Headphones suddenly producing only 1 sound channel in both ears

Moogie

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Dec 28, 2013
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Ugh, forum dumped my post when it asked me to register. Time to re-type everything!

Sennheiser HD215 headphones. They stopped working properly one day while I was watching a video. Have tested other headphones and they work fine, so the issue is definitely the 'phones and not the source.

Both speakers work, but the sound that comes out of them seems to be some weird abomination of stereo-but-not-really-stereo sound.

What I mean is, it almost sounds like just 1 channel being played, and it's being played in BOTH ears. When I do an audio left/right test, I hear *both* sounds from *both* ears, centrally. But the sound I hear is this really garbled, underwater noise. I hear only half the instruments in a song, and they sound sharp and twangy. Vocals are almost inaudible.

But I hear it all from both speakers at the same time, so this is not a case of "one ear died". It's a case of... something nobody's heard of before, apparently.

It's less like a single channel of stereo, and more like... it's only playing a certain range of sounds. Like half the band (and the vocalist) got up and left the studio, leaving the rest to play this really rather pathetic tune all by themselves.

Is there any DIY soldering I could try, or am I SOL? I have zero electronics experience, but my dad could follow some simple instructions if anyone has any clue what's going on. This problem is really weird and no amount of Googling has brought up anything similar.

Advice welcome, let me know if there is more info I can provide and I'll do my best.
 

andrew_berge

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Apr 29, 2013
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What condition is the plug in (or the rest of the cable, for that matter)? I'm not sure about the garbled effect, but it could certainly lead to downmixed audio.
Replacing the plug is a matter of buying a replacement plug (~$5), cutting off the old one, and soldering the new one on.
 

Moogie

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Dec 28, 2013
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Looks fine to me, both the plug and cable have been treated well. The sound doesn't change if I bend or shake the wire or twist the plug. The problem began while I was sitting very still watching a Youtube video. It just suddenly sounded horrible.
 
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