Evaluating of the sound quality of nature recordings is a volatile and delicate subject. Though, in this small essay I will try to collect my ideas on why there is actually a good reason for that.
My personal objective of my recordings is to reproduce a fully authentic listening experience as if being out in the field. Sound quality has been a main driver for my recordings, but also a source of frustrations as it seems after many years of field recording, I sometimes don’t feel like having moved much forward.
In general the sound quality of field recordings appears to be more critical than for e.g. hearing music. I think the reason is that ambient recording/sound needs to match the listener’s personal hearing experience and expectations quite precisely, in order to trigger the special memories and feelings of being in an other place. Nature recordings seem to be balancing on a narrower path between sounding good or not.
Though, the main message here is that I believe there is a lot more to it than technical performance and specifications. Subjective matters will easily have a dominating part to play in the listening experience.