The stereo speaker set-up infographic shows how the “overlap” of the sound frequencies in the ideal position create a 3D audio effect “hologram” with maximum musical imaging and enhanced dimension, i.e. depth, width and height – the green area . The orange listener should be placed in the center between the two speakers. Left ear exposed to the left speaker >>> red arrows, Right ear exposed to the right speaker >>> yellow arrows. This gives rise to the sensation of the music as being heard, or experienced, in the middle of the brain, behind the eyes, between the ears. A bass or subwoofer would be placed in the center of the two stereo speakers.
The listener’s ears should be equally exposed to the left and right speaker channels.
Stereo music productions heard in optimal stereo speaker position and listener position are more exciting, enchanting and therefore more entertaining and magical than the “flat” sound of a single speaker radio or television, or a poorly placed stereo sound source. Stereo productions, musical or soundtracks for film are designed with a main, center sound (main vocal, bass drum, bass guitar, for ex.) coming from both speakers. Various other sounds (cymbals, backing vocals, synthesizers etc.) are usually placed with more emphasis or volume in either the left or right speaker channels.
Ideal stereo listening is an immersive, virtual reality experience, irrespective of the style or genre of the recording. Different kinds of music will have different effects. Sound recordings utilised for meditation and music therapy practices, such as binaural beats recordings, require optimal stereo speaker positioning and listener position for maximum enjoyment and effectiveness. Ambient Music can, with the optimal stereo speaker position and listening conditions, dissolve time-space orientation and induce dream-like states of expanded consciousness.
Optimal stereo speaker positioning and listener placement simulates stereo headphones, without a headset. The main advantage of speaker listening is full immersion in the sound image in a natural “room sound” setting” for depth of field without the boxed in, up close sensation associated with headphone listening. Speakers cause vibration in the air between the ears and the speaker set while also reflecting, and being absorbed, the acoustic temperament of the surrounding room.
Practical tip: You always want your speakers far enough apart to provide speaker source differentiation, and never so wide apart that you lose the central focus effect. Your audio will will sound either unfocussed if the speakers are too far apart, or too focussed or mono when near another. Place your desktop speakers on each side of your computer monitor and listen from the central position at the keyboard. Use the same practice to obtain optimal stereo speaker positioning and imaging with your hi-fi, television or any other listening device for enhanced audio pleasure. Have another look at the optimal speaker position infographic.
About stereo binaural beats recordings and whole brain integration
Music treated with audible binaural beats are only effective when the listener is placed directly between a pair of stereo speakers in the optimal stereo listening position. Here the brain is, so to speak in the middle of the two ears, and best be stimulated by the two different left- and right channel frequencies of sound that creates the pulse known as the “binaural beats”. Most people are considered either left brain or right brain dominant. Those who are “left brain dominant” may find they can logically understand things, but cannot easily express themselves creatively or emotionally. People who use the right side of the brain are generally very good at describing things with feelings and colours, for example, but perhaps less able to logically explain things, and tend to day dream more. Using both the left and right brain together has fantastic benefits of enhanced whole brain integration. Integrated left and right brain activity lets you sleep better, think more clearly and help you express yourself more easily, creatively and emotionally.
Watch the my Sound & Visual video representation that shows how binaural beats balances left & right brain hemispheres.
Enjoy the 3D!