Originally Posted by Alec88
Some people insist that monopole speakers are better for music because the sound is more direct. If you're at an arena concert where music is being output from the stage, the music is going to sound like it's coming from the direction of the stage. Sure the sound is going to envelope you somewhat, but it's going to be a more dispersed sound, rather than a direct sound. It's going to be more diffuse. I suppose you could mount monopole speakers in such a way where they would sound less directional but the sound would still be more immediate rather than diffuse in normal-sized rooms.
If you're in a studio listening to a band playing music the sound is going to be even more direct - in the direction of the band that's playing the music. If you have a pair of stereo speakers that can produce a wide soundstage, than that's probably going to sound closer to the sound you'll hear if you were actually in the studio listening to the band playing.
The reason monopoles are probably better for multichannel music is not just because the sound is more direct. It is because this is how the engineer mixed the soundtrack in the first place. If the ambiance of a live venue is what the engineer wants, he can put that into the mix. Monopoles can reproduce that ambiance just fine. If the engineer wants to reproduce the directional sound of a band, in a studio, on a stage in front of you, then he will mix that into the mix appropriately.
Point being, you shouldn't rely on the speakers, upon playback, to provide any sort of 'effect'. That is mixed into the soundtrack by the engineer and the speakers should reproduce what the engineer intended. A speaker that reproduces a diffuse soundfield is adding an effect that the engineer didn't really intend. Might it be a pleasing effect? Sure. Maybe. To some people. But if an engineer intends a sound to be diffuse, it will be mixed that way in the first place. If you then reproduce that sound diffusely, it will be even more diffuse. Likewise, if a sound is meant to be very punctate and is mixed that way by the engineer, but you reproduce it with a speaker that casts a diffuse soundstage, it is no longer going to sound as punctate as the engineer intended.
Now, you could argue that no one's room is perfect and that the room is going to affect even a direct radiating monopole. And I can't argue with that. That is correct. Indeed, many people do not like the sound of a perfectly treated room, especially for music reproduction. Most people rely upon the random interactions of their front speakers (which are usually, but not always, monopoles) with the room to provide a characteristic sound to their stereo music listening. Without that our systems would sound sterile. And it is exactly those interactions that are enhanced by a bipole or dipole speaker such as a DefTech or a Maggie. Still, that does not in any way argue in favor of using a surround-specific speaker that intentionally casts a diffuse soundfield.