Why do I hear beatings with stereo headphones?

Why do I hear beatings with stereo headphones?

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When I play a sine wave together with another pitch shifted sine wave I hear the beating very clearly. This is the expected physical phenomenon.

When I use headphones to play the lower frequency sine wave in my left ear and the slightly higher frequency sine wave in my right (or vice versa), there should be no way for them to physically interfere with each other? But I still hear the beatings, just less strongly.

I tested it with a few different people and how strongly one perceives the beatings varies between people, but many do still hear it. Why?

Short answer
Dependent on the auditory stimuli used, it sounds like binaural beats to me.

Binaural beats are the resultant perception evoked by the interaction of two auditory tones with different frequencies when presented to both ears (Lane et al., 1998). The presented tones should be below 1000 to 1500 Hz and differ in frequency between 1 and 30 Hz. For example, if a pure tone of 400 Hz is presented to one ear and a 410 Hz tone in the other, an amplitude modulated standing wave with a frequency equal to the frequency difference (10 Hz in this case) is perceived. Note that these 1-30 Hz beat frequencies are below the dynamic range of acoustic hearing. Hence, the beatings are the result of neurophysiological interactions in the brain, and not the result of physical interactions of the auditory stimuli impinging on the inner ear. From an experimental point of view, limiting the sound levels to 60 to 70 dB should prevent gross cross-over stimulation to the other ear.

Binaural beats are thought to be elicited in the auditory brainstem, and specifically in the the superior olivary nuclei, when the two wave forms mesh in and out of phase within the brainstem.

- Lane et al., Physiol Behav (1998); 63(2): 249-52

- Web US

Related post
- How can binaural beats change mental state?

Actually there is a way for waves to interact with each other. Our bones conduct vibrations very well: bone conduction. Some of hearing aids are based on this effect.

I can think about another example: the Weber test. It is a quick test for hearing.

In the Weber test a vibrating tuning fork (Typically 256 Hz… ) is placed in the middle of the forehead, above the upper lip under the nose over the teeth, or on top of the head equi-distant from the patient's ears on top of thin skin in contact with the bone. The patient is asked to report in which ear the sound is heard louder. A normal weber test has a patient reporting the sound heard equally in both sides.

So the explanation could be the bone conduction of vibrations.

Why Do I Hear Static in my Headphones: Quick Fixes for Different Devices

Find out the common reasons why you hear static in your headphones. And the best ways to help you get rid of that annoying buzz.

One of the most annoying inconveniences is when you want to sit down and listen to some great music, but only hear static noises or intermittent audio playing.

What’s worse is that no matter how much you fiddle with your headphones or audio device, you just can’t seem to understand what’s causing the problem. How will you be able to make the annoying static and buzzing sounds go away?

Hearing static in headphones

Luckily for you, we’ve made a comprehensive guide covering all the possible causes and solutions for getting rid of static in your headphones for different devices. Each method is dependent on the cause of the problem, so it’s important that you understand what exactly is going on before you proceed in troubleshooting.

An Overview of Binaural Beats

Binaural beats are becoming much more popular as a therapeutic method to heal the mind and body. The best thing about binaural beats is that they can affect the functioning of your body and mind without requiring medication, supplements, or any special changes to your life.

They’re easy to use and can help you reach your health goals in an all-natural way. Read on to learn about how binaural beats work and what they can do for you!

How They Work

When you listen to binaural beats with stereo headphones, a different frequency is played in each ear. While each ear hears its own sound, your brain begins to hear a third sound that essentially makes up the difference between the two different frequencies.

The third sound is of particular interest and is what actually causes the health and wellness benefits associated with binaural beats. It encourages the activation of certain brainwaves, which we’ll go into shortly.

Reprogramming Your Brain

In every waking moment of your life, there are different types of brainwaves active within your brain. Each task and function of the body and brain has a preference when it comes to brainwaves.

That means that when a certain type of brainwave is more active, certain bodily functions are more likely to occur.

Brainwaves are described by their frequencies, as are sounds. When you listen to binaural beats at a certain frequency, you’re able to encourage the associated brainwaves to become more active and produce the effects that you’re looking for.

In short, you’re reprogramming your brainwaves to achieve your desired health and wellness goals.

Headphone only playing sound through left ear

So I have been trying to fix this for a while and have browsed similar threads but none of the solutions seem to work for me. I have a MSI Laptop with one speaker jack and one headphone jack. When I plug the headphones in the headphone jack all the way I get sound only through the left ear (yes I have it set on stereo and yes I have balance on both sides). When i plug it in halfway I get sound through both sides of the headphone but it comes only from the left speaker (so when I play games I don't get 3D sound and it kind of effects listening to music). However, I can re-rout my speaker jack to let my headphones play through it and then I get sound through both ears just lower quality (probs because it isn't actually a heaphone jack). I have re-installed the audio drivers a zillion times and have tried everything else I can think of. Any ideas would be greatly welcomed!

Random Aussie Bloke



On computers normally a line and headphone jack do the same thing. Most times, I see a headphone/line and mic jack.

Is it possible the headset has an issue. Can you try it on another system. Even a short extension cable may work if for some reason your headphones are not making good contact with the laptop. Do you have any other headphones to try?

Half way out playing both is because left and right are touching the left contact(ground[sleeve] is common). This is why you do not get the sound right.

If the jack is not working, It would cost more to get it fixed than to just pick up a USB sound card.

What to Do When Wireless Headphones Only Work in One Ear

Wireless headphones can save you from the hassle of untangling messy cords. However, these won’t spare you from issues that may cause headsets to play only in one ear. Below are 3 common causes of malfunctioning wireless headphones and guides on how to fix each.

Diagnosis: Needs reset

When one side of your earbuds isn’t working, sometimes a quick factory reset is all it takes to resolve your Bluetooth headset’s connectivity issue.

How to reset Bluetooth headphones

  1. Press your device’s power button.
  2. Keep holding it down until the headset’s light flashes blue or red. You can also follow these steps on how to reset each brand of Bluetooth headphones.
  3. Pair the headphones again with your device.

Diagnosis: Halfway point issue

If your headphones are functioning well when the aux cable jack is plugged in but start working only on one side when you shift to wireless mode, you may be dealing with a halfway point issue.

These issues occur when one of the jack port’s mechanical triggers is stuck halfway, causing one of your headphone speakers to malfunction.

How to fix a halfway point issue

  1. Insert then remove the aux cable plug from the jack port.
  2. Repeat step 1 at various angles to keep pushing the mechanical trigger back in place.
  3. Test your Bluetooth headphones to find out if the issue is resolved.

Diagnosis: Broken internal wires

If one side of your earphones still won’t work despite being fully charged, start checking for damaged or displaced wires in the hardware. Read the steps below on how to repair Bluetooth headphones.

How to fix internal wires

  1. Open the Bluetooth device and remove the casing. Open Bluetooth earbuds
  2. Locate the broken wires and reconnect these using a soldering iron.
  3. Return the internal components inside the casing.
  4. Turn on your Bluetooth earphones to test it, then re-seal if it’s all good.

Sound troubleshooting – Beats headphones and earphones

  1. Make sure the 3.5 mm audio jack is fully plugged in. The straight input connects to your headset, and the L-shaped input connects to your audio device.
  2. Check that your audio source is on and working.
  3. If your audio source is a computer or laptop, try adjusting the configuration settings.
  4. If you still hear distorted sound, try a different audio source and an alternate cable.

Dirty earbuds

Earbuds are in close contact with your ears and thus, dirt along with the outer ear and ear wax may sometimes fill the speaker grid. When the grid is full of wax and dirt, the sound won't fully come out of the earbud causing a sound imbalance.

If you notice that one of the earbuds is quieter or louder than the other, check the condition of the buds first before you troubleshoot your device or audio source. To clean the earbuds properly, use a cotton tip applicator or cotton buds. Wet the tip with a small amount of alcohol and carefully clean the grid. This is also the best time to inspect your device for any tears, breaks, and frays.

Grado Prestige SR325e

If you won’t settle for anything but the best in audio quality, the Grado Prestige SR325e should hold your attention. It’s not only Grado’s flagship model but also a sound-quality champ, according to our testers.

The Grado looks good, too. With the powder-coated aluminum housing and leather headband, these headphones are the perfect choice for the audiophile who appreciates a retro aesthetic.

You probably won’t be showing them off in public, though. The open-back ear cups—an intentional design choice meant to add clarity to the audio—aren’t intended to block sound from bleeding in or out, so they might not be suited for noisy environments or when you don’t want to bother a neighbor. The SR325e is best for the listener who wants to plunk down in a comfy chair and bask in the glory of high-fidelity sound.

How do I use wireless headphones with Xbox Series X|S?

Source: Windows Central

Being able to use a 3.5mm headphone jack for the vast majority of headphones is fantastic, but not everyone wants to be tethered to another cable. It is possible to use wireless headphones with the Xbox Series X|S, but you're going to run into a lot more limitations here than you would with a pair of more traditional wired headphones.

There are two ways that you can use wireless headphones with the Xbox Series X|S: either with the excellent Xbox Wireless protocol, which is used by officially licensed Xbox accessories like the Xbox Wireless Controller, or wireless dongles, which plug into one of your console's USB ports and then connect to your headphones.

The best way to go is native Xbox Wireless integration, like with the impeccable LucidSound LS50X headset or its more affordable sibling, the LucidSound LS35X headset. Still, you'll only find this standard in dedicated gaming headsets designed for Xbox, which tend to be more premium (with some exceptions).

You can also go more affordable with a pair of headphones that uses a USB dongle to connect using a 2.4GHz signal, like with the well-reviewed SteelSeries Arctis 7X headset. Using a USB dongle opens your options up, but you're still likely looking at a dedicated gaming headset, as there's little chance a regular pair of headphones you have lying around will use this.

Of course, the most widely used standard for wireless headphones is Bluetooth, so what's up with it not appearing here?

Can I use Bluetooth headphones with Xbox Series X|S?

If you use a pair of wireless headphones with your mobile device, PC, or any number of devices, the chances are that it uses Bluetooth, like in the case of the Surface Headphones 2. While Bluetooth is an excellent and widely accepted standard, it's not as suitable for gaming.

Bluetooth connections tend to have latency, meaning there's a gap between something occurring on your device and the audio playing in your ears. This latency varies from headset to headset (more premium devices can sometimes mean less latency), but it's never amazing for gaming.

On top of that, Bluetooth is more prone to interference from other devices or obstacles than something like the Xbox Wireless standard or even USB dongles. This means you're more likely to encounter disconnects, stutters, and more when using a Bluetooth headset.

Because of this, Xbox consoles do not support Bluetooth connections for accessories. That being said, you can still use the 3.5mm headphone jack to connect a lot of Bluetooth headphones to your Xbox controller via a cable, but it won't be a wireless connection.

If you truly desire a wireless gaming experience, you'll want to shop around for a wireless Xbox headset.


You can use your new noise-cancelling headphones without music, but you’ll have the best effects from them if you’re using them for the right reasons. Because of active noise cancellation technology, understanding that they are best for cancelling out low-frequency noises will make you a happier person when you purchase them if those are your concerns.

You can use the NC feature without playing music just to get a more quiet environment, which might really help you on a crowded airplane so you can get some sleep or on morning train commutes.

High-frequency sounds won’t go away with your noise-cancelling headphones and knowing that and knowing what your lifestyle and needs are will help you make a sound decision, pardon the pun. Noise-cancelling headphones are more expensive than other headphones but if the reason you need them is for handling low-frequency irritations, you’ll be making a wise investment into your own slice of silence.

Watch the video: 14 Subtle Things Abusive Parents Do (October 2022).