I’m into music, not measurements.

Some years ago, I was rather aggressive on my quest for true music reproduction, during that time I often said and wrote that measurements were the only way to correctly support audiophile claims. 
I went out of my way to prove I was on what I thought was the correct side of the fence, the objective side.
Then I meet a really nice gentleman who made me think a bit on my wrong ways, objective measurements were still important but now I didn’t want to target hobbyists in my rants. 

Years went by and now I don’t feel the need to point my finger at other fellow enthusiasts, like so many do in social media comments, especially on YouTube, which seems to have a very toxic audiophile community
In the past, I would call them “audiofools”, and other less pleasant names. Well, you change with the people you meet, I certainly did. 

I truly believe people should have fun, and if you need to tweak your system go ahead and do it. Don’t let anyone take that joy from you.
I still obviously think measurements are a very important part of this hobby if done with the correct gear. 
For example, I do some in-ear measurements for my blog but I’m careful enough to put a disclaimer on the fact I’m an amateur using amateur gear.

Go to any YouTube video which talks about audiophile cables and you’ll often watch the objective and subjective sides in an epic word battle.
Because I now have more hobby pals, who are more into subjective opinions, I’m starting to be more tolerant of some claims, because let’s face it, hobbyists only want to have fun.

I’m above all into music, not into measurements.
Measurements are great ways to benchmark gear, but without hearing music in said gear, you will never know if you enjoy it or not.
Measurements are an integral part of quality control, and I wish more companies would share their data on that regard.

I think it’s more important to enjoy the music than making measurements all the time. Enthusiasts who focus too much on gear measurements might need to rethink their hobby priorities.

Are you a music lover who has the equipment to play music, or do you have music to hear the equipment?     
I love tech, but music comes first, I won’t mind hearing a new song on a cheap ass Bluetooth loudspeaker, because I know I will later enjoy it on better equipment.

This hobby should be about finding good music and playing good music.

About good music, the wonderful lady on the photo is Charlotte Campbell if you enjoy singer-songwriters, well go hear her.      

4 thoughts on “I’m into music, not measurements.

  1. As someone on the subjective side of the fence, I naturally agree with your post, but even people who care little about measurements and a lot about music seem to get it all wrong. A lot of “audiophiles” don’t even listen to music that they enjoy, they listen exclusively to well-recorded music, which means that they’re actually just listening to their gear. People who listen to music they don’t even like are the ones who really piss me off. For me, the hobby is all about finding audio gear the complements the music I already enjoy, whether it’s well recorded or not. Sometimes I get lucky and the music I enjoy also happens to be extremely well recorded like, say, Pink Floyd, but, being a bit of a metalhead, a large portion of my library is very poorly recorded with little dynamic range.

    Of course, I am well aware of this, but that doesn’t mean I throw my music away and start listening to Steely Dan; yet, that’s kind of what a lot of people in the audiophile communities end up doing. If you have to listen to music you don’t like in order to enjoy your expensive gear, you should consider listening to music you do like and saving some money by buying much cheaper gear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Around twitter I often see Jpop covers on really expensive DAPs, makes me happy because the ones who took the photos are enjoying their favorite tunes.
      Sure, you’ll also see some classical or even jazz, but for most part they share what they are hearing at the moment.
      I dislike audiophile test albums, when they have no other propose besides the consumption of glamorized “High-End” approved songs.
      I’m all for audiophile albums which help tuning a system or teach audiophiles to hear some details in a song, but compilation albums are bat shit crazy.


  2. I’m into music. Since my first pair of good speakers and headphones I have found that the better the sound production the easier it is to get lost in music.

    Hearing Leonard Cohen’s voice emerge directly between my first properly set up speakers, with the band behind, made me pay attention and appreciate the nuances of what he did as a singer where before I’d just heard nice melodies. A pair of open-back Sennheisers got me lost in worlds of sounds for too many nights to be good for my school work initially. I’ve had many more such revelations since.

    Along the way I’ve found that measurements correlate incredibly well with these experiences. If something measures badly it really is not worth my time or money. There’s still enough choice between the gear that measures well to not take the fun out of comparing, EQing and the other tinkering we like to do in this hobby. I just prefer to keep to the areas that do make a difference rather than pay money for upgrade cables and other snake-oil.

    As an example of tinkering with headphones done right, I strongly recommend https://diyaudioheaven.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: On audiophile snobs. | The Journeyman's Toolbox

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