Single ear headphones

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by GrahamH, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. GrahamH

    GrahamH New Member

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    Hello,

    I am 100% deaf in one ear but would like to listen to music and the TV using an around ear headphone which would keep out external sound and allow me to hear both channels of stereo in my good ear. I understand I could use a standard sterio headset and direct both channels into one side by using an adapter (or a soldering iron) but I suspect the speakers are not really designed to take both channels. Is there such a thing as a headphone with multiple speakers which could handle this? or is there a headphone set I could modify and move the left speaker into the right housing along with the right speaker?

    The more I have researched this the more confused I become!

    GrahamH
     
  2. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    I have heard very similar questions before. There is no reason to not put both channels through a single driver. a slight awareness of the fact that the driver is receiving both channels worth of power (if this is how the headphones are re-wired or are being driven by both channels to one ear from a channel selectable device) and so volume needs to be reduced. This is a power issue but the tolerances are very wide with headphones and there is no danger at these low output levels.

    You cannot receive stereo from one ear so it makes no difference if both channels are on one side coming from the same driver. It is only two channels and obviously many channels are mixed into each ear in a stereo mix. A device with a Mono button would solve this without the need for headphone surgery, a Mono button should mix both channels equally into both ears.:)

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. GrahamH

    GrahamH New Member

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    Thanks Robin. Now can you recommend headphones with a mono button. The other thing I am looking for is a fairly good isolation so I do not hear background noise and also do not disturb others when it it quiet. I'm not sure about a budget but I guess £100 to £150 would be OK for something of decent quality.

    Thanks, Graham
     
  4. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    You need to find a device/source with Mono function, I have never seen headphones which do this. AV Forums may be a good place to ask a large group of people about equipment which has mono functionality. We are a sponsor of their forum and I am a big fan of the community and their willingness to help. Sorry I didn't have a full solution for you.
     
  5. captmac

    captmac New Member

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    Howdy Graham, I have the same problem (completely deaf on one side following an accident) and I've been trying to get a good single headphone for an age. I've had a few sent over from America but the quality has never been great, they've not been as bad as the ones you get with a lot of devices but they're definitely not top end. Here's the links to the ones I've had: Scan Sound, Inc.

    I've started emailing ACS - Serious About Sound to see if they can make me something suitable, I'll let you know how it goes.

    If you find anything please copy the links because I've been stuck on this for an age.
     
  6. YuniHeadphone

    YuniHeadphone New Member

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  7. JouniL

    JouniL New Member

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    Hi Graham!

    I also suffer from single sided deafness. There are a number of possible routes for you:

    1. If you are into HIFI you listen to both your TV and other sources (like CD, streaming music from your PC/MAC ...) using an amp/receiver which has a mono function. Nowadays (since the eighties) most amps don't have a mono button but you could easily find vintage amp/receiver on ebay or other similar sources. Besides that, vintage HIFI is cool.

    2. If you are comfortable with the soldering iron you could create a passive stereo to mono summing circuit/adapter (also called box) to fit your needs. This is a really good link explaining all the details:

    Why Not Wye?

    and another one:

    Passive Stereo to Mono Resistive Mixer

    I have made a couple of (unbalanced which you could consider standard for the consumer market) resistive summit circuits and it works perfect!

    3. If you are listening to streaming music on a PC or Mac then nowadays many music players do have the capability to mix "down" a stereo signal into a monaural signal. I use Clementine as my music player and you can find this feature deep back in the preferences section.

    Good luck!
     
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