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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 August 29, 2018

5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

Journaling is one of the most useful personal development tools around. Not only does it help us process emotions and experiences, work through internal conflicts and improve our self-awareness, it also provides us with a way to keep a day-to-day record of our lives. Traditionally an activity limited to pen and paper, the expansion of consumer technology has enabled journaling to go digital.

Saving your journaling entries online enables you to access them from anywhere, without having to carry a notebook and pen around, and provides you with digital features, like tagging and search functions.

Here are a list of five online journaling tools you can use to bring your practice into the modern age:

1. 750words

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750 words

    750words is a free online journaling tool created by Buster Benson. The site is based on the idea of “Morning Pages”; a journaling tool Julia Cameron suggests in her creativity course The Artist’s Way. Cameron advises aspiring creatives to start each morning with three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing to clear away the mental clutter, leaving you with a clearer mind to face the day.

    750 words is the three-page digital equivalent (assuming the average person writes 250 words per page) and lets you store all your journaling online. Each morning, you’ll receive a prompt asking you to write your 750 words, and the site keeps track of various statistics associated with your entries. The site uses a Regressive Imagery Dictionary to calculate the emotional content from your posts and provides feedback on features like your mood, and most commonly used words.

    750 words is simple to set up and is ideal for anyone who finds it challenging to maintain a consistent journaling practice. The site uses a number of incentives to motivate users, including animal badges awarded to journalers who complete a certain number of days in a row, leader boards, and opt-in monthly challenges.

    2. Ohlife

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    ohlife

      Ohlife is designed to make online journaling as easy as possible. Once you’ve signed up for your free account, the website will send you an email each day asking “How did your day go?” Simply reply to the email with as much or as little detail as you like, and your response will be stored on your account, ready to view next time you log in.

      Ohlife’s appeal lies in its simplicity: no stats, no social sharing, no complicated organisational systems—the site is designed to provide you with a private, online space. Simply respond to the email each day (or skip the days you’re busy) and Ohlife will do the rest.

      3. Oneword

      oneword

        OneWord is a fun online tool that provides you with a single word as a prompt and gives you sixty seconds to write about it. The concept’s aim is to help writers learn how to flow, and the prompts range from the everyday mundane to the profound.

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        Oneword is not a private journaling tool: if you sign up, your answers will be published on the site’s daily blog, which contains a stream of users’ answers, and might be used by Oneword in the future. If you’d rather keep your answers to yourself, you can still use the tool for fun without giving out any personal details.

        4. Penzu

          Penzu is a journaling tool that allows you to store your journaling notes online. The service also offers mobile apps for iOS, Android and Blackberry, so you can journal on the go and save your notes to your account. The basic service is free, however you can upgrade to Penzu Pro and get access to additional features, including military-grade encryption and the ability to save and sync data through your mobile, for $19 per year.

          With either version of Penzu, you can insert pictures, and add tags and comments to entries, as well as search for older entries. You can set your posts to be private and viewable by you only, or share them with others.

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          5. Evernote

          Evernote isn’t a purpose-built journaling tool, however its features make it perfect for keeping your journaling notes in one safe place. With the ability to keep separate “notebooks”, tag your entries, include pictures, audio and web clipping, Evernote will appeal to journalers who want to include more formats than just text in their entries.

          Available online within a web browser, and as a stand-alone desktop app, the service also comes with a series of mobile apps covering almost every device available. These allow you to make notes on the go and sync between the mobile and browser versions of the app.

          For additional features, including text recognition and the ability to collaborate on Notebooks, you can upgrade to Evernote’s premium service, which costs $5 per month.

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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