Audio, Hi-Fi and lower forms of listening

This following is just my opinion and I don’t dislike people who have different approach to these things. Ok, there was the disclaimer and now into it..

I read this one column about iPods and MP3 players that made me think about something. I have a good friend who is against mp3 music and basicly can just about tolerate cds because of the packing and loss of something in the audio. I can see his point and agree to a point. I have a decent stereo system at home, with pretty nice speakers and nice subwoofer. This is the system I use when I want to REALLY enjoy the music. My home is the place where I can put on a record or cd and close my eyes and let myself fall into the music. This is where I like to have best equipment I can afford and at the moment I have just that. Every room has it’s own characteristics and unfortunately due to my budget I have not been able to take that in consideration when buying hardware. I have been playing with EQ and speaker place ment, that’s about it.

Then there’s my car. It’s a place where I would like to have better audio hardware, but since the original 11-speaker system works fine and I upgraded the headunit with Alpine one, I’m doing ok. I don’t need a killer system for my car. I don’t need huge SPL subs or gazillion buck Hi-Fi speakers. I need a system that sounds good in the noisy enviroment a regular car is. I don’t even dream about having a full blown High-end stuff in car. Why? Because I listen to music and radio in car when I’m driving. And when I’m driving there’s highway noise, engine noise and tire noise. You can get some of that away with extra noise insulation, but never all. For me going that long is not necessary. If I want to REALLY enjoy music, I do it at home also because I can not afford to close my eyes and fall into the music when I’m driving..

Then there’s the iPod (and other mp3 players) that have been criticised a lot. Sure the files are compressed and lome of the data is lost while packaging, but the algorithms are smart enough to produce decent sound quality. I would never dream of listening mp3 music on my home system, there I could hear the difference and it would be annoying. In car it’s ok, there’s noise anyway and I wouldn’t notice the difference “on the road”. Then, there’s iPod itself. I use it almost only when workingout and then I’m not eljoying the finest aspects of high fidelity. The music is something that lets me to concentrate, it keeps me company while it’s not distracting me. It sometimes gives the rhythm for the workout and it gives me sometimes a tool to “count” time. For example on when I have a pause between series of repeats, I know that a verse of this song might be about 45sec before fill and so on. 🙂

When I’m workingout there’s no use to have big, bulky Hi-Fi headphones. I have my Sennheiser CX300 earplugs that stay in my ears, feel good in the ears and sound quality is AWESOME compared to the OEM phones that came with the iPod. They’re best for the use, at least for me who usually hate earphones since they feel uncomfortable when using for longer periods. The iPod Nano I have (a regular, bone stock) can produce good enough sound for the earplugs so I can’t hear any problems with the audio.

You can’t compare full blown high-end hifi system with mp3 players. They’re made for different use and in the end of the day all of us have different needs and uses and even different ways of enjoying the music. We all listen, but how we listen is different. Even though hifi means different things to different people, the high-end is whole new world and I haven’t even really understood everything there is to it. But this or that, in that category the personal preferences of the listener are one of the main things. Sure, every high-endist knows top quality when they see it, but it’s the characteristics and personal feels that make it. Someone likes his/her music bit crispier and another likes to have more mid-range oomph or even bit etheric feel to it. And now we’re talking about the hardware..

The most important thing is that you have found what you like, what suits your needs and fits into your budget.



About dobermann
Native Finn living in greater Helsinki area, currently in Vantaa. Still avoiding growing up, been somewhat succesful, thanks to my dogs. Passionate about music, hot rods & customs, dobermanns, motorcycles and everything I might foind interesting. I am just as boring in real life as I am in this blog. I do my best and have succeeded in it very well. Any other info, look from my posts or ask, thank you. D-Ma

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