Mono vs Stereo Sound
Mono and stereo are two categories for sound replication. Basically, our ears can hear things differently depending from where they are coming from. They can know if it’s coming from one source or from many. And this is why there is mono and stereo sound.
Mono, or better known as monophonic sound reproduction, is the replication of sound using just one channel. It typically uses only one microphone and one speaker. In the case of using headphones and many loudspeakers, the channels come from a single signal. Although mostly phased out, mono is still being used by the radiotelephone communications industry. Telephone companies and even some radio stations, especially the talk radio ones, still use mono.
Stereo, or stereophonic sound, is the sound that comes from two or more sources and are usually spaced apart so that it can reproduce sound in a way that we have this illusion that the sound comes from a particular direction and how far or near it is. Stereo is commonly used in most forms of sound recording and broadcasting, like the recording of musician’s songs and the sound in the movies as well as radio and TV broadcasting.
Difference between Mono and Stereo Sound
Although mono has been replaced in almost all uses, it is still used in cases where stereo doesn’t give much advantage, like telephones or talk radios. In both cases, mono gives a better outcome than stereo at less bandwidth and power. Mono can also be compared to black and white pictures for movies; sometimes it’s used instead of stereo for artistic reasons, like the first four albums of The Beatles rereleased to commemorate their use of mono for the original release. Hearing aids also tend to use mono compared to stereo since stereo is not necessary. However, stereo still remains as the standard in today’s broadcasting and recording industries.
Stereo and mono has changed the way we experience sound throughout the years. If not for them, we would be forever limited to hearing sound from a nearby distance in order to appreciate the experience. Now, we can listen anywhere in the world and still feel that they are just next to us.
• Mono, short for monophonic, sound is a sound replication method that uses only one signal source. This was the old method of broadcasting and recording sound and it was phased out with the introduction of stereo, although mono is still being used in some cases today.
• Stereo, or stereophonic, sound is a sound replication method that uses multiple sources in order to create the illusion that the sound is coming from a certain direction at a certain distance from you. This is today’s standard from recording and broadcasting sound.