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22.10.2014
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Playback has long admired Audio-Technica’s ATH-ANC7 and ATH-ANC7b noise-cancelling ‘phones and now the ATH-ANC9 ($349.95) has raised the bar higher still, both in terms of sound quality and flexibility. Realistically, some folks focus their attention on a noise-cancelling headphone’s noise reduction capabilities, often trying out the ‘phones in noisy environments and then listening to see how much noise gets eliminated. To be honest, we think this noise-reduction-uber-alles approach has its priorities backwards, because in our view the first job of a headphone—any headphone, whether noise cancelling or not—is to sound good. But frankly, most discerning music lovers want something more from their noise-cancelling headphones: namely the best combination of high fidelity sound and low noise they can get for a sensible price. With the ATH-ANC9, which is Audio-Technica’s most ambitious noise-cancelling headphone to date, the firm is taking steps forward in sound quality, while adding a raft of new features including three discrete noise cancellation modes, each optimized for different noise environments, plus headset functionality.
It can be challenging to describe the sonic character of noise-cancelling headphone that offer multiple noise reductions settings, largely because the voicing of the headphone can shift somewhat as different modes are engaged.
Core Sound (Power On): The core sound of the ATH-ANC9 is fairly well balanced, but tilted toward the warmer or darker side of the audio spectrum relative to strict neutrality. To be fair, though, let me concede that my “accuracy standard” (apart from the sound of live music) is the sound of some very accurate and very costly high-end headphones and loudspeakers, which I keep on hand as references.
To my ears, the best part of the ATH-ANC9 is its midrange, which is the region where the headphone sounds most evenly balanced, with resolution and dynamic expressiveness that are both very good.
The ATH-ANC9 offers a pleasant, engaging, and yet also relaxing listening experience, and the general shape of the headphone’s voicing curve nicely fits its noise-cancelling mission. Compared to Audio-Technica’s earlier ATH-ANC7b, the ATH-ANC9 sounds cleaner, purer, and more expressive, I think for two reasons. Noise Reduction Capabilities: In general terms, the ATH-ANC9 offers the most effective and most flexible noise reduction capabilities I’ve head from any active noise-cancelling headphone to date.
Mode 1 (“Airplane Mode”): Mode 1 yields substantial noise reduction, yet preserves a sound that leaves most of the midrange, upper midrange and high frequencies untouched. Mode 3 (“Study Mode”): Mode 3 is very similar to Mode 2, but with less aggressive noise reduction setting applied—a change that yields surprisingly audible benefits if you like to listen in already quiet, study hall-like environments.
Some readers might ask if the differences between these modes are things only finicky audiophiles would notice, and answer is that the differences are easy to discern for experienced listeners and complete neophytes alike.
To experience sonic character of the ATH-ANC9 in action, try listening to the very revealing track “Senia’s Lament” from Dobro virtuoso Jerry Douglas’ Lookout for Hope [Sugarhill]. To get an even better handle on the ANC9’s performance capabilities, I turned to an old favorite: the track “Remote Stories” from Christopher Roberts’ album Last Cicada Singing [Cold Blue], which captures Roberts performing one of his own compositions on a 7-string, fretless Chinese instrument called the Qin (pronounced “chin,” I am told).
The ATH-ANC9 tackled “Remote Stories” with grace and a good measure of subtlety, capturing the lingering, almost floating sound of the Qin in Roberts’ hands, while reproducing most, though not all, of the nuances of his fingering and plucking techniques. In terms both of sound quality and noise-cancellation effectiveness, the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC9 represents a significant step forward from one of our old favorites, Audio-Technica’s ATH-ANC7b (which remains in the product line).
While the ATH-ANC9’s sound quality is not quite as high as that of today’s best passive headphones at this price, it is thoroughly competitive with (and in many respects better than) models from Bose and others. Dafür werden die wertvollen Pflanzeninhaltsstoffe in aufwendigen Verfahren angereichert.
Deshalb beugen Sie dem vor und achten Sie auf einen gesunden Ausgleich zwischen Anspannung und Entspannung.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.AbstractNoise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and resulting comorbidities like subjective tinnitus are common diseases in modern societies. IntroductionA universal characteristic of modern societies, both in developing and developed countries, is the steadily increasing level of noise exposure within our working environments and during leisure time activities (for review see [1]). Before we begin our review of the ATH-ANC9, though, let’s consider the qualities that attracted us to A-T’s noise cancellers in the first place. After that, almost as a secondary consideration, they play music through the ‘phones to check out the sound quality. The effectiveness of noise cancellation circuitry is also important, but sound quality must always come first. And it’s in finding that elusive balance point between high sound quality, low noise, and affordability that Audio-Technica’s past ANC-series headphones have won praise from our staff. The frame allows the ear cups to fold flat to help the ANC9 fit within its included compact travel case. So, in the interest of imposing some order on potential chaos, I will begin by describing what I think is the core sound of the ATH-ANC9 when heard at its best, and then add specific comments to address the relative effects of each of the headphone’s three active noise cancellation modes (and of its passive mode). By this I mean that, if you graphed the A-T’s frequency response curve, I suspect you would see the entire graph tipped downward on a gentle slope from bass through the midrange and on into the treble region. If, however your frame of reference happened to be one of those wildly bass-boosted “hip hop” headphones on the market, you would probably consider the ATH-ANC9 to offer very accurate, unexaggerated sound indeed. While I would not say the ATH-ANC9 can quite equal the midrange openness and transparency of today’s best passive headphones in the mid-$300 price range, the Audio-Technica is a very strong contender relative to other noise-cancelling ‘phones now on the market.
For example, I’ve said the ANC9 serves up somewhat elevated bass, which I think is a smart way for designers to hedge their bets in a design geared for use in noisy environments, since background noise often tends to swallow up perceived low-end response. Given this, the ATH-ANC9 offers some well-judged compromises; it has enough treble response so as not to sound dark or dull, yet its highs are subdued just enough to maintain a smooth, listenable sound when the going gets rough. First, the ATH-ANC9’s amplifier is noticeably quieter than the ANC7b’s was, with little if any audible hiss or “DSP hash.” Second, the ANC9 offers multiple noise reduction modes, where the ANC7b offered only one, thus enabling users to fine-tune noise reduction characteristics to fit their listening environments.
Though I would never have wished this upon myself, I had a chance to test the ATH-ANC9’s absolute noise reduction capabilities in the aftermath of an incident where my office flooded during a torrential Texas downpour.
Because Mode 1 tackles noise that reaches upward to higher frequencies than the other two modes do (up to 300Hz for Mode 1 vs. Mode 3 gives less dramatic noise reduction effect than Mode 1 or 2, but in exchange its sound tends to be significantly more open, transparent, and naturally balanced.
In fact, it’s fun to watch people try the ATH-ANC9 for the first time; you’ll see them switching between modes until their eyes suddenly light up when they find the just-right mode for the environment at hand.
The song revolves around the plaintive, soaring voice of Douglas’ Dobro, which is ably supported by crisp, delicate percussion and the deep, woody, powerful sound of an amplified acoustic bass. There are several things that are really cool about the Qin and that make it a great audio test vehicle.
As with the acoustic bass on “Senia’s Lament”, above, the low strings of the Qin sounded a little larger-than-life, though in a way I admit I found quite moving.
Good though the ATH-ANC9 is, passive ‘phones still have the upper hand in terms of openness, transparency, and neutral tonal balance. For a product of its sophistication the ANC9 is well priced and what is more, smart shoppers will discover that street prices can be substantially lower than advertised “MSRP” pricing—making this new model an even better value. Derartige Spezialextrakte enthalten die natürlichen Wirkstoffe hoch konzentriert und entfalten so ihre medizinische Wirksamkeit. Die Anwendung erfolgt im Rahmen eines therapeutischen Gesamtkonzeptes bei fortschreitender Abnahme bzw. Nehmen Sie deshalb bei ernsthaften oder unklaren Beschwerden immer fachkundigen Rat in Anspruch! A substance shown to be effective against NIHL in an animal model is the Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761. Consequently, an increasing number of people suffer from hearing disorders that result from an overexposure to noise, that is, noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
In a nutshell, we loved the fact that, while the ATH-ANC7b offered good (even very good) noise-cancellation technology its primary focus was on sound quality (priorities near and dear to many Playback readers).
If they like the noise reduction capabilities they’ve heard and find the sound quality at least adequate, they may well make a purchase.
After all, if a headphone didn’t sound good, would it really matter if it did a great job of blocking out noise? In practice this means low frequencies are pushed forward slightly, though not to an excessive degree. The upshot of this is that in passive mode the ANC9’s sound takes on a “hooded” or “closed-in” quality. As part of the clean up effort, a big, industrial “axial air mover” had to be placed under my desk to help dry things out, and it made my whole office sound like the wrong end of a wind tunnel (the racket was unbelievable). 200Hz for Modes 2 and 3), Mode 1 had more impact on bass, upper bass, and some lower midrange frequencies, with the result that the ANC9’s slightly bass-forward character became even more pronounced.


The sonic upshot of this is twofold: flower midrange frequencies sound just a smidgeon more balanced with Mode 2 in play, while perceived bass emphasis (as noted for Mode 1) is less pronounced. The general rule is that Mode 1 (“Airplane Mode”) works best for noisy environments, while Mode 2 (“Office Mode”) or Mode 3 (“Study Mode”) is better for quieter environments. The voice of the Dobro falls right in the middle of the ANC9’s midrange “sweet spot” and sounds, as you might expect, appropriately evocative and engaging (I’ve always loved the way Dobros simultaneously embody some of the qualities of guitars, bluegrass fiddles, and pedal steel guitars—qualities the ATH-ANC9s reproduced in a satisfying, vivid way).
First, the instrument spans a remarkably wide range of pitches, reaching down to about the low range of a cello, but also extending quite high up. Much of the inner detail of the Qin came through intact, although the highest frequency transient details and harmonics (of which there are—or should be—many in this recording) were rolled off in a way that made the overall presentation sound noticeably less realistic and three-dimensional than it can when heard at its best. Mittagspause) ein und lassen Sie sich Zeit für Lebensbereiche, die Ihnen Kraft und Freude bereiten. Further effects of the extract on the cellular and systemic levels of the nervous system make it a promising candidate not only for protection against NIHL but also for its secondary comorbidities like tinnitus.
Statistical data show that in 2000 about 9% of the general population in the USA display hearing impairments [2]. Seriously, if all you wanted were peace and quiet, then your best bet would be to pop into the nearest drug store and snap up a pair of HEAROS earplugs (they’re cheap, comfortable, and very effective).
Midrange frequencies, including those difficult-to-reproduce upper midrange frequencies, are for the most part evenly balanced, while highs are somewhat subdued. I think they definitely do, because they give users the option of trying different modes on the fly until they find the mode that—for their specific environments—provides that just right combination of sonic transparency and low background noise. But I put on the ATH-ANC9s, flipped on the most aggressive noise reduction mode (Mode 1 or “Airplane Mode”), and to my surprise immediately experienced a reasonable facsimile of peace and quiet.
I suspect this might even be a deliberate strategy on the designers’ parts, where the intent might to pull down noise (via active noise cancellation) while also allowing a subtle level of bass boost to help lower frequencies rise above residual background noise.
Mode 2 is meant for use in office environments and in that context it provides a sound that is a little more accurately and naturally balanced than Mode 1 (though Mode 1 would no doubt be superior in noisier environments). The acoustic bass, which is well represented in this track, had plenty of weight, warmth, and growl through the ATH-ANC9s, although the bass at times took on a larger-than-life quality that—while appealing in its way—was not quite right. Next, the instrument is astoundingly expressive, as part of the tradition of the instrument is to use not only the sounds of its string but all of the performer’s performance noises (plucking sounds, harmonics, note bends, finger sliding on strings or deftly damping notes, etc.) as part of the music.
My thought is that the ATH-ANC9 gives you much of the music most of the time (and in a satisfying way), but that there are certain subtle sonic fine points that do inevitably go missing. Bevor die Behandlung mit Ginkgo-Extrakt begonnen wird, sollte geklärt werden, ob die Krankheitssymptome nicht auf einer spezifisch zu behandelnden Grunderkrankung beruhen. Following an earlier study we here tested the potential effectiveness of prophylactic EGb 761 treatment against NIHL and tinnitus development in the Mongolian gerbil. Similar data were published for Germany in 2006, where 8% of the 18- to 79-year-old adults appear to be hearing impaired [3]. In short, the ANC9 proves the truth on an old audiophile’s axiom: whenever noise goes down, perceived sound quality goes up.
With the Audio Technica 'phones in play, the turbine-like roar of the air mover sounded more like quiet “whish” of an air conditioning fan. High frequency details, most notably the high pitched sounds of a triangle (or chime?) and the very high-frequency harmonics that normally give this recording a wonderful sense of “air”, were for the most part present but downplayed to a degree. Finally, the Qin is capable of a wide range of moods, sometimes delivering a hard, sharp, aggressive sound, but at other moments sounding smooth, ethereal, and delicate. We monitored the effects of EGb 761 and noise trauma-induced changes on signal processing within the auditory system by means of behavioral and electrophysiological approaches. As a result, the track sounded less open and “airy” than it can when heard at its best, though the overall sound was undeniably relaxing and smooth. Bevor die Behandlung mit diesem Arzneimittel begon-nen wird, sollte geklärt werden, ob die Krankheitszeichen nicht auf einer spezifisch zu behandelnden Grunderkrankung beruhen. We found significantly reduced NIHL and tinnitus development upon EGb 761 application, compared to vehicle treated animals. These protective effects of EGb 761 were correlated with changes in auditory processing, both at peripheral and central levels. As the prevalence of hearing impairments increases with age, it appears to be sensible to assume that when these children grow up the number of patients with hearing impairments will increase dramatically in the future. Zu Risiken und Nebenwirkungen lesen Sie die Packungsbeilage und fragen Sie Ihren Arzt oder Apotheker! We propose a model with two main effects of EGb 761 on auditory processing, first, an increase of auditory brainstem activity leading to an increased thalamic input to the primary auditory cortex (AI) and second, an asymmetric effect on lateral inhibition in AI. Furthermore, as hearing loss may be etiologically responsible for the development of a number of secondary diseases, like hyperacusis (for review see [5]), tinnitus [6, 7], or depression due to social isolation [8], the problem of NIHL should be of immensely growing importance.
In this context, two main types of strategies are conceivable: reducing noise exposure by technical measures or preventing the development of NIHL via pharmacological interventions.
Whereas many technical measures, for example, for noise reduction in working environments or public, have the advantage that they may be effective for a large number of people, they are often very expensive and have no effect if the source of noise is self-inflicted [10].During the last few years a large number of substances have been tested both in animal and human studies in search of a powerful drug that is able to prevent NIHL. Based on their physiological mechanisms of effectiveness against NIHL, a number of substance classes may be distinguished.
Among these, antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress by elimination of reactive oxygen species (ROS) [11], glucocorticoids, and substances that improve cochlear blood flow (for review see [12]), activate inhibitory transmitter systems [13], or block apoptosis pathways in hair cells were most successfully employed (for review see [14]).A substance that has been shown to protect against NIHL in guinea pigs is the Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 [15, 16].
Stange and coworkers demonstrated that animals which were treated with EGb 761 before exposing them to different types of noise trauma exhibited a smaller reduction in auditory nerve compound action potentials (CAP) than untreated controls. EGb 761 is a plant extract that is composed of about 80 different compounds which deploy not only one but also a number of different mechanisms presumed to counteract the development of NIHL.
Well-documented are the protection of neuronal mitochondrial ATP synthesis in the presence of oxidative stress [17, 18], the protection of erythrocyte membranes against oxidative damage, which results in reduced blood viscosity and improved blood flow [19, 20], and neuroprotection through antiapoptotic properties [21–25].
In addition, the extract displays a number of effects that may counteract the development of secondary consequences of NIHL like tinnitus. These include increased extracellular dopamine levels in the prefrontal cortex [26], which may reduce depressive behavior that may foster the development of tinnitus [27], by partial inhibition of the norepinephrine transporter [28] or adult neurogenesis of hippocampal neurons [29], which additionally could both lead to cognition increasing effects.
Therefore, EGb 761 is a promising candidate substance for protective measures against NIHL and its consequences.As detailed above, one of the consequences of NIHL may be the development of a tinnitus percept. In a previous study we have described the development of noise trauma-induced tinnitus in the Mongolian gerbil both on a behavioral and neurophysiological level [31].
We were able to detect a number of neuroplastic changes in auditory brainstem and cortex that were correlated with the development of a tinnitus percept as tested with a well-characterized behavioral paradigm [32]. In particular we could demonstrate a neuronal predisposition for the development of tinnitus. We were able to show that animals developing such a mispercept after an acoustic trauma show significantly less cortical activity already in the healthy state compared to tinnitus-resistant animals. The latter animals are able to counteract tinnitus development after noise trauma while animals without this ability develop a chronic tinnitus percept.While studies in humans with different Ginkgo biloba extracts so far failed to show any reliable effect on tinnitus perception when given after its development [34, 35], we here tested the effectiveness of a prophylactic treatment with EGb 761 in the context of NIHL and tinnitus development in this animal model.
We describe the effects of the EGb 761 extract on the behavioral level (acoustic startle response (ASR) audiometry), the auditory brainstem level (electrophysiological recordings of auditory brainstem responses (ABR)), and the central level (electrophysiological recording of local field potentials (LFP) and single and multiunit responses in auditory cortex (AC)). Our results point to massive neuroplastic effects of EGb 761 on auditory processing both at the peripheral and central level. These changes in processing may underlie the observed protective effects against NIHL and in the consequence tinnitus development.2. Ethics Statement and AnimalsMongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) were housed in standard animal racks (Bio A.S. Two weeks prior to trauma (yellow bar) oral application of vehicle or EGb 761 was performed on a daily basis. Pretrauma measurements included behavioral startle responses (turquoise; hearing threshold and gap-noise tinnitus paradigms), ABR measurements (dark green), and electrophysiological recordings in auditory cortex (light green) both under anesthesia. After the acoustic trauma the measurements were repeated within the first seven days after the trauma.During the oral administration the measurements were started (cf.
These included the behavioral testing in the first week of application, the pretrauma auditory brainstem response (ABR) measurements, and the pretrauma recording from the AC within the second week of substance administration. For obtaining the behavioral hearing thresholds we used a PPI of ASR paradigm in all animals. This procedure was performed before the acoustic trauma and during the week after that event. The evaluation was performed independently by the principal investigator and a technical assistant, who was blind to the state of the animal. We made sure that the animals were always (pre- and posttrauma = trauma status) responding to the 90 dB SPL startle stimulus (cf.
For validation of the PPI effect of the prestimuli we performed 1-factiorial ANOVAs for the valid response amplitudes dependent on the prestimulus intensity for each frequency and trauma status separately for each individual animal.


The mean responses of all 36 animals (19 V, 17 E) before and after trauma are given in Figure 2.
Responses in this threshold paradigm were fitted with a sigmoidal Boltzmann functions for each frequency, trauma status, and animal separately. The left panel documents the mean hearing thresholds with their 95% confidence interval for clicks and all tested tone frequencies with the -statistics of the interaction of the 2-factorial ANOVA.
The center panel depicts the 1-factorial part of the same ANOVA with the factor group (mean values over all tested frequencies and click). Right panels show the same data separated into animals that do not develop a tinnitus percept (upper panel) and those that did show a tinnitus percept after the trauma (lower panel). The grey area in the left panel indicates significant hearing loss (single sample -test versus 0) in both groups (, ), which is also significant if averaged over all tested frequencies and the click stimulus (center panel, asterisks).
Note that relative changes of thresholds measured with either ABR or ASR have been demonstrated to be identical [33].
The rational of these paradigms is that an animal that perceives tinnitus would be impaired in gap detection because it would hear its own tinnitus within the silent gap (cf. Consequently, when using a gap as prepulse, animals with tinnitus should produce smaller PPI of ASR than animals without tinnitus (cf. If tinnitus is detected, the different tone frequencies and noise spectra used should give a rough estimate of the spectral content of the tinnitus percept. Each frequency and gap-condition were repeated 15 times and each test was performed before and after the acoustic trauma. Again the data obtained were checked by eye by the same two experimenters as above via a custom-made Matlab program.
This approach allowed the determination of a possible frequency-specific tinnitus-related behavior at one octave precision. After the trauma only a part of the animals showed an undisturbed gap-effect at all frequencies tested while other animals showed no gap-effect at some but not all frequencies (cf. Figure 4) which gave a first hint of a possible tinnitus percept but was not yet used as the final classification of the animals in the tinnitus or nontinnitus group (cf. To avoid possible effects of the acoustic trauma on different stimulation frequencies all startle response data were normalized to minimize variance of the response amplitudes. Thus we were able to control for differences in the startle amplitudes resulting from the hearing loss at the trauma frequency. This normalization also guarantees that the reduced ASR response after acoustic trauma is not due to hearing loss rather than a tinnitus percept [39]. Finally, the PPI of ASR in the healthy animal (before trauma) and after the trauma was calculated and the change in PPI relative to pretrauma (in %) was tested against 0 (no change) for each frequency separately with a -test ().
Significant positive values for PPI change reflect impaired PPI and therefore indicate the development of a tinnitus percept. Only such animals were therefore classified as probably perceiving tinnitus (T groups) that showed at least one impaired frequency after the trauma independent of the affected frequency itself.
As it turned out, in all cases where tinnitus was detected according to one of the two gap-ASR paradigms used, the second gap-ASR paradigm was also positive for tinnitus.
Animals without such a significant increase in PPI change were classified as nontinnitus perceiving animals (NT groups) (cf. As it turned out, animals classified as T or NT based on these behavioral measures also differed in neurophysiological response measures (ABR and AC; for example, Figures 7 and 12), thereby strengthening the classification (cf. The upper two animals received the vehicle and the lower two animals received the EGb 761 extract before the trauma.
In other cases (KS 42 and KS 07) gap detection was impaired and did not show any significant change after the trauma at least at some frequencies; this was a first indication of T categorization (cf. 2-factorial ANOVA (only interaction shown) depict the changes in no-gap and gap conditions before and after trauma.
Note that even when gap-effects are small on the group level they were always significant in the single animals before trauma.
Significant positive values of PPI change reflect an impaired PPI, indicating the development of a tinnitus percept. 2-factorial ANOVA indicates that EGb 761 treated animals develop tinnitus percepts at lower frequencies than vehicle treated controls. Asterisks below or above the abscissa indicate significant change of PPI (-test versus 0): , . To obtain ABR-based audiograms the mean ABR waves were compared to the mean amplitude 200 to 100 ms before the stimulus (baseline). Thresholds were defined automatically by a custom-made Matlab program at the highest attenuation at which the evoked amplitude raised over 2 standard deviations of the baseline; data were discarded at frequencies where this procedure was not possible, for example, at low signal to noise ratios. For additional analysis the root mean square (RMS) value of the ABR signal was calculated from 1 to 5 ms after stimulus onset. For further analysis data from both ears of each animal were used.As behavioral audiograms using PPI of ASR (cf. We have demonstrated earlier [33] that these different methods to assess audiograms in our animal model yield different absolute thresholds but identical relative shifts in hearing thresholds after noise trauma.
Electrophysiological Unit Recordings in Primary Auditory Cortex (AI)In a subset of the 36 animals (3 vehicle, 4 EGb 761) used in this study we performed electrophysiological recordings in auditory cortex in addition to the behavioral and ABR measurements described above. Two to three days after obtaining baseline ASR and ABR data, that is, before the acoustic trauma, the skull of the anesthetized animals was trepanned to expose the left auditory cortex. In addition to these iso-intensity measurements, tuning curves were recorded using pure tones in the mentioned frequency range but at different intensities ranging from 0 to 90 dB SPL. The recorded unit activity was analyzed with custom-made Matlab and IDL programs (IDL 7.06, Exelis Visual Information Solutions, McLean, VA, USA). Where appropriate, either parametric statistics (Student's -test, one- and two-factorial ANOVA with Tukey post-hoc-test) or nonparametric statistics (Kolmogorov-Smirnov-test, Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA with post hoc Median-test, and Mann-Whitney -test) were applied.3. Effects of Prophylactic EGb 761 Treatment on NIHL and Tinnitus EmergenceWe used the PPI of the ASR to obtain behavioral audiograms from all 36 animals before and after the acoustic trauma.
The responses to the different prestimulus intensities were checked by 1-factorial ANOVAs for each frequency and trauma status (before or after trauma) and for each individual animal separately. For an overview of the different response characteristics before and after trauma the mean response amplitudes of the 19 vehicle treated and 17 EGb 761 treated animals are given in Figure 2. Note that we find different response characteristics dependent on the stimulation frequency and trauma status but always find the significant prestimulus intensity effect of the PPI, that is, a decrease in ASR amplitude with increasing prestimulus intensity, which is not only true for the mean response but also for the individual responses. To these individual responses we fitted sigmoidal Boltzmann functions obtaining the individual behavioral hearing thresholds for each frequency.Additional to these behavioral thresholds we obtained individual ABR based hearing thresholds under anesthesia before and after the trauma. Nevertheless, the impact of the trauma on the hearing thresholds was significantly stronger in group V compared to group E (Figure 3(b) center). Furthermore, the degree of NIHL that developed differed between the V and E groups during the first week after trauma (Figures 3(c) and 3(d)). Whereas the frequency specificity of the NIHL vanished in both groups resulting in flat NIHL functions, the overall threshold shift completely recovered in group E, resulting in audiograms not significantly different from pretrauma conditions 7 days after trauma. The temporal development was entirely different between NT and T animals (Figures 3(c) right, 3(d) right). While NT animals showed no remaining hearing loss only 1 day after trauma, all vehicle treated animals and the T animals of the E group showed increased NIHL until day 7 after trauma.
Note that we show the relative hearing loss compared to pretrauma level as we want to keep the two different methods of hearing threshold level measurements comparable. As we have demonstrated in an earlier study [33] ABR and ASR thresholds differ in absolute values so that audiograms show a parallel upward or downward shift. Relative changes due to hearing loss on the other hand were identical for both methods.As described above, both EGb 761 and vehicle treated groups contained T and NT animals. Exemplarily the mean response amplitudes to both gap-ASR paradigms of four animals are depicted in Figure 4. The two upper animals were treated with the vehicle and the two lower ones with the substance. In animals KS 51 and KS 16 significant gap detection (-tests, ) was found before and after the trauma at all frequencies tested.
This impairment was a first hint for the classification of these two animals into the tinnitus group (cf.
The mean startle response amplitudes for all these animals before and after the acoustic trauma are depicted in Figure 5(a).



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