Produced by

Soundcheck presents Ear Wars, an ongoing series on hearing and the human ear.

Ear Wars: Headphones

Monday, January 24, 2011

Earlier this month, New York Times writer Virginia Heffernan caught the ear of the music world with a column about headphones. She’ll tell us how prolonged headphone use, especially among young people, may be wreaking havoc on our hearing – and we’ll take your calls. Later, we'll hear about the impact of headphones on music and culture from Mark Katz, author of Capturing Sound: How Technology Has Changed Music.

Comments [37]

Soundcheck Smackdown: Headphones versus Earbuds

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

We debate the pros and cons of being an “earbud person” (gym rats and rugrats) and a “headphone person” (DJs and wannabe DJs). Mark Katz, author of "Capturing Sound: How Technology Has Changed Music," explains the evolution of ear wear. And music writer Christopher Weingarten and Maura Johnston, writer for Popdust, defend their preferred mode of listening in a Soundcheck Smackdown.

Comments [49]

Ear Wars: Tinnitus

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Millions of Americans suffer from the condition called tinnitus. It begins with a ringing or swishing sound that just won’t go away -- and in nearly all cases, the person with tinnitus is the only one who can hear the noise. The causes are not certain, and the treatment is sometimes experimental. Dr. Neil Sperling of the New York Otolaryngology Group joins us to explain the why and how of tinnitus. And: musicians -- including composer Neil Rolnick and Mission of Burma guitarist Roger Miller -- explain how they've worked through the hurdle of hearing loss.

Comments [54]

Ear Wars: Inside Your Ear

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The ear is the organ that picks up sounds, but it also makes noises of its own. Today: we hear about the sounds that the ear produces – and how emitting sounds plays an important role in hearing. Guests include Christopher A. Shera, associate professor of otology & laryngology at Harvard Medical School, and composer Jacob Kirkegaard, whose work “Labyrinthitis” incorporates those sounds.

Comments [14]

Ear Wars: Biology of Music

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

How do our brains know what to do with music?  Is the ability to distinguish music part of human DNA?  Best selling author, neuroscientist and musician Daniel J. Levitin returns to our studio with Adam Gopnik of The New Yorker to talk about the biology of music. 

Comments [28]

Ear Wars: Looped in to Listening

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

When Richard Einhorn lost much of his hearing last year, he thought he might never enjoy a live performance again. But then the 57-year-old composer discovered a new technology for the impaired -- called a hearing loop. Today, he joins us to share how the tiny device radically transformed his experience of sound. Plus, Dr. Neil Sperling, of the New York Otolaryngology Group, discusses new advances in listening for an aging population.

Listeners: Tell us about your experience with hearing loss. Or, do you have a question for Dr. Sperling? Call us at 212-433-WNYC or leave a comment.

Comments [14]