Help - Extreme ear pain with new Onkyo home theater?


Jan 22, 2007
Real Name
Eli Gilbert
Hi all. I know this may sound stupid, but i'm wondering if anyone else has ever had any experience with this.

I just got my new home theater setup with the following:

Onkyo TX-SR674
ORB Audio Mod1 system with sub
Sony DVD DVP-NS75H upconvert
Scientific Atlantic HD DVR cable box (which, incidentally, I can't get to work through the receiver!!)
Philips 42" plasma
-all HDMI connections

The room is on the small side, at about 15x12.

Anyway, I got it all together and watched a few movies. After a few minutes, I started to notice a dull pain in my ears, then a full blown headache. I tried to shake it off and try it the next day, with the same results. The rear speakers are about 5 and 7 feet from my head, L and R.

I have the crossover on the amp set at 120, and all the speakers set through the Onkyo to 120 as well - I dont know how this works so maybe that's my problem. I tried fooling with the level (volume) of the sub, but with the same results.

I can almost certainly say there is a high pitched (or extremely low pitched) noise causing this but am unsure how to find it - it seems no matter what volume it's at, it bugs me.

has this happened to anyone before? My GF who was there didn't hear anything.

If there is something defective do you think it would be the speakers or the receiver?

Thanks SO much in advance.


Adam Gregorich

Senior HTF Member
Nov 20, 1999
The Other Washington
Real Name
verify that you have all the speakers hooked up correctly. Its possible that you crossed a wire (have red going to black and black going to red). After you check that try powering off your sub (unpluggin it) and see if you hear/feel it. That will give you a better indication of where the problem lies.

Allan Jayne

Senior HTF Member
Nov 1, 1998
How loud was the overall sound? Comparable to a commercial theater?

Did you notice any constant overriding hiss or squeal or whistle or buzz?

I don't know whether this has been medically proven and have not read about any specific cases but I would not be surprised if a constant buzz above the range of audibility (about 20,000 Hz as published or about 13,000 Hz for me) could give someone a headache. There may be a magic number frequency that affects one given person. Dogs can generally hear higher pitches than humans. If you or a relative have a dog maybe you could test his reaction to your sound system at least to see if he leaves the room immediately.

A more accurate test for a spurious supersonic frequency would be had using an extremely high quality microphone and an oscilloscope.

Is the theater in a basement where a furnace or non-electric water heater is running? You could be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Video hints:

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Latest member