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Thread: The current reason we are audio dinosaurs

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ducatista47's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    Peoria, Illinois

    The current reason we are audio dinosaurs

    This is a snapshot of my 2019 model iPod Touch and old Etymotic Hf5 in ears. Not visible is a streaming service and my Wi-fi. The streaming service is CD quality (see Harry Nyquist) and offers seventy-five million songs, most of which I do not have in my collection of music. The Hf5s are very, very accurate and were $125. The iPod, the latest, is $200. While the Touch has been improved may times Apple has never raised the price.

    The point here is not what our rigs can do that this little setup can't, but what personal listening offers that our stereos don't. After all the technology from the 1925 electric microphone to the latest whatever, this tiny combination of relatively contemporary tech is what has come to dominate enjoying music playback. The link I have provided is to a 2019 article about what personal listening offers that is new and unique to it, from more intimate music and recordings done with subtlety in mind to the opportunities listening privately open up. Another obvious point is how easy this is for anyone starting out with the listening experience; listening anywhere, anytime, for very low cost, portability, and a vanishing footprint of both the stereo and the software it is playing. That versus what it takes to feel the physical chest thump while we listen. Be realistic, how many of those new listeners will even consider making the change to stereos at some point?

    I would posit that listening to music has always been a fundamentally personal experience - while you may not always be physically alone it is not possible (or desirable) to have someone else listen for you. Private has never been essential for personal.

    Note: While the article emphasizes headphones and mentions how poor the sound quality from a smartphone can be, notice that my little personal rig suffers from neither failing. While I don't use smartphones, I read that sound quality is no longer a sales driver and it has been a long, long time since you could hear a pin drop.

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    Information is not Knowledge; Knowledge is not Wisdom
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  2. #2
    RIP 2021 SEAWOLF97's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    in "managed decline"

    ramble reply.


    I am with you on most of your post. Headphone listening is a big part of my music experience also.

    Have a couple of older iTouches and a 60gb iPod & a Cowen DAP and more that I can't recall. The Cowen seems to have the best DAC.

    I alternate between Shure buds and various cans ... the Sennheiser HD-650 (and HD 580) are outstanding, but I switch off with my Fostex & Yamaha HP-1 pairs also.

    The various DAP's don't have the power to drive those phones to their true potential , and so..I can route them through a Creek integrated amp on my headboard when needed.

    Streaming ??? I just go with free Pandora ... you can build your own "stations" ... although it usually streams thru my Echo dot's , it's seemingly improved lately . Tho the DAC is 24/192 (85 cents wholesale) , it does a good job , so the improvement must be in the streaming.

    Unfortunately , with the convenience of streaming ... I haven't played an LP in almost 2 years
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