Thursday, January 10, 2008

Headphones v. Speakers

[Getting back into the habit of posting on here after a few weeks off - please forgive my tardiness! This is just a short post, though.]

I made my 'best of' music list before Christmas and left Panda Bear's "Person Pitch" off. I had listened to it a couple times over the speakers on my computer and it left me completely unmoved. But when I read Pitchfork's list later that day and saw that they called "a headphones record", I was reminded that my first response to The Knife's "Silent Shout" worked just like that - completely unimpressed with how it failed to fill the room, but blown away by what it seemed I couldn't hear before when I played it on my ipod. And, just like "Silent Shout", it feels like an entirely different album now that I've listened to it over headphones while riding the subway. And, honestly, I have no idea why there would be such a huge difference. (It's not as if this happens to me all the time.)

1 comment:

Jason Powell said...

When the source of the sounds is pressed right against your ear, the individual sounds don't have a chance to mix. Individual strains of sound are more clear.

When the source of the sound is a speaker positioned across the room from you, the sounds mix on the way to your ear, and the individual strands are lost in the overall blend.

That's m'theory, anyway.