Questions & Answers

Is stereo imaging usually uncentered at low gain in cheap audio interfaces?

0 votes
asked Dec 26, 2020 in PreAmps, Signal Processors and Monitoring Hardware by maximelavoie (260 points)
I have a Scarlett Solo 3rd gen as well as a Presonus Audiobox usb and this "problem" occurs on both. When I turn the volume knob (could be phones or main on presonus) at very very low volumes, the sound is not centered (it later becomes centered as I further turn the knob). Is it normal that at some point, the preamps can't feed both channels equally (especially since these are relatively cheap interfaces)? The issue occurs when the knobs point at around 7-8 o'clock. On the Presonus, sound comes out of the left channel first as it comes from the right channel first on my Focusrite.

It's not a problem from my monitors as I tried many pairs and it also does it with my Audio-Technica headphones. I also tried switching cables. Remember, this is quite a subtle issue; I would greatly appreciate if any of you guys could check on their personal interfaces (especially if you got any of the ones I mentioned) to check if this is something normal. Any relevant answer is of course welcomed.

4 Answers

0 votes
answered Dec 27, 2020 by arturgodlewski (2,020 points)
I'm 90% sure it's just your ears not perceiving frequencies & volume the same between left & right ear :)

Everyone has it to certain degree, it gets worse with age.
+1 vote
answered Dec 27, 2020 by maximelavoie (260 points)
I've asked someone else to check if it was the case and they heard the same as I did. Also, why would it happen from different sides if one of my ears was weaker than the other? It's also unlikely because I'm fairly young (younger than 20). I appreciate your help though.
0 votes
answered Dec 28, 2020 by arturgodlewski (2,020 points)
Ah, sorry. I've misunderstood. When you said you tried different cables, I took it you swapped left to right and it was still sounding the same, i.e. coming from the same speaker first :)

Well, it's good it's not your ears then. Realising - even as a hobbyist musician - that your hearing isn't 'even' is not fun, I can tell you :D
0 votes
answered Dec 28, 2020 by maximelavoie (260 points)
No problem :)