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Binaural only for headphones, myth?

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Binaural only for headphones, myth?

Postby TomChimera » Sat Apr 17, 2021 10:56 am

Hi,

Would love your thoughts on this.
in recent years I've been working with and listening to binaural recordings.

Often people say "Listen only on headphones!", and I found it is not necessarily true.

in my experience stereo recordings (like Jecklin disk and others..)
can sound amazing and hyper-realistic on speakers.. even more so than most headphones. (not including Electrostatics)
Also these recordings spread beautifully in different rooms acoustics..

Of course there is a problem with mono compatibility and I guess headphones insure good stereo more than some speakers wiring which can do weird stereo things..

So is "binaural is only for headphones" which is commonly said, a myth?

Thanks :)
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Re: Binaural only for headphones, myth?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:01 am

TomChimera wrote:Often people say "Listen only on headphones!", and I found it is not necessarily true.

You can listen on anything you like... but if you want reasonably accurate imaging it only works correctly with headphones because it relies on each ear only hearing the one channel -- something which is impossible to achieve with loudspeaker listening.

Also these recordings spread beautifully in different rooms acoustics.

Yes, it can be very pleasant and immersive, and if that's what you're after, then great.

So is "binaural is only for headphones" which is commonly said, a myth?

No, it's a misunderstanding. :think: :ugeek:
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Re: Binaural only for headphones, myth?

Postby TomChimera » Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:15 am

Alright, a misunderstanding then :)

Thanks for answering, Hugh.
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Re: Binaural only for headphones, myth?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:42 am

When the BBC started re-making it's sound effects collection for CD in the late 80s a lot of the more ambient effects were recorded binaurally.

This was done intentionally because for dramas (etc) the vague stereo imaging works well on speakers, giving a useful sense of space and movement but without any distracting precise imaging detail... and on headphones it creates a lovely lifelike enveloping sound stage -- both aspects being ideal for radio drama.
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Re: Binaural only for headphones, myth?

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:20 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:... a useful sense of space and movement but without any distracting precise imaging detail...
I like this for film and TV too.
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Re: Binaural only for headphones, myth?

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Apr 18, 2021 1:38 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:When the BBC started re-making it's sound effects collection for CD in the late 80s a lot of the more ambient effects were recorded binaurally.

This was done intentionally because for dramas (etc) the vague stereo imaging works well on speakers, giving a useful sense of space and movement but without any distracting precise imaging detail... and on headphones it creates a lovely lifelike enveloping sound stage -- both aspects being ideal for radio drama.

Fascinating stuff Hugh - I didn't know that! 8-)
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Re: Binaural only for headphones, myth?

Postby TomChimera » Sun Apr 18, 2021 1:16 pm

Thanks Hugh! Very interesting :)
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