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Literally, to hear with two ears. Opposite of MONAURAL HEARING. The fact that the ears are some distance apart allows the localization of sound by registering the slight differences in time, PHASE and INTENSITY of the sound striking each ear. Each of these parameters has a different area of effect, intensity being a major factor above 1500 Hz (see SOUND SHADOW), while PHASE DIFFERENCEs (which are equivalent to time differences) are used in localizing lower frequency sounds.
If two TONEs are about 15 Hertz or less apart, INTERFERENCE will result from their similar though not exactly identical frequencies. Gradually they will move out of PHASE until at 180° destructive interference results, producing diminished loudness. When they move back into phase, constructive interference will produce increased loudness. Thus, beats are a form of AMPLITUDE MODULATION. As two frequencies are brought closer together, the beats will gradually slow down and disappear when they become identical.
Any VIBRATION in the air or other medium, some types of which are able to cause a sensation of hearing.
The tonal QUALITY or TIMBRE of a sound. The term is usually used in a subjective, descriptive manner, often with such adjectives as 'full' or 'rich'.