A recent report of a series of dichotic listening experiments [Lauter, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 71, 701–707 (1982)] showed that although individual listeners differ in the ‘‘absolute ear advantage’’ shown for a given sound, there are patterns of ‘‘relative ear advantages’’ that are consistent across listeners. It was suggested that these patterns might provide a means of studying which features of test sounds are important in determining ear advantages. A survey of 12 earlier experiments, including a brief synopsis of procedures, results, and conclusions, followed by reanalysis of individual scores, shows that patterns of relative ear advantages were also present in earlier results, though obscured by an analysis that focused on the average listener. Examination of these patterns and the characteristics of sounds tested reveals a few acoustical features of sounds (e.g., event timing, bandwidth, number of dimensions changing with time) that seem to affect ear differences in a consistent way, from listener to listener and under a variety of experimental procedures. It is suggested that with attention to systematic manipulation of characteristics of test sounds, patterns of relative ear advantages may prove helpful in telling us more about the perception of complex sounds.