How Beats Audio Works

Author's Note

I have to admit to being amused by audio consumers' obsession with hearing a song that sounds exactly as the artist intended it. When I was a high school sophomore in the early 1970s, my introduction to rock was listening to a vinyl copy of the Rolling Stones' 1969 live record "Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!" that one of my classmates surreptitiously played on the cheap turntable-in-a-suitcase unit in the audiovisual lab, instead of the French vocabulary records we were supposed to be studying. The sound that came through my headphones was mono, not stereo, and the pops and hisses from the badly worn phonograph needle probably made the Stones' live version of "Live With Me" sound even raunchier than if I had been in the front row of their concert. It sounded terrible, and I absolutely was enthralled by it. If some manufacturer can come up with a gadget that could bring back the feeling of that moment again, I'd pay just about any price for it.

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