Soundstage and image height, does it exist?

On another site, there is a discussion on soundstage, and there are a few people clamming, that, since there is no vertical information encoded on stereo recordings, that soundstage height does not actually exist. It is a product of our minds filling in missing information. 

Are they correct?

Please explain your position, with as much technical details as you feel needed.



I certainly do get height from my system, but then my front wall is ~16 feet high and the back wall is ~7-1/2 feet high, so there could be some reflection adding to it.

If you want to hear height, the best thing I find is to listen to "sharp" percussion. Xylophone. marimba, glock, wood blocks, etc. always seem to come out higher.

A great example at 2:00:

Then of course there is the actual height of the speakers that can replicate the height of the actual instruments they are reproducing. For example, when I listen to the Big Red Supers, drum kits/solos come out very realistic as to their height. The aux woofer at the bottom of the cabinet reproduces the slam of the kick drum, whereas the 604’s horns are placed at the level of cymbols.


I consider soundstage and imaging an important part in  stereo's ability to pull me into the music. I started a thread on the ASR forum asking the experts if there were measurements for that and another thread inquiring about resolution. In my reality, what separates the $1000 pair from the $10,000 pair are 'stage, imaging and resolution and guess what? NOPE no such measurements, so these things don't exist Period. 

Until they get off that pulpit i'll remain skeptical. Any decent pair of speakers should 'stage and image. read up a bit and learn about placement and have fun with it.

There is no question that if you have the ability to try multiple pairs of speakers in your room, switching back and forth that you will hear differences in soundstage width, height, depth and envelopment.  And then the trick is, once you've settled on which speakers you prefer, to then optimize their presentation within the limits of your room and your budget.

You have not heard soundstage height, depth, expansiveness, envelopement, etc until you heard something like a 5.4.4 or higher 360 reality, atmos, etc rig, i.e., a minimum of 5 bed layer speakers,  4 height speakers and subs. There are specific directivity requirements for a height speaker and so on.

But, the seers with their 2 channels have everything figured out about height, depth, nuance,  positioning in space, etc, I bet...Ah... the never ending miracle of those 2 lousy channels...