Picture of Simple Stereo to Mono Headphone Conversion

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!


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

Another way to accomplish this (I have the same "left ear story"): 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!

mmhiggins3 years ago
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!
Nardy3 years ago
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 :)
mmhiggins Nardy3 years ago
yea, I always sleep so that I can't hear, it's great for late-night thunderstorms.
That must of been a surprise! One day two working ears, the next day only one...
nailed it
snideprime4 years ago
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!