Why are earphones and headphones labelled "Left" and "Right"?

Posted by:Satish Kumar

Unless the source is monaural, there WILL be a difference between the two, that's the basis of stereo, where even though both ears are "hearing" the same music being played, there will be a difference of which instruments are located further to the left or right or front or rear within that audio image. Especially on classical recordings, there's a standard layout of where instruments are located on the concert stage, so the L&R helps keep this straight.

Also, if you're listening to a movie or TV show, the actors and sound effects move from one side to the other as things move across the screen. It'd be confusing to have the car chase going left to right onscreen but the reverse in your ears!


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