Why Listen Using Headphones?

Lang with Bose Noise-Cancelling HeadphonesMy soundscape recordings are made using a special “binaural” microphone setup that simulates how the human head receives sounds. Go here for a detailed description of my recording technique.

Recording binaurally produces a wonderfully spacious and immersive listening experience, but only if the right channel is directed to the right ear and the left channel to the left ear. This is best achieved using headphones or earbuds (when speakers are used, there is “crosstalk” between the channels, with the right ear hearing both the right speaker and the left speaker, and vice versa for the left ear).

In other words: When listening to my soundscapes, the only way to have a natural and immersive listening experience is by using headphones or earbuds. In addition, if you will be listening in fairly noisy places where that are fans in background, or the rumble from traffic and chatter of people talking, we highly recommend using noise-cancellation headphones.

Note that if you must use speakers, please use reasonably large, full-range speakers and try placing them out to the sides … this allows your head to act as a barrier and thereby reduces crosstalk. The result is a much wider sound-stage than with conventional stereo speaker systems.

Listening to high-quality binaural soundscapes using the tiny built-in speakers in computers and mobile devices will drastically degrade one’s listening experience, turning great ambient recordings into a mush of noise. Please don’t devalue my recordings by listening in this way … you’ll be completely missing the point of it all.

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