Speakers out of phase

Hi guys, by mistake I had my speakers connected out of phase and oddly enough I thought the sound stage was big and wide and great! The only reason I figured out they were out of phase was because I couldn’t find the center image.

Any thoughts on why the sound stage was bigger when out of phase? Does this imply that I need more sound diffusers in my room? Or are they not related?

That is interesting. Stereo image is constructed by the brain from volume and phase differences between the channels, so connecting speakers out of phase might well give you an image which was exaggerated, but confused. For us old-timers, before the time when soundstage became a popular concept, the most noticeable effect of out of phase speakers was loss of bass.

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Back in the early 80’s I had a Sharp TV that had a sound mode called Wide sound. I swear that this wide sound mode sounded exactly the same as when I also mistakenly wired my speakers out of phase.

I believe that Dolby pro logic surround (not dolby digital) was accomplished by the processor sensing the phase of the signal in the stereo channels and routing them to the left, right, center, and surround channel. The 180 degree out of phase signal went to the mono rear channel.

I have a Dolby pro logic surround encoded audio CD from the 90’s and when I play that CD in stereo on a system with good stereo imaging, it still sounds like the surround sound processor is on because the out of phase portion of the signal makes it sound like there is a rear channel even though a Dolby processor is not involved.


Out of phase could certainly create a sense of wide-ness from monophonic signals, less so from stereo signals.
Unfortunately this would come at the expense of good, solid imaging.

Not long ago, I had some new speaker cables that were improperly labeled for polarity at the factory.
The effect was a very wide soundstage that was diffuse, undefined, disorienting and quickly fatiguing.