I do a lot of listening in mono these days.
Partly, it’s a seasonal shift I make each year: The transistor radio sounds right to me in summer. Monaural AM radio reception changes with the weather, the temperature, the time of day, and just as we expose our bodies to the elements more in summer, it makes sense to me that audio should do the same. Plus, mono suits summer broadcasts so well: baseball games, violent storm warnings, the local oldies station (which plays mostly mono records anyway). How would stereo improve any of these?
You might assume this is nostalgia. And yes, I’m old enough to have heard Nixon’s resignation on a transistor radio interrupted by lightning strikes in a tent somewhere in Maine 40 years ago. But that scratchy broadcast sounded historic to me even in 1974. I grew up with baseball and politicians on TV, not radio, and I’m very much a child of the stereo era. My first radio (also the first object I remember thinking of as my own) was built for stereo FM, boasting about it all over the chrome dials. The Dark Side of the Moon, that touchstone of cinematic stereo wonder, was released right on time for my adolescence.