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Old 04-21-2011, 06:19 AM
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Default Therapeutic Listening

Hi all,

I just need some help in understanding if my current pair of headphones are actually up to the test for doing some Therapeutic Listening with for my 4yr old son.

Quick nub explanation: Therapeutic Listening is an Occupational Therapist tool for helping children who suffer Sensory Process Disorders (such as my boy has). How it kinda works is the kids listen to certain specific music that hits frequencies we normally can't here (as well as those we can) and it does 'magic stuff lol'. Seriously, the science can be found here:

http://www.sensationalkidsot.com.au/...cListening.htm

Anyway I own a pair of Sennhesier HD280 Pro headphones. They are 8khz-25khz frequency response with 64 ohms but apparently this is not good enough according to this website here:

http://www.sensory-processing-disord...uidelines.html

It basically says for the treatment to work it needs a pair of headphones with a frequency response of 22-23khz (which mine do) but also 150ohms (and mine are only 64ohms.

SO passionate are they about this treatment that they say it WON'T WORK unless the headphones meet that requirement! The headphones they usually recommend are Sennheiser HD500a: http://www.vitalsounds.com/HD500ASpecs.aspx

But i'm getting a little confused now and here's why.

At this website here (http://www.vitallinks.net/musicplayer1.shtml) it talks about using a sansaclip+ as a suitable player for playing/using the Therapeutic Listening music. Is the sansaclip+ itself able to handle 150ohms? What i mean is, surely the file will have to be a wav. file or summin, and with a clip+ will a pair of headphones running 64ohms or 150ohms really be necessary or does the clip+ cap off sumwhere? I.e. is the sansaclip+ ABLE to handle 150ohms, how necessary is it?

Basically i was under the impression that if SUCH specific headphone specs are required then surely the machine it was attached to would need to be a bit more higher end than a clip+!? (like a high end hifi system or summin).

Anyway, I own a clip+ AND a pair of senheiser hd 280pro (but not 500a) and I just want to avoid having to buy another pair of cans if possible.

Cheers,

Bruce
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:46 AM
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HD500A have been designed specifically for use with Therapeutic Listening®”

I wonder what they mean by that statement above other than the explanation they give in the quote below, which appears to me as some form of marketing hype, a way to sell you a specific headphone. I don’t see any major difference between the 500a and 590 other than 30 Ohms (but who knows if there's something they're not saying). I would definitely consult a trusted otorhinolaryngologists and if needed an audiologist to ask these questions. I'd like to hear what they would say ...

Quote:
The model features combination of features and elements from two consumer Sennheiser models (HD500 and HD590), plus modifications to the specifications. The outer shell is identical to that of the HD500, with its supra-aural, semi-open aire design, sturdy construction, and comfortable fit for children and adults alike. The electronic components inside the HD500A contain slight modifications to Sennheiser's HD590 model, selected for its harmonics and frequency response. The ear cushions are velour like the HD590. See table below for a comparison of the different Sennheiser models.
On your other question, I think the Clip + should work fine to drive those phones, it can drive my HD650s and they’re 300 Ohms, sure not to ear shattering levels but I wouldn’t recommend that.


Edit: BTW I have 2 kids and if something beneficial was proven to improve a current condition I wouldn’t think twice about spending money, even if I didn’t have the money. Key word being proven to work ....
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  #3  
Old 04-21-2011, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkGood View Post

On your other question, I think the Clip + should work fine to drive those phones, it can drive my HD650s and they’re 300 Ohms, sure not to ear shattering levels but I wouldn’t recommend that.
Tbh, I don't think the clip+ was ever intended to drive 300 ohm headphones. The clip+ can't even drive the 75 ohm ksc75 fully. If it does indeed power the hd650 it has to be because of some very fortuitous impedance matching. Believe me, though I love the clip+ as much as the next person, I have to admit its internal amplifier isn't exactly the world's strongest.
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JxK View Post
Tbh, I don't think the clip+ was ever intended to drive 300 ohm headphones.
Of course it wasn’t intended to drive 300 ohm headphones and certainly not to their fullest potential but it can drive them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JxK View Post
The clip+ can't even drive the 75 ohm ksc75 fully. If it does indeed power the hd650 it has to be because of some very fortuitous impedance matching.
Actually I don’t have the “+” model mines the regular Clip but I don’t believe there’s a difference as I’ve read someone else that owns the “+” state the same thing. Certainly it doesn’t drive them fully but it can drive them to an acceptable audible level. As you must know it’s not how I drive my hd650s as I leave them paired with the WA6 all the time. And as you state it does have very good impedance matching.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JxK View Post
Believe me, though I love the clip+ as much as the next person, I have to admit its internal amplifier isn't exactly the world's strongest.
Agreed, I think the real question here is will it drive the 150 ohm HD500A he's considering and I think it's worth a try, you can always add an amp after the fact if it's needed.
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:03 PM
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So... basically im just trying to figure out if im wasting money on buying ANOTHER (3rd pair) of can style headphones or whether my HD280 Pro sennhiesers are gonna do the job at 64ohms. Like i said, i'm wondering if the therapeutic listening is contradicting itself saying u NEED these 500a cans, and also recommends the clip+ BUT will the clip+ take advantage of the 150ohms or is it pointless to use a clip+ with 150 ohms heads :S

And yes we are shelling out a FORTUNE on our son for speech and occupational therapy (which we know is helping), i'm just questioning whether I need these 500a's when i already have a good pair of cans (HD280 Pro) and the therapy itself is questionable.
It sounded to me as if it might have been contradicting itself a little using the clip+ and 500a's.
SO i just wanted to ask sum more knowledgeable chaps here....
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:07 AM
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I think the key is knowledge. ask them what impact the ohm rating has. They could be unknowingly contradicting themselves by a lack of understanding.
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:42 PM
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@IDvsEGO, Yeh i'll do that.

PS I like Atmosphere too <3
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:55 PM
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Default no techical understanding

Bruce,

My son has been taking doing the Therapeutic Listening program for over 4 months now. We've had great success with all the CDs we've used thus far. We used the prescribed headphones (sennhiesers HD500As). They are great head phones, very light and have great sound, but... they are over kill.

I have a technical background in audio. I understand the the physics behind the how the equipment works, unfortunately nobody administering the program does. None of the OTs we've talked too are willing to accept anything else, more due to the lack understanding than the willingness to try learn a about the technology.

During the course of the program the HD500A headphones broke many times. They cannot take the punishment of a three year boy with DS throwing them off all the time. I bought many sets of replacement cables, and many times I had to open up the headphones and solder components back together. Final got to the point where they could no longer be repaired. While waiting for cables to be shipped to me, and after the headphones were damaged beyond repair, I substituted studio quality AKG headphones (171's and 240's) and we still achieved positive results over the course of many weeks of use.

The problem that I've with the use of HD500A headphones for TL are as follows:

1) not very durable. Took less then a month before they broke the first time. Replacement cables are expensive and not readily available.

2) though specially made for therapeutic listening, they still don't fit kids heads that well. Though they are light, they are still too big for kids heads.

3) When used with a CD player, the frequencies above 22.05kHz aren't used. CDs can reproduce frequencies up to 22.05 kHz, the Nyquist frequency of the 44.1 kHz sample rate. When used with the HD500As, CDs effectively limit the upper frequency to 22.05kHz. Note the Sansa Clip has similar upper frequency response limits.

4) impedance. Though somewhat high for portable audo, having something lower than 150 simply means you need less voltage to drive the headphone; however you might need to adjust the volume to compensate.

5) To make use of the full frequency range of the headphone you need more specialized equipment which is not conducive to a TL program.

So in short, the HD500A headphones are great, however they are overkill for TL. Unfortunately you won't find any OT that will agree with you; even if you argue the same points listed above. Few if any OTs seem to understand the technology well enough to be wiling to use alternatives

Given where we're at with the program right now, we're considering purchasing the CD's and Related books from the Vital Links website (http://www.vitallinks.net/PDF/Modula...der%20Form.pdf) and administer the program ourselves. If the practitioners of TL aren't willing to gain knowledge about the technology, I'd prefer to teach myself (read take courses etc) and administer TL to son myself than to continue to deal will ignorance. In the long run I hope it will save me money and help others in the DS community along the way too.

Cheers,

Jerry.
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:42 AM
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Hey Bruce, Jerry,

You're bringing up a very interesting and important issue. It is my understanding that TL is by no means somewhat near an applicable Standard. Articles like the page that you, Bruce, posted confirm this view even further.
If you allow me, I'd like to ask you both, what discipline the therapists that you came across when setting up the treatment were trained at? Psychologists, psychiatrists, medics?

Thank you in advance!

All the best to you and your families,
Chris
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:20 AM
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I live in Australia. The therapy was recommended to me by our Occupational Therapist & Speech Pathologist. My son has Mild Autism, he is 5yrs old and has just started mainstream school this year.
My HD280 Pro headphones have just died, am now looking for a replacement set for TL that ARN'T the HD500A's (due to their common faults etc).
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:01 AM
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Honestly, I don't see how the headphones' impedance could have any effect whatsoever on this program... Perhaps the idea is that the somewhat high impedance of 150 ohms is more resistant to distortion caused by high output impedance amplifiers (of which there are many)? Otherwise, there is really no benefit in using a headphone with the specific impedance stated. Besides, many modern low-impedance headphones are waaay more efficient than that Sennheiser.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:49 PM
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Bruce, consider a set of Sennheiser HD 25's. They're durable, repairable, and anything can drive them. I really don't think the ohms rating will make a difference, as it's just the specs of the hp they're recommending.

I do hope everything is going well, and I'm glad to hear the therapy is working for your son. Nothing but prayers for you both.

PS: My 7yo son swipes my hd 25-1 II 's all the time. They're light, and they fit a child better than the other hp's. He said that they're mighty comfy!

Last edited by The DarkSide; 02-07-2012 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:12 PM
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i'll prolly get the Superlux HD660's as suggested elsewhere (only 30quid), but thanx for the suggestion. My son ain't started the therapy yet but will let u know how it goes.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:45 PM
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My uneducated opinion is that the treatment sounds dodgy. Unfortunately selling hope to desperate people is a tried and true strategy. Anyways, if you wish to pursue it I'd first do a minimal investment strategy with whatever hardware you have on hand. My reasoning is that ohms should not matter and I doubt the market is lucrative enough support extensive design modifications. If the treatment works it should give you some results no matter what your hardware is. If you like the results you can work from there, if not it's no great loss.

I hope things work out.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:51 PM
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Yeh i'm the biggest cynic there is! But i already have a sansaclip (or few hehe) lying around and am in need of another paid or heads/cans anyway. Spending 30quid for the HD660 Superlux's ain't exactly breaking the bank balance. I don't mind giving something a shot if its not too expensive.
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:29 AM
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I agree with you Bruce, this wont cost much and unlike some alternative treatments it wont harm your child. As a parent I would have to go for it. Worst case you get a new set of cans out of the deal.
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:29 AM
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Yeah, the superlux sounds like a darn good choice at that price. Go for 'em!
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:05 AM
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BruceBanner, I can't say I'm a believer or disbeliever in this therapy but I can say that certain music has always had a calming effect on me. Naturally I'm not talking about heavy metal, hard rock and the likes but I hope you keep this thread up and inform us of your results as I'm interested in reading about your non bias opinions. Good luck
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:53 PM
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I don't even know what gets played into his ears, is it music, is it frequencies, is it classical genre? Pretty sure it won't be Nine Inch Nails... I dunno... will be interesting to find out.

Woody (my son) is 5yrs old and is considered to be a 'high functioning Autistic' child. He gives plenty of eye contact and seeks out to play with his peers and adults, can construct awesum lego models and is a whizz on the ps3 and pc! His main issue is his speech. At 5yrs old he's still on 3-4 word sentences only (and even then its hard to grasp his meaning of those sentences). He learns 90% visually and only 10% auditory and this is what we're trying to tackle (bring the auditory learning up higher).

Here's a wee pic of him:

http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphot...08604441_n.jpg

Thanks for all the lovely support, will keep you all updated.
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:40 PM
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The one thing I've learned about the human body and brain is, there is so little that we understand of it/them. I continually am amazed at treatments that work, that sound like they are so beyond our understanding. I mean, for example, who would have thought that some dogs could detect an imminent seizure, 12 -24 hours in advance?
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