If I play two sine waves of frequencies in the same critical band in each of my ears, say 994Hz in my left ear and 1006Hz in my right hear – what will I hear?

The ears should not be able to tell the frequencies apart, but will there still be a perceptiple beat phenomenon even though the sound waves aren't able to create interference before reaching the ears?

What does this mean for effects such as stereo chorus with perfectly separated pitch-shifting channels, when the result is heard via headphones?

  • Well, why won't you try and tell us all? :)
    – Eugene S
    Commented May 7, 2013 at 2:56
  • 4
    Tried it out in Ableton live with 436Hz and 444Hz. When you have both sounds through the centre channel you hear a sort of beat pattern. When you pan the 436Hz sound hard left and 444Hz hard right the beat pattern is almost inaudible and you just hear two separate sounds. Commented May 7, 2013 at 12:55
  • 2
    I believe you'll hear the Oppa Gangnam Style.
    – Pristine Kavalostka
    Commented May 9, 2013 at 21:11
  • For migration to SD please Tim
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 16:10

1 Answer 1


Basically it will sound less like a robot and more like an actual chorus because the beating will be less apparent but the ears will still notice a disparity across the stereo field.

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