Nomenclature (411) Q&A

What is soundstaging? edit

What does it 'soundstaging' mean and what does it mean for a hifi to have good soundstaging?
1 Answer
Michael Davis, I work here
Soundstaging is how the 'images' of the musicians and instruments are spread between the two stereo speakers. The soundstage, then, is the virtual stage the musicians 'appear' to play on.

Soundstages can be 'deep', i,e, extend away from the listener far behind the plane of the speakers. Soundstages can also be wide, extending outside the two speakers to the left and right.

Wide and deep soundstages are very useful when playing back classical music, an orchestra being naturally quite wide and deep. This allows the reproduction to be more realistic.

They are also useful for modern and electronics music - it allows the musicians to place sounds in various places and move them around, to grow and shrink their size - it is as if this were another instrument for them to play - all for the ultimate enjoyment of the listener.

Like many other aspects of music, there are some for whom the soundstaging is very important, others for whom it is just icing and others for whom it is just an affectation.

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