What do you do while listening to music? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 68 Old 10-08-2016, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
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What do you do while listening to music?

This is probably a kind of stupid question. When picking out my audio gear, my goal was to focus on the home theater experience. Now that I have a halfway decent setup, I'd also like to take advantage of its music capabilities. I bought a few audiophile recordings (my favorite so far is Folk Singer by Muddy Waters - the HDTracks version appears to be the same as the HDAD) and it sounds great.

But I find that when I just listen to music, one of two things happens: I close my eyes to focus on the music and then drift off to sleep, or I keep my eyes open and start to notice that my mind is wandering and I'm no longer really focused on the music.

I was just curious what other people do when listening to music. Of course I know it's ok for me to do other things while listening to music and don't have to hold myself to some arbitrary standard of what "real" audiophiles do, but I'd like to get more out of my listening experience.
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post #2 of 68 Old 10-08-2016, 11:13 AM
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I always just sit with my laptop and browse around websites....rarely do I just sit and look at the speakers for more than a few songs at most.
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post #3 of 68 Old 10-08-2016, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Superfrg View Post
I always just sit with my laptop and browse around websites....rarely do I just sit and look at the speakers for more than a few songs at most.
I had assumed this was cheating.
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post #4 of 68 Old 10-08-2016, 12:36 PM
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I may enjoy the music eyes open.
I may close and still enjoy the music more.
If I drift off... no problem. I can always listen again.


There's no "right" way or "wrong" way to listen. If you doze off, it doesn't make you a bad "audiophile". It probably indicates that you are enjoying the sounds and relaxed.


Isn't that the point?
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post #5 of 68 Old 10-08-2016, 12:39 PM
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Sit, Browse Net, Run Treadmill, Eat, Watch TV, etc! Not in that order!
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post #6 of 68 Old 10-08-2016, 03:47 PM
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Since I tend to listen while in bed, I usually play solitaire games on an iPad while listening to my monthly favorite album (currently, Delaney and Bonnie-Home or On Tour with Eric Clapton). D&B are simply the best! and I lose more often while listening to them
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post #7 of 68 Old 10-08-2016, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dla26 View Post
I was just curious what other people do when listening to music. Of course I know it's ok for me to do other things while listening to music and don't have to hold myself to some arbitrary standard of what "real" audiophiles do, but I'd like to get more out of my listening experience.
Well, if I'm at work and at my desk, I've got music going all the time! (Not the greatest sounds system though....)

At home, I'm often doing around the house chores, web surfing, or just chilling on the couch (and at night I drift off like you do, probably because later at night I tend to listen more to ambient/relaxation music).
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post #8 of 68 Old 10-08-2016, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
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It sounds like the general consensus is that I'm overthinking the whole music listening thing. Whenever I go into a showroom and hear an amazing setup, I always give it my full attention, but I can really only do that for so long at home. Since my primary motivator for my setup was movies, I wasn't sure if I was giving the music less attention than it deserved.

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Well, if I'm at work and at my desk, I've got music going all the time! (Not the greatest sounds system though....)
I actually work at home. My HT is not a dedicated one, and in the back half of the room I have a desk that I use as my office. Sometimes I use Chromecast and Spotify to stream music while I'm working. It definitely sounds great - much better than the little computer speakers I used to have on my desk at my old job, but my desk is just under the right surround speaker, so I'm not getting the full benefits of the sound system. Really hard to complain about it though.
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post #9 of 68 Old 10-08-2016, 06:02 PM
 
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I do lots of things while I listen to music....driving, working on projects/hobbies (when I worked I listened often at the desk too), enjoy an adult beverage, play tunes when friends come over, cooking/cleaning, pretty much everything but bathroom activities or while I'm riding my bikes ....or do absolutely nothing and turn the lights down, sit in a comfortable chair or recline in bed and close my eyes and just listen (and often drift off while doing so, find that very relaxing/pleasurable). No rules at all as far as I'm concerned....whatever floats yer boat.
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post #10 of 68 Old 10-08-2016, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dla26 View Post
It sounds like the general consensus is that I'm overthinking the whole music listening thing. Whenever I go into a showroom and hear an amazing setup, I always give it my full attention, but I can really only do that for so long at home. Since my primary motivator for my setup was movies, I wasn't sure if I was giving the music less attention than it deserved.



I actually work at home. My HT is not a dedicated one, and in the back half of the room I have a desk that I use as my office. Sometimes I use Chromecast and Spotify to stream music while I'm working. It definitely sounds great - much better than the little computer speakers I used to have on my desk at my old job, but my desk is just under the right surround speaker, so I'm not getting the full benefits of the sound system. Really hard to complain about it though.
Well, there you go! All that matters is that you enjoy it! If you feel at some point that music needs to get more attention, you can always think about system upgrades that would be good for music and HT.

But that is unfortunately what I have at work - computer speakers - though I gotta say, for what they are - they are impressive (Harman Kardon Sound Sticks w/Sub), but hey, I didn't have to pay for it!
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post #11 of 68 Old 10-09-2016, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dla26 View Post
This is probably a kind of stupid question. When picking out my audio gear, my goal was to focus on the home theater experience. Now that I have a halfway decent setup, I'd also like to take advantage of its music capabilities. I bought a few audiophile recordings (my favorite so far is Folk Singer by Muddy Waters - the HDTracks version appears to be the same as the HDAD) and it sounds great.

But I find that when I just listen to music, one of two things happens: I close my eyes to focus on the music and then drift off to sleep, or I keep my eyes open and start to notice that my mind is wandering and I'm no longer really focused on the music.

I was just curious what other people do when listening to music. Of course I know it's ok for me to do other things while listening to music and don't have to hold myself to some arbitrary standard of what "real" audiophiles do, but I'd like to get more out of my listening experience.
I have music on almost all of the time. Although, at a low enough volume while I work that I can answer the phone if need be. I have planar ribbon computer speakers but I also have a second stand alone system in my office. I generally just use the LR system, which I can hear in here easily. Sometime I'll curl up in that recliner and it isn't long until eyes shut and I'm out for a while.

For serious listening, downstairs, and then LPs of course, and sadly it becomes one after another after another. I tend not to fall asleep, but instead I pay attention. This morning I started with the 1957, Chicago, Fritz Reiner, Orchestra in Prokofiev's suite from Lieutenant Kije on Living Stereo. That was around 8:30 this morning and now it's 12:55 Damnit!! Time to get to work.

Fantastic album, btw, and I have it on LP and SACD, both from Analogue Productions, plus a couple of the original LPs https://www.amazon.com/Prokofiev-Lie...ustomerReviews

It just ruined my car detailing time as I thought I would just go down and listen to one side of one album and then get outside and get the car done. That was three hours ago. I need a time lock for the turntable.
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post #12 of 68 Old 10-09-2016, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
I have music on almost all of the time. Although, at a low enough volume while I work that I can answer the phone if need be. I have planar ribbon computer speakers but I also have a second stand alone system in my office. I generally just use the LR system, which I can hear in here easily. Sometime I'll curl up in that recliner and it isn't long until eyes shut and I'm out for a while.

For serious listening, downstairs, and then LPs of course, and sadly it becomes one after another after another. I tend not to fall asleep, but instead I pay attention. This morning I started with the 1957, Chicago, Fritz Reiner, Orchestra in Prokofiev's suite from Lieutenant Kije on Living Stereo. That was around 8:30 this morning and now it's 12:55 Damnit!! Time to get to work.

Fantastic album, btw, and I have it on LP and SACD, both from Analogue Productions, plus a couple of the original LPs https://www.amazon.com/Prokofiev-Lie...ustomerReviews

It just ruined my car detailing time as I thought I would just go down and listen to one side of one album and then get outside and get the car done. That was three hours ago. I need a time lock for the turntable.
Yeah, I should have stated that I was really talking about "serious" listening. I have background music on all the time - while working, eating/hanging out in the living room (we have Sonos with some ceiling speakers), in the car, etc. I'm interested in taking more advantage of my setup for serious listening, but I can only focus solely on music for so long before my mind just wanders off. Not sure if that's a deficiency of mine, or if I'm WAY overthinking it.
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post #13 of 68 Old 10-09-2016, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dla26 View Post
Yeah, I should have stated that I was really talking about "serious" listening. I have background music on all the time - while working, eating/hanging out in the living room (we have Sonos with some ceiling speakers), in the car, etc. I'm interested in taking more advantage of my setup for serious listening, but I can only focus solely on music for so long before my mind just wanders off. Not sure if that's a deficiency of mine, or if I'm WAY overthinking it.

My music collection dates back to 1947 and there are 20.000 +/- LPs and around 4,000 cds. I don't begin to remember what I have let along be able to find it. Of that 20,000, 6,500 are from an estate and the guy bought one to play and one to keep that's still sealed. I still haven't gone through much of the collection, but it appears that I have a pretty complete collection of blue backs, Living Stereo and Living Presence, sealed. Same goes for Blue Note, Concord and six eye Columbia. Most (not all) of this stuff I already had in my existing collection.

This keeps things interesting, so when I disappear down to the dungeon, it's a while until I come back up.
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post #14 of 68 Old 10-09-2016, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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post #15 of 68 Old 10-09-2016, 02:12 PM
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I rather like sitting in a dimly lit room with a nice beer and focus on listening. With 4 kids in the house and all the sounds that come from them, I am most relaxed doing it this way.

Oh, and from time to time I clean and/or polish and replace jewel cases on newly acquired CD's as needed.

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post #16 of 68 Old 10-09-2016, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dla26 View Post
But I find that when I just listen to music, one of two things happens: I close my eyes to focus on the music and then drift off to sleep, or I keep my eyes open and start to notice that my mind is wandering and I'm no longer really focused on the music.
Maybe you need better, more interesting music .
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post #17 of 68 Old 10-09-2016, 06:28 PM
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I drink whiskey, tiquilla and stouts. I take pic's of my drink, the album, my table and post it on one of two or three threads. Sometimes I send a pic or two to a buddy who does the same back.

I like thinking about the music, the artist, the, guitar, amps, pedals, drummer… Sometimes I like to think about the whiskey, the first note, the aftertaste... that's usually about when my wife comes in and spends the next twenty minutes explaining her journey to the store, who she spoke to, what was and wasn't on sale and how that compares to the previous week. Now this is when I daydream and fall asleep.
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post #18 of 68 Old 10-10-2016, 07:13 AM
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I have a high quality hifi system.

I didn't pay the money I paid for it to do something else while music is playing.

I sit and listen to every second of music that is played.

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post #19 of 68 Old 10-10-2016, 07:26 AM
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Usually I surf the interwebs.

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post #20 of 68 Old 10-10-2016, 07:48 AM
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I usually listen to music with my laptop open, surfing.

Actually, one of my favorite things to do is to look up something (wikipedia or whatever) about the album that's playing - either about the artist, that particular production (engineer, guest musician or songwriter, etc), the art / cover design, a lyric meaning, or what was going on in the world when the album is released. This expands the music as it's playing.

I often find myself stopping to listen to a passage, staring at the album cover or nothing in particular, and imagine what I would be seeing in concert or in studio.

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post #21 of 68 Old 10-10-2016, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dla26 View Post
But I find that when I just listen to music, one of two things happens: I close my eyes to focus on the music and then drift off to sleep, or I keep my eyes open and start to notice that my mind is wandering and I'm no longer really focused on the music.
This is proof positive of the fact that many audiophiles are really gadget lovers and not music lovers.
For me, I can sit down for the entire 4-hour Wagner opera "Tristan und Isolde", with the score and libretto in hand and my head-fi gear fully optimized and warmed up, without a bathroom break.

But that's just me.

Cheers,
Wolfy
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post #22 of 68 Old 10-10-2016, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfy701 View Post
This is proof positive of the fact that many audiophiles are really gadget lovers and not music lovers.
For me, I can sit down for the entire 4-hour Wagner opera "Tristan und Isolde", with the score and libretto in hand and my head-fi gear fully optimized and warmed up, without a bathroom break.

But that's just me.

Cheers,
Wolfy
Yup, I don't consider myself to be an audiophile - at least not in the music realm. Music has always been something that runs in the background while I'm doing other things, which is why I optimized around my HT experience instead of music.

That said, I'm always up for broadening my horizons, and since my system is very, very good for music as well (though perhaps not as good as those designed around a 2-channel listening-only setup), I'd like to develop my ear for serious listening. Whereas before I might not have been able to tell the difference between a good master and a bad one, I now can - and listening to a poorly mastered CD on my system feels like a waste. (Adele's 25 is a good example of a disappointment.) I enjoy listening to really good recordings, but like I said at the beginning, they only hold my attention for so long. I wasn't sure how many people really *just* listen to music vs. how many do other things while music is playing.

I suppose for me at this point, my HT use is still 90% movies, 10% music. Of that 10%, I expect 20% will be serious critical listening (i.e., only listening and nothing else) while the other 80% will be reading a book while music is playing.
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post #23 of 68 Old 10-10-2016, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfy701 View Post
This is proof positive of the fact that many audiophiles are really gadget lovers and not music lovers.
For me, I can sit down for the entire 4-hour Wagner opera "Tristan und Isolde", with the score and libretto in hand and my head-fi gear fully optimized and warmed up, without a bathroom break.

But that's just me.

Cheers,
Wolfy

"without a bathroom break."

I'm not sure this is true for me anymore, but's it absolutely UNtrue that we're not music lovers. Besides, I have to get up and change sides anyway, why not take a trip to the bathroom. I'm certainly in the audiophile camp and have been for life.
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post #24 of 68 Old 10-10-2016, 09:25 AM
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I have to get up and change sides anyway, why not take a trip to the bathroom. I'm certainly in the audiophile camp and have been for life.
I think there are more vinyl audiophiles-as-music-lovers than those who download music due to the fragile nature of the medium itself. I did say "many" so-called audiophiles are not really music lovers, not "all" -- in response to OP's query on critical music listening. I am aware, of course, many people use their systems primarily for movies and home theater -- understandable. But that's not my thing. Right now I'm focused on 2-channel but may upgrade to 5.1 for the newer concert/opera Blu-rays. I have no need for 7.1 or Atmos as I rarely watch new movies with their annoying explosions and sound effects, mostly I watch the black & white classics. But to each his/her own!

Oh and I *do* take bathroom breaks in between acts of an opera, but I can and have lasted several hours without one.
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post #25 of 68 Old 10-10-2016, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfy701 View Post
I think there are more vinyl audiophiles-as-music-lovers than those who download music due to the fragile nature of the medium itself. I did say "many" so-called audiophiles are not really music lovers, not "all" -- in response to OP's query on critical music listening. I am aware, of course, many people use their systems primarily for movies and home theater -- understandable. But that's not my thing. Right now I'm focused on 2-channel but may upgrade to 5.1 for the newer concert/opera Blu-rays. I have no need for 7.1 or Atmos as I rarely watch new movies with their annoying explosions and sound effects, mostly I watch the black & white classics. But to each his/her own!

Oh and I *do* take bathroom breaks in between acts of an opera, but I can and have lasted several hours without one.
And if I don't make to the bathroom in time, there might be "annoying explosions and sound effects"

"I think there are more vinyl audiophiles-as-music-lovers than those who download music due to the fragile nature of the medium itself"

Agree. Although the 'ritual' as some call it in regards to LPs doesn't bother me at all. After all, I've been doing this all of my life.
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post #26 of 68 Old 10-10-2016, 10:00 AM
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Music is enjoyed to the fullest extent of whatever activity allows it to be. Simple listening is great but hard to maintain while letting the music fill the background is more usual. I like to do art while listening since the music doesn't interfere but when trying to read articles on the internet or a book I find it harder to concentrate unless it is at a low volume. Also, instrumental music is better for reading. Some songs grab your attention and force you to focus (Try Into the Wild by LP for that). Enjoy!
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post #27 of 68 Old 10-10-2016, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dla26
This is probably a kind of stupid question.
 
No not stupid at all my friend,not to worry

I usually just lay on my bed enjoying the GOOD analogue sound or I surf online here while listening.... Sometimes I play a game also (I have to mute it of course so I can hear my records,8 tracks,cassettes,etc...)

Sometimes I listen to stuff ONLINE but not often as I dont really like the sound too much...
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post #28 of 68 Old 10-10-2016, 10:52 AM
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Reiner Rules!

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Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
This morning I started with the 1957, Chicago, Fritz Reiner, Orchestra in Prokofiev's suite from Lieutenant Kije on Living Stereo.
Those Reiner/Chicago SO recordings on RCA's Living Stereo CD series are very enjoyable. One of my favorites is their rendition of Scheherezade with its colorful scoring,hall acoustics, a rich timbre and, of course, those Chicago horns! Long ago i had the LP which may have been a Red Seal release, not sure.
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post #29 of 68 Old 10-10-2016, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by southleft View Post
Those Reiner/Chicago SO recordings on RCA's Living Stereo CD series are very enjoyable. One of my favorites is their rendition of Scheherezade with its colorful scoring,hall acoustics, a rich timbre and, of course, those Chicago horns! Long ago i had the LP which may have been a Red Seal release, not sure.

You mean this one?


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post #30 of 68 Old 10-10-2016, 12:53 PM
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I don't think this a stupid question, but any question might open you to stupid answers

I have a 'HT' for want of a better term that is focused not on movies but on Hi Res music. Now please don't ask me to define what that is, there is a whole (closed) thread here about that.
I play music from a PC (mostly Mch) and have all kinds of info text files and album art / booklet scans with every album on my HDDs, that I can watch on my TV (or not) while the music plays. Sometimes I watch the on screen player's graphic equaliser checking for clipping etc.. But I really detest those on screen swirly-gig things that are supposedly generated by the music, you know like on cheapo media players like from Microsoft and the like?

I also use, to some extent, the on screen menus on Audio BluRays and DVD-As or music on DVD-Vs, some of these may also have concert video footage too, but that is a little different to what I assume you are asking about. Once I've used the menu to select quality of audio and track or whatever then I usually don't watch the screen; then I might doze off for a while, but that never bother's me, no audiophile guilt over that

Mostly, I really do focus my attention in the music and while it might transport me to 'other-where' (isn't that a major purpose of music) I'm not sleeping. It's more like meditation and as a practised meditator I guess I find it easy to focus my attention like this. It must be difficult for non-meditators who are constantly bombarded via media of all kinds, from all directions, constantly competing for their attention to be able to single-mindedly focus on anything for any length of time. Such is the state of modern man in modern society.

I think a lot of audiophiles like to make use of their girlfriend 'lefty' to give a hand to their other friend 'righty' while listening to music. Isn't that the definition of Audiophile?

Please reverse gender where appropriate.

Last edited by RealAfrica; 10-10-2016 at 03:51 PM. Reason: correction
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