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originally posted by: chr0naut
a reply to: Azureblue
An equalizer/notch filter is probably your best bet.
The frequencies around 1KHz are where most human speech intelligibility occurs, so if youv'e got sizzling cymbals and throbbing bass messing with your intelligibility, just turn down the frequencies that they occupy and emphasize the bit where speech happens. A 6 DB boost is possibly sufficient.
This is the reverse of the filter used to remove vocals from popular music, a filter used for karioke.
Old telephone systems used this system to overcome issues with noise (which you will never really get rid of) by emphasizing the vocal frequency ranges. This is why such systems make the sound a bit 'telephone like'.
It is great for spoken word but less so for music or full frequency 'environmental' and mood sounds and special effects.
As equalisation can be applied real-time, it is the most effective system, especially as you age (like me, too). You can put the equaliser/filter between your source system and your amplifier and it will apply automatically to everything you listen to. It can make modern movies, with far too loud mood music, listenable again.