It sounds loud, of course, but I feel like it should be reasonable still. I use bluetooth and have my phone volume touching the warning level of "may be damagable to ears", but not crossing that level.

Do you have any ideas? Could it be a setting?

Thanks in advance!
 
Last edited:

Popwarhomie

Team Lethal Pressure
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Jan 22, 2010
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Yeah a 100 watt 6x8" subwoofer isn't going to cause hearing issues.

That is more common with high frequencies. Turn the treble down.
 

razorblade

CarAudio.com Newbie
Nov 13, 2021
14
1
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
Thank you for yor reply! The subwoofer is 200W. Is that still not a problem?
 

Popwarhomie

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Thank you for yor reply! The subwoofer is 200W. Is that still not a problem?
Not at all. I daily drove my car with 10,000+ watt setups and never had issues with my annual hearing test. High frequencies are much more likely to damage your ears.
 
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metalheadjoe

Unapologetic prick
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Oct 21, 2007
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Not at all. I daily drove my car with 10,000+ watt setups and never had issues with my annual hearing test. High frequencies are much more likely to damage your ears.
Popwar: Rather than threadjack, I'll start my own thread, and I'd like to hear your experience.

To OP, I wouldn't worry about the sub damaging your ears. I've heard (though haven't researched) that distortion is harder on your eardrums than volume alone, so I'd avoid overdriving your system to a point where it sounds distorted. My ears hurt more after a few hours driving on the highway in my POS work pickup (underpowered, poorly insulated, cheapest pickup my employer could possibly get) than after a few hours driving with my stereo up.
 

RobGMN

CarAudio.com Elite VIP
Jul 1, 2021
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Extended exposure at even moderate levels can be damaging. You might want to get a set of earplugs that reduce the impact while still letting you hear the full range of frequencies.
‘Sounds silly (why not just turn volume down?), until you realize you’re also reducing vehicle noise AND can now be play loud enough to FEEL the music and not just hear it, while also protecting your irreplaceable gift.
 

razorblade

CarAudio.com Newbie
Nov 13, 2021
14
1
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
Thank you for your responses. I've tried driving about 2.5 hours today. Ended with these settings:

Subwoofer +5
Bass level +5
Mid level +4
Treble +3

Had some passengers for 20 minutes. Asked about their ears. No problem. My ears after the drive are ringing a bit. Not sure what it is or what to do. If it really is the car noise and I need ear plugs for that already, I would find it odd, but would use them. I don't understand how a little music can make me feel like this. I'm confused. My hearing test was okay, but tinnitus is annoying and I want to make sure it doesn't get worse.
 

metalheadjoe

Unapologetic prick
10+ year member
Oct 21, 2007
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Thank you for your responses. I've tried driving about 2.5 hours today. Ended with these settings:

Subwoofer +5
Bass level +5
Mid level +4
Treble +3

Had some passengers for 20 minutes. Asked about their ears. No problem. My ears after the drive are ringing a bit. Not sure what it is or what to do. If it really is the car noise and I need ear plugs for that already, I would find it odd, but would use them. I don't understand how a little music can make me feel like this. I'm confused. My hearing test was okay, but tinnitus is annoying and I want to make sure it doesn't get worse.
Is tinnitus self-diagnosed? Does your doctor agree that you're suffering from tinnitus? Can you try driving without music on at all and see how you feel? Do your ears hurt after going to a movie, concert, or other loud event? The best bet is always to talk to your doctor. Best of luck.
 

razorblade

CarAudio.com Newbie
Nov 13, 2021
14
1
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
Hi! Well kind of self diagnosed. The doctor simply says that if I feel it then I have it.

Yes I could try that! No music next time. And yes, I also can feel the ringing at other places sometimes. It's really tough. I should have taken more care.

But, I also believe that it has to do with the subwoofer or at least my loud music in the car, since the problem cane shortly after I got my subwoofer
 

SlugButter

CarAudio.com Elite VIP
Nov 5, 2019
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Hi! Well kind of self diagnosed. The doctor simply says that if I feel it then I have it.

Yes I could try that! No music next time. And yes, I also can feel the ringing at other places sometimes. It's really tough. I should have taken more care.

But, I also believe that it has to do with the subwoofer or at least my loud music in the car, since the problem cane shortly after I got my subwoofer
You don’t work around machines or devices that make long droning noises, like a tractor or industrial machinery? Riding around in a farm tractor cab doesn’t seem that loud when you’re doing it, but doing it for 10 hours per day can cause the same damage as something extremely loud for 30 minutes can.
 

razorblade

CarAudio.com Newbie
Nov 13, 2021
14
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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11
Not really as far as I know. I work in the office. But my car does make some noise and I drive quite a bit of hours per week
 

SlugButter

CarAudio.com Elite VIP
Nov 5, 2019
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Not really as far as I know. I work in the office. But my car does make some noise and I drive quite a bit of hours per week
Nah. Just car noise doesn’t hurt. It’s the big machinery that creates louder subsonic frequencies that can hurt over long periods. Newer cars are pretty quiet. It’s probably the stereo. Everyone’s ears are different.
 

razorblade

CarAudio.com Newbie
Nov 13, 2021
14
1
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14
But my setup shouldn't hurt, right? I mean, it doesn't sound too loud at all. I just feel air pressure in my ears.
 

metalheadjoe

Unapologetic prick
10+ year member
Oct 21, 2007
1,348
666
But my setup shouldn't hurt, right? I mean, it doesn't sound too loud at all. I just feel air pressure in my ears.
200w shouldn't hurt unless you are cranking everything way up. Cleaner sound is better for your ears.
 

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