In the pursuit of sound quality, I often see people use all kind of words to describe what they hear. This often happens when people try to compare the differences between different products - cables, speakers, caps, amps, tubes, plugs, you name it. However, I must say very often I found myself not knowing what do they really mean. I feel myself dumb. I mean, what does 'more air' mean? Is it a good or bad thing?
So I listed some common terms that I see and tried to explain their meaning to the best of my understanding and guessing (which mean a lot could be worng ). I don't know if this information is already available somewhere or not, but at least I found nothing when I I tried to google "what does it mean when the sound has more air".
Please provide your feedback. I want to learn the lanaguage and I'll update this post when there are consensus.
COLORATION - The sound reproduction is biased at certain frequencies. The result can be pleasant or worse.
SIGNATURE - A particular way of COLORATION.
NATURAL/NEUTRAL - No coloration. Sound the same as it was recorded.
MUSICAL - High and low frequencies are more noticeable in a pleasant way.
DRY - High and low frequencies are less noticeable in an unpleasant way.
SLOW - Lifeless sound with no impact, dull.
FAST - Opposite of SLOW.
DYNAMIC - A technical perspective of being SLOW or FAST. It is how components such as capacitors can react very fast to varying forces in terms of charging and discharging while maintaining desired capacitance and inductance.
TRANSPARENT - It's like the speaker disappears and you are listening the flow of music directly from the instrument. The lack of transparency means the lost of details, precision and depth of sound (aka behind a veil).
AIR - The transparency at high frequencies.
WARM - Less focused on higher frequencies.
THIN - Less focused on lower frequencies.
FLUID - Somewhere between being AIR and WARM.
SMOOTH/CREAMY - Somewhere between being FLUID and WARM.
BODY/BONE - More or lack of sensitivity in the mid to lower mid frequencies.
SOUND STAGE - Perceived distance and direction of the sound to the listener, vertically and horizontally.
IMAGING - Presentation of the SOUND STAGE to the listener.
FLAT - No IMAGING.
DEPTH OF FIELD - The contrast of sound being close and away from the listener.
FORWARD - A sound stage that's too upfront/close to the listener.
BRIGHT - Being FORWARD especially on higher frequency.
LAID BACK - A sound stage tends to be away and WARM or SMOOTH.
EDGY - Unpleasant harmonic distortion at high frequencies.
ROUGH - Unpleasant series of spikes across a range of frequencies due to delayed signal or destructive interference.