The Latest High-End Audio Trend
Escape to the Listening Room
In out content-rich world, music is everywhere. From the elevator music in your office tower to the background world music tunes at Whole Foods market, it seems like there’s always something on. But that music may not be what you necessarily want to hear. And even though you may have a great sound system in your car, you may not be able to always enjoy it as you fight the Dallas traffic.
So where do you go to let yourself relax and immerse yourself in your favorite music? If you’re a headphone aficionado, that’s one option. But not everyone likes to have headphones on for extended listening. The latest trend for enjoying high-end audio in Dallas is to set up a comfortable listening room.
What is a listening room? It can be anywhere in your home that makes sense for you and your lifestyle, but as always, some places will be better than others. In general, we are talking about a stereo (2-channel) music-oriented setup - but not necessarily - as we will explain.
Ready for some ideas about how to set up your listening room? Read on to learn more.
The first thing to think about is - what room should be the listening room? The answer is whatever room you will use to be able to relax, unplug, and rediscover your music or discover new genres. The perfect listening room is the one you will actually use.
That said, some rooms will have some advantages than others. If your house has a very open design, the best listening room may not be an open living room/family/kitchen space. The acoustics may not be ideal for dedicated listening, and the rooms are going to be used by other family members. A room with four walls and a door is much better, so you can crank up the volume when you want to rock out to your Led Zeppelin anthology. That room could be the sitting area of your master bedroom, or it could be your office. It could be a guest bedroom that rarely greets guests.
If you are really into high-volume music – and you have a family – you may want to consider acoustic treatment for your listening room. It can help keep the peace when you must hear Dark Side of the Moon cranked up at 10 pm.
The Stereo Triangle
Most rooms, unless designed from the ground up for audio, are never truly perfect for sound – but you can compensate for imperfection in several ways. A first step is to design your space so that you can sit in an optimal position. In a two-channel (or multichannel for that matter) setup, your ideal listening position should be in the middle, equidistant from the left and right speakers. How far away you are from them, and how far apart they are from each other, will vary somewhat based on the size of the room and the speakers themselves. You and the speakers form a triangle. The speaker midrange and tweeter drivers should ideally be at about ear height but depending on your speakers and seating this will vary somewhat.
There’s nothing that says your listening room can’t be a surround sound setup either. Many music buffs still prize their collection of old DVD-Audio and SACD (Super Audio CD) discs, multichannel music formats that never became mainstream but that offered superb sound quality. There are also many expertly mixed high-resolution audio Blu-ray titles that provide a different experience from pure stereo recordings as well. Putting five speakers and a subwoofer might pose a challenge depending on your listening room, but there are some audiophile-grade compact electronics and speakers that can make that happen – ask us about them!
If you have a media room or home theater, don’t underestimate its potential as your listening room when no one else is using it. The best components from partners we use for home theater – like Anthem, Paradigm, and Yamaha – also make excellent stereo and multichannel music systems. Again, ask us about that too.
Make Room for the Speakers
One of the best ways to understand the nuances of speakers for your listening room is to experience them in our Dallas showroom. No doubt you will find one or several models that has the sonic signature that best agrees with your ears and preferred music. With some speaker designs – especially ones with rear ports - you have to allow some distance from walls to get the optimal bass response. It’s just something to keep in mind when choosing speakers; you will want to make sure they sound as good in your home as they do in the showroom. Of course, we can help you choose the right speakers for your space, pair them with the right electronics, and make sure the whole system sounds and works the way you desire.