Do you have a Golden Ear???

For those of you who haven’t caught on yet, there is a show on television called the Masked Singer in it’s 5th season now.  An extraordinary singing competition that originated in South Korea. The show features participants who may be sports figures or politicians, actual professional singers or comedians- you just never know. They perform custom created outrageously spectacular costumes from head to toe completely concealing their identity. The show has celebrity panelists who must guess who the person is behind the costume by way of figuring out the clues they are given throughout the competition.

Last season, season 4 2020, they gave out for the first time THE GOLDEN EAR AWARD to the celebrity judge who’s first impression guesses were correct the most out of the group. The judges upon hearing the singers for the first time are asked to write down their first impressions of who they thought the singer was.  At the end of the season the judge with the most correct guesses wins the coveted Golden Ear Trophy.

The Golden Ear is a term familiar to those who are audiophiles and run-in audio circles.  It refers to someone who posses’ special talents in hearing.  They are thought to be able to hear subtle difference in audio reproduction that would not be audible to the untrained listener. According to Wikipedia, A person said to have golden ears is one who can perceive more subtle changes in sound than others, either by training or by birth. The skill is rare.

An ongoing blind loudspeaker listening program developed by Floyd E. Toole of Harman International has demonstrated that listeners can be trained to reliably discern relatively small frequency response differences among loudspeakers, whereas untrained listeners cannot. He showed that inexperienced listeners cannot reliably identify even large frequency response deviations.

Toole’s research also indicates that when participants can see what they are hearing, their preferences often change profoundly. If the listener and test administrator don’t know which sound source is the favored-to-win candidate, the differences often disappear (or the favorite loses).

Skilled listeners who claim to be able to hear differences among various pieces of audio gear assert that the ability to do so is no different from discerning picture quality differences among cameras, or discerning image quality differences among video display devices. However, others argue that there are fundamental differences in the way audio and visual reproductions such as a photograph are compared, photographs can be compared side-by-side and simultaneously whereas audio must be compared sequentially.

So, Last season 4’s winner of the First awarded Golden Ear was Jenny McCarthy. In a statement on her Instagram, she said “My dreams came true! I won,” she said in the video. “I’m the first recipient of the Golden Ear trophy on ‘The Masked Singer.’ I am so honored, and let me just say, I accepted this humbly because I didn’t want to hurt my fellow panelists’ feelings.”

Season 5 of The Masked Singer just started and is a great way to relax and have some fun. Let’s see who wins the Golden Ear this year!