In detail

What is the Haas effect on music

What is the Haas effect on music

We are going to propose a simple question: how many people do you know who do not like music? Surely it costs you to have only one, since we all like to enjoy the healing and relaxing power that music can exert on us.

As if that were not enough, the stereo music system was a revolution, because the sound quality was much better, especially with the use of headphones. The jump from listening to music in mono to stereo was great.

But then who discovered the famous haas effect And what implications does it have? In 1949, the doctor Helmut Haas He presented his new discovery in his doctoral thesis: the effect that would bear his name.

Simply put, it is a psychoacoustic effect as a result of binaural hearing, through which we can perceive the sounds in a totally different way, with greater quality and amplitude of sounds and nuances.


  • 1 How does our body perceive the Haas effect?
  • 2 The Haas effect helps us locate the source of the sounds
  • 3 Another way to achieve the Haas effect

How does our body perceive the Haas effect?

We will try to offer you a much simpler explanation to explain, before going into details about what the famous is haas effect. For example, thanks to a small delay of an acoustic source which reproduces at the same time as an identical one, our ear would listen to a sound much more intensely than the other.

Our brain interprets thanks to the small delay, that the source that causes the sound is closer to the ear that has caught it first. A whole "trick" to piously deceive our brain.

The Haas effect helps us locate the source of the sounds

In other words, when this very short delay occurs, the auditory system fuses both sources as a single sound in the environment. The response of our brain will always be to give higher priority to the location of the first sound that came to us.

If there is reverberation in the environment, this will be especially useful, since not giving priority to the first perceived source and not integrating the following within this small delay, we could not locate the source of the sound.

Likewise, this ability to determine the source and location of the sound, supposes certain evolutionary advantages, being able to identify and locate dangerous sound sources for which we must be alert, so it is a very powerful tool for well-being and survival.

Another way to achieve the Haas effect

Apart from causing a slight delay in identical sources that reproduce at the same time, there are other ways to obtain the haas effect and enjoy music in stereo. The volume of one of the two sources can also be lowered a few decibels. Thus, you will continue to appreciate the power of the Haas effect.

Or simply and as we have said before, causing a source of sound identical to the original to arrive with a small and imperceptible delay, so that it is heard in stereo even though it is originally in monaural mode.

The difference of listening to music in one way or another is abysmal, simulating the stereo effect perfectly. Even so, the delay has to be moderated. Or else, two different sounds would be heard. It is recommended that it be a delay of between 5 and 50 milliseconds. Less would have no consequence, and more would result in other different effects.

If the delay is 50 to 100 milliseconds, the depth and dimension of the sound will be much greater, and this can be very convenient depending on the type of music or compositions we are going to listen to.

But if the delay is more than 100 milliseconds, then the resulting sound would be perceived as echo. Depending on the style of music, many recording studios play with it to create different dimensions in the sound.

Do you remember the tapes of cassette what did we have years ago? In this case, this effect was achieved by recording two independent but complementary tracks at the same time, one for each side (left and right).

Be that as it may, if you dedicate yourself to music in a way amateur and you like to record your own tracks or songs, this effect is something very useful and to take into account. You can do several tests trying different delays until you find the best option to provide more amplitude and intensity to your sound.

Even you can encourage yourself to do a little test. Nowadays you can find many free and easy-to-use, quite intuitive recording programs. Just make some small adjustments to see how the haas effect It can affect the recordings.

The next time you listen to a piece of music, whether known or new to you, you will surely pay more attention to its different nuances. Tones and melodies in different directions, dimensions or sections more intense and deeper ... The possibilities are unlimited.