Listening to something on headphones is a different experience than listening to audio on speakers.
University of California researchers found headphones have a much more powerful impact on listeners’ perceptions, judgments and behaviors. Study co-author On Amir explains, “We find that headphones produce a phenomenon called in-head localization, which makes the speaker sound as if they’re inside your head. Consequently, listeners perceive the communicator as closer—both physically and socially.
As a result, listeners perceive the communicator as warmer, they feel they behave [with more empathy] toward them and they are more easily persuaded by them.” The scientists say this finding has major implications for audio advertisements, remote work, as well as education and industry training.