In the world of music, there are various terms and phrases used that many people might be unfamiliar with.
Indeed, when it comes to things like headphones – I’ve read numerous claims that the manufacturers have made on the box and wondered what they mean!
One such term often used with headphones is soundstage. You might read on a headphones box that the product has an excellent soundstage – but what does this refer to?
Well, in short, soundstage is the ability for the device to create an audio illusion that the sound produced presents you with a 3D image.
Essentially, the headphones are creating sounds rather than reproducing them.
Good headphones will produce a soundstage that makes you think the sound is coming from the outside, and the distance of the sounds produced is as you would expect.
I recognize this might be a little confusing, so I’ve written this guide below that hopes to clear up some of the confusion! Read on and discover more about soundstage.
What Is Soundstage?
I’ll start off by explaining that soundstage in the context of headphones differs slightly from that of speakers.
While the idea has similarities, a set of headphones will likely need better soundstage than some speakers.
Soundstage at its most basic is pretty much the ability of the headphones to produce a 3D surround sound quality image.
You’re essentially getting an “out of your head” type of sound experience.
This allows the separation of the various aspects of music to be much more clearly defined and you can appreciate the overall creation of the song much more.
For example, when headphones have a good soundstage, you can visualize the vocals and instruments in their proximity to the stage, as if you were watching the singer or band live.
Many manufacturers and brands will make massive claims about their soundstage quality.
The problem is though, it is a very difficult process and to produce a fantastic soundstage can take a significant amount of time and become costly.
This is partly the reason why some headphones can be picked up inexpensively but produce a poor sound quality.
Of course, at the same time, you will not get the same experience with your headphones as you would if you were to watch a music event live – but a good soundstage will be as close as you’re going to get.
Why Is Soundstage Important?
In short, soundstage is important for the quality of the sound experience you are getting from your headphones.
However, it’s important to note that the soundstage quality is only as important as the listener deems it to be.
This is because some customers will prefer price over quality, and some people might not mind too much about the soundstage quality anyway.
For any person that wants the very best quality of music in terms of their listening experience though will know the importance of soundstage.
Although, it’s not just for music that soundstage comes into play though.
For anyone that is a keen gamer and uses headphones, soundstage is a huge game-changer (pun intended!). Your experience can significantly change with headphones that have a good soundstage.
Headphones with such quality can better immerse you into your game, make you feel as though you are really in the game geographically and, psychologically, it can increase feelings of tension, nervousness and general excitement.
How Is Soundstage Created?
It’s a good idea that I explain how soundstage is created. There are a lot of different factors that come into play, but as I mentioned earlier – the listener’s imagination is going to be a massive addition.
One large element of the soundstage process is the production and initial capturing of a sound. This part of the process can determine the ambient cues and auditory artifacts which are present in the final product.
Of course, these two elements provide you with an indication of where the vocals and instruments are in proximity to the listener.
Design Of The Internal Speakers
When it comes to headphones, you will notice that there are a whole host of different designs.
Some are created so they do not fall out of your ears when running or working out, whereas others are designed to be used directly over your head.
This design factor can significantly change the quality of the soundstage, as the speaker engineering must be changed to accommodate the difference in design of the product.
As a result, things like the crossover component can be different.
Does Price Relate To Soundstage Quality?
More often than not, headphones that are higher in price will likely have a better soundstage. Indeed, they should be a much better quality overall.
But does this mean that you personally should look for soundstage quality?
It depends on how much of an audiopile you are! If you are looking for a better sound experience, then you should look for headphones with a better soundstage quality – be that for music or gaming.
However, if you are just hoping to listen to some songs while you are focusing on something else, then the immersion of the music or sounds might not be top of your priority list.
In essence, it all comes down to you.
It’s also worth mentioning that better quality brands and manufacturers should have a longer life for their products.
While they are still going to be susceptible to damage, the sound quality should last much longer than a set of headphones you can pick up for cheap.
Soundstage can be a very complicated aspect to headphones, but the reality is that it is all about creating a 3D image of the music in your mind, which brings better immersion and a higher quality listening experience.
I hope I’ve been able to explain soundstage a little more for you. Happy listening!
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