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One of my ear canals is bigger than the other?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Wasn't exactly sure which forum to put this in. Anyway, after receiving my Etymotic MC5 and trying them on I came to the startling realization than my right ear canal is a good deal larger than my left ear canal. The fit was much tighter on my left ear than the right. It was also at this time that I realized that, when using my headphones, the right channel had always seemed louder than the left channel. However, I always assumed that everyone's ear canals were more or less the same size, and I attributed the perceived channel imbalance to me being right-handed/more right-brained -- I thought it was just like, some unconscious bias I had towards the right side. In order to remedy this problem, I continued using the large tips on my MC5 for both ears, in an attempt to stretch my left ear canal (the small tip fit my left ear much better while the large tip fit my right ear more nicely). However, it's been several months and my left ear canal is still smaller than my right ear, with associated channel imbalance still present.


My question is, does anyone know of any software/hardware (modifications) that can change the channel balance? I'm using Winamp.  

post #2 of 16

Yes, the human body is not symmetrical and it's quite common to have differently-sized ear canals (my lfe is a bit larger than my right). If you don't have an outboard DAC you can probably adjust it in Windows, by going into Sound and changing the L/R balance.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

I do have an outboard DAC, but the Windows solution seems to be working. This was surprisingly easier than I expected. Thanks.

post #4 of 16

Also, your ear canals aren't going to stretch through the use of IEMs (rolleyes.gif) so the best way to remedy this issue is to find tips that fit well for both ears. I personally use a set of Monster foam SuperTips for most of my IEMs, a small for my right ear and a medium for my left ear. The foams specifically have a very small difference between the medium and the small tips (third and second smallest out of the set of five, respectively) so it's perfect for me, since the difference in my ear canals isn't that big. Experiment with different tips to see what works for you.

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

Er actually, I'm not sure the Windows method worked... I was listening to some classical to test it and I thought it was working. However, I just played a sine wave to verify it (I assume the output is equal for both channels) and the right still seems louder. I then set the right channel to 0 and it was still playing... I feel pretty stupid right now. Do you have any other solutions? Also, do you have any other suggestions for tips, as I don't really like foam ones since they get dirty and need to be replaced.

post #6 of 16

I have the same problem as you, tangelo. That's why I've decided to stay away from IEMs all together. I would always have constant pain in my left ear while my right ear was fine. I would also have to fix the earbuds to stay in my ear every 5 mins. Also, whenever I listened to music, my right was louder too. Sometines I would switch the L/R sides and the sound from the Right earbud would only sound slightly louder in my left ear than the left earbud in my right ear. Weirddd!

post #7 of 16
How about a collagen injection for your ear canal? biggrin.gif

More seriously, I was thinking about getting custom molds. I don't know if that would fit your budget, but it would even things out.
post #8 of 16

yes yes customs

post #9 of 16

Good to know i'm not the only one. my one ear canal is larger than the other, and the smaller has a fairly sharp bend in it that makes deeply inserting iem's very uncomfortable. I always attributed it to the fact that the outside of my one ear is slightly screwed up (flat on the top), and figured it was an extention of that. Perhaps i'm more normal than I thought! (okay, okay, maybe just my ears)

post #10 of 16
Now I feel prettier. The impressions I made of my ears are pretty much symmetrical. Not like it particularly matters as the shells I make will most likely have a flex tip
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

Well actually, I was inquiring more about headphones, rather than IEMs. The difference in ear canal is slightly annoying for the fit, but the sound is pretty much equal for left and right; unlike when I'm using headphones, in which the right channel is louder than the left due to the difference in ear canal size.

post #12 of 16

Dont feel bad I have the exact same problem.  And for some reason even with normal headphones on it still feels like the right side is a bit louder.  My left canal is smaller my right is bigger.....

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 

Yes, it is slightly frustrating once you realize it normal_smile%20.gif. I'm still wondering, does anyone know of any software/hardware that can change the channel balance?

post #14 of 16
If your dac supports asio there are plugins for it
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 

Sorry, what exactly is asio? My DAC is a Tube Magic D1. Also, which plugins do you recommend?

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