A stereo audio file achieves the illusion of three-dimensional space thanks to the use of two channels that play in sync from a left and right speaker. During mixing, when something gets panned hard left or hard right, it’s sent to only one of the two speakers. While if something gets played at the center, like the vocals on a song or podcast, its signal is sent equally to both channels. That is why when listening to music through only one headphone, or isolating just one of the two channels, the voice or the drums are normally equally present.
On the other hand, when that same stereo file plays through only one speaker, like your phone or a Bluetooth speaker, the left and right information gets summed and you are able to listen to everything together. The audio turns into mono. As a result, mixes sound more upfront but they lose a bit of depth due to the phase cancellation that might occur between the left and the right channels.
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