Trust your ears
Listening is the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process. Listening is key to all effective communication. Without the ability to listen effectively, messages are easily misunderstood.
Listening to music is the same. If you can’t hear clearly the melody, or you can’t understand the lyrics because they’re unclear, then the wonder of the music is obscured to you. Misheard lyrics can be hilarious but they don’t help you grasp the meaning of a song!
You need music to be reproduced accurately to full enjoy it. Accurate reproduction needn’t be expensive either.
If you google listening to music you’ll see a huge selection of images showing people listening to headphones and many of them using their telephones to do so. This is indicative of the fact that we’ve taken music for granted and mostly for the convenience of doing so.
Headphones are marvelous on “the go” and are indispensable to our lives just as our telephones are. But they are not the best way to listen to music. The best way to listen to music is at a venue hearing it live. But that’s not possible all the time. Instead we have the recorded history of the World’s music stored in a variety of formats. And there is no better way of experiencing that than listening to it through two loudspeakers. Some people argue the case for more. But music is recorded in two channels and adding more speakers confuses things. Less is sometimes more.
Speakers move air in the same way that instruments do. They accurately reproduce an instrument or voice “in space”. The “in space” part is important too. You’ve heard the term stereo image. It refers to the ability of speakers to produce a 3D image in the room. This means you can tell that the singer is in the middle, the pianist to the left and the percussionist at the back. This is very important because it is reproducing the recording accurately. Accuracy means you hear and enjoy more.
Start with the source
Master tapes capture very high quality. Recording artists and engineers spent months capturing each instrument and preserving it so it isn’t lost in the mix. Why then should we want to compress that quality? Doesn’t it matter? Or course it does but often large corporations make decisions without consulting us. MP3 is a little like that. Many of us have it and we don’t even know why. Probably because we used i-Tunes to download it, or we ripped our CD’s using the default settings. Either way you’ve thrown away a lot of the clarity from your music. Gone!
Why is clarity important?
Clarity is everything. It enables us to hear melody, understand lyrics and hear individual instruments, as opposed to everything being blended together in a big modge that we struggle to really enjoy. A lot of people say quality doesn’t matter but mostly that’s because they’ve not heard the difference. I’d liken it to comparing a band playing the song you love but out of tune. You know what the song is but you’re not entirely convinced all is well.
A common myth about hi-fi equipment is that you have to have special ears to hear it. There a lot of other myths that have led to people who love music being regarded as trainspotters, spending their money on differences only they can hear. Myths are just that.
Your ears are the best tool for deciding how good a sound you need at home. Ideally they are the only tool you need. Trust them.
Most people don’t. We guess that half of the people who buy hi-fi magazines do so because they assume that reviewers have better ears than they do. But in reality nobody is better suited to know what you like than you. Reviewers are simply people who review components for a living. Think of them as low end journalists.
Our 37 years in business has proved to us beyond a shadow of a doubt that our customers are the only people qualified to determine the equipment they need at home. Our job is to pre-select components so that we offer the best choice. After that it’s demonstrating and comparing to suit our customers requirements and ears. It isn’t complicated. Nor is it hard for people to tell the difference between components. They worry they won’t be able to but they always can. Trust your ears.
How does it work?
We have a number of listening rooms. They’re like your lounge at home. We set up a system and we play you music that you’re familiar with. At this point we’ll normally have an idea what sort of thing you’re looking for. Some people want a record playing system. Others might want to listen to streamed audio. We’ll also have an idea of how large your room is and this will help us advise on speakers that will be suitable to your space.
Once you’ve listened we’ll play you an alternative suggestion. Possibly a different amplifier or some different speakers. We’ll play the same piece or pieces of music and we’ll ask if you think the sound is better. It’s as simple as that.
More often than not people are thrilled at how easily it is to tell the difference when you trust your ears. Sometimes people will say, “I like that but I’m wondering what the next step up in quality will sound like”. We show rather than tell.
Even our budget systems are able to connect you to the music and let you listen to it as a performance, as opposed to some sort of detached melody that you listen too when you’re doing something else. Our systems command your attention and seduce you into listening.
Come and see us and let us show you how to put the quality back into your music. It will be the most rewarding thing you ever do.
Thanks for reading