Absolute Polarity Blind Listening Test


Does absolute phase matter? (not to be confused with wiring speakers out of phase with each other - see our Stereo Polarity Check).

Absolute phase means the preservation of signal phase all the way from microphone to loudspeaker, so that an instrument that sends a wave of positive pressure towards the audience/microphone is reproduced as a similar "push" from the loudspeaker (and the singer taking a deep breath, by the loudspeaker sucking in! ;-)

The audibility of preserving the absolute phase is a controversy that has rumbled on since the 1970s (an example here). You be the judge with this blind test!

Files being tested

These files present a monaural acoustic guitar riff, with its original and inverted polarity.

Original Inverted

The Test

For each column, tick the appropriate radio button. When you have labeled all 10 files, click the "Submit" button to obtain your score. Reload the page as often as you want to perform new tests.


If you didn't pass this test with a score equal to 9 or higher, you possibly can't detect absolute polarity issues.

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