The THX discussions in various places around this forum got me thinking (again, and more) about the relationship between measuring electrical signals and pressure waves and human hearing. AFAIK there is not yet an agreed-upon methodology for measuring soundstage and imaging. I Googled it and one of the top hits led me to a post on ASR where an RTINGs YouTube video was posted. The video is very thorough and does an admirable job attempting to define ‘soundstage’ and ‘imaging’ in headphones and develop methods for measuring them. Links to follow. I’ll comment further after…
Amir posted the first comment on the ASR thread. I found it really interesting:
"It is an unusually high quality talk and worth a watch even for people who only care about speakers.
My only criticism is that they did not verify their new objective measures against listeners observing the same. Yes, they based it all on other studies but that alone doesn’t confirm the efficacy of their new measurements for soundstage and such."
Every now and then Amir drops a comment like that (he has another one on his Darkvoice review) where it appears he might not be as measure-crazy as he often appears.
I don’t know that I agree with the definitions the video gives for soundstage and imaging. The definition for soundstage in particular is not how I would have defined it. The inclusion of things like room reflections also implies that it’s impossible for headphones to have soundstage. I also was puzzled by the use of speakers in a room as the reference for soundstage. I have so far conceptualized soundstage as how well the physical space in and around the recorded sounds is reproduced. It’s also unfortunate this video is now 2 years old and Google didn’t turn up a more recent follow up.
What do you all think? Feel free to discuss any and all aspects of this topic…