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Ears In Sync With Eyes

Discussion in 'audio' started by Big Tabs, Mar 26, 2020.


Do you enjoy music better with?

  1. Eyes Open

  2. Eyes Closed

  3. Alcohol

  4. Fingers In Ears

  5. Fingers In Eyes

  6. None Of The Above, Go Away You Fool

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs hearing problems

  2. Accuphaseman

    Accuphaseman pfm Member

    Trouble is when I listen with my eyes shut I fall asleep and get woken up by the thud of the run out groove.
    YNWOAN and Big Tabs like this.
  3. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs hearing problems

    Often if I have my eyes shut when listening, the Wifelet enters the room and scares the sheet out of me.

    In fact, even with my eyes open, I get lost in a piece of music and don't notice her walking into the room, until she speaks and I jump out of my skin.
  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Stereo/audio exists to create an illusion via sound. Remove all the visual cues and is is just so much more effective. Listening late at night with the lights out is almost always an upgrade of at least a third of your system’s total value. I’m always amazed folk a) listen mainly with the lights on, and b) buy kit with ugly dazzlingly bright blue LEDs etc and then park it right between the speakers!
  5. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs hearing problems

    Did you read the article?

    What do you think to it?
  6. Fudgemaster

    Fudgemaster pfm Member

    Predominantly eyes open, but occasionally, for some music, say Mahler 5 Adagietto, or Barber's Adagio, then eyes closed sounds better, in an indefinable way. Much the way that music improves at night, with fewer distractions, particularly when it's dark outside.
    Closing your eyes does allow you to concentrate more intimately with the music.
  7. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs hearing problems

  8. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I didn’t spot the link to be honest, just read it now though. I think it is the exact opposite direction of audio/hi-fi and I stand by what I said in that we get huge benefits from removing visual cues by darkness. That doesn’t mean I don’t end up ‘looking’ when Coltrane starts blowing his sax over to the left side of my room, though he is definitely more ‘there’ when I can’t see the speaker that is creating the illusion. This is especially true with little speakers, e.g. my JR149s, which can totally fool you with the lights off to the extent you’d never believe such scale of sound and deep spacious soundstage was coming from a device barely over a foot tall.
  9. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs hearing problems

    I think we all agree that we get benefits when listening to music/hifi by removing visual cues.

    I find it odd when I close my eyes yet see the music in different places as much as hearing it in different places.

    The eyes guiding the ears? Ears win ?

    If I was in a heavily wooded forest, on my own, at dusk, my ears would be working harder than my eyes.

  10. 2ManyBoxes

    2ManyBoxes pfm Member

    I've read the article and I don't think it has much to do with listening to music. The article says that when our eyes shift focus then something happens to our ear drums simultaneously. One eardrum moves further in and the other moves further out. Nobody has any idea really why this is happening but there is a theory (aka a wild stab in the dark) that this somehow helps us to determine if what we're looking at is making a noise.

    It must have been known for ages that when you close your eyes you sharpen your hearing. This is because there is a switch at the top of the spinal chord that all sensory input comes through. It's called the ascending reticular formation and what it does is pretty impressive, at least to me.

    You're not aware of this but the brain can't really handle the input from 2 of the senses at the same time. So this switch is very quickly switching between each sense. The sense that takes the most processing power and gets the main priority is your sight. If you close your eyes then you're allowing your hearing to get a lot more brain time and so it will sound better because your eyes aren't constantly butting in.

    The switch also handles you going to sleep by simply switching off all sensory input so you can dream. However, it's still monitoring your senses so that if there's a strange sound or whatever, it'll decide to wake you up.

    LSD works by messing around with this switch. The effect of LSD is to allow more than one sense to hit the brain at the same time. This is why colours will seem to have sounds etc. Your brain can't really handle it all so it comes up with all sorts of weird ideas to try to make sense of it.

    There you go, my degree wasn't wasted after all :)
    Whaleblue, Durmbo, Darren L and 2 others like this.
  11. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs hearing problems


    Fantastic post.

    Thank you for responding.

    I have never taken LSD, but if I get to 80 yrs. plus - you only live once...
  12. davidf

    davidf pfm Member

    I enjoy music more with eyes open. Not sure why. Maybe I’m wired differently.
    Mr Pig and Big Tabs like this.
  13. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs hearing problems

    Does it matter to you where your eyes are focused when listening to your hifi?

    Do you get fixated on the tweeters? (I find I do this sometimes)

    Or maybe you are reading or doing something else at the same time?

    Maybe there are only a few of us who just sit and listen, without having to do anything else?
  14. davidf

    davidf pfm Member

    Often reading but even just focused listening eyes open
    Big Tabs likes this.
  15. davidf

    davidf pfm Member

    Guess I like looking at my Kudos T88’s - Tineo wood looks nice ;)
    Big Tabs likes this.
  16. Emlin

    Emlin MQA Hater!

    So, you're saying that your Tannoys don't open your eyes to the music? :)
    Big Tabs likes this.
  17. Durmbo

    Durmbo not French

    I often enjoy listening with my eyes closed.

    Poking smot can enhance the listening experience. Low dose psychedelics can be even better - cleaner, sharper, and more "colourful" than pot, IME.

    Being in a good mood goes a long way, however you get there. I suffer from recurrent clinical depression. Like everything really, music tends to become ponderous during an episode.
    Big Tabs likes this.
  18. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs hearing problems


    I find my mood dominates the choice of music that I put on the hifi.

    Sometimes I can seek to deliberately change my mood by choosing an uplifting album-artist.

    This is rare though. My emotions dictate the choice, whether I accept it or not.

    Most obvious if I am in a foul mood.

    I am less inclined to close my eyes and swim in the music if I am in a bad mood.

    As for using substances to accentuate the musical experience? > That is a different thread completely.

  19. cjarchez

    cjarchez pfm Member

    The paired movement, as described in the article, seems logical to me.
    Just watch your pets moving their pinnea to better focus on the sound they're interested in, they also tend to look in the same direction. I would guess they also have the same in the ear adjustments the article describes as well, part of why their hearing is superior to ours.

    I can't find where I read another study where the opposite also happens i.e. to focus on a sound we will turn our head to give bias to one ear while looking away from that direction to better concentrate on that sense, which leads us back neatly to the dark environment for greater musical pleasure.

    Alcohol also gets my vote, relaxed listening is always better.
    Big Tabs likes this.
  20. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs hearing problems

    Good point about dogs ears moving. My wife just mentioned how horses ears move to the sound.

    A self-defence mechanism ? And an attack aid. (in terms of dogs - humans etc)

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