headphone phase--does it matter? (mostly OT)
I had an old set of cans whose cable had broken off in one ear and I finally got around to soldering it back on. With no markings on the terminals, I downloaded some in-phase and out-of-phase samples to listen to after wiring it up both ways. From reading how out-of-phase wiring should sound, I *think* I wired it up right, but I still have doubts. I know this isn't a problem these cans are supposed to fix, but I'm curious whether anyone here can give a definitive answer as to whether headphones being out of phase really matters?
AFAICT, out of phase stereo signals sound different on speakers because the sound waves coming from each speaker interfere with each other, selectively destroying parts of the signal it shouldn't. Thinking about this in terms of headphones, it's not clear that there should be any interference pattern set up at all unless the brain is doing some analogous processing on the sounds. So my question, as per title--does stereo phase matter at all when wiring headphones?
On topic: speaking of stereo, it seems that if each bud had two sensors (antennae placed at right angles to each other) you could do detection in much the same way that a theremin works. The articles mention only one sensor, and the reg article mentions breaking a circuit, but I wonder if there isn't some mini theremin gizmo at work here? Can you even miniaturise a it to that level? I have no idea.
Off topic again... I've had theremins on my mind since the recent reg article on increasing screen resolutions on tablet computers. I mentioned the problem of accurately hitting a patch of screen with a finger as the resolution of the monitor goes up. Later it occurred to me that something like a theremin could detect an incoming finger and selectively zoom in on the target area (with the feature possibly keyed to a gesture, like circling the finger in as it approaches the screen). It might need two detectors for near/far range. Just throwing the idea out there, fwiw.