difference between "Mono" and "Stereo"

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by PG1995, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. PG1995

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Apr 15, 2011
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    Hi

    This question has been in my mind for several years and I never got an opportunity to ask anyone. No, I did ask once. But the person I asked to just evaded the question by babbling about other things. What is difference between "Mono" and "Stereo"? I used to read it cassette decks all the times. Could you please put the difference between the two in simple terms without going into much technical details? I appreciate your help.
     
  2. JingleJoe

    Member

    Jul 23, 2011
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    Can I get the detailed answer aswell? :)
     
  3. tom66

    Senior Member

    May 9, 2009
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    Mono = single channel sound. Left and right have the same output.

    Stereo = two channel (technically, two or more, but to most people stereo = 2) sound. Left and right are independent, makes sound a bit more realistic...
     
  4. praondevou

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 9, 2011
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  5. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    Don't you mean...

    Stereo = 2 channels.

    Basically each channel is totally independent from each other.

    Some amps mix the two channels for the deep bass, but this is rare.

    FM stereo has a system where they use a sub band to create a second channel, if played on a mono receiver both channels are mixed. How they do this is a separate question, and the theory is a bit more advanced.

    If building a stereo, build an amplifier, then do it again.
     
  6. praondevou

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 9, 2011
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    I'd think so too... until I read this:
    "The term Stereophonic, commonly called stereo, sound refers to any method of sound reproduction in which an attempt is made to create an illusion of directionality and audible perspective. This is usually achieved by using two or more independent audio channels through a configuration of two or more loudspeakers in such a way as to create the impression of sound heard from various directions, as in natural hearing. Thus the term "stereophonic" applies to so-called "quadraphonic" and "surround-sound" systems as well as the more common 2-channel, 2-speaker systems."

    Could still be wrong, I know, it's Wikipedia....
     
  7. Adjuster

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2010
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    I find this a slightly surprising question. Maybe the fact that so much music is in stereo these days may have something to do with it. Nowadays things like stereo MP3 players are exerywhere, and I suppose we don't hear so much music in mono - AM radio maybe, and that's getting rarer.

    When I was a teenager (quite a long time ago), a lot more things were mono. My parents were neither wealthy nor particularly interested in music, so we had no stereo equipment at home. Nevertheless, I knew what stereo was, and that it was something I wanted to hear. I fitted a previously mono record player with a stereo pick-up cartridge, which I listened to using a home-made two channel amplifier and a pair of headphones. The first time that I got that thing working was really quite an experience!

    Here are a couple of youtube links to the same song in mono and stereo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-s-F7ZmmGbY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydNvskc6Vp0

    Oops-wrong files - fixed!
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  8. Audioguru

    New Member

    Dec 20, 2007
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    Mono sounds Dead with no directional sounds.
    Stereo sounds alive with sounds from the left or right or from center or anywhere in between. Different sounds from different directions can play at the same time. It sounds REAL (if the frequency response is wide and the noise and distortion are low.

    EDIT: The Beatles sounded horrible both in mono and in pseudo stereo. No bass and not much directionality.
     
  9. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    I don't see the conflict. Of course, when four channels are involved it is quadraphonic. This is not stereo. The so called 5.0 system is quad with a common base. Base isn't usually very directional, and more felt than heard.

    Of course, there are other sources for definitions...

    The point is each channel is separate, they don't usually mix (though it is a feature in some stereo player). The sync is always important too, but with modern (and not so modern) electronics has not been a major problem.
     
  10. praondevou

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 9, 2011
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    You wrote: stereo = 2 channels

    I agree(d) to that until I read "Thus the term "stereophonic" applies to so-called "quadraphonic"... "

    Just a question of definition. The author of the Wiki article calls every system with more than 1 channel "stereo". I have no idea if this correct or not. :)
     
  11. Wendy

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    Mar 24, 2008
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    And this is what you wrote, which definition is more correct do you think?

    I also stated that two amps is a stereo. I don't see this as being incorrect in the slightest.
     
  12. praondevou

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    Jul 9, 2011
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    @Bill

    Ok, Ok, actually we are thinking the same thing. Stereo is 2 channels.

    I was asking myself if a system with more than 2 channels can be called stereo. What do you think? That's what the article says.:confused:
     
  13. Wendy

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    Mar 24, 2008
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    When the term was invented it would have been incorrect. The term has become a lot more generic since then, so I wouldn't argue it either way.

    You want to see alternate ways study FM radio and how they do it.
     
  14. Audioguru

    New Member

    Dec 20, 2007
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    Stereo also plays "ambience" which is echoes in the room that are cancelled in mono.
    The echoes create sound distance effects in stereo but not in mono.
     
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