Mono Audio as an accessibility setting

Recently I installed Fedora on a spare laptop to work on some hobby projects. I’ve used Linux on-and-off since the late 90’s for both work and home, but haven’t tried using it as a daily driver for anything at home in some time.

A couple of years ago I suddenly lost nearly all hearing on one side. In Windows there is a toggle within accessibility settings to switch all audio output to mono. Is there an app or hidden setting somewhere I can use to do the same within Linux? I’m guessing this may be more of a DE-specific thing, so for reference I’m using the Gnome release of Fedora 40.

I have searched around for an answer on this in the past and the general results I’ve found is to use an app called EasyEffects, or to set something up with Pipewire. I tried messing about with Pipewire in the past, and could get the result I wanted, but not without leaving a Pipewire GUI app open, and even then I would lose some ability for volume control and would also have to change the default audio output device every time I docked or undock the laptop.

If there is anyone else who also suffers from single-sided deafness it would be great to find out what they do to switch audio output to mono.

1 Like

You mentioned EasyEffects, have you gotten that to work for you? I’ve used it in the past for EQ, compression and the like and didn’t encounter any unwanted side effects other than that it makes the Pipewire graph more complicated :wink:. I just tried it out with the LR > L+R (Mono Sum L+R) preset, and it sounds as if it does the job:

I have managed to achieve what I need with EasyEffects. I had to switch my output device to the EasyEffects sink and also boost the output dB to get something usable, but it’s persisting across reboots which is one of the things I really needed.

It would be nice if there was a toggle in the Gnome settings which did exactly all of this in the background. Maybe if I ever actually get some free time I’ll look into it :laughing: