So a quick story: I have a pair of Audio Technica ATH-AD700s. I've been using them for music listening, with my laptop and Creative X-Fi Go sound card as source. I recently got an opportunity to use them while plugged into a stereo amp and listening to CDs, and the improvement in SQ was amazing. I'd always thought of these cans as bass lite, but hearing them properly amped gave me a new respect for them.
Anyway, this week I purchased a used NAD C 302 stereo amp on the cheap (well, I paid less than $100 for it). I brought it home and tested it, feeding my laptop signal into the phono input on the amp, and then plugged my phones into the headphone out on the amp. As I expected the sound was much richer. There was a noticeable bass presence, which just isn't possible without amping.
Problem is during listening I was tinkering with my EQ settings on the laptop. At one point (for I guess 5 seconds) there was suddenly horribly loud bass distortion. I quickly stopped the music playing and fixed the EQ settings. I was immediately worried that I might have done some damage to the phones. I listened to the phones thereafter and heard no OBVIOUS signs of a blown driver. However, I started worrying that the 'character' of the headphones' sound had changed. To my ears, I'm hearing the bass sounds in a more pronounced way in the RIGHT CHANNEL on my AD700s.
Now, I'm aware that this could be more to do with perception, especially since *I* know what happened. But is there anyway that what I've described could have affected the headphones' presentation of sound? Could it be that I'm listening with greater awareness now and becoming attuned to the fact that bass sounds (especially kick drums and other LF sounds) are mixed to the right (is this even true)?
I would appreciate your input on this.
Edited to add the following: is there any test you would recommend (sine sweeps) to check that my headphones are presenting a balanced sound (L&R literally)?
Edited by funcrusha - 7/12/12 at 3:04pm