Weird Left/Right Channel Issue

Not sure where to put this question, so I stuck it here, please move if necessary.

I’m running an iFi Zen DAC V2 connected to some Monoprice speakers via the RCA outputs. I just noticed that suddenly the Left/Right channel audio is reversed. If I swap the rca cables this obviously fixes it, but why did it start doing this to begin with?

I went to this website: Audio Tests and checked with the Left/Right test and it’s backwards. I tried the phase tests as well and with the RCA hooked up in reverse to correct the channel audio, it definitely all sounds like it’s out of phase. If I put the RCA’s back where they should be, then the phasing tests sound correct but the audio channels are reversed.


sounds like a driver issue. did you try reinstalling the ifi drivers? they may have gotten corrupted. its the only thing that would suddenly cause channels to reverse. theres no physical way for that to happen outside of you doing it. if that doesnt help, it was most likely a bad unit to start and it just took you time to realize it.

I haven’t tried that. I’ll give it a shot and see.

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I finally got around to removing the drivers, rebooting, and reinstalling the 5.12 drivers, the same issue is there. Could it be a hardware thing?

did you try different rca cables? if 1 of your cables is going bad, that could lead to the phasing issues.

it could also just be a bad unit, which sucks, but it happens.

Phasing I could understand, but the channels being swapped shouldn’t be a bad rca cable. Remember, it sounded in phase when hooked up correctly, but the audio channels were reversed. Guess I’ll contact iFi directly.

I sent a support ticket thru iFi’s website. Let’s see how long this takes to get answers.

@sebastien_chiu_iFi any thoughts on my mans predicament?


they have tech support and problems channels.

Thanks @joshua_g … I did try another cable just to be sure and it’s still backwards.

And the tech support told me to update the firmware to 7.4 … which I already had told them I did.

Well @joshua_g … it seems the issue is not the DAC.

Even though I said I tested it with another DAC and had no issue, it seems I missed a step in my own testing. Just for fun I thought “why not plug in my IEM’s directly to the headphone output of the speaker set” … I then ran the Left/Right channel test again and I still got Left out of the Right side and vice versa. WTF? I double checked the headphone out on the Zen DAC and it tested normal Left/Right. So I unplugged the RCA inputs on the speakers, plugged in the headphone adapter and a straight 3.55mm male/male cable directly into the AUX input on the speakers and tested again. It was reversed still! Here’s the kicker, when I plug headphones into the headphone out of the speaker while connected this way, it’s correct !

So here’s the question, are there sets of powered speakers that are designed for the Master speaker to be the LEFT channel? Every set of powered speakers I’ve ever had, the master control speaker is always on the RIGHT side. I didn’t even consider this when I noticed the issue.

The speakers in question are some Monoprice DT-3 and are some decent speakers for the price. I have since checked the listing and the manual but nothing states that the main control speaker should be on the LEFT side. I have also sent a ticket to their tech support, not expecting much there. I will now also cancel my support ticket with iFi and it’s not the issue apparently.

I feel bad. shames on me for missing this



That is a quirky issue indeed and someone else may come across the the same thing and they’ll now have one more thing to check.


Thanks @Delta9K

its not always easy to tell, especially in nearfield, that left and right are wrong. if you dont do a test or use something you are familiar with that has defined left and right points, you can easily go a while and not notice.

edit: one of my test tracks, and first tracks i use on new gear, is paint it black from the rolling stones. has defined guitar on the right and drums on the left. mick in the middle shifting back and forth.

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