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Frank Hovis

Low Volume Radio Etc.

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Is there a technical reason for this?

I like my radio quiet and am frequently reaching to turn it down a bit but then find it goes off. 1 is too loud but my only other option is zero.

I have earphones for work for when it's too noisy (or too quiet, like over Christmas) but I can only get an acceptable volume by having it on 1 and then having the earphones half out.

There seems to be no restriction on how loud you can make stuff but there seems to be a restriction the other way. I can maybe understand with speakers as you need a certain level to drive them, but earphones?

Whenever I watch TV at other people's houses (I don't have one) I find the volume actually painful at times and have to ask to turn it down; I accept that I'm in the minority here.

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I do, and I do. I find myself leaning away involuntarily which maybe makes them think they have bad breath.

I wondered if there were any good really low volume makes.

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Some headphones are more efficient than others, so will sound louder at a given volume level. High impedance headphones will be quieter at all volume settings so might be worth a try. You can also get in line volume controls that you put between your device and the headphones which will let you cut the volume further.

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Use the internet to stream the station and then use the PC volume control as well as the website player volume? Unless you're doing that anyway.

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I find that as the night progresses, my radio gets louder...by morning, having turned it right down during the night to finally off, when I turn it on again, its really really quiet..

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I've noticed that the World Service is much louder than radio 4 when they do the switchover at 0100. It quiets back down when they switch back to R4.

Are we a forum of insomniacs?

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I've noticed that the World Service is much louder than radio 4 when they do the switchover at 0100. It quiets back down when they switch back to R4.

Are we a forum of insomniacs?

I have always listened to the radio at night for as long as I can remember....years ago they had some very good phone in programmes, can't say I enjoy the babble the night presenters go on about now, rubbish much of it.....real people are far more interesting......when working full time it used to help me unwind and stop my head spinning/thinking.......if not too loud I can quite easily drop off, can't then hear a thing then.......got lots of my friends doing night time listening.....I feel there is a big gap in the night time radio market much room for improvement .......not a happy bunny when five live changed their night talk programme to night sport....particularly when they already have a 24/7 sports channel. ;)

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Is there a technical reason for this?

I like my radio quiet and am frequently reaching to turn it down a bit but then find it goes off. 1 is too loud but my only other option is zero.

I have earphones for work for when it's too noisy (or too quiet, like over Christmas) but I can only get an acceptable volume by having it on 1 and then having the earphones half out.

There seems to be no restriction on how loud you can make stuff but there seems to be a restriction the other way. I can maybe understand with speakers as you need a certain level to drive them, but earphones?

Whenever I watch TV at other people's houses (I don't have one) I find the volume actually painful at times and have to ask to turn it down; I accept that I'm in the minority here.

What device(s) are you listening on?

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I can't listen to my bedside internet radio on low volume because it has an insufferable hum, which is a pain because I bought it for its purported sound quality. I wonder if it could be some sort of electrical interference from something?

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Is there a technical reason for this?

I like my radio quiet and am frequently reaching to turn it down a bit but then find it goes off. 1 is too loud but my only other option is zero.

I have earphones for work for when it's too noisy (or too quiet, like over Christmas) but I can only get an acceptable volume by having it on 1 and then having the earphones half out.

There seems to be no restriction on how loud you can make stuff but there seems to be a restriction the other way. I can maybe understand with speakers as you need a certain level to drive them, but earphones?

Whenever I watch TV at other people's houses (I don't have one) I find the volume actually painful at times and have to ask to turn it down; I accept that I'm in the minority here.

Cotton wool.

Place the radio further away.

Get headphones with a volume control.

Build up a collosal amount of earwax to attenuate the sound.

First world problems and all that.

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Is there a technical reason for this?

I like my radio quiet and am frequently reaching to turn it down a bit but then find it goes off. 1 is too loud but my only other option is zero.

I suppose they use a nice and simple audio chipset which offers a defined set of output levels. Normally people don't really mind so long as there is 'enough' levels, probably about 30 or so. But as you've found this can make the difference between 0 and 1 massive...

Some headphones are more efficient than others, so will sound louder at a given volume level. High impedance headphones will be quieter at all volume settings so might be worth a try. You can also get in line volume controls that you put between your device and the headphones which will let you cut the volume further.

This is the solution.

1) headphone sensitivity - it is probably easier to make a headphone with low sensitivity sound good, so you might find that an insensitive headphone is a great solution. I mainly use a pair of ancient Quart headphones which have an awful sensitivity but do sound quite good (possibly as a result). Grado headphones are meant to be insensitive, but I've not used a pair recently.

2) volume controls. I like to have a nice turny-roundy volume control, so use an external headphone box. These are much cheaper than they used to be... But even if you're using a portable you can get in-line volume really cheaply (such as http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-5mm-IN-LINE-HEADPHONE-EARPHONE-VOLUME-CONTROL-ADAPTER-CABLE-Male-to-Female-/361347684044?hash=item54220016cc:g:B4gAAOSwPcVVsR6K - but they might well be crap...)

I can't listen to my bedside internet radio on low volume because it has an insufferable hum, which is a pain because I bought it for its purported sound quality. I wonder if it could be some sort of electrical interference from something?

Internet radio shouldn't hum - you might get insufferable compression artefacts, but not hum. Something is wrong.

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Ah ha! A good old inline analog volume control might be the answer!

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Yeah you definitely need a twiddly knob rather than digital volume control which I also find never goes low enough.

I have very sensitive hearing and only ever want my TV or radio on very low volumes, I also have tinnitus so I assume there's some connection.

I have the radio on all night, usually the World Service, although I will switch to to Radio 4 for Sailing By and the Shipping Forecast if I'm awake to catch it, also like Rhod Sharpe on Up All Night on 5Live, I enjoy his reports from the U.S. and especially like his ''all over Britain it's five past two, five past nine in Loafers Glory, North Carolina, five past six in Oddville County, Kentucky...''

I'll definitely have to invest in an internet radio, there must be some fascinating stations out there.

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I've noticed that the World Service is much louder than radio 4 when they do the switchover at 0100. It quiets back down when they switch back to R4.

Are we a forum of insomniacs?

That is because the BBC World Service is aimed at an overseas audience. All British people know that the only way to make themselves understood to foreigners is to talk to them loudly in English.

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That is because the BBC World Service is aimed at an overseas audience. All British people know that the only way to make themselves understood to foreigners is to talk to them loudly in English.

I should have been a DIPLOMAT then? :wacko:

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http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1-2M-In-Line-Volume-Control-Adapter-Earphone-Aux-Audio-Stereo-Extension-3-5mm-/351204729462

Go on Frank! Splash out on this audio luxury. :blink:

It might just do what you want, and I'm sure the build quality is exactly in line with the price. ;)

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Internet radio shouldn't hum - you might get insufferable compression artefacts, but not hum. Something is wrong.

Yeah, I think so. It hums just the same on FM and with an AUX source. There's quite a tangle of power cables on a plugboard just below my bedside table - I don't know anything about electronics, but I wonder if that might be the problem, rather than an inherent product fault?

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Yeah, I think so. It hums just the same on FM and with an AUX source. There's quite a tangle of power cables on a plugboard just below my bedside table - I don't know anything about electronics, but I wonder if that might be the problem, rather than an inherent product fault?

Is there a transformer buzzing a bit somewhere? Also depending upon the setup there could be electrical noise getting in. My computer speakers (analogue) give much better sound if the sound is turned right up on the computer (digital end) then brought back to the level I want it with the analogue speaker volume control. Do it the other way around and the speakers amplify all sorts of noise.

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http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1-2M-In-Line-Volume-Control-Adapter-Earphone-Aux-Audio-Stereo-Extension-3-5mm-/351204729462

Go on Frank! Splash out on this audio luxury. :blink:

It might just do what you want, and I'm sure the build quality is exactly in line with the price. ;)

Ah - Pin. I shall let you in to one of my core philosophies - buy it twice, buy for life.

This is similar to the 'buy it once, buy for life' philosophy, but manages to exclude loads of high quality gear that you don't use, and replaces it with cheap crap broken gear that you don't use.

So, you buy the cheap crap and see how you get on. If it is broadly useful, but it infuriates with its cheapness, or gets broken instantly, then you should have bought the high quality gear - and you go out and buy it happy in the knowledge that you'll use it and enjoy it. But if you find you don't really get on with the concept anyway then you've saved serious cash in not buying expensive high quality equipment.

And here endeth the lesson.

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I have always listened to the radio at night for as long as I can remember....years ago they had some very good phone in programmes, can't say I enjoy the babble the night presenters go on about now, rubbish much of it.....real people are far more interesting......when working full time it used to help me unwind and stop my head spinning/thinking.......if not too loud I can quite easily drop off, can't then hear a thing then.......got lots of my friends doing night time listening.....I feel there is a big gap in the night time radio market much room for improvement .......not a happy bunny when five live changed their night talk programme to night sport....particularly when they already have a 24/7 sports channel. ;)

Me too. I used to listen to music late at night, (as a uni student) then moved onto BBC Worldservice, (as worked abroad for a while) but now it's always BBC radio 5 Live. (Nb I also hate the sports talk!) So seems Bossybabe, you and me are quite similar in our habits? FYI I have the radio on low all night and go to sleep better listening to some background chatting.... then wake to the news in the morning. (Perfect!)

Frank, (re your volume problem), you are just blessed with excellent hearing, so be happy about that. (Cos most of the rest of us are slowly getting deafer!)

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