Be more or less disruptive at work while tuning in


This was written on the previous platform, and it’s file structure was altered.

Many thanks to Howard Morris for pointing it out.



We all do it.

Set to focus on a task, meet a time deadline or complete an objective we don earbuds and press. Sometimes I will just wear my headset without music playing to give the perception that I cannot hear folks so I won’t be interrupted.

But there are times when we want to project that the ‘door is open’, while listening to music, a podcast or perhaps the news. This can be accomplished by tethering a single earbud to your head.

The downside of this configuration, is the loss of a left or right channel due to stereo audio separation. Depending on the production design, you might lose the percussion significance. Or you may experience reduced vocals in a harmony if the backup is on the opposite channel as the lead.

To mitigate this immersive failure, your can configure your mobile device to produce mono audio output, and push all frequencies to both sides, or disable the Left or Right channel completely so that all the output is going to the side you have tethered

Here is how:


In iOS, select Settings/General/Accessibility (or command Siri to Open Accessibility Settings).

Tap to enable Mono Audio and if you want, slide the selector for audio balance fully to the left or right.


On Android: Select Settings/Accessibility and tap to enable Mono Audio. Above that tap Sound Balance and slide the balance to the Left or Right.

Some might ask, “Why slide the balance?”

Well, in an environment where your team members work in close proximity, an untethered earbud can produce disruptive audio output.

If you are the kind of team-mate that enjoys annoying the person next to you, you may want to leave balance slider in the center.

Happy focusing!

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