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Channel imbalance.

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I thought there was something wrong with my 'phones at first but all the pairs I own have the same skew to the left. I think it is hearing loss in my right ear. So I tried to compensate using the balance control on my 5S. The problem is that even making the smallest adjustment toward the right channel seems to rob the music of its life. Is this simply volume drop or is something else going on?
post #2 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by krismusic View Post

I thought there was something wrong with my 'phones at first but all the pairs I own have the same skew to the left. I think it is hearing loss in my right ear. So I tried to compensate using the balance control on my 5S. The problem is that even making the smallest adjustment toward the right channel seems to rob the music of its life. Is this simply volume drop or is something else going on?
  1. Turn your headphones around. Does the channel imbalance switch sides?
    1. If not, the imbalance is in your head/ears. 
    2. If yes, then it is software or hardware imbalance
  2. Play a track in mono. Use this for the rest of the tests. Is there still channel imbalance?
    1. If not, then the imbalance was in the recording.
    2. If yes, then you need to check the hardware
  3. Is the imbalance in a turned-low volume pot? Turn your software volume down 12 dB and turn the volume knob up to a reasonable loudness again (about + 12 dB). Is there still channel imbalance?
    1. If not, then the imbalance was in the analog potentiometer at low setting. Turn your software volume down and your volume knob up. If your soundcard/DAC is 24 bit, then it doesn't affect your sound quality at all.
    2. If yes, then the problem isn't the volume pot, but there's more hardware to check.
  4. Switch the L/R audio channels going into the amplifier. Did the channel imbalance switch L/R?
    1. If not, then the imbalance is in the amplifier or headphones.
    2. If yes, throw your soundcard/DAC in the trash. Buy a new DAC. There's no excuse for a DAC to have channel imbalance.
  5. If you have detachable cables on your headphones that you can switch L/R (such as headphones with detachable xlr), then switch the Left/right inputs to your headphones. Did the channel imbalance switch L/R?
    1. If not, the imbalance is in your headphones. Replace or repair your headphones.
    2. If yes, the imbalance is in your cable or your amplifier
  6. Use a digital multimeter to test the lead resistance of your headphone cable. Does the resistance of each your headphone cable read less than 2 Ohm on your multimeter?
    1. If no, the cable is definitely a turd. Get a new cable.
    2. If yes, AND your multimeter is reasonably high quality AND the resistance in each cable channel is below 1 Ohm, then the imbalance is in your amplifier. Replace or repair your amplifier.
    3. If yes, AND your multimeter cannot be trusted to make accurate sub-Ohm readings, BUT your headphones are high(ish) impedance (> 30 Ohm), then the imbalance is in your amplifier. Replace or repair your amplifier.
    4. If yes, AND your multimeter cannot be trusted to make accurate sub-Ohm readings, AND your headphones are very low impedance (< 30 Ohm), then I really can't say whether or not it is your amp or your headphone cable that is screwed up. Use a different pair of headphones that have a larger impedance and see what happens.
       

Report back on what you find.

 

 

Cheers

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
I could not ask for a better answer. Thank you for taking the time to put that together ab initio. Much appreciated. I will investigate when I get chance and let you know what I find out.
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