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How to test a headphone for a channel imbalance?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I think one of my old sets has a channel imbalance. It could also be that one side of the unit isn't sealing properly due to a malformed earpad. I don't know which it is. One side sounds hollow and brighter than the other. They ARE single-sided so a channel imbalance is very possible. How can I test?

post #2 of 16
Thread Starter 

Bump? I know this is possible, ericj did it. He just didn't say HOW he did it...

post #3 of 16
post #4 of 16
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coll5nEpps View Post

http://www.audiocheck.net/audiotests_stereo.php

Not what I meant. There is definitely an audible difference; I need to know if its caused by the headband or the drivers. In other words, I need to test the drivers themselves. I believe ericj used a meter of some kind.

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

Bump? :/

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

>_<

post #8 of 16

Did u mean channel volume imbalance? I suppose you could try measuring both sides with a SPL meter using a mono source.. or else you could try listening to it with a mono source and try swapping Left and Right on your head and see if the center image shifts in particular to one side or not.

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Categg View Post

Did u mean channel volume imbalance? I suppose you could try measuring both sides with a SPL meter using a mono source.. or else you could try listening to it with a mono source and try swapping Left and Right on your head and see if the center image shifts in particular to one side or not.

Yknow, I tried that, and I don't notice a volume difference. I notice a difference in frequency response. My guess is something like this is related to driver damage and is unfixable. Can anyone confirm that?

 

I'd try recabling them as a Y-type instead of single-sided, but I don't know how to disassemble them. The pads don't come off and there are no visible screws.

post #10 of 16

Without actually listening to the phones i guess it'll be hard for others to guess what the actual problem is. My uneducated guess is that it's either a bad headphone jack or else it should be the drivers as i can't think of any other issues that might cause this change. Perhaps some other knowledgable guy can offer a different point of view.

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

I'm thinking that the single-sided entry is my problem. I'll try to investigate later; these things have a terrible cable anyways.

post #12 of 16
If the drivers/pads aren't angled you can try switching from wearing them L/R to R/L (wearing them the wrong side) to see if there's any audible difference. On Mono. This can give you an idea if there is something physically wrong about the audio component. Assuming you've already checked with another headphone to see if it's not your ears or the source.

About the fit, typically speaking a bad fit will not affect the volume to such an extent, but the sound would likely lack bass if anything. The best way IMO to test if it's a fit problem is to either
1. Press them down against your ears so make sure there is a seal.
2. Try adjusting the position based on the fit/comfort of the side where everything seems right, and then do the same for the side that feels weaker (trying one side at a time, not trying to get perfect fit on both sides).
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kalbee View Post

If the drivers/pads aren't angled you can try switching from wearing them L/R to R/L (wearing them the wrong side) to see if there's any audible difference. On Mono. This can give you an idea if there is something physically wrong about the audio component. Assuming you've already checked with another headphone to see if it's not your ears or the source.

About the fit, typically speaking a bad fit will not affect the volume to such an extent, but the sound would likely lack bass if anything. The best way IMO to test if it's a fit problem is to either
1. Press them down against your ears so make sure there is a seal.
2. Try adjusting the position based on the fit/comfort of the side where everything seems right, and then do the same for the side that feels weaker (trying one side at a time, not trying to get perfect fit on both sides).

The drivers nor the pads aren't angled, but the way the headband is designed prevents them from sitting on both ears correctly if they're backwards. If I force them onto my ears to seal that way, the OTHER ear seals and actually made the driver crinkle a little bit (which scared me).

 

They ARE semi-open (tiiiny vents in back). I'm noticing less bass and more treble on one side. This side DOES NOT seal no matter what I do. When I loft both drivers away from my ears (equal distance) they sound the same. One side is sealing VERY well and giving me lots of low end that's really tight and controlled. The other side doesn't have as much extension or power.

 

This is definitely an earpad issue, which is what I thought to begin with. Which means I can't fix it.

 

Actually, it could also be that one of the arms is bent, holding it upright looks like it's very slightly crooked.


Edited by takato14 - 11/13/12 at 10:47am
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

... and I just figured it out.

 

The pads are the air-filled vinyl type pads that Koss used a lot back in their old days, and the right pad is punctured. And if I remember correctly, this is something I did to them, with a needle, when I was a little kid and didn't know any better. 

 

One word.

 

$hit.


Edited by takato14 - 11/13/12 at 10:50am
post #15 of 16

Yikes...

Either you'll have to somehow pressurize and seal the punctured one, or give the other one the same treatment :X

Figuring out the former would ideal for now; if you are unable to pressurize it back to the original state, then partial for both might be a inferior workaround.

 

Or perhaps you can try replacing the pads altogether with something foam-filled >_<

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