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What makes headphones stereo or not? This seems like a simple question with a simple answer but it is far from easy. So lets start with the definition. Stereo: audio signals are routed through 2 or more channels to simulate depth/direction perception, like in the real world. So when it comes to the actual sound, it does matter how the file is created and the quality of the headphones isn't really determined by the two channels. The idea is replicating "the real world".
When it is done right, the sound that is created makes us feel like we are in the room where the music is being played. We can sense that the drumer is a little off to the right of the stage. The trumpets are on the left side, and the singer is right in the middle.
Great sound engineers create the music with "stereo" in mind. Headphones are limited to only two speakers so the quality is crucial.