The perfect room

February 29, 2020
 by Paul McGowan

The perfect room for audio playback is called a headphone. With headphones, we suffer no added insults to what’s recorded on our discs or streamed on our systems. Yet, headphones don’t offer the same experience as loudspeakers playing in rooms.

Every room adds and subtracts to the music we listen to. None are neutral, all change what we hear and experience.

So why even bother with loudspeakers? Because they provide a closer approximation of what happened live. Live acoustic music is not recorded in anechoic chambers, nor is music intended to be received only by our ears. When we attend a live concert we feel the vibrating air as much as we hear it.

The trick with rooms is to make them as neutral as possible without losing their liveliness.

Music is meant to be felt as much as heard.

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