Listening to music


When I was at university and in my 20s I took listening to music seriously. I had chunky speakers and a big, scary-looking amplifier to wrangle the output of my record deck. As much as possible I listened to music seated appropriately to get a good stereo image.

How things have changed. More often than not (as I write this, for example) I listen to music on reasonable, but not exactly mega speakers attached to my computer. On the move I use AirPods - wireless earbuds - and, again, the sound is fine. And I've now got rid of the final iteration of my home stereo to replace it with what's shown above - a pair of HomePod Minis, each about the same size as my fist. And that's it. No other equipment, no vinyl or CDs cluttering up the place.

Is the sound as good as those chunky speakers and hefty amplifier produced? Well, no. But do I care? Not at all. It's good enough. And in exchange for some loss of audio quality I've got access to the vast majority of recordings that exist as and when I fancy it. I can play a piece of music in several rooms simultaneously when I'm wandering about. I can get suggestions of stuff I've not listened to before which is uncannily clever at being something I'd like, but that stretches my repertoire. 

The fact is, I listen to music differently now - so the serious hi-fi was a bit like someone using a Ferrari to do the school run. I'm much happier with the new setup.

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