Right canalphone works, but sounds much lower
Nov 6, 2016 at 7:23 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 2


100+ Head-Fier
Jul 31, 2006
I have a pair of old Altec Lansing iM716 (I think a rebrand of something by Etymotic). They were sold used to me with a broken cable, and they went through four more cables before I lost them. I've found them again in a drawer today without a cable, so I soldered one on and tested them.
And found that the right one's volume is significantly lower. Like, I need to set balance 60% on the right for them to sound the same.
I then remembered that they had this problem when I last swapped the cable, which was the reason I'd taken it back off; then I grew lazy and eventually misplaced the phones before fixing them again. Now, it's been a long time, but I think they developed this problem in use, with the cable they had before, rather than after a cable swap. 
What could be the problem? In my experience phones either work or break altogether - this is the first time I've seen a pair misbehave like this.
Notably, the little flex board where I solder the cables has what looks like a tiny surface mount resistor between the two contacts. It looks OK on both 'phones, but I guess it could have broken, or gotten disconnected if its solder joints broke in an impact. Could this be the cause of the problem? Or maybe I connected the wire in reverse - though I doubt this, since I left markings the first time I took them apart and I followed them every time I installed a new cable.
Any ideas?
Edit: I've installed the Viper Audio driver on Android and if I set channel pan to 0.2:0.8 the headphones sound identical - and not actually bad. Or at least, I can't tell the difference. This is going to work as a stopgap measure, but my phone isn't the only device I want to use these on, and I really don't want to be setting balance on everything - especially since most other portable devices don't even have a balance setting.
Nov 7, 2016 at 4:51 PM Post #2 of 2


Headphoneus Supremus
Feb 11, 2008
It might be wax in the canal/port of the IEM, or it might be sweat/condensation (but that is less likely if the oroblem has remained even after a long period of dis-use).

Users who are viewing this thread