Monaural or mono sound is a method for producing music or audio using a single channel. It's easier for someone without much technical knowledge to make their own recordings or music in mono format. Mono sound has only one sound channel, while stereo sound uses one channel for each speaker or earpiece. Stereo sound is superior to mono sound in almost all cases, as it creates a richer and more detailed listening experience because more audio is recorded than in mono format and is presented in a more organic way.
The main drawback of mono recordings is that the music produced has less “depth” and is therefore rarely used in recent years. The difference between stereo and quadraphonic sound production is that stereo sound uses two channels to provide two-dimensional sound distribution, while quadraphonic sound uses 4 independent channels. When it comes to qualitative hearing differences, the mono versions tend to sound more direct and have more force, and instruments often “compete for space” and overlap one another. A decoder can easily convert it to stereo from left to right while maintaining full compatibility with older mono sets.
However, it can definitely sound louder because of the extra width that appears in stereo signals and disappears in mono signals. In places that have several speakers, such as clubs, cafes or restaurants, the stereo system can cause phase cancellation problems and therefore make the mono the right choice. For modern releases, vinyl collectors may have to decide between an edition of a disc in color, transparent or black. For simple amateur recordings, the mono format is preferred.
When it comes to deciding between mono and stereo for music listening, it really depends on the listener's preference and the type of audio they are listening to. For entertainment purposes, you would only benefit from mono sound if you only used a headset. Stereo is much better for the average listener as it sounds broader, more detailed and more realistic. Mono recordings are better for single-track recordings as they provide more focused and balanced audio.
If you focus your attention on mixing specifically for mono, then it's amazing how good it can sound. It's important to note that some listeners will be using smartphones or other mono playback systems. A mono signal reproduced through a stereo system would be especially susceptible to this, because the signals are exactly the same. In conclusion, both mono and stereo have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to music listening.
Mono recordings are better for single-track recordings as they provide more focused and balanced audio, while stereo is much better for the average listener as it sounds broader, more detailed and more realistic.