I have been wondering recently just how many people spend most of their music listening time in earphones/earbuds versus in front of traditional speaker systems… I would suspect that we have crossed 50% – I know I have. You may not know it, but if this is the case, we should be changing the way we record music.
When you listen to headphones you will notice that the sound always comes from “inside your head” as opposed to a speaker setup where you hear the sound and a defined soundstage outside your head… The optimal recording method for listening through headphones is, as it turns out, not the same as for music played through conventional speakers.
Moreover, most of my quality music listening is done with headphones. Most folks are isolating themselves to listen to music undisturbed. When I am listening to speakers its usually in the car, or at home where I am not in what I would consider music listening mode. In which case I could care less that a piece of music isn’t optimally recorded. Its only with my earphones that I can really listen and pick up the nuances and subtleties.
So what is optimal for headphones and reproducing a sound stage, you ask? Binaural recording… a method of recording audio that reproduces an actual sound stage far better. Check out an explanation here and an example here and here on YouTube – relatively low quality but youll notice the difference.
I say its time that we switched recording techniques, since I maintain that most quality music listening is nowdays done on headphones…. or in my case “In ear Monitors”