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Old 22nd May 2011, 07:42 PM   #1
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Default passive headphone mixer circuit

I only hear well out of one ear (Single Sided Deafness), and there are many times when I'd like headphones to mix the left and right signals so they can both be heard by my good ear.

The easy and dirty solution is to use an adapter that bridges the L and R signals and effectively mixes them, but most people frown on using Y cables as mixers, so I am curious if ya'll have suggestions for a simple small thing I could plug between say a pair of headphones and an ipod, that would mix the signals. A passive device could do the mixing, although an active device would allow me to do a sort of custom mix, putting some "bad-ear" sound into the good ear, but not vice versa so that the "bad ear" still gets some stereo information for localization even though intelligibility is broken on that ear.

Anyone found or built circuits that mix headphone L&R?
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Old 23rd May 2011, 01:12 AM   #2
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Location: Western Sydney
A passive device like this would be in danger of destroying the output stages of the ipod;
You're probably best to mix the signals the way you want before you load the tune onto your ipod, although that would be time consuming.
Alternatively, you'd need a buffer amp driven by the ipod, which includes a crosstalk control at line level, and then drives the phones.

perhaps something like this, although there's proably a simpler one on the headwise site:
http://gilmore2.chem.northwestern.ed...=meier_prj.htm
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Impedance varies with frequency, use impedance plots of your drivers and make crossover calculations using the actual impedance of the driver at the crossover frequency

Last edited by PeteMcK; 23rd May 2011 at 01:15 AM.
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Old 23rd May 2011, 02:34 AM   #3
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Wow thanks, I hadn't heard of crossfeed until now, and so I will have hours of google-fun searching for crossfeed headphone amps.

I'm not convinced that I need the delay in the crossfeed like the headroom and linked circuits use, but otherwise the idea of summing in a bit of the opposite ear's signal is exactly what I'm after.

My primary use case of this is actually not listening to music but rather recording. I use stereo headphones often to monitor two different mono microphones (say a lapel and shotgun mics) while recording video. The problem I have is if the lapel mic is in my left (bad) ear, then I can't hear it at all. So delay would only tend to get me worried about sound problems that aren't there in the first place.

I'm deciding whether to upgrade to a more expensive mixer that allows me to switch the headphones to mono, or whether to make or buy a crossfeed circuit and be able to get some stereo info out of dual sided headphones.
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