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Hearing Vs. Listening


There is a big difference between hearing things in everyday life versus listening to music at home. I know that doesn’t seem to make sense, but please allow me to explain.

In life, everything we are hearing comes from a single source, which means sounds are monaural. One source of the sound, received and interpreted by our ear/brain mechanism, identifying the source and determining its’ location. Just for fun, go out on your front porch, close your eyes, and pay attention to what you hear and where it comes from. It’s kind of cool.

Now, when we listen to music reproduced by our stereo system, we have two sources of sound (the speakers), trying to reproduce mono sound sources, and trying to create an illusion of the musicians being in the room. Our ear/brain mechanism knows that the sounds are being combined by the two sources, so we become annoyed, irritated, or bored. It’s a phenomenon known as comb filtering. Sit at your listening position, close your eyes, and listen to your stereo. You’ll be able to point right to the speakers.

When speaker placement and speaker positioning are optimized, there is a more natural presentation of the music. This produces a better stereo image, improved sound, and a better listening experience. The annoyance, irritation, or boredom are never experienced. After proper placement and positioning of the speakers, the sound will seem to come from the entire expanse of the wall behind your speakers, and if you point to specific instruments or singers you hear, they will be well beyond the boundaries set by the speakers. Again, a more natural presentation of better sound is experienced. Periodically, you can be brought to tears or truly moved by the emotion in the music – and that is how it should be. Plus, it’s just plain more fun and relaxing.


Bob Robbins

7204047200 Mountain Time

Rational Speaker Placement Expert


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