Excuse Me, Sir; Can I have Some Left Handed Earphones?”


As a provider of audio therapy programs, what I have been advocating for some time now that right and left-handed people hear sound with certain pitches through headphones in different ways has been confirmed. In studies by a professor of psychology it was discovered that left and right-handed people hear sound differently.

The ‘Journal of Experimental Psychology’ carried findings which revealed how left-handed people deliberate over things quite differently than was first thought. Even down to how a left-handed person makes a choice is all, apparently, because of the use of a particular hand as the dominant one. To date, all of my recent self-help audios carry instructions for left-handers to reverse their stereo headsets.

Have you noticed how the stage layout of an orchestra has the majority of high-pitched musical contraptions over to one particular side as you view the players from the audience side? This arrangement means the majority of the players in the orchestra can hear these highest pitches clearly in their right ears! All seems good and well until you realise that the conductor is at somewhat of a disadvantage, as they are receiving the high notes in their left ears! All good and well it they have left-eared dominance.

An in-depth study of right-handers has shown that they have a right-ear advantage, the durations of hearing for the right and left ears were compared for 81 right and 45 left-handed high school students. The 1991 ‘Previc hypothesis’ supported that right-handers have a right-ear advantage and left-handedness was found to be associated with a left-ear advantage. This explains why it is important to use headphones accordingly when listening to therapy-based CDs that need to be used in conjunction with headphones.

It was found that there was a definite affirmative association when tests were scored for left and right-handed people for the lengths of listening time for left and right ears of both left and right-handed listeners. Basically the results meant there was a link between dominant hand choice and unevenness of hearing.

There is a very simple online check to identify which of your hands the dominant one is. You just check a few boxes and work out the score to determine which is the dominant hand. You will find the link for this in the author box at the end of this article. For anyone not sure of which of their hands is the primary hand then you will benefit greatly from this, particularly if listening to therapy based CDs through headsets.

Studies show that left-handedness does not necessarily correspond with left-sidedness. The same applies to the eyes, as we all have a dominant eye, and a dominant foot. You may be right-handed but use your left foot to kick with. Students, it is suggested, are more likely to associate positive ideas with their dominant side and negative ideas with their less dominant side.

Information from studies revealed fewer women are left-handers compared to men. Just because both mother and father are left-handers does not necessarily mean their child will be left-handed. In fact there is only a one in four chance that their child will be left-handed! Just out of interest, since 1877 only nine left-handed players, seven men and two women, have ever won a Wimbledon tennis singles title.

It can be quite annoying for left-handers to have to keep switching their headphones around, but this can be overcome if you are using a headset with multiple cables going to your PC, just change the cables around. You can also swap right to left by going into your PC’s soundcard, if it has this set-up installed.

During your exploration into left/right-hand speaker use, feel free to test and try out reversing the headset earphones. There is nothing certain about left or right ear dominance, and certainly during normal listening to music you do not need bother with reversing the headset. A ‘switched’ brain function is not always apparent, so do ensure you use the headphones in the best way possible to gain the maximum benefit.

Currently there are a lot of gadgets on the market for nearly three-quarters of a billion left-handers in the world: gardening equipment, kitchen utensils, tools and much more. Although you can easily purchase a boomerang for left-handers … you cannot readily purchase a left-handed headset, maybe one day someone will market these.

As a child, Stephen Richards was a natural left-hander, but he was forced to use his right hand by an anachronistic education system. The ‘Edinburgh Handedness Inventory’ is an ideal resource to find your dominant hand.

Related Left-handers Articles


About Left-handers International

James S. Borthwick is the most prolific author and publisher in the field of left-handedness worldwide. The originator of the term “left-handed ebooks” and the man who took the name from the now defunct Left-handers International who previously published the only magazine for left-handers and brought the name to the Internet. James is responsible for compiling the largest list of Famous Left-handers in the world and is 3 times the size of all other major lists combined. A stickler for accuracy and authenticity his list is the most reliable, authenticated list on earth.