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Single Headphone

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I suspect that I have a somewhat different problem than most of the forum users here, but perhaps someone can suggest some solutions. A little over a year ago I suffered an overnight sudden hearing loss caused by a viral infection. I permanently lost all usable hearing in the right ear and had a significant loss over 2k hertz in the left. I have "normal" hearing in the left ear 2k hertz and lower. I have been fitted with a BiCros hearing aid system that works fairly well in social situations, but prefer not to use the aids for TV watching or music listening. I had Sennheiser HD555's that worked well for me before the loss. However the plastic headband adjustment pieces have broken and rendered them unusable. I have been using a SoundScan earphone that mixes the stereo signal into a single earphone for TV watching. Works pretty well but the fidelity is not so good for music listening. I have been considering a single headphone such as the Beyerdynamic DT 252 that I believe will combine the stereo sound without the use of a separate stereo/mono combiner. A little boost above 2k hertz might help, also? Any experience or suggestions would be much appreciated. Vic

post #2 of 8

Perhaps to open up some options for you, some models of DJ headphones have a mono-switch built in. I have a Pioneer HDJ-2000 which is my go-to can, though I'm not sure if that's more than you want to spend. 

post #3 of 8

Man I am sorry, Hopefully someday soon you can get your hearing restored. I would peruse the frequency response graphs at these sites and look for something with a hyped upper end.






Some of the Grado come to mind like the sr80. The Superlux line tend to be pretty bright aka hd681.  I would look for something that fits your budget and design requirements, open, closed, on ear (supra aural) or over ear (circumaural).

post #4 of 8
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post

Perhaps to open up some options for you, some models of DJ headphones have a mono-switch built in. I have a Pioneer HDJ-2000 which is my go-to can, though I'm not sure if that's more than you want to spend. 


A good test can for this is the very good and affordable Koss ProDJ100.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback and kind words. Certainly some food for thought there. The specialists I've seen all agree that my hearing loss is irreversible and can never improve. My objective now is to come up with ways to enjoy the hearing I have left to the fullest extent for as long as I can. I will look into the DJ type headphones further, even though it seems a bit redundant to pay for two phones when I'll never be able to use more than one (no usable hearing in the right ear). Does anyone know what sort of circuit is used to convert the DJ cans from stereo to mono? How is the mono sound quality? My budget would be able to handle the Pioneer HDJ-2000's without a problem. I've even considered boosting the frequencies above 2k hertz with some sort of amplifier/equalizer combination. Since my loss above 2k hertz is 60dB that idea probably doesn't have much merit. I am willing to do some experimentation, so would be willing to try some ideas that seem a bit "out of the box". I have accepted that there's no way I'll ever be able to enjoy "normal" hearing again, but if I could enhance the experience even a little bit it would be worthwhile. Thanks, Vic

post #6 of 8

A mono-circuit is literally just a pair of resistors. Connect one resistor each to the left and right input, then join the other ends together. Feed the joined end to both sides of your speaker/headphone for a mono signal. If you're handy with a soldering iron, you could make a short adapter cable (or fiddle with the headphones themselves, but an adapter would be easier). There shouldn't be any noticeable decrease in sound quality. Trying to implement a balance control is a little bit trickier, and could lead to finicky sound if the pots are scratchy. 


If you're predominantly listening at home, then feeding the headphones through a receiver with a balance control is a nice solution. For portable, there aren't many portable amps I know of with balance control. Here's one... http://hotaudio.com/store/ha-thunderbolt-dv-1.php


Given the extent of your hearing damage, I would veer away from boosting those high frequencies as that might unintentionally cause even more damage. 


Aside from the Pioneer and Koss (there's also the DJ200), other DJ headphones with mono switches that come to mind: AKG K181, Stanton DJ Pro 2000, hmm and I'm pretty sure Sony has at least one. 

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Armaegis: Thanks for the reply. I understand your comments about the stereo-to-mono circuit. In fact, I had sketched up one and bought the resistors and other parts several weeks ago. Never got around to soldering it up after the Senneheiser's crapped out though. Sorry, but I don't understand your comments about using "balance control". Are you referring to L/R balance or ?. Since I have no hearing at all in the right ear all sound processing must be concentrated on the left ear. It is the left that has the 60 dB loss above 2k Hz and i will be using a single phone on the left ear only.  Thoughts? Thanks, Vic

Edited by vlcakc - 6/10/12 at 9:32am
post #8 of 8

Yes, I meant a L/R balance control. These can also behave like mono circuits in their own way, but are much more complex compared to the two resistors wired together. And in your case, completely unnecessary.


Since you have the skills to make a mono-adapter yourself, really you can choose just about any headphone that you like. Food for thought, you might even consider getting a custom modded T50rp. It'd be cheaper since you'd only need one working side too.

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