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Any way to test balance?

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

I can't help but have a nagging feeling that my sound output isn't completely balanced. It feels like the right channel is just one or two notches weak, but I can't tell for sure. I want to do an objective balance test, rather than it being subjective to my hearing.

If this is the case, what can I do?


I'm fairly sure it's not my ears, since the ol' switcharoo reverses the more powerful channel.




EDIT: Forgot to mention, my DAC is an Asus Xonar Essence STX

EDIT2: It might even be the music, but I find it hard to believe that almost all of my music is balanced slightly harder on the left channel. It's barely anything, but position wise it feels like its over my nostril rather than the bridge.

Edited by Jademalo - 4/6/13 at 9:40am
post #2 of 2

Are you using the line (RCA) output or the headphone output ? If the former, does the imbalance also occur when the headphones are connected directly to the sound card (to rule out a problem in the external amplifier - analog volume pots are prone to balance issues) ? If it is the headphone jack that is unbalanced, try the line output (you can actually drive headphones with it using the adapter included with the card, even if the sound quality might be affected by the high output impedance).

Did you try other headphones, and do they also have the same problem ? If yes, then check the mixer settings, it could be a simple software issue.

Finally, if it cannot be ruled out in any other way that the imbalance is caused by the sound card itself (which generally indicates faulty hardware that should be replaced under warranty), you can try a loopback test with the freeware RightMark analyzer program. It is not actually necessary to run the full test, only the level adjustment which displays the input levels in real time. Make sure that the output level is not so high that it gets clipped by the line input (in particular, do not use high gain when testing the headphone output, and reduce the volume if RMAA shows distortion).

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