My Audio Revelation

My Audio Revelation

I’ve always loved listening to music on a sound system, even going as far back as when all I had access to was my parents’ outdated, low-fi stereo system.

It was in my college’s music library, where I worked, that I was introduced to quality sound, although at the time I had no idea what “quality sound” was; I just knew that, through the library’s headphone-equipped turntables, I liked what I heard.

I spent hours there losing myself in the music. It was fun, it felt good, and I was convinced that “this is for me”.

Then something happened. I got a job, which required that I spend my days in front of a computer screen. I bought an iPod Mini to help me concentrate while I worked, but after a while my ears started to hurt. I didn’t know why. It didn’t occur to me at the time that it was because of the iPod’s sound quality. Rather, I began to think that maybe listening to music wasn’t for me after all.

Luckily, soon after, and seizing the day, I accepted the invitation of a friend to go to his home for the first (but not last) time. He showed me his stereo, which included two speakers that were so big they took up most of the living room. My friend asked if I wanted to listen to music, and although I was tempted, my experience with the iPod Minis made me worry that the sound from those speakers would hurt my ears.

“Just close your eyes and listen,” he said, reassuringly. I did, and the experience turned out to be a revelation. It sounded as if the musicians were right there in the room with me. It was so beautiful!  I never would have thought it possible to hear such good music in such a small apartment in a multi-unit block. We listened for hours, and I thought to myself, “Everyone needs to hear this!”

That led to my friend and I organizing listening sessions with our friends. And buying a house together. And a turntable. And getting married. Throughout, music has been at the center of our lives.

Bit by bit, we’re improving the sound of our audio system. It’s evolving. But regardless of the system we have at any one time, or even the music we listen to, what matters most to us is that we find the time to just sit down and appreciate the music.

Do we ever get the urge to buy new audio gear to improve the sound of our system? Sure, but not because it isn’t already good, but because it’s fun to try out new things. And it’s great to hear one’s favorite music sound better than ever.

The way I see it, if I calculate how much money I spend on audio equipment with the amount of time I listen to my stereo system, it really doesn’t cost me that much per hour.

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