Hi Mark,

Yes, I've been losing the "cocktail party effect" --the ability to focus one's listening attention on a single talker among a cacophony of conversations and background noise--since I passed 60. It comes with age-related hearing loss and begins in many men (not all) around age 50. By the time you're 80, according to the available research, about 50 percent of men are affected.

However amongst the baby boomer generation, it's showing up earlier (Bill Clinton wears two hearing aids).

Incidentally, it doesn't seem to diminish my enjoyment of live or recorded music (via Axiom speakers, natch) nor change my ratings of speakers double-blind tests.

Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert (Retired)