Does it matter if you listen your headphones with switch L/R channel?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by vincik, Feb 11, 2014.
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  1. larry piencenaves
    the sound will be identical even if its reversed the only exception to this if is the drivers are angled or the drivers are mismatched
  2. pibroch
    Most people, including sound engineers and their clients, hear treble louder in their left ear. So stereo music recordings will often sound quite different with channels reversed. In my perception they generally don’t sound as good the wrong way round.
  3. Niouke
    I am under the impression that the left ear is the "guiding" one, and that switching channels will send any track in disarray...
  4. pinnahertz
    Do you have some reference to back that up?
  5. castleofargh Contributor
    I have had better treble hearing in the right ear for as long as I can remember. it's either because I'm left handed with a strong desire for contradiction, or it has to do with shooting rifles as a kid. but I'd love it if the first idea was true. just for the fun of it.
  6. pinnahertz
    I believe the "treble louder in the left ear" thing is a confusion with "ear dominance". People are either left ear, or right ear dominant, just like they are left eye or right eye dominant. I believe there's a statistical bias toward left, but don't recall for certain. The dominance shows up in speech comprehension, but is not specifically related to frequency response. One of the most recent studies showed a statistical trend for people preferring communication be shouted into their dominant ear in a loud disco environment, with data collected by visual observation.
  7. Coolzo
    From a recording engineer's objective perspective: if you want to hear the music precisely how the mix engineer intended, don't swap the channels. If you find your headphones more comfortable reversed, then swap the cable L/R to compensate.

    From a music listener's subjective perspective: I've found my old favorites to sound really quite wrong when swapped. Even disturbingly so, depending on the track. I wouldn't swap if I was serious about listening to the music. Alas, to each his own.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
    DivaFonda likes this.
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