It is quite clear that everyone understands ‘mono’ and ‘stereo’ according to their own perceptions and aspirations. Translating the experience into a large venue such as a church or a theatre with domestic audio systems, also shifts conceptual thought, so that we still have a point of reference for the discussion of single-channel, stereo, and 2-channel sound systems. Let us begin with difference between mono and stereo sound.
The mono or monophonic method defines the mixing and routing of all audio signals through a single audio channel. Mono systems may have several loudspeakers. The key is that the signal does not contain any degree and time/phase of arrival information that replicates or simulates directional signals. Mono-system types include single-channel core clusters, mono-split cluster systems and architecturally delayed distributed loudspeaker systems.
Stereophonic systems have two separate channels, and the signals produced have a particular level and phase relationship to each other such that an obvious picture of the original sound source will appear when reproduced with an effective reproduction device. Stereo will be required if the audio perspective and position of instruments on the stage or platform, a very common necessity of performing arts centres, was to be replicated.
This also means that a mono signal which is panned somewhere between the two channels does not possess the required phase information as a true stereo signal, although there may be a difference in level between both channels which simulates a difference in location, this is just a simulation. This is a topic that could be justified by a few web sites.
Which is the best? mono sound versus stereo sound?
There is no solution, as with many questions about sound systems. A well-built mono system is more pleasing than a badly built two-channel sound system. The main thing to bear in mind is that the best design of the loudspeakers for any facility is that which works efficiently within the room’s programmatic, architectural and acoustic constraints, and that means that you cannot always get the system you like, but you often find the system you need. If the architecture of the facility does not accommodate an appropriate stereo replay or strengthening system, it is vital that the sound system is built to be as effective as possible, despite the need for a program such as stereo.