Top 10 Stereo Imaging Plugins 2021 (Best Old & Modern Picks)

Top 10 Stereo Imaging Plugins 2021 (And 6 Best FREE Plugins) | Integraudio.com

Today, we’ll go through the best Stereo Imaging Plugins as of 2021.

There are more than a handful of ways to manipulate the stereo field. For instance, the popular panning method changes the amplitude levels on the left and right channels. If both left and right channels feature different outputs, the sound is in stereo. Another technique uses delay techniques to achieve a widening effect, popularly known as the Haas effect when one channel’s signal is delayed compared to the other.

However, even with many methods and techniques, some artifacts and obstacles, such as phasing issues, can slow your progress of getting wide sounds in a mix. For this reason, there are many reliable stereo imaging plugins we’ll discuss here that achieve satisfactory results while maintaining the signal intact and pleasant.

What is Stereo Imaging?

Stereo Imaging is the act of digitally placing a sound source somewhere in the sensed space. It can be either on the left, right, or center directions of the stereo image, and settings of depth and width also help position the sound closer or further. We use this technique to control the audio immersion.

Many plugins like Ozone Imager by iZotope feature detailed visual feedback of the stereo content regarding the signal’s source location, size, and intensity. This visual display is an excellent tool for understanding the principles of pan and width and how they relate to stereo imaging.

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5 Tips How To Use Stereo Imager

  • Don’t Assume It’ll Sound Better

The most reliable tool in your arsenal is your ears, so make sure to prioritize the information they are getting more than the visual content seen in the stereo width plugin. Use pan and spatial width regularly and note the slight differences. Furthermore, use the A/B function, commonly present in these plugins, to get a gist of what’s changing in the mix.

  • Monitoring

Even with diligence and plugins, you can only get so far if your speakers or headphones aren’t up to the task. Commercial hi-fi speakers and headsets color your sound by adding stereo width, bass, and so on. Hence, monitoring on professional headphones or studio monitors will give you much better results.

  • Be Careful

Stereo widening is a powerful tool, and it can backfires quickly. It’s vital to understand that the signal’s width expands at the cost of phase coherency; overdoing it will make your sound thinner and weaker in mono. For instance, if you look at iZotope’s Ozone Imager mastering manual, you’ll find that the plugin only widens a little value in the high-end bands while leaving the bottom-end untouched. Remember to apply it gradually and smoothly.

  • The Higher, The Wider

A general rule of thumb is that the higher the signal is in the frequency spectrum, the wider you can set it. Kicks, subs, and basses benefit from staying in the stereo image’s center. Pads, pianos, and keys can provide excellent results when completely widened. For example, you can set a snare’s lower frequency at the center and spread the higher frequencies. Percussion can give good results if you pan it in many directions.

  • Take Advantage Of An EQ

When you use an Equalizer in the Left / Right and Mid/ Side modes to manage the frequency information in the stereo image, you’ll have fantastic results. For example, if you place the hi-hat on the left side, place a Left/Right equalizer on the rest of the mix, and attenuate the higher frequencies on the right side.

  • Contrast

If you’ve widened all elements in your mix, the lack of contrast will make it sound surprisingly less wide. You’ll only get clean wide sounds in a mix if a contrasting mono sound accompanies it. The ideal mix has a good relationship between all sounds, and that includes spatial balance.

Now that we have some idea about how stereo imaging works let’s look at the 10 of the best stereo widening plugins in 2021.

Top 10 Stereo Widening Plugins 2021

1. United Plugins Expanse 3D Review

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

Expanse 3D by United Plugins is a reliable stereo width plugin that expands your tracks into three dimensions with exciting psychoacoustic effects.

Any music becomes massive by adding this plugin to the FX chain. Expanse 3D allows for a more profound, broader, and extensive stereo performance on particular instruments or the whole mix. Furthermore, the plugin saves CPU resources thanks to optimized performance and an intelligent sleep mode.

United Plugins Expanse 3D Review - Top 10 Stereo Widening Plugins | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Spectral Phase Processer
    Widening tracks is an easy task for Expanse 3D. The plugin features a Spectral Phase Processer that delivers an organic and authentic widening effect without compromising any original texture from the mix. The bass becomes sharp and precise, while the sub frequencies narrow, leaving only the top-end wide.
  • Powerful Punches
    Expanse 3D adds punch and delineates individual instruments. The plugin’s algorithms work by making phase processes and channeling the sounds along with a web of delays. It results in a mix with an enormous sense of space.
  • Extra Harmonics
    Expanse 3D differentiates itself by providing extra harmonics in the high and low end. Higher frequencies become brighter and lower frequencies deeper. It enriches the frequency field with an additional musical performance as no other Stereo Width plugin can.
  • Mastering
    The plugin features up to eight times oversampling to achieve high-quality distortion and harmonic clarity. The plugin also glues the mix with its modern depth processor. Similarly, it makes every instrument comprehensive with the auto gain function, which fixates the loudness.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for Windows 8 or higher 32-bit and 64-bit and macOS 10.10 or higher 64-bit. It comes in VST 2/3AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

Expanse 3D is a modern stereo width plugin by United Plugins. Along with its many features, the depth processor, width algorithms, and harmonic-rich engine work together to provide any mix with musical and spatial massiveness. The intuitive controls are fantastic for fast-paced productions both in the mixing and mastering stage.

2. Leapwing Audio StageOne

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

StageOne effectively widens the stereo audio, improves the mix’s depth, and provides any mono source with colorful stereo textures.

Leapwing Audio has already made a noticeable leap with their CenterOne spatial audio, an optimal plugin for controlling the phantom center and isolating the left-center-right of the mix.

With a history of high-quality width & depth plugins, Leapwing Audio delivers an easy-to-use and effective plugin with their StageOne release.

Leapwing Audio StageOne Review - Top 10 Stereo Widening Plugins | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Exclusive Widen Technique
    StageOne features a one-of-a-kind procedure to provide the off-center signal with more width without changing phantom center information. This exclusive technique won’t create any phasing artifact and keeps the sound mono-compatible.
  • Unique Depth Algorithm
    The plugin has a built-in algorithm that provides authentic directional sounds with high-fidelity reflections that fit organically in the mix. It enriches the overall sound with ambient textures and fuller spatial deepness.
  • Mono Widening
    StageOne can make a mono signal sound stereo, giving it width it didn’t have before. The outcoming signal remains in phase and mixes perfectly with your mix. It’s convenient for audio recordings.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for Windows 8 or higher and macOS 10.10 or higherboth 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

StageOne is a terrific width & depth plugin by Leapwing Audio. It features highly complex algorithms that provide excellent phantom signal steadiness, avoiding any artifact in the track. Its robust engine channel high-quality performances in three separate applications: width, depth, and mono spread. Stretch the spatial field, improve the signal’s reflections, and convert mono audio to authentic stereo versions with Leapwing StageOne.

3. Creedland Audio StereoSavage

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

StereoSavage blends old analog studio techniques with highly technological modulation processes to add an exciting stereo presence to any track.

Optimal for enhancing a track with dramatic impact or providing a final polishment, StereoSavage can create stereo from mono, position audio accurately in the spatial field, and provide movement and chorusing. Furthermore, its modest controls allow for quick operations and extraordinary achievements, significantly when widening vocals.

Creedland Audio StereoSavage Review - Top 10 Stereo Widening Plugins | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Main Controls
    With Vox, you can provide vocals great width, resulting in massive leads or profound choirs. By adjusting delay, the sound will pan or widen itself without losing any dynamics. The expand feature adds fiery reflections to convert mono to stereo. A split function divides the signal into individual frequency segments and pans them to the sides.
  • Stereo Parameters
    When adjusting width, sounds will receive a more profound sensation or a narrower performance. A “pre” function enables the pan before the signal receives width for an exciting spatial effect. An exclusive panning effect can improve the mix with authentic, organic performances with the rotation control.
  • Maintaining Textures
    The plugin has an LFO control that provides movement and color. Modulation effects can happen at the same time in your track by enabling a sync function. A bass bypass feature can give the track a steady performance by counterbalancing differences in amplitude from the processes. The metering panel allows you to monitor the track’s stereo positioning, phasing problems, and loudness levels.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.7 or higherboth 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

Creedland Audio took special attention when developing StereoSavage’s mono to stereo process. The plugin uses four exciting features to shape and generate stereo tracks from mono sources. The intuitive controls present in the plugin enable you to adjust precisely the mix’s width and pan. The straightforward metering panel provides valuable information about loudness and spatial presence while assisting in controlling the phase.

4. DJ Swivel Spread Review

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

Spread, by DJ Swivel, makes powerful stereo tracks from mono sources. It also makes stereo signals more protuberant in the spatial field.
The pleasant-looking interface by Spread is one of its many attributes. An intuitive solo knob is one of the highlights of DJ Swivel’s design for the plugin. In a cool-looking display, relevant information for mixing and mastering purposes is present in the main panel.
Its algorithms enable you to define three frequency bands to travel separately through stereo perception.

DJ Swivel Spread Review - Top 10 Stereo Widening Plugins | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Single Knob
    Its practicality speaks louder with the single-knob control in Spread’s interface. After using the two-slider crossover to set the three frequency bands values for the plugin to act upon, you can enhance or reduce the stereo width evenly across the three frequency bands by adjusting the central knob.
  • Mixing & Mastering
    There are two highly reliable functions on Spread that serve you both in the mixing and mastering stage. Side filter avoids phasing problems and mud from the low-end and the spatial image. The side filter delineates the mid-frequency in the processing, only getting rid of the sides containing low information. The resulting signal preserves mono basses. You can balance both sides of the mix with the tilt function, which regulates signals from both directions.
  • Design
    The plugin has a beautiful design, and the way it displays all functions in a subtle yet straightforward manner is outstanding. However, its colored theme not only provides visual joy but also functions as a reference. The high, mid, and low range features different colors in the interface’s upper area, which the lower area mirrors. The colored segments allow for easy setup and control of the Mute/Solo function.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.11 or higherboth 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

DJ Swivel Spread can widen any mix or instrumental line by the use of a single knob. With a quick setup, you can optimize the track in the mastering stage by taking advantage of the side filter and the tilt function. Immerse in a highly appealing interface and never lose track of your settings with the three color-based frequency bands that feature individual parameters.

5. FabFilter Pro Q3

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

Among many features in Pro Q3 by FabFilter, the per-band stereo modes are the biggest highlights.

With an astounding number of customization controls, Pro Q3 sculpts any sound with precision and swiftness with its interactive display. Furthermore, the equalizer serves as a reliable tool with its Mid/Side processing.

Even by working as an equalizer, Pro Q3 by FabFilter has various stereo enhancements adjacent to its equalizing functions.

FabFilter Pro Q3 Review - Top 10 Stereo Widening Plugins | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Stereo EQ
    The many possibilities that Pro Q3 provides for stereo shape are astounding. By equalizing center and side, you can attenuate any artifacts standing out in the spatial image. A stereo placement button allows switching between five processing stereo band positions. With the split button, you can select a band to duplicate, which results in two copies, each operating on the left and right channels.
  • Surround
    The plugin adapts itself to relevant surround formats. When Pro Q3 is connected to a surround channel, its central panel changes to accommodate whatever surround system is present. The available speakers show up in the surround panel, and you can choose a particular stereo placement adjustment to affect the speakers’ left, right, side, and mid information. All speakers allow for individual choosing and band configuration.
  • Pan Rings
    The plugin features many equalizer effects and shows outstanding versatility with its dynamic processing and filtering algorithms. The stereo tracks can receive adjustments for controlling and shaping the spatial presence, and the output pan ring adjusts the processed signal’s pan. Left and right, or mid and side channels can have their relative levels set in the output pan ring, while the output pan mode chooses standard left/right or mid/side output pan.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for Windows XP or higher 32-bit and 64-bit and macOS 10.10 or higher 64-bit. It comes in VST 2/3AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

FabFilter Pro Q3 is an equalizer that has a significant role in the stereo field. It lets you assign EQ bands to different stereo placement options. Its surround adaptability is highly friendly, and the plugin can operate quickly with any speaker arrangement, providing detailed customization opportunities.

6. Brainworx bx_stereomaker

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

One of bx_stereomaker’s most noticeable features is its mono to stereo signal conversion, which adds authentic spatial presence without compromising original texture.

When a mono signal goes through conversion in bx_stereomaker, it will feature a massive width range for you to adjust. It’s mono compatible and has a genuine-sounding pseudo-stereo effect. Furthermore, it features channel processing algorithms on any signal’s particular frequency range.

Brainworx bx_stereomaker Review - Top 10 Stereo Widening Plugins | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Parameters
    Brainworx bx_stereomaker has proper parameters to balance and control the spatial field. Tone lets you select the slicing frequency between 20 Hz to 2.5 kHz. The hi-damp knob rolls off the higher frequencies spatial effect, particularly frequencies above 5kHz. When operating the Mono-Freq knob, you can determine that frequencies below the knob’s selection remain mono. The stereo expansion adds width.
  • Mastering
    Some tools bx_stereomaker provides are handy at controlling the output signal. In the Tilt/Pan segment, you can direct the stereo field towards the left or right, adjusting it to their preferences. The pan modes pan the center signal for the left/right bottom of the spatial image. Tilt mode is also a creative panning feature, but it’s not as robust as the pan mode. The output knob controls the loudness intuitively.
  • Switches
    The “L <> R” switch swaps the left and right signals before entering the Tilt/Pan segment. The other two buttons are for soloing either the mid-signal, with “Solo M,” or the side-signal, with “Solo S.” The side signal is a representation of bx_stereomaker’s artificially-created stereo information out of the mono source.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.9 or higherboth 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

Brainworx b_stereomaker is excellent for mono to stereo conversion, widening the signal by up to 300%. Its exciting parameters efficiently select the frequencies that’ll benefit the most from the plugin’s stereo algorithms. The intuitive interface provides easy monitoring with informative meters and handy switches for analyzing particular signal segments.

7. Nugen Audio Stereoizer

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

Stereoizer by Nugen Audio can naturally expand the stereo image while avoiding artifacts and retaining original characteristics.

The plugin features a fantastic interface with handy visual feedback for monitoring and easy-to-use controls, allowing for a straightforward and swift operation.

It provides gentle or aggressive results, adding texture for both mono and stereo signals. Artifacts don’t show up; the plugin will keep the audio reverb-free.

Nugen Audio Stereoizer Review - Top 10 Stereo Widening Plugins | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Algorithms
    The plugin has two algorithms that allow for customization and control. The Inter-aural Time Difference (ITD) algorithm perceives the location of sound by the time it took for it to arrive in both left and right channels. Conversely, the Inter-aural Intensity Difference (IID) localizes any sound using the left and right amplitude difference.
  • Controls
    Stereoizer allows in-depth shaping of its effects. Apart from the two algorithms, you can operate linear width, dynamics, output and input gain, stereo spectral frequency analysis, stereometer, and many utility controls such as bypass, undo/redo, and more.
  • Presets
    There are more than thirty presets that are excellent for learning in the plugin. The spatial presence can accentuate itself with presets like “Swung Left,” which enriches the left channel with intense imaging. Furthermore, you can get closer to a mastering setting with the two handy masterings presets.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for Windows XP or higher 32-bit and 64-bit and macOS 10.6 or higher 64-bit. It comes in VST 2/3AU, AAX, and RTAS formats.

Summary:

Stereoizer uses intelligent algorithms to position a sound source anywhere in the spatial spectrum. Its IID and ITD algorithms use modern processes to locate, add depth, and convert any signal to stereo authentically. The many parameters allow for complete customization and not to mention the provided presets for quick results.

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8. NoiseAsh Stereo Finalizer

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

Stereo Finalizer makes the center content original and steady while adding information on the stereo field when converting mono tracks to stereo.

Fantastic at both the mix and master stages, NoiseAsh Stereo Finalizer features straightforward controls to tighten or expand the spatial image in any track swiftly.

While featuring a blend of methods such as the Haas effect, delay modulation, and many versatile techniques, Stereo Finalizer makes any low mono signal more substantial.

NoiseAsh Stereo Finalizer Review - Top 10 Stereo Widening Plugins | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Interface
    The design of the interface is user-friendly. It has valuable and intuitive knobs while providing a handy monitoring display in the main panel’s center. You can take advantage of a reliable goniometer, a stereo imaging monitoring graph with an informative scope.
  • Main Controls
    The intuitive knobs present in Stereo Finalizer’s main panels are versatile and quick to operate. Adjust the stereo width from mono to complete stereo and control the balance between dry and wet signals with the mix knob. The process amount knob acts on the amount of Haas effect to be in the signal. You can control the Haas signal’s delay and the early reflection.
  • Parameters
    A “summed to mono” segment, when active, channels a stereo signal to a mono track before the audio processes. A filter segment allows for low-pass or high-pass adjustments. It has an exciting segment featuring three Haas mode sequences, ranging from low to high delay. You can also adjust what frequency area the plugin affects using the Focus section.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.9 or higherboth 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

NoiseAsh Stereo Finalizer features intuitive and easy-to-use controls on its central panel. The plugin features controls to shape the signal’s width, convert mono to stereo, administer the Haas effect, and set signal’s reflections. The presets are handy and come in separate panels, organized in three columns: banks, categories, and preset’s name. 

9. UAD Precision K-Stereo Ambience Recovery

More Info & Price

With the assistance of renowned engineer Bob Kratz, Universal Audio shows a fantastic investment in their K-Stereo Ambience Recovery plugin.

The plugin expands either instrument’s tracks or entire mixes by avoiding synthetic reverb while maintaining their natural textures and organic vibes.

Its unique process of widening and adding depth to an image occurs without the conventional phasing that usually happens in this category of plugins.

UAD Precision K-Stereo Ambience Recovery Review - Top 10 Stereo Widening Plugins | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Mix & Master
    Precision K-Stereo Ambience Recovery is handy at solving problems commonly present in the mastering stage. Its algorithms are efficiently decongesting muddy or filled stereo recordings, spreading details that the master was previously overshadowing. For example, when converting a track for an AAC file, the addition of Precision K-Stereo will provide a more prominent master, compensating for the quality loss AAC formats commonly go through.
  • Controls
    You can operate the plugin in four sections. The ambiance recovery segment provides organic enhancements to the track’s depth and width; the ambiance filters have a low and high cut function and a frequency band, acting solely on the ambiance path. The M/S Gain section is a handy tool for customizing the stereo field and allows you to balance the stereo image adequately. An L/R Gain segment sets the output levels for left and right channels.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for Windows 8 or higher and macOS 10.10 or higherboth 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

Universal Audio Precision K-Stereo Ambience Recovery modifies the track by adding depth and width without reverb or interference to the center elements. The plugin yields excellent results both in the mixing and mastering stage using modern algorithms.

10. BOOM Library ReCenter

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

ReCenter recovers any complex stereo recordings that are away from the center field. It restores the dynamical presence of any off-center signal while maintaining its stereo texture.

The plugin works by shifting any stereo information to either the center or a specific position. It makes the audio source’s dynamics travel throughout points in the stereo image.

BOOM Library ReCenter has intelligent algorithms that take care of complex signals for you.

BOOM Library ReCenter Review - Top 10 Stereo Widening Plugins | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Dynamical Correction
    Recenter shifts any deviant signal to the center in real-time while not compromising the stereo characteristics. It does the signal correction by analyzing the dynamics, resulting in a smooth performance.
  • Controls
    The plugin has four available controls. Intensity will specify the level of correction, telling the plugin to work at total capacity or not. And Response control will delineate the plugin’s speed at correcting the signal. Similarly, the mono filter control lets you set a low-pass filter that creates mono audio. The lookahead feature uses some additional buffer to pre-analyze audio.
  • Angle & Width
    With two sliders, angle, and width, the plugin allows you to polish and define the final characteristics of the sound. By dragging the angle slider, the signal will travel to a specific angle value. The width slider is effective at enlarging or narrowing the final stereo presence.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.9 or higherboth 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

ReCenter is a stereo correction plugin that shifts any off-center signal to a precise spot. The intelligent algorithms that detect divergent signals will allow for quick mixing and mastering of a recording without manual pan correction.

The 6 Best Free Stereo Width Plugins 2021

1. RDGAudio STAGE

More Info & Download

Stereo enhancement and gain correction are RDGAudio STAGE’s most vital points. Its many modes and presets can enrich any mix for free.

The significant amount of presets within the plugin makes it highly versatile. You can go further by customizing and saving their own presets in the reliable preset manager.

While featuring seven modes, Stage by RDGAudio is a reliable plugin to expand or diminish the stereo image of any mix.

RDGAudio STAGE Review - Top 6 Free Stereo Widening Plugins | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Interface
    The straightforward and interactive interface is excellent at channeling productivity with few and reliable controls. Every control is in a single panel, allowing for quick setup. It also has a stereo imaging display that provides you with information about the plugin’s performance in the spatial field.
  • Controls
    The central panel features two essential sliders apart from the main stereo information display in the interface. Furthermore, you can adjust the volume with a volume slider in the left area of the interface. The button at the center enables the stereo enhancement feature.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.10 or higherboth 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

Stage by RDGAudio can significantly enhance the stereo image of any mix for free. The plugin features seven modes: narrow, mono, stereo, normal, wide, wider, super wide. All modes operate with reliable algorithms to achieve depth and width in any track. The many preset of Stage allows for versatile applications and preset customizations.

2. iZotope Imager 2 Review

More Info & Download

Ozone Imager has a pleasant-looking interface with solid stereo information and visual representation. The free plugin by iZotope can easily control the whole stereo image.

The first version of Ozone Imager got many compliments from producers all over the globe. The second version works with even more complex algorithms while remaining just as straightforward.

The plugin allows for width enhancement and stereo conversion from mono recordings. All processings appear in three distinct vectorscope meters, providing you accurate visual information.

iZotope Imager 2 Review - Top 6 Free Stereo Widening Plugins | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Controls
    The plugin has two sliders in its central panel. Both sliders are for controlling the width and stereo content from the mix. By adjusting the “Width” slider, you can make any track massively profound or gently narrow. The “Stereoize” slider can turn a mono signal into a stereo one without adding reverberation or a doubling process. The two modes in “Stereoize” are for different texture addition.
  • Visualization
    The whole spatial spectrum is easily monitorable in the plugin’s handy visual display at the main panel. Furthermore, you can choose between three graphic-representation of the stereo image: Polar level, Lissajous, and Polar sample. All modes feature sound movements on a center, left, and right field.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.11 or higherboth 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

Ozone Imager is reliable at the mastering stage with its three distinct visual monitoring graphs of the stereo image. Furthermore, you can take advantage of the straightforward controls in the plugin’s interface to convert mono signals to stereo sounds and adjust the amount of depth the audio receives. A free plugin, Ozone Imager is highly optimized for all kinds of productions.

3. Polyverse Wider By Infected Mushroom Review

More Info & Download

Polyverse Wider creates stereo information while avoiding phase problems. It quickly expands the spatial field by providing a rich amount of depth.

The plugin by Infected Mushroom is optimal at avoiding balance issues and muddiness when providing stereo effects. It compensates for any flatness or dynamic lack from the processes.

Its intelligent algorithms can turn a mono signal into a stereo sound and increase its stereo image by two hundred percent, providing a massive presence.

Polyverse Wider - Top 6 Free Stereo Widening Plugins | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Algorithms
    The plugin features modern algorithms to process signals. An exclusive all pass and comb filtering by Infected Mushroom works efficiently at crafting stereo images while using organic textures, allowing for authentic sonic character to thrive in mono to stereo conversion. Furthermore, the sides won’t show any phasing issues by the process; the mono-compatibility is a robust quality in Wider.
  • Swift
    You can set the plugin’s effect swiftly. Wider only features a single panel where a sole adjustment provides the track with how much intensity you want. The quickness that its straightforward interface provides is highly friendly in fast-paced productions.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.9 or higherboth 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

Wider is extremely quick to set up. By adding the plugin to a track, you can adjust the width of any signal, quickly gathering massive spatial presence or timid stereo performances. The straightforward interface benefits fast-paced productions while also requiring friendly levels of processing power from the computer.

4. Voxengo Stereo Touch Review

More Info & Download

Voxengo Stereo Touch runs an exclusive coding method to make mono tracks perform organically well in stereo environments.

The manufacturer’s recommendation is to avoid using this plugin on tracks with highly out-of-balance transients. The plugin performs well in basses, guitars, acoustic guitars, and voices.

Without double-tracking, Stereo Touch expands the spatial feeling with fidelity to the sources. Surprise the mix with massive spaces and even provide a “surround” sensation.

Voxengo Stereo Touch Review - Top 6 Free Stereo Widening Plugins | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Knobs
    The plugin has an intuitive group of knobs that allows you to shape and control the signal’s character. A Delay 1 knob sets the first delay’s time, using the D1 Gain to adjust its loudness. If you enable the second delay, the Delay 2 knob adjusts its time while using the D2 Gain to adjust its loudness. Both HP Filter and LP Filter works intuitively to change the high-pass and low-pass filters, respectively.
  • Interface
    The plugin’s interface is user-friendly. The knobs position themselves in a productive sequence, allowing for quick setup. You can also adjust the Out Gain effectively in a single panel. Furthermore, the interface also offers handy switches for allowing a Delay 2 and a D2 PH INV button, which enables phase inversion on the second delay. You can also toggle the HPF and LPF quickly at their respective switches.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for Windows XP or higher 32-bit and 64-bit and macOS 10.11 or higher 64-bit. It comes in VST 2/3AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

Voxengo Stereo Touch acts friendly towards both the CPU and you. The light and swift plugin offer a total of eight knobs that shapes the fundamental characteristics of the stereo image. Furthermore, any mono signal going through Stereo Touch will receive spatial enlargement without any phasing issues, maintaining the natural textures of the original recording.

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5. Flux Stereo Tool v3 Review

More Info & Download

StereoTool accurately controls the input gain and panning of both the left and right channels while providing handy feedback.

The feedback display shows precisely what the signal is becoming in the stereo image. The highly detailed analysis makes this free plugin very versatile.

Its metering system provides information of the inputs, outputs, and phase correlation’s content, which you can adjust and see the visual feedback changing in real-time.

flux Stereo Tool v3 Review - Top 6 Free Stereo Widening Plugins | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Controls
    Stereo Tool v3 by Flux has precise controls dividing the signal into two segments, left and right. Both sides feature an Input Gain knob, a Phase switch, and panning positioning control. You can define a setting for these parameters, save it, and switch between A/B settings, which will enable two different preset saves.
  • Interface
    The interface has a straightforward design, with the essential controls and slides in fitting places. The two handy sliders below the plugin’s feedback graphic allow for width enhancement and Mid/Side settings. The plugin’s intuitive look is optimal for quick setups.
  • Monitoring
    The in-depth analysis of any signal’s stereo image is outstanding in Stereo Tool V3. A Vector Scope display informs any phasing behavior in the mix. Furthermore, both the left and right sides feature values that you can monitor in the dual metering below the main sliders.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.11 or higherboth 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

Flux Stereo Tool V3 is a free plugin for producers who enjoy quick results and fast setups. The detailed analysis in the plugin’s built-in meters and feedback displays are outstanding and provides cautious stereo enhancement while avoiding phasing issues. Furthermore, the friendly interface is straightforward to work with, yielding significant results.

6. Alex Hilton A1StereoControl Review

More Info & Download

By providing you with stereo width control in a single knob, A1StereoControl by Alex Hilton offers practicality while being free to use.

The plugin by Alex Hilton offers a straightforward interface where you can do modest techniques to achieve surprising results.

The algorithms on A1StereoControl’s engine effectively maintain the low-end sonic fidelity. The panning also delivers modern placement algorithms, allowing you to explore the stereo field intuitively.

Alex Hilton A1StereoControl Review - Top 6 Free Stereo Widening Plugins | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Safe Bass
    A1StereoControl has an exciting algorithm that preserves the low-end quality when shifting mono signals to stereo. When active, you can set a frequency value to keep every frequency below it at its original position.
  • Monitoring
    The interface features valuable information for you to see and hear the stereo image with more detail. While adjusting the “Stereo Width,” the visual display reflects the stereo image changes. Furthermore, you can mute either the mid or side signal for analyzing different stereo segments.
  • Expert Controls
    The plugin allows for easy setup or more complex settings with easy and expert modes. In the expert mode, a new section of controls appears for more in-depth customization. When active, you can toggle functions such as dual pan, fix mid-level, bind m/s levels, balance, pan law, and many more.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for Windows 8 or higher and macOS 10.10 or higherboth 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

A1StereoControl enhances the stereo image of any mix while offering a safe bass option to avoid editing the low-end. Furthermore, the plugin enables quick and effective setup with its “Easy” mode, and for perfectionists, there is an expert mode.

Bonus

PSP Audioware StereoPack Review

More Info & Price

StereoPack is a versatile plugin that raises the character of any stereo mix. While being a pack of four plugins, StereoPack focuses on enabling any track with a profound sense of space.

The plugin has modern algorithms that switch mono signal to stereo signal, adding spatial width. It has three distinct modes to enlarge the stereo spectrum while avoiding phasing problems.

PSP Audioware StereoPack features a convenient oscilloscope window to provide you with spatial balance and intensity information.

PSP Audioware StereoPack Review - Top 10 Stereo Widening Plugins | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • PseudoStereo
    The PseudoStereo feature changes mono signals to stereo; the intelligent algorithm uses a comb filtering technique to divide the mono sound into left and right information. The effect can accentuate itself with a depth slider, and the comb filter’s frequency results from the “Freq” switch’s placement. Furthermore, the “emph” switch determines the amount of emphasis the higher frequencies will receive.
  • StereoEnhancer
    This feature lets you define the stereo field’s total size. While using algorithms that also work under a comb filtering process, the StereoEnhancer provides exciting adjustments for the stereo spatialization. With three sliding controls, you can define depth, base frequency, and treble emphasis to the StereoEnhancer’s processes.
  • StereoController
    StereoController allows you to fix any stereo information by adjusting the stability of the L / R channels while keeping the balance and organic characteristics of the signal. The controls in the StereoController’s panel let you operate the processed signal’s balance, stability, and center sonic textures.
  • StereoAnalyzer
    The StereoAnalyzer feature serves you with faithful representations of the stereo signal. The input audio paints itself on the handy stereo oscilloscope, providing you with its size and intensity. Furthermore, you can adjust the loudness level while monitoring the visual feedback panel and observing real-time display changes.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.9.5 or higherboth 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

PSP Audioware StereoPack is a versatile plugin for stereo enhancement. StereoPack’s many presets are fantastic for experimentation and stereo exploration. With a creative-friendly interface, you can change essential tonal information of the signal. StereoPack is an excellent option for mastering engineers who value analysis and monitoring with reliable visual feedback of the stereo’s placement and waveform.

Conclusion

Stereo imaging is tricky, but it can be easier with the assistance of reliable stereo imaging plugins, such as the ones we listed. Any mix can become interesting with a broad instrument line, but don’t overdo it. Even if stereo imaging plugins offer safe algorithms, you’ll benefit more by smoothly controlling these powerful tools.

If you work better with visual feedback assistance and reliable metering information, try the Flux StereoTool V3, the Creedland Audio StereoSavage, and Izotope Imager 2 since they feature accurate details about the stereo content in real-time. But if your priority is musicality, Expanse 3D might be a better fit for your arsenal. Fast-paced production will benefit better from plugins such as Dj Swivel Spread and Polyverse Wider by Infected Mushroom.

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