04/24/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Pete Townshend Leaving The Who?

Guitarist Pete Townshend may have to leave the Who if a new device doesn't improve his tinnitus, a painful ringing and buzzing caused by years of exposure to high sound volumes at gigs.

"If my hearing is going to be a problem, we're not delaying shows. We're finished," Townshend told Rolling Stone. "I can't really see any way around the issue."

He'll make the decision whether to call it quits after testing a new in-ear monitoring system during the group's next gig in London at the end of March.

"It's a good test of Pete's hearing," Who vocalist Roger Daltrey told the magazine. "We won't know until we try."

If this is the end of the group's 46-year-run, they went out big, playing at the Super Bowl after controversy erupted surrounding a past sex offense on Townshend's record.