why do headphone amplifiers not have balance controls?
Oct 30, 2016 at 4:07 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5

magicalmouse

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The title says it all, i do not understand why there are very few headphone amplifiers (i only know of 2 - the better stax and one from italy) as most people have a slight imbalance in their hearing which means the image is slightly off centre?
 
Any comments from users or manufacturers would be interesting
 
d
 
Oct 31, 2016 at 12:05 AM Post #2 of 5

Svatopluk

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  The title says it all, i do not understand why there are very few headphone amplifiers (i only know of 2 - the better stax and one from italy) as most people have a slight imbalance in their hearing which means the image is slightly off centre?
 
Any comments from users or manufacturers would be interesting
 
d


I probably don't know what I'm talking about but I will give it a shot anyway.
 
As pertaining to my case, I suffer from some high frequency hearing loss in my right ear as well as some tinnitus in both ears. Despite all of that, I have not noticed hearing imbalance with the headphone and amp pairings that I've tried recently. It may be due to the drivers being so close to the ear and working somewhat like hearing aids, along with the brain adjusting to the hearing loss over time.
 
Maybe someone else can chime in on the technical aspects building headphone amplifiers with balanced controls.
 
Nov 2, 2016 at 6:41 AM Post #3 of 5

ProtegeManiac

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  The title says it all, i do not understand why there are very few headphone amplifiers (i only know of 2 - the better stax and one from italy) as most people have a slight imbalance in their hearing which means the image is slightly off centre?

 
AFAIK it has to do with cost and size. And while there are people with a hearing imbalance, most would rather not use any tone controls. Those who do have a hearing imbalance and uses headphones, the latter being the key part in this, are likely using a computer as a source, which means if you're going to use some kind of signal alteration, might as well do it in software, whether it's balance or EQ.
 
Nov 4, 2016 at 2:57 PM Post #4 of 5

ChrisAllen

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I struggle with the same issue. I've tried several very high end amps and ended up selling them because I couldn't get over the imbalance. 
 
I just picked up a Cary 300sei and the balance control works with the headphone out. I'm loving it.
 
Nov 5, 2016 at 4:26 AM Post #5 of 5

magicalmouse

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Interesting reponses, i use a capella (beresford) headphone amplifier which is alos a preamp and the balance control on this works on the line-out, i then daisy chain my other headphone amplifiers - i would prefer a simpler solution though with a headphone amplifier that works with both high and low impedance cans (hd650 and he-400s and pm3) and gives a lush beguiling valve (like) sound - the beresford caiman has an impedance control but does not imo sound euphonic.
 
d
 

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