Guide & Tips

What is soundstage in headphones?

What is soundstage in headphones

Soundstage in headphones is a speaker image that helps in the creation of an imaginary 3D space by producing the sound with high accuracy. Soundstage enables the listener to perceive through headsets the location of musical instruments at different stage levels when he listens to different musical notes. Best headphones for Smule come with soundstage to give the listeners a wonderful music listening experience.

If you are thinking about what is soundstage in headphones and what’s its purpose then here you will find complete know-how about soundstage. After that, you will prefer to buy the best pieces in your budget like the best open-back headphones under 300.

Working of soundstage

Soundstage finds the space and environment of sound that audiophiles headphones produce. It helps in figuring the location, perceived size, and sound field. Therefore, the sound image that is formed determines the location and size of the objects present in the sound field.

Soundstage in headsets is similar to the spatial sound image that is available to the listener. It mimics the distant right and left, center, right and left sound sources of experiences of the real-life stage. It offers the idea that sounds divert from different dimensions. Soundstage is basically is not a natural part of music, rather an audiophile creates soundstage but does not reproduce it. Thus, it is considered different from sound imaging.

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Factors that affect producing a soundstage

Several factors create an impact on the production of the soundstage in headphones.  These factors affect the soundstage of both the audiophile earbuds and stereo speakers. The key factors that influence the production of soundstage include

Room effects

Certain external environmental factors where headphone is located influence the creation of soundstage. When an instrument is played to produce the melody, the listener can identify where musical equipment is played. Moreover, one can visualize the position of various instruments. The reflection of surfaces including sound off walls assists in visualizing how and where the instruments are played.

Musicians use ambient cues to analyze the location of the instrument. It indicates the instrument’s location. If the instrument is louder than it is perceived that instrument is close to the listener. Moreover, delay in the production of the sound creates an impression that the instrument is away from the listener. Moreover, the perception and visualization of the soundstage are also affected the volume and sound effects. For headphones, ears are the room environment. The perception is determining through the closed or open type of headphones.

Design of headphones

The sound source, amplifier, and driver also influence the quality of the soundstage of headphones. The way the sound is produced and the source determines the intensity of sound. This in return reflects on the perception of the soundstage. The quality of headphones also influences the production of the quality soundstage. The headphones with quality cups, driver materials, and build quality affect the ability to reproduce sound and produce a quality soundstage.

Importance of soundstage and its calculation

For critical listening, there is a need of in front, out of the head and large soundstage, a headphone with good soundstage gives out a wonderful music listening experience. You don’t feel like having a vacuum in your head. Headphone developers create headphones with a proper soundstage to give similarity with speakers.

Premium quality headphones come with an excellent soundstage. The designer uses the drivers and design in a way to give listeners speakers like listening experience. They use different methods to test soundstage to maintain the quality of soundstage in headphones.


PRTF is the test that is a short form of the pinna-related transfer function. It is used to measure the amount of interaction between headphones and pinna. To perform this test the designer, use the extra ear of the dummy head with chopped off pinna and measures the frequency response of the headphone two times. The test is performed once with an intact ear and once with an ear having no pinna. The difference that occurred in two frequency responses is known as the PRTF of headphones.

Moreover, to identify the correct value, the designer uses the loudspeaker. Usually, the loudspeaker is placed 1 meter away from the dummy head and frequency response is calculated with or without pinna after every 30degrees. This helps in the calculation of the exact soundstage in headphones.


This is the value that indicates the openness value of headphones. It includes the value obtained with less isolation with headphones. It includes the comparison of soundstage between the closed-back headphones with open-back headphones. The studies revealed that open-back headphones have a spacious soundstage. It is because of the acoustic impedance that headphones have.

Accosting extraction value

It is the value of the soundstage that is affected due to the sound leakage. It has been observed headphones will small driverless amount of accosting extraction it will have, thus the closed type has the least ASE while the open type has a high acoustic extraction value.

Soundstage is an important determinant to help the user to know the quality of headphones. Mainly movie studios and musicians required headphones with a good soundstage in headphones. They use to record sound for movies especially during the delivery of dialogue, and voiceovers. To determine the soundstage the designer imagines a 3D stage in a mind to hear different instruments played during the sound. The clarity of visualization depends on the headphone’s quality. The audio soundstage is far better for the pieces having high fidelity and it helps in quick visualization of music.

Final verdict

For musicians and sound lovers who want to sing music like a pro, they should consider the soundstage in headphones including driver size as well as the type of headsets. One should not ignore this important factor as the compromise in soundstage will not let him able to listen to the music. Therefore, if you want clarity and high definition music listening experience, then choose the headphone with high driver size and excellent soundstage. You will definitely say that you have spent on the quality product.