Monday, May 16, 2005

Hearing Capability

Since I hear only monaurally (virtually deaf in one ear although that ear is not itself defective), and my brain has adapted to compensate so I perceive a normal stereo image with headphones even though the sound source is essentially only in one ear, do I need to hear at double the normal volume to appreciate 'normal' sound levels?

I do seem to need higher than normal volume, although an actual doubling in volume does not seem to be the case. I suspect air pressure is normal in both ears even though sound is missing in one side. I can demonstrate this to myself by listening to old stereo recordings that have distinct left/right channels for different musical instruments. Reversing the headphones changes the sound balance as other instruments are heard: channel-to-ear dependent to what is heard.

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