What is Good Sound? And, How can you tell the difference?
One of the questions that I get asked very often, especially from beginners who are just starting into the hobby of listening to music, and I mean seriously listening to music on good-sounding headphones and speakers, is what is the definition of good sound? How can you measure good sound and objectively know when one piece of equipment sounds better than another? I'm going to try and talk about this a bit in my video and share my understanding.
Hi guys this is Raghav here from headphone Zone. Now one of the questions that I get asked very often especially from beginners who are just starting off into the hobby of listening to music and I mean seriously listening to music on good sounding headphones and speakers is that what is really the definition of good sound? How can you measure good sound and objectively know when one piece of equipment sounds better than another? I'm gonna try and talk about this a little bit in my video and share my understanding.
What is Good Sound?
I don't really think that there is an objective way to measure good sound but our brains are so tuned to be able to understand objective measurements for example - a 4K video just looks better than a 2K video, that just looks better than an HD video or a 25 megapixel camera is better than a 15 megapixel camera, is better than a 10 megapixel camera and that's really the way that we've learned to understand when something is better or worse. Sound doesn't work that way. I don't think that you can measure it by a number in my understanding. I just think of good sound whether you're listening to it on a headphone or a speaker, is ability to really fool your brain into believing that the music you're listening to is being performed by the artist right in front of you, in the same room so from that point of view any headphone or speaker that completely fools your brain and shuts it out from where you are and transports you to a concert hall on the second row with the artist performing on stage, it's really the goal of all good sound. It could be on a headphone, could be on a speaker, it could be on whatever. Good sound of whatever kind is simply an attempt by this equipment to transport you and make you believe that the experience that you're having is with the actual artist performing in front of you. Now on a scale from zero to 100, let's assume that 100 is where you quite literally cannot tell whether what you're listening to is in real life or is on a piece of equipment or a recording - that doesn't exist. Nothing in the world can achieve that and I don't think any headphone or speaker, however awesome is able to replicate that experience to perfection, but they come pretty damn close. There are a lot of headphones and speakers out there that I think come very very close to that subliminal feeling where you can really visualise the artist performing in front of you and it removes that barrier quite literally between the artist and the listener. It's not just important that what you're listening to is on a great sounding piece of equipment the recording also needs to be of a very very high quality so that whatever equipment you're listening to it on can actually create that lifelike experience and you'll find that well recorded, well mastered albums can really do that and it makes the job of the headphone or the speaker so much easier to fool your brain into believing that the artist is performing right in front of you. One piece of equipment, a headphone, a speaker, an amplifier, a DAC or a recording can help your brain visualise this artist in the same room as you, better than another then that simply is a better sounding experience on a better sounding piece of gear.