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Thread: How do you listen to music?

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    Cricketer Of The Year Adamc's Avatar
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    How do you listen to music?

    Sources, equipment, formats, listening habits etc. Somewhat prompted by the discussion in another thread re: listening to albums straight through v using shuffle; occurs to me that people might have quite different experiences despite listening to similar music.

    I use portable equipment pretty much exclusively even when at home, partly out of convenience but mostly due to living arrangements and economics (a good set of speakers is much more expensive than a good pair of headphones). Would love to have a full-sized setup though.

    Rarely listen to CDs anymore, mostly use ~256kbps VBR mp3s, partly to save space but also because there's no practical difference between 256k and lossless. Conservatively average about three or four hours a day listening to music, enough to justify (to myself, anyway) spending a reasonable amount on headphones and the like.

    Pix (stock photos ftr):



    Clockwise from left: AIAIAI TMA-1; Grado SR 60i; Shure SE530; Cowon J3; Sansa Clip+; Head-Direct RE0.

    Got a few more but these are the ones I use currently. Mostly use IEMs when I'm not at home for portability and sound isolation, though I take the TMA-1s out for a spin occasionally. The Shures are great, amazing mid-range and pretty much block out all outside noise. RE0s aren't quite as enjoyable to listen to but they're incredibly detailed considering they're much cheaper.

    Love the Grados; I'd be surprised if there are better headphones in its price range (~$100). Nice clarity and soundstage and well-balanced for most of the music I listen to. They're open so they let out nearly as much sound as they let in by design, meaning I don't really use them in public. The TMA-1s have a 'darker' sound signature which suits some of the music I listen to a bit better and they don't sound claustrophobic like most closed headphones. Plus, I think the matte black and minimalist design looks ****ing cool.

    My only real considerations as far as players go are sound quality (including customisable EQ etc) and battery life, and the J3 and Clip+ are the best for the former. The J3 battery lasts forever; Clip+ not so much but makes up for it by being tiny and Rockboxable.

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    Hall of Fame Member Howe_zat's Avatar
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    Cricketer Of The Year Adamc's Avatar
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    Wouldn't say I'm an audiophile (the headphones I mentioned are very much at the lower end of the price scale) but the difference between stock earbuds and half-decent IEMs or headphones is massive. Kinda stupid that people who blow a few hundred on an ipod don't bother spending a little on headphones. But yeah, audiophiles are notorious for saying stupid **** like the quality of cable affects the sound, etc.

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    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    @ Howe

    ---

    Mostly, at home, on a decent set of two-channel + sub stereo speakers. All you need really.

    Get CD quality or FLAC formats if possible, but whatever works. (adamc's point about the audial quality between 256kbps mp3 and flac is a good one but I find that on certain tracks it gives it an extra little "kick")

    Ipod for portable listening. Don't put my more esoteric/subtle/involved music on it though, all the subtleties and what not are flattened out (mostly by the earphones) making it kinda pointless.

    Would like a new set of earphones btw, what can I get for around $50?

    How often do I listen to music? Depends. But on a regular day, 2-7 hours. That includes the ambient I put on whilst working though, so "2" is the more practical figure.
    Last edited by Spark; 14-05-2011 at 04:33 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spikey View Post
    With my pants off

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    Cricketer Of The Year Adamc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    Would like a new set of earphones btw, what can I get for around $50?
    Dunno about $50, but the RE0s are $79. Used to have Hippo VBs before I gave them to my sister, also very good and $79 but much, much bassier which might suit you better. Would suggest you check out other sites/forums for reviews though. anythingbutipod.com is good (unless you're looking for advice on buying an ipod obv).

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    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    I have a Cowon J3 as well, it's great but I haven't spent a lot on headphones since I got it. Most I have ever spent is about $75 for some Sennheiser earbuds and they died about 2 years ago.
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    Hall of Fame Member Furball's Avatar
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    With my ears

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    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    I definitely not an audiophile. I prefer to spend my money on music rather than the means to listen to it with. I recognise I could probably obtain the same music for nowt, but I'm old (fashioned) enough to enjoy having something tangible to hold, even if I don't particularly romanticise the CD format as such.

    To play CDs I mostly use my gramophone hi-fi, which is a Sony MHC-RG295 with 2x155w output.



    Also have an iPod shuffle, which I use whilst walking to work & listen to with Panasonic RP-HS46-E on-ear headphones because I hate the crappy in-ear Apple ones.

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    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Yeah I'm interested in something with solid bass/lower-mids.

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    Quote Originally Posted by benchmark00 View Post
    Ears, ****.
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    With my ears
    lol ears.

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Flem274*'s Avatar
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    Stereo or laptop, shuffle or straight through. Whatever I feel like at the time.
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    Cricketer Of The Year Adamc's Avatar
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    Was going to pre-empt the smartarse/benchmark replies but thought I'd be generous and give people the opportunity to feel clever.

    Edit: yes I am aware that half my posts are smartarse replies ftr.

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