Left channel clipping and then going out on my headphones
Apr 1, 2020 at 10:50 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6


New Head-Fier
May 8, 2007
In the past few days of listening to my HE560v2 the left channel would cut out and a few hours later come back. The day after it went out again and I couldn't get it to come back. My listening set up is PC to SMSL Su-8 to Cavalli Tube Hybrid to headphones. The Su-8 are also connected via balanced to my JBL 305s. I have my Su-8 at max volume and CTH at 3/4 max volume so I can control the volume with my keyboard scroll wheel.

I switched the mini-plugs from R to L and there was still no sound on the L. I switched to my Fidelio X2s and it was working fine for 30-40 minutes and then the left channel started to clip before dropping out. I took both headphones to my receiver and tested them there. The X2s clipping went away after I jiggled the end of the cable connecting to the receiver. The HE560v2 still had nothing from L but when I turned up the volume to 70 (for some reason the volume was low so 70 was actually normal level) the L channel came back.

Is there something obvious I am missing? Are my headphones being damaged by my setup?
Apr 2, 2020 at 6:03 AM Post #2 of 6
From the detailed information you've given, there are only 2 probable causes:

Either the left driver is slowly failing, which isn't very likely - usually they just die completely.
Or the internal cable connecting the left socket to the driver is coming loose - which is a surprisingly common problem.
It will most likely need re-soldering, which is a very easy fix for an experienced headphone-modder or technician.
Apr 2, 2020 at 8:42 AM Post #3 of 6
Hey thanks for a response. Been waiting so long to hear a thought. I'm sure I can google this but any recommendations on how to go about this repair? Do you have someone you trust I can send to?
Apr 2, 2020 at 8:51 AM Post #4 of 6
Depends where you are in the world.
Most people would recommend sending it back to Hifiman under warranty, but I suspect yours has ran out since you're asking here in the forums.

If you can't find someone local to help out (which nobody would advise anyway during the pandemic) I wouldn't ship it abroad for such a repair.

To get inside the headphone, you only need to poke off the outer-grill retainer ring, which is held down by four plastic push-tabs.
This is easily done by bending the ring inwards slightly at the 4 'corners' and it pops out.
Then the grill just falls out revealing the internal wiring from the socket to the driver.
It will look something like this:
After a quick search I couldn't find any HE-560 mk2 disassembly photos, but the principle is the same as the older models (HE-500 pictured).
Apr 2, 2020 at 4:32 PM Post #5 of 6
Oh neat. That doesn't look too bad in terms of difficulty. So I tried testing it again and I couldn't hear anything from the left so I took it back to the receiver and cranked up the volume. The left channel immediately came back. I suspect there is something wrong with my stack so I have my CTH connected via my PC's headphone out and it's still working just fine. I have a THX 789 in the mail and I know a lot of people have them hooked up to a SMSL Su8 without issues so I'll try again when that arrives. If it goes out before then I'll try cracking it open. Thanks for your input!
Apr 3, 2020 at 2:00 AM Post #6 of 6
Oh actually that's a point.
Maybe the left channel on your amp is dodgy.

Have you tried any other headphones through the amp?

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