You can read a lot about calibrating the monitoring setup to sound as "neutral" as possible. This includes physical room optimization and equalization, buying expensive speakers or headphones etc.

But the hearing capabilities of each human is unique and it also changes with the human aging process or when some damaging incident happens.

How is this aspect handled in professional environments?

2 Answers 2


This may be down to personal preference, but I keep my studio monitors flat - even though I have about 3dB [subjective] hearing loss above about 6kHz in one ear. It was caused by illness, not by sitting too close to front of house for decades.

I compensate by turning my head periodically if I need more detail, rather than upsetting the sound of the room [for me or anyone else].

I always hear that way, so if I'm listening to someone else's work, I still hear it that way. After 20 years, I'm just kind of used to it.

There's nothing worse than going to a low-budget live gig with a half-deaf sound engineer who cranks up all the high end because he can no longer hear it. I'd say you should do the same in the studio, listen flat, learn what flat sounds like even with compromised hearing.
You have to mix to what everybody else's material sounds like, not what you'd like things to sound like because your hearing is compromised. If it's so compromised that you no longer can tell at all - then it's time to retire, or hire another engineer.


Individual hearing abilities don't really factor into the discussion beyond preferences for certain equipment or room designs.

Outside of building a better listening space (eg. control room) and tweaking one's monitors with corrective processing for the listening position, there really isn't a whole lot one can do to optimize sound reproduction.

There's also little reason to take pains beyond this because the point of diminishing returns is reached pretty quickly. As long as your monitoring chain doesn't exhibit severe spectral or temporal anomalies your brain/ears will adapt very quickly to the space you're in and the gear you're using.

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