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Why Does Music Sounds Better in Headphones?

Why Does Music Sounds Better in Headphones?

We all know that music can do wonders for everything from increasing productivity to helping with depression. But how does music sound best, through headphones or speakers? As exhilarating as it can feel to blast music from your speakers as loud as it goes, many prefer the more intimate experience of connecting with a beloved song (or discovering a new one) through a pair of headphones. However is there something more going on with headphones that cause them to technically sound better?

In some ways, it could be psychological ‒ when no one else can hear, it’s just you and your music. It feels a bit like having a soundtrack to your life. As you ride the train, or go jogging, or walk through town, you’ve got your own music setting the mood and determining the rhythm.

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Do Headphones Really Sound “Better”?

No, it’s not just in your head. Music really does sound different through headphones to the vast majority of listeners, and you have physics to thank for that. Here’s why. the speakers being so close to your eardrums, and the design of the headphone or earbud sealing other sounds out, directs the sound waves straight into your ear canal. This creates an immersive experience that allows the listener to pick out minute details in the audio.

The way our brain perceives sound makes a difference, too. We asked the headphone guru Carroll Moore of Audio46.com what from a technical standpoint is going on when it comes to what’s called sound-staging “The brain understands that if you hear a sound to your left, your left ear will hear it a few microseconds before the right. Therefore, if sounds are staggered between the ears in an audio mix, your brain will understand the sound as coming from a fixed point in space. This is what helps to create the 3D effect from certain recordings.”

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What’s Going On Between Your Ears

By making use of the brain’s ability to precisely place sounds in space, producers can recreate the impression of being seated in a large concert hall while listening to a symphony, or being surrounded by performers playing their instruments. EDM music can bounce beats from one ear to the other for a particularly satisfying effect.

But for all the interesting sonic effects that can be achieved more easily using headphones, speakers actually recreate reality better. For this reason, audio engineers always listen to their final mix through speakers, not headphones. Headphones are too controlled — so it’s impossible to predict what the music will sound like in a real-world environment with uncertain acoustics.

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When we perceive natural sound from the world around us, our ears aren’t isolated. The sound is being picked up at the same time by both ears, and (with the exception of expensive surround-sound setups) we’ll generally perceive it as coming from the direction of the speakers.

It’s also not just about the source of the sound waves and our ears. How we hear things is affected by the way the waves bounce off the walls and structures around us, resulting in sound becoming slightly distorted depending on where we’re listening. What we’re hearing through speakers isn’t as clear and precise, but it is a more natural auditory experience.

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It’s Not Just One Size Fits All

Ultimately, most audiophiles agree that there’s a time and a place for both headphones, speakers and even different types of headphones for different purposes. Enjoying every nuance of the sound while feeling cut off from the rest of the world is certainly a special experience, but nothing can quite top the sensation of the bass thumping in your chest while the walls rattle around you.

Whatever listening experience you prefer, just be sure to do your research and select a high-quality product that will do your favorite music justice. If you found this post helpful remember to share it with your friends! If you’re looking for help choosing the perfect pair of headphones check out, check out “The 10 Best And 10 Worst Headphones You Need To Know”.

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Last Updated on November 5, 2019

5 Best Language Learning Apps to Master a New Language

5 Best Language Learning Apps to Master a New Language

Learning a new language is no easy feat. While a language instructor is irreplaceable, language learning apps have come to revolutionize a lot of things and it has made language learning much easier. Compared to language learning websites, apps offer a more interactive experience to learn a new language.

The following language learning apps are the top recommended apps for your language learning needs:

1. Duolingo

    Duolingo is a very successful app that merged gamification and language learning. According to Expanded Ramblings, the app now counts with 300 million users.

    Duolingo offers a unique concept, an easy-to-use app and is a great app to accompany your language acquisition journey. The courses are created by native speakers, so this is not data or algorithm-based.

    The app is free and has the upgrade options with Duolingo Plus for $9.99, which are add free lessons. The mobile app offers 25 languages and is popular for English-speaking learners learning other languages.

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    Download the app

    2. HelloTalk

      HelloTalk aims to facilitate speaking practice and eliminate the stresses of a real-time and life conversation. The app allows users to connect to native speakers and has a WhatsApp like chat that imitates its interface.

      There is a perk to this app. The same native speakers available also want to make an even exchange and learn your target language, so engagement is the name of the game.

      What’s more, the app has integrated translation function that bypasses the difficulties of sending a message with a missing word and instead fills in the gap.

      Download the app

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      3. Mindsnacks

        Remember that Duolingo has integrated gamification in language learning? Well, Mindsnacks takes the concept to another level. There is an extensive list of languages available within the app comes with eight to nine games designed to learn grammar, vocabulary listening.

        You will also be able to visualize your progress since the app integrates monitoring capabilities. The layout and interface is nothing short of enjoyable, cheerful and charming.

        Download the app

        4. Busuu

          Bussu is a social language learning app. It is available on the web, Android, and iOS. It currently supports 12 languages and is free.

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          The functionality allows users to learn words, simple dialogues and questions related to the conversations. In addition, the dialogues are recorded by native speakers, which brings you close to the language learning experience.

          When you upgrade, you unlock important features including course materials. The subscription is $17 a month.

          Download the app

          5. Babbel

            Babbel is a subscription-based service founded in 2008. According to LinguaLift, it is a paid cousing of Duolingo. The free version comes with 40 classes, and does not require you to invest any money.

            Each of the classes starts with with a sequential teaching of vocabulary with the help of pictures. The courses are tailor made and adapted to the students’ level, allowing the learning to be adjusted accordingly.

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            If you started learning a language and stopped, Babbel will help you pick up where you started.

            Download the app

            Takeaways

            All the apps recommended are tailored for different needs, whether you’re beginning to learn a language or trying to pick back up one. All of them are designed by real-life native speakers and so provide you with a more concrete learning experience.

            Since these apps are designed to adapt to different kinds of learning styles, do check out which one is the most suitable for you.

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            Featured photo credit: Yura Fresh via unsplash.com

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