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How do you listen to music in the home?

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dibble View Drop Down
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    Posted: March 11 2013 at 04:22
I've been wondering what everyone uses as a personal preference for listening to
music  in their home?

Currently, I have no hi fi system but I do have an idea of what I might purchase, but I was
just wondering what everyone's personal preferences are...

I can't imagine anything more perfect than being able to sit down and listen to music
througout the room and more than that, the sound just being pure and clear!

I am using my lap top and headphones atm.
Loving newly discovered music here. :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2013 at 04:51
I have many different hi-fi setups in different rooms ranging from the acceptable to the quite good. There is no ideal setup and it is simply a matter of preference, cash and how much space you have - I prefer to start with the best speakers I can afford and work backwards. Good speakers (and headphones) connected to a mid-priced amplifier driven from a budget CD player will give good results, the only break in that "rule" is if you are playing vinyl then a mid-priced turntable is essential (Pro-Ject, Rega or Music Hall) - avoid cheap turntables at all costs. The key is to match your hi-fi to the room - small speakers in a big room will sound bad, similarily big speakers in a small room will be difficult to manage, the amplifier power should also be matched to the room size but to a lesser extent - a 30W amp can sound as good as a 100W since neither will be run at full power, but too small and you'll be over driving it, too big and you could damage your speakers. Since the mechanics of CD players are the weakest link in the chain I don't waste money on expensive CD players, the electronics in budget players is the same as in mid-priced ones, all you are paying for is the name and slightly better build quality - I actually use a £30 DVD player (without the TV connected) having spent £100s on mid-price and expensive transports from the likes of NAD, Cambridge Audio, Micromega and Arcam over the years that fail after 18 months heavy usage.
 
 
I have no problem with digital music so streaming is worth looking at, I connect my Archos tablet to the living room hi-fi wirelessly and stream music from my PC, I'm also working on constructing a Raspberry Pi media player to do the same thing.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Windhawk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2013 at 04:54
Good quality headphones connected to the PC. Just about the only option available when living in a small 3-room apartment with wife and two kids.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeqexes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2013 at 05:06
I have a CD player in my lounge room connected to big speakers that have great sound quality, but mainly I listen to music through this smaller set I have (Logitech X-230):
Sometimes I'll listen to music through my not too great quality headphones (as I am now).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dibble Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2013 at 05:51
Thank you everyone for your responses.   Smile

Dean, that's really interesting info you've shared thank you.  I do have to be careful with my budget so it is really useful to know where to spend the money and where not to, thanks.

Windhawk, thanks for your answer... that is what I use now.

Zeqexes, thank you for your info and the pics.   I've just got some really comfy Sennhesier headphones
yesterday which feel like a dream to wear, so I am happy with those atm.

Thanks again everyone for your responses. 
Loving newly discovered music here. :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2013 at 05:54
If you have a Richer Sounds in your neck of the woods it's worth looking in there to see what's available and what fits your budget.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gerinski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2013 at 06:56
Listening through speakers or headphones is quite a different experience, I love both depending on the moment (idea for a new thread here), I used to listen mostly via speakers but in the recent years I have come to use the headphones much more, not because I wanted to but because of necessity, my ex-girlfriend could not stand Prog and in my current apartment the neighbours are very sensitive to my music volume Unhappy (I'm a bit deaf after many years of loud music playing).
I have a rather simple Phillips CD player (the Decca turntable is currently out of order but I hope to fix it some day soon or buy a new one), a quite decent vintage Technics amp and decent Technics headphones and it sounds good enough for me, no surround / home-theater system so far.
The speakers are vintage 3-way Thomson's with new membranes and they sound also good enough for me considering that my neighbours will not allow loud volumes.
DVD's are played on the computer drive with the video signal sent to the TV and the sound sent to the old Technics amp.
In summary, nothing fancy and everything quite vintage, but it sounds good enough for me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2013 at 07:01
I have a Denon set-up with turntable, cd player, radio, cassette deck(oh yeah!), a powerful amp and some Dali speakers - bought second hand, and the sound of the thing is just beautiful. I prefer to listen to music in a room with "open spaces", so as the music can properly unfold. I don't have that now, so I prefer the headphone option instead.
I also use my ipod quite a lot. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hawkwise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2013 at 07:12
I Am Lucky enough to have a dedicated listening room ( No TV etc  )  were Vinyl is the main listening pleasure  
Via  Rega Turntable , Denon Receiver and Celestion Speakers there is also a Nad CD Player..

I also have a studio room  which has another Rega Turntable connected to my P.C. via  Pioneer  Amp and M Audio Interface through some nice old Tannoy  Straford speakers,  and a hard drive full of Music i hardly ever really listen to  .
oh and a Pair of Sennheiser  Headphones.

I also like listening to Music in the Bath which is now done via  i pad and dock which also finds its way to the garage  when i am out there making up My Carp bait and Rigs.


Edited by Hawkwise - March 11 2013 at 07:25
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ole-the-first Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2013 at 11:47
I have a great sound system, very large and expensive. But I never use it LOL

Instead I use my mid-class headphones. Not so bad decision actually as they provide great, near to excellent sound quality with all the accuracy about sound textures.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HolyMoly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2013 at 12:00
I have roughly 3 different ways to consume music inside the home.  First, there is the iPod with earbuds - I use this to fall asleep to, and sometimes when I'm cleaning house or doing dishes..  Second, there is the iPod docking station, which has a subwoofer and two decent speakers.  Not a loud system, more something to just play unobtrusively in the family room.  Third, I have the Big Stereo on the basement floor (kind of our recreation area).  It's not a high end system exactly, but it has a separate power amp, preamp, Boston Acoustic speakers, a nice turntable (with optional USB output, convenient for recording to digital), and CD player. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gerinski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2013 at 16:14
Ah, I missed to mention the EQ, also a vintage unit by Acoustic Control but quite decent (12 bands per channel). By the way the use or not of an EQ is also an interesting subject, gonna start another thread about it Smile 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rushfan4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2013 at 16:31
In my bedroom, I have a stereo unit which has two Sony CD Jukeboxes attached to it containing 600 CDs.  The unit itself has a cassette player, a 5-CD player, and a dock station for my iPod. 
 
In my family room, I have an older Sony 5.1 surround sound receiver which is connected to my TV and Blu-Ray player.  I have two Bose speakers that I use as my front speakers.  I don't currently have the rear speakers hooked up though, so it isn't really surround sound at this point.  I also have a pair of wireless speakers that I bought with the intent of using them as my rear speakers, but they aren't really compatible with my stereo. I think that if I strip some wire that I could make them compatible, but with my luck I'd probably blow the whole thing up so I haven't done that yet.  I do use the wireless speakers for playing my iPod when I am in the family room.  I also hook my laptop up to them on occasion when I am listening to music on the laptop instead. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Doctor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2013 at 16:35
I use our 2nd bedroom as an entertainment room/cat-free zone.  Aside from my tv, I have a surround sound system as well as a pioneer multi-region dvd player, which also happens to play DVD-A and SACD.  Have that hooked up through analog connections as the digital connections downmix the DVD-A to stereo.    Also have a turntable (not one of those expensive models, but a 75 dollar model hooked up to my receiver as well). 
However, aside from records and surround sound discs, most of my listening goes on with Bose quiet comfort headphones and a portable CD player,  I think headphones give a richer, fuller sound than speakers in general. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dibble Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2013 at 17:33
This is all really interesting!   A thousand thank you s to everyone for your replies.  I will keep re-reading the replies and will absorb all the helpful information for when I do go shopping.

Dean thank you for the link to Richer Sounds, I don't live near any shops... so I'll have a look on their web site.

Thanks again everybody.  Smile
Loving newly discovered music here. :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Finnforest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2013 at 18:13
I have a pretty high end Denon receiver with good Yamaha floor speakers similar to these guys.  They're OK but I still prefer the sh*tty looking homemade speakers I had in high school, which had better bass. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ajay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2013 at 18:16
A couple of years ago, after my wife and I bought a plasma TV, I went looking for a new hi-fi system. I spent ages comparing components, and ended up facing a choice: either spend megabucks on a sound system which wouldn't sound crap, or stick with the sound out of the TV. I was already happy enough with the sound out of the TV that the improvement I would get from spending megabucks seemed a case of diminishing returns, so I stuck with the TV. For when I want to listen privately or for really detailed listening, I have a pair of wireless Sennheiser headphones. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Catcher10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 12 2013 at 15:22

My lower level of my home is a finished walkout basement, includes a large great room area where I have my system. I can go down and listen in peace while the rest of the family is upstairs doing their thing or watching TV. My work desk in down there too so I can work and listen too.

I am about 80% vinyl. 10% CD and 10% digital. I am in my late 40's so I have had many systems in my time, my current system is my best, basically less is more. Understanding matching components and drawing out the best from a pc of gear has been my drive, at the best dollar value possible.....You don't need to spend tons of money on audio gear, unless you want to.
 
I enjoy very much what I have, all modern gear as I was tired of the constant repair shop trips of my vintage gear. My amplifier is a NAD C356BEE, CDP is also NAD C545BEE, speakers by Epos and a Music Hall mmf-7.1 turntable with Nagaoka cartridge. I also use a standalone tube DAC by Grant Fidelity to help my digital files and when I want to connect my laptop, which is not often. All my interconnects are made by Morrow Audio and speaker cable by BlueJeans Cable. I have had countless hours of musical bliss with this system......
      
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wilmon91 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 12 2013 at 15:26
I listen only with the computer. And computer speakers is out of the question!

But I have an external sound card with stereo output (in tele format, so I use a tele-to-RCA cable), which I connect to an amplifier (Technics SU-501) whis connected to a couple of speakers (Jamo Power 365).

I almost never listen by headphones, I prefer not to.

Buy a soundcard with stereo RCA-output, I think an internal gives more value for the money, but I have external with a lot of connections for music making. So a soundcard, amplifier, and speakers, plus cables. I doesn't have to be awfully costly, you can buy each thing second hand.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dibble Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 13 2013 at 10:25
Thank you everyone for your further reponses...

I had a wander roiund a couple of High Street shops that sold hifi etc.

It was quite an eye opener.. with complete systems already set up to work
together..
but what made me look were the speakers... really tall ones, very long ones,, enormous
chunky ones and then the surround sound systems.   All totally mind boggling.. but what
I would like to ask is,,
is it
just
packaging.... all the different shapes and sizes,... just to look good and is that really
for no real purpose other than the visual?
because, it is what is inside that matters, isn't it, and how it works and most importantly
what the sound is like?

I could make a list of all the speakers that everyone has suggested and work it out that
way couldn't i?
If you have shared your speakers name with me,.. thank you..
Loving newly discovered music here. :)
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