Does a listening room help or hinder?

I once had my office and my system in the same room. I did my work and listened while I worked(sounds like a Disney song). I heard lots of music. Before I had the music in my office, I had it in the living room.

Well, I got the idea that I needed a listening room, so I moved my desk and computer and put it in another room. Now, I have a listening room. It isn't pretty, but it is as functional as I can get it. It has room treatments galore. Some aren't very pretty, but all of it functional. I have one chair in it, plus a little table next to the chair to hold any drink I may have.

Lately, I put on some music and sit down. Sooner or later I have this urge to get up and go do something on the computer. Then I sit back. Soon, I get up again to get something in the kitchen. Then I sit back down again. It goes like this through the entire time the music is on.

Now I listen to music less than I did before. In fact, the music is on now, but I am in a separate room.

Where did I make the mistake? How can I fix this delima?
Dilemma. Bring your puter into the listening room. When you want serious litening, turn the puter off. Happy listening!
Can you say laptop? I really enjoy listening to music while using my laptop. Of course, like Gregm said, for serious listening, the computer goes into hibernation!
Personally, my listening room is crammed with stuff. I've got a computer and desk in there, listening chair, leather couch, CD racks galore, and a separate, small HT system in one corner. On paper, the room should sound like crap, but everyone who's heard the system and the room has commented on how great it sounds. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that all the furniture and stuff in the room is providing a lot of diffusion--which, in audio terms, is usually a good thing. My advice is to bring the computer back in to the room--but obviously turn it off for serious listening. I seriously doubt it will hurt anything acoustically. In fact, it might very well help. Some of the worst listening rooms I've ever heard have also been the barest.

I have a combo office/listing room/man-cave and I love it!

Here are some possibilities to solve your issue:

As suggested, get a laptop (and wireless access for the internet connection). There are some nice laptop tables that will place your laptop at the correct height and angle it toward you so it is easier to type.

Buy a killer HTPC (Home Theater PC) and mount a 50-60" plasma TV on the back wall between your speakers. Use the HPTC to surf the web and have it displayed on the huge plasma TV. Of course, you will also have to buy (and integrate) a full blown HT system to truely enjoy the TV. Oh, and you might need to buy a new pre-amp, etc. so you can integrate the HT and 2-channel rigs.

Humm.......the laptop is looking like a good idea!


Sounds to me like you need some new music to explore. Hard to seriously listen to music that has become mundane or boring.
Lots of people treat music as a religious experiance(and it often can be). They hear good sound for the first time and are suddenly off to chase the Holy Grail of audiophilia. After years of buying and selling diferent peices of equipment, gradually improving their system in ever smaller increments, trimming the poorly recorded fat from their music collection, they reach a point of either satisfaction or neurosis. Friends stop making music recomendations because they know it couldn't possibly be recorded as well as your coveted ten or twenty "perfect" recordings. The loan audiophile sits alone in his dark basement with only the tubes of his $5,000 preamp to keep him company.

Get your office back into the listening room before it is too late! Get some buddies who listen to "boom-boxes" over to have some beers and talk about the sport of choice(while listening to something that completely rocks on your system). Save the serious listening for the recording engineers and just enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Good luck!
How can you say that you are "listening" to music if you are doing something else, such as working on a computer?

I have a listening room and use it for listening. When in another room (office, kitchen), I use the listening room system to supply "background" music, but then I am not really listening (more like "hearing"), so it isn't really important how good the system sounds.

There is no such thing as "multi-tasking" when it comes to music listening.

Bob P.
I definitely think there are different levels of listening--primarily critical and background. As mentioned above, I have my computer in my listening room, and I can certainly listen to music while playing on the computer, just not critically. In fact, sometimes listening to music this way ("background") is more enjoyable than listening critically, because I'm not worried about all the audiophile minutiae that so often gets in the way of enjoyable listening. When I want to listen critically, the computer and lights go off, and I do the audiophile thing.
Bob is right. If you want background music, use your laptop speakers. Save the listening room for serious listening. Time is an issue with me as well. I can't just sit there for hours listening as I have things that have to get done, so I can relate to listening to a song or two - then doing something and so on.

But just set time aside where you clear your mind and just consentrate and enjoy the music. If you have a laptop, you'll just get busy with that and the music may sound good, but you're not really listening.
The responses seem to be divided here, but lean more in the direction of the office/listening room. And I agree. The only problem is when you want to have others with you and the office is too small. Here's the solution. Put the system back in the living room, then move your desk and computer in there too. No one really "uses" a living room, so what th' hell!
bignerd is right on point,keep your rig intergrated with the rest of your home,ive had my rigs all over the house including a dedicated room,the most enjoyable to me has been to either keep a rig in my office or in the family room.

i know that some will say that a dedicated room is the only way to listen to your rig & serious listening can only be done in seclusion with no distractions but ive come to find out that for me its a sad way to enjoy the hobby.

what is critical listening anyway?

I have found that just in the last few weeks that I enjoy reading while in my sweet spot, my dad has always read LP liner notes and listens to a lot of Opera wich he has to read along to understand, I always thought this was odd because I like to listen to music at night, late with all the lights off, but now I can read anything from a stereo rag to Political books with ease and I still absorb great music (when I read I mostly like Classical) I also have enjoyed surfing with my step-daughters wireless laptop aswell, Liz and I are thinking if we every get a new puter it is gonna be a laptop! Maybe you can make the room useful enough to do some work while you listen, or do what I do and read....I learn and listen...great combo! Cheers
Bigjoe, to which hobby are you referring? Listening to your rig or listening to music? Or was that a Freudian slip?
Bob P.
Bob P

i see where your going with this,correct me if im wrong but are'nt the two one in the same & dependant of each other?

if it were'nt for OUR rigs none of us would even be here at all,i always thought that agon was a site devoted to the buying,selling,trading & understanding of high end audio.

so to answer your question as to weather i meant "listening to my rig" or "listening to music" i meant listening to my rig.

i cant speak for others but for me half the enjoyment i derive from the hobby is from the gear itself & yes the hobby i speak of is the gear.

I can neither listen to music for comprehension while reading (unless it's a libretto), nor read anything weighty while trying to listen critically to music. I guess some of us can do it, probably somebody who can play the pipe organ. I'm afraid I'm all one or the other.
I have 3 systems: listening room, bedroom, living room. Solves the problems!!
Bigjoe, and the other half of the enjoyment comes from what? BTW, I feel that "the rig" and "the music" are actually independent of each other. One is not necessary for the other, but whether listening to the rig or the music, one cannot do that at the same time as doing other tasks. The music, however, can be used as background sounds, but I don't see (hear?) how a rig can be used as background, except, maybe if white noise is being used.
Bob P.
MSM - get a laptop and a wireless network.

I work full time at home. I spend a great deal of time on the phone, but when I'm not, the music is playing. I've gone through who knows how many arangements in my office - and used my office as my listening room for some time.

I finally put a rig in just about every room in the house my wife lets me. I also moved my office out of the primary listening room simply because the desk was interfering with the listening arangement, and causing too much clutter.

Now, when I want to just listen, I'm in the listening room. When I need to work head's down, or on conference calls, I'm in the office. I have the Laptop so if I want to work in the listening room I carry the laptop in there. I also have a pretty nice rig in my office, though not as nice.

The result is I have great tunes even when I want to work. I have a dedicated listening room that's not cluttered. I also can change my scenery by moving from room to room, working or not.
I think Newbee's point is the most salient. You're obviously not enjoying listening to your music. Find something new that really graps you.
Good thoughts. One thing I didn't point out was that one of the minor reasons to move the computer out of the listening room was so that I wouldn't work so much. Every time I wanted to listen to some music, I would end up turning the computer on and before I knew it, I was hooked up to work checking this and that, writing business email.... So, I thought that by separating the two, I would get more enjoyment from music.

Hmmmm, now that I think of it, my listening room problem may have a deeper rooted problem......I WORK TOO MUCH!!

On the other hand, without the computer in my listening room, I find myself falling asleep alot of the time that I do listen to JUST music. I don't hear anything because I am snoozing.
Newbee may be right. However, I don't need new music. I have a stack of brand new, still sealed CDs and new LPs that haven't been heard.
Having read your post several times I feel compelled to respond. At this time you are simply more involved in things other than audio. Don't get upset at that opinion, please. You do not need to justify what you own or what room it's in by constantly using it. Too many people I know get hung up on not using a toy. Most of us lead varied lives and should accept that our interest waxes and wanes. One of my friends locally is very busy these days and hasn't had time to ride his Harley as much as previous years. He's getting a lot of grief about this from his riding pals. This is (pardon the pun) Hogwash. The bike is paid for, it isn't going anywhere and it's there for when he is really in the mood. The same holds true for a boat, fishing gear, bicycle, shotgun or any of a number of things we guys own. The most miserable people I know (and I like them) feel compelled to use their toys non-stop to justify the expenditure. There have been times in my life when audio has taken a back seat to everything else for an extended period of time. Guess what? When things changed the magic was there for me to use again. At these times I laughed at myself for being surprised at how much I loved it again. My gear and especially my software library is like a a very patient friend, always there when I need it. Of particular interest to me is the question of "are you addicted to computers or actually working too hard?"
Excellent post Lugnut, I never thought of it the way you did, thanks for opening my eyes!
Bigjoe, if I had my way, I'd let the whole darned neighborhood hear some music :-).
I was thinking about doing a post on "Listening habits - how do you listen to your stereo". Probably a stupid idea so never did. But I listen while working (or playing on the internet) 90% of the time. Maybe that's another reason why I don't need such a good stereo. Background music is not all bad. It makes a house a home. For others that would be drapes and carpeting I guess.
Can totally relate to the "getting your money's worth" idea. Heck, if you spend $10,000 on a stereo and only listen critically a couple days a week, why bother? Are you really getting your money's worth if you don't listen critically for a few hours every day?