What Is Soundstage in Headphones?

Black HiFiMAN headphone on wooden table

There are a lot of factors that go into quality headphones, from the type of materials used to how well they’re made. But one of the most important aspects is the soundstage.

This term describes the headphone’s ability to create an audio space in your head, giving you an immersive listening experience. So what exactly is soundstage, and why should you care? We’ll explain everything in this post. Keep reading to learn more!

What Is Soundstage in Headphones?

Soundstage is used to describe the perceived three-dimensional space created by a stereo audio recording. When you listen to music through headphones, the soundstage is what gives you the illusion of being positioned in between the two speakers, as if you’re sitting in a real-life concert hall or studio.

The soundstage quality is one of the most critical factors in determining the overall experience of listening to music through headphones.

A good soundstage creates a sense of depth and dimensionality, making the music feel more immersive and lifelike. Without it, your headphones will sound wholly flat and uninteresting.

What Factors Contribute to the Soundstage of Headphones?

There are several factors that affect soundstage in headphones:

The Size and Shape of the Ear Cups

The larger and more open the cups, the better the soundstage will be. This is because they allow for more space around your ears, which gives the audio more room to spread out.

The Type of Drivers

Headphones with balanced armature drivers tend to create a better soundstage than those with dynamic drivers.

The Position of the Drivers

Headphones with drivers sitting directly against the ear will produce a more immersive soundstage than those with cups sitting on top of your ears.

When the drivers are placed against your ear, it blocks out more external noise and creates a sound seal. This is especially beneficial for commuters who want to reduce the amount of background noise they hear while traveling.

The Width of the Headphone Soundstage

This is determined by the physical size of the headphones and their positioning on your head. Larger headphones with cups that surround your ears will create a wider soundstage than smaller on-ear headphones.

The Distance Between the Left and Right Drivers

The soundstage will be narrower and less immersive if the drivers are too close together. Conversely, the audio will become diffuse and lose its clarity if they’re too far apart.

The Height of the Headphone Soundstage

This is determined by the level of detail, imaging, and separation present in a recording and how accurately the headphones reproduce those details.

Headphones with a more accurate reproduction will have a deeper soundstage than those lacking clarity and separation.

To create a 3D soundstage in your head, all these factors must work together in harmony. So make sure you’re getting high-quality headphones with the right design for your needs if you want to experience immersive, three-dimensional sound.

How Can I Improve the Soundstage of My Headphones?

White HiFiMAN headphone on wooden table

There are a few things you can do to improve the soundstage of your headphones:

Use a Headphone Amplifier

A headphone amplifier can make a huge difference in how your music sounds. Not only will it make the sound fuller and more powerful, but it will also produce better clarity all around.

An amplifier is an essential piece of equipment to have to get the most out of your headphones.

Position Your Headphones Correctly

Make sure the headphones are positioned correctly on your head. If you wear glasses, make sure there is enough space between the cups and your glasses.

Also, avoid wearing your headphones too tight, which will constrict the sound and make it sound smaller and more confined.

Try a Different Listening Environment

Changing your listening environment can also help to improve the soundstage of your headphones. Try listening in a quiet room with no distractions or outside in an open space.

Listen To High-resolution Audio

If you’re listening to high-quality audio, the soundstage of your headphones will be proportionately more amazing.

This is because high-resolution audio has a lot more information in it. These extra bits of data allow the soundstage on your headphones to become more precise and realistic.

Low-quality audio, on the other hand, contains very little information. This means that your headphones are left with fewer details to work with. As a result, even if they have an impressive soundstage, it’ll still be relatively flat and unentertaining.

By using high-resolution audio files, you can get the most out of your headphones and experience an incredibly realistic soundstage.

What Do I Need To Keep In Mind When Buying Headphones With a Good Soundstage?

When buying headphones, there are a few things you should look at to ensure that you’re getting the best soundstage possible:

Critically Assess the Type of Drivers Used in Your Headphones

Different types of drivers produce different levels of depth and detail when reproducing sound.

Use Open-back Headphones

Open-back headphones have wider soundstages and more spacious audio than closed-back headphones.

Consider the Size of the Headphones

Larger headphones generally have a wider soundstage than smaller headphones.

Make sure the headphones are positioned correctly on your head: If the drivers are not facing directly towards your ears, you will not get the best soundstage possible.

Purchase Over-ear Headphones

Over-ear headphones have better depth and imaging than on-ear or in-ear headphones, which can make your soundstage more three-dimensional.

Try a Different Pair of Headphones

Headphones are a very personal item, and what sounds great to one person may not sound great to another. If you’re not happy with the soundstage of your current headphones, try out a different pair to see if you get a better experience.

This is why it’s better if you go to the store and try them out instead of buying them online.

How Does It Affect Your Listening Experience?

Black Audio Technica headphone on wooden chair

A good soundstage in headphones can make you feel like you’re right in the middle of the music event, with a sense of depth and dimensionality that is not possible with standard audio recordings.

This creates a more immersive listening experience that can be enjoyed while sitting at home or on the go.

What Are Some Popular Headphones That Have a Good Soundstage?

Some popular headphones with a good soundstage include the Sennheiser HD 800 S, the HiFiMan Sundara, and the Sennheiser HD 600.

These headphones are known for their accurate detail reproduction and spacious audio, making them perfect for listeners who want to fully immerse themselves in the music they’re listening to.

What Are Some Popular Songs That Have an Awesome Soundstage?

Some popular songs with incredible soundstage include “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, “Everything In Its Right Place” by Radiohead, and “Hideaway” by Jacob Collier.


Soundstage is a crucial factor to consider when purchasing headphones, as it dramatically affects the listening experience.

This article has provided a brief overview of soundstage and how you can leverage this principle to create powerful immersive audio experiences with a sense of depth and dimensionality.

Now that you know what soundstage is, it’s time to start looking for headphones with great soundstages. If you can find a pair of headphones that has excellent depth and dimensionality to the audio, this will make your music listening experience much more enjoyable.

You should also look at how well-rounded the frequency range is on each set of headphones before committing to one particular brand or style.