Is This Audible?
Many people would be rolling on the floor laughing in stitches right now. “This post is too funny! It’s not audible! This is snake oil!", they’d say. Is this for real?
One speaker out of phase is definitely an issue as the bass canceled out, but who cares anyway as long as both speakers are in the same phase? To be honest I do not have the answer. Put it this way, if this is not an issue, this blog post will not exist.
For me personally when phasing becomes an issue, they are very obvious.
- The sound stage collapse and the image width and height is not as wide or high as before. Everything is in the middle, there are no sounds coming from the extreme left or extreme right. At this you feel like you are in a headfi setup.
- There are ‘holes’ in the sound stage. A very common phenomenon would be a distinct left speaker, distinct right speaker, and a narrow phantom center. And nothing else any where.
- Vocals tend to “hang low” to the floor, sometimes even as low as ground level
These are the only some of the objective issues I am aware of. But it is deeper than that, the one issue I have with an incorrect phase that stood out to me is subjectively the whole music not only sound wrong, it feels wrong and there is absolutely no emotional connection at all to the music.
Over the years I have tried to play and replay both versions to different people, using different gear at different levels and so on.Unfortunately the verdict is still open, all agreed there are differences, but it’s not conclusive which is better. And we have no way of knowing which phase is actually the correct one either as none of us produced these source materials.
Perhaps with a bit of analysis it may be possible to determine the phase. Something worth investigation in the future I guess.