So about 9 months ago I had an unfortunate thing happen to me.  For reasons that aren't needed to go into here, I was, upon waking one morning struck with sudden hearing loss in my left ear.  Big bummer indeed. 

After a while I started to figure out the little things about it that are terrible.  For me, the biggest thing was music.  I am a huge music fan.  Thus my inspiration for this project.  I WILL SUFFER NO LONGER!!!

Most people know that headphones put sound into your ears, though some may not realise that that sound is pretty much always STEREO sound.  Headphone manufacturers make headphones this way because they realize that most people using them have two working ears, and would like the stereo effects of their music to be heard. 

But what about those without two working ears?  Are they to suffer having to hear only half of the sounds of our loved music?  Imagine using broken headphones, that only have sound coming out of one side.  You would throw those headphones away, no?  Well, since I can't throw my head away, I came up with a fix.

This project is great for anyone with one deaf ear, or anyone fortunate enough to have both working, but would like to have an open ear while listening to music, a video or other such media.  Great for airports, or anywhere you need to listen for some sort of alert. 

Anyway.  Onto the project!

Step 1: Gather Materials

What you will need, and might need for this project.

Will definitely need:

Old pair of WORKING headphones (preferably earbuds).  I used some old iPod headphones, they work great, and are good quality.

Housing that can contain the earbuds. 

Hot glue gun. 

Wire.  Thin gauge is more easily malleable.  I used 16 gauge I think.

Fabric.  A small piece of whatever you want.  I used a new sock.

Cutting tool:  Having scissors, wire cutters, and xacto knife will make things easier.

Things you may choose to need:

Electrical tape

Decorative tape

Small screwdriver

That's not too bad.  You might have all these things laying around like I did, and you can get started right now!
<p>The best solution I've found is using a software mono output (Apple, Samsung, and soon to be Android Nougat will do this).<br><br>Second best are stereo to mono earbuds (marketed for joggers, etc).<br><br>Third best is using an adapter that uses resistors to avoid any problems mixing stereo channels. This isn't so great because it makes things quiet.<br></p>
<p>This is awesome... I lost my left ear hearing totally from an acoustic neuroma about 14 years ago. people just don't understand how frustrating it is! earphones drive me nuts because sometimes I will just hear the baseline, or just vocals depending on the mix. Thank you for this. (but no problem sleeping with a snorer, and it is great in boring lectures when you can just put a finger in the good ear surreptitiously and no one knows that you can't hear at all!)</p>
<p>Nice solution :) If you have a nice pair of headphones which you don't wish to take apart though, you could use this Sound Scan 1BUD stereo-to-mono converter:</p><p><a href="http://www.scansound.com/1bud-stereo-to-mono-converter.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.scansound.com/1bud-stereo-to-mono-conve...</a></p><p>It doesn't short the left and right channels together, so there's no risk of it damaging your hardware.</p>
<p>If you look at a typical headphone / earbud jack, you will see it is 3 pieces of metal separated by two plastic insulating rings. The one nearest the wire is common; the tip and the middle are left/right (not sure which way around). Use a file or a rotary tool to grind a little bit into the gap with the insulating ring between the left/right sections i.e. the tip and the middle section. Then dab a bit of solder to join them. Not too much so it does not interfere with it sliding in and out of jack sockets. The headphones / earbuds will now play mono. </p>
<p>You may also refer to this step by step guide to convert audio channel from Stereo to Mono or convert Mono to Stereo at http://www.idealshare.net/video-converter/how-to-convert-stereo-to-mono.html</p>
<p>Another way to accomplish this (I have the same &quot;left ear story&quot;): purchase an 1/8 in. stereo to mono converter, with male stereo and female mono. Also purchase a,1/8 inch mono to stereo converter, with male mono and female stereo. This will create a chain that converts stereo to mono, then splits the mono into 2 channels of the same mono signal, so that you have complete mono with either side of your headphones!</p>
Thanks! I have been deaf in my right ear since birth, so I never knew what having two working ears would be like. I am a fan of music, but the main annoyance for me was always video games. When a sound goes through the right ear bud, i can't tell if the sound has stopped, or the sound is just coming through the right ear bud. (this was a HUGE problem if I needed to locate objects making sound in games) my one complaint is the not-so-appealing look of the finished project. I might put a better casing on the outside, or cover it with Sugru. Great 'ible!
Should your honestly impressive invention ever fail, you may find this company interesting http://onegoodearbud.com/ they are technically for people running (safety of still being able to hear traffic etc) but great if like me, you can only hear in one ear. good luck! One ear isn't so bad, makes sleeping when it's noisy outside pretty easy and you can pout annoying people on your deaf side :)<br>
yea, I always sleep so that I can't hear, it's great for late-night thunderstorms. <br>
That must of been a surprise! One day two working ears, the next day only one...
nailed it
I had the same thing happen to me - woke up one morning (in 1969) totally deaf in my left ear. Why doesn't matter, the important thing is adjusting to all the things that change - including loss of the ability to determine direction of sound as well as stereo sound. I once had headphones with a stereo/mono switch on them but I have never seen another set like them. I will definately do this! I once tried hanging earbuds from a headband, but that didn't work too well (too much external interference). Thanks for the idea!

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