The Audio Cynic

Is Audio Seasonal?

Issue 88

I’ve been a salesman or worked with salespeople most of my working life, and one thing I know is that as a group, they work hard. They have to. It’s a tough job, maintaining a positive attitude and sense of humor in the face of frequent rejection and occasionally, outright hostility.

I also know that not-very-good salespeople can always, always come up with excuses as to why things aren’t going well, why they didn’t close that big sale, how that guy was just a tirekicker—and on and on. “We’re just not in the season” is a favorite fall-back position. However, there are fields that truly do have seasonal ups and downs: TV sales go up before the Super Bowl; people are more likely to buy a boat as summer approaches; and almost no one buys a house right before Christmas. Such things are real, and are predictable.

I hear folks in the audio biz discuss downturns in sales during vacation season, where families are more likely to not be at home. There are also some types of gear that sell better after school starts in the fall, or as holidays approach.

But for you—as a dedicated music listener, audiophile, however you view yourself—is your music listening seasonal? Not just the buying of gear—although I’d be interested in hearing reader’s habits and experiences with that— but actual sitting down and listening to music, or at least playing music in the home while doing whatever.

Does that wax and wane over the course of the year? Or are you firmly ensconced in your Ekornes Stressless lounger, glass of Cab in hand, tunes playing, no matter what time of year it is?

Yes, I’ve deliberately painted the stereotypical picture of Mr. Golden Ears. Some of us will fit that stereotype; many will not. You probably don’t want to hear about my habit of watching baseball with the announcers turned off and music cranked up—especially if one of the announcers is Alex Rodriguez.

But I digress.

I’m interested to hear about listening habits: solo? With family? With friends? Solely focused on music, or as a background to reading, dinner, Scrabble, or whatever?

And do your habits change, depending on the weather and season? If you’re an avid hiker or water-skiier, I’d imagine your amount of couch time goes down in spring and summer—and good for you.

But preferences vary, habits range all over the map of human behavior. Hell, I prefer ice cream in the winter—so I won’t sneer at whatever works for you.

Tell me about your listening habits, okay? And if there’s one time of year when you go nuts buying gear, I’d be interested in hearing that, as well.

No, this isn’t market research: I’m just nosey. Surely, after 88 columns, you know that by now.

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