The two-channel stereo format is the most common format for audio signals. This format is used for most recorded music. Additionally, most live-sound systems are set up to play back stereo sound.
A stereo signal is comprised of two separate mono signals: one signal for a “left” speaker and one signal for a “right” speaker.
The typical listener uses two ears when listening to music. Whether the listener uses a pair of headphones or a pair of loudspeakers, a stereo signal provides the capability of presenting different signals to each of the listener’s ears.
The benefit of stereo is the ability to create the perception of localized sound. Listener’s can perceive sound as coming from different directions. This is a benefit audio engineers regularly use to their advantage.
Let’s explore the basics of converting a mono signal to a stereo signal.