Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players experience hearing problems caused by the game’s flashbang grenades. during the insult Flashbang sound has been in play for years, the problem has come back to public attention due to a Twitter thread written by Patrik “Zero” Žúdel, a professional CS:GO player on Team GamerLegion. Users flocked to the thread divide their own hearing problems from playing CS:GO, including cases of tinnitus.
As you can see, a lot of people have a real problem with this.
When people optimize every step at dangerously high volume levels, they are certain to suffer hearing damage. This ofc doesn’t solve their error but at least helps instead of doing nothing. pic.twitter.com/hpOZUkrtHR
– Patrik Žúdel (@PatrikZero) January 26, 2022
Part of this ongoing problem stems from the fact that many players looking to gain a competitive advantage turn up their volume to help them locate enemy players based on their footsteps.
“The volume and duration of exposure is the biggest issue,” says Maryam Ghaderi, MD and chief audiologist at house of hearing in Toronto, Canada, said. “Tinnitus is very commonly associated with exposure to excessive noise, and while a hearing change associated with exposure to excessive noise can be transient, tinnitus can be permanent.”
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders describes Tinnitus as “a ringing in the ears” or “whooshing, clicking, hissing, or buzzing”.
Ghaderi said continued exposure to loud noise can lead to permanent hearing loss and persistent tinnitus. She cited the workplace exposure limit in Canada, which is 85 dB of noise for a maximum of 8 hours. Most gaming headphones are perfectly capable of pushing the 90dB range.
“It is important that the duration of exposure decreases significantly with increasing volume,” said Ghaderi. “For example, a volume of 88 dB (only 3 decibels higher) is only permissible for 4 hours (time halved) and 91 dB only for 2 hours.”
Professional CS:GO players like Aurimas “Bymas” Pipiras, Kamen “bubble” Kostadinov, Chris “chrisJ” de Jong and others expressed their support for Zero’s call for change. Many requested changes to the flashbang sound, as well as the headshot “dink” sound, which can be just as loud.
Some tech-savvy gamers have already released their own fixes to combat the harmful noises. Windows offers a setting called “Loudness Equalization” that helps curb some of the audio peaks. It can be activated here. While volume equalization can help fix the problem, it can occasionally make the location of enemy footsteps harder to see. Reddit user u/hun7z commented that they found using a third-party software to compress the audio to be the more effective solution. Your guide is below.
There is no cure for tinnitus, but there are treatments that can help relieve the symptoms. Noise-induced hearing loss can cause permanent damage, which makes preventive measures all the more important.
Valve has not yet responded to a request to comment on whether this issue will be fixed.