How do you find time to enjoy your $$$ speakers and system?

Maybe this topic is more of recommendation and sharing ideas than a question. We invested in our hifi systems for years to get to a place where we appreciate what our systems sound. Now, how do you find time to enjoy listening to music if many of us work long hours and still need to take care of family, errands etc…I don’t remember when was the last time I spent more than 2 hours a week at the most to enjoy the system I spent $$$ to build. How do you find time to enjoy your system?


I am retired so I have no excuses for not using my system. Every day at 5:00 I enjoy a cup of tea and listen to albums. The wife like my taste in music so all is good. My taste are usually New Age acoustic guitar or piano. Also as much Eva Cassidy as I can find...!

I only listen to my "main" system a couple hours a week, sometimes more, sometimes not at all.  Does that mean I'm not a music lover?

I do have a nice (to me) system in my bedroom that gets used every evening/night.

Also, there's the HT system in the family room.  If the wife is out running errands or at an appointment it's playing music.

There's always the dedicated headphone setup...

FWIW, I attempt to play the guitar and keyboards.  There are only so many hours in a day, even when retired.

Before I retired, I remodeled my man cave.  As part of that, I sold my McIntosh system and gave away my beloved 1980's system and began building my retirement system.  My man cave has a dedicated listening room; a pool table area; an area for my HO train layout; a bar area; and a TV room.

During the winter months, I try to spend several hours per week just listening to music.  At other times, I spend a few hours working on my HO train layout while listening to music in the background. On occasion, my wife may join me - she loves music as well, but she's OK listening to a small system in our sitting room or our whole house system.

During the summer months, I spend less time in the house thus a little less time listening to music (at least during the day).  My wife is an avid golfer, I don't play golf.  When she's on the course, I'm sometimes out with my photography gear taking pictures or riding my bike. 

I think I've found the right balance between sitting on my butt just listening to music and enjoying my other hobbies and favorite activities.  

It is easy for me. My wife and I do not do anything in the house together. She watch’s all the news a fluff tv that I just walk away from.I set her up with a great tv and comfy chair in our family room. My main system is in basement alone with even better tv. All I watch is sports. Why you ask? I do not need to have any volume from tv to know exactly what is going on. This allows me to enjoy the music almost every night while relaxing for a couple hours. Also don’t forget how to keep the family out of your space. Make it too difficult for them to operate. No universal remote, make it so at minimum they need three or more remotes just to turn tv on. 

With my GF only one week a month. When at my place, she's a rock-'n-roll fool and banshee dancer who's fine with 95+ dB sound levels. So EYHO, gents, and in the next life, take more seriously The Beat song "I Want To Be With A Rock-'n Roll Girl" (who loves Mozart too).

Most either have money or time. Few are fortunate to have both. I find working while listening to be an acceptable compromise. 100% attention listening maybe 2 hours/month.

Very simple for me, I work from home and enjoy my system at least 5 hours a day. This is the perfect ROR.

Time is always limited. I have three different systems in my house. One main system, two secondary and high res earphones setup. Of course, main system has no alternative in SQ, but I love music at the first place and I can listen on any of my systems. It’s always good to feel the difference, it gives you ideas for improvements and lots of flexibility while you not in the listening room. 

When my kids were at home I built a 5.2 Krell/Dunlavy home theater system which I also used for playing CD's in the "background" while the family was together. I work from home now, and built a NAD/JBL 2 channel rig in my home office which is used for streaming throughout the workday. Best of both worlds.


As an aside, when my son moved out into his own apartment, I treated him to a pair of Klipsch Five's which freed him from the headaches of listening through headphones while wearing glasses. He was immensely grateful to have his first hifi system, perfect for the small size of his apartment. And he streams music through his PC even when he's not working or gaming. Having music fill the apartment adds warmth... just like home.

Music is playing about six hours a day here and I probably sit in my spot ninety to one hundred twenty minutes of that. And that’s four to five days a week.

@analoguefan this is a great post. Unfortunately, it's because I can so empathize and have had these very same thoughts. Especially in today's wild and crazy non stop world we now live in. I have spent so much time and money getting my system to exactly where I want it to be. Except between work, taking care of daily chores and errands, and then trying to get everything done that I can't get to on the weekends, I literally find I have no time to sit, relax, and enjoy my system and music. I will flat out admit then when I sit down for my critical listen, this is something I can only do alone. My wife loves music and so appreciates the sound, but for the critical listening that is something I do alone. I just do not have the time. My system does double duty for music and tv/movies. Fortunately, this is something we both enjoy together. So, on the weekends we at least get to enjoy what we have watching a good mystery documentary or horror flick.


But critical music listening is where my heart is and why I went to the lengths I have to put this system together. I guess for now I just take advantage when I can. Like this morning my wife had to work so I battened down the hatches, grabbed my chair, shut the curtains, and got lost in the music. Though wishing your life away is so not something you want to do, I find myself yearning for retirement and for the next 5-7 years to fly by so I can have the time to listen more...


You ain't alone my friend I feel you...

What a long, strange thread this has been! So many of you don't seem to spend much time at all listening to music. But, as several have said, it's all a matter of priorities. 

Speaking for myself, I spend several hours almost every day parked in the sweet spot doing nothing else than listening. I read a lot, too, but not while I'm listening; I don't believe in "multi-tasking," and in any case, reading and listening to music are not "tasks." I rarely watch TV or movies. I've got a good second system connected to the TV; Von Schweikert speakers, good acoustic space, surround setup. And a pair of HiFi Man HE-1000 headphones plugged into a Headroom Supreme for portable high fidelity. But, other than the headphones, ALL of my music listening is done on my main system. I never listen in the car, and I never put music on as "background." 

Fortunately, this house is big enough for my wife and me to inhabit different parts of it. She's in the library/media room (with the Von Schweikerts), while I'm in the acoustically blessed living room with my main system. She's a pianist and, in her former European country, a musicologist and music writer, but she vastly prefers live concerts to recorded music, something I've never really understood.

As Nietzsche wrote, "Without music, life would be a mistake." Don't make that mistake! You've got an amazing technology for the purpose.

It never stop amazing me how fast a post can evolve from the original question. This one for example was asking how we find time to listen to the system we have spent years putting together to enjoy the music. Now we have to endure people referencing that listening to music through their cell phone speaker is finding time. Just as I tell my kids listening or understanding what your have read is an art. 

Sometimes I feel sorry that I am not spending as much time. 

If you still work full time and if your kids are still around, it would be hard to spend more than an hour per day for the music.

However, if you are a true music lover, you can still find time for music because the music brings a joy to your life. I listened to the music especially when I am tired and somewhat feel empty. The music always feels the void. 

My average time for music (in active listening mode, not as a background music or casual listening) is about 5 hours per week. Hope I can pull more hours.

Pheil congratulations and welcome to Audiogon.I can’t blame you staying single, husband are hindrance to audio. Especially younger men 67😀Sorry Deadhead , She is staying single.

Ihcho agree+++, I listen to music daily 2 to 3hrs on work day, off days 4to 8 HRs.

Wife, life, theater room and listening room all conflict. Listening is a luxury when only myself and the dog are home and for some reason, the dog refuses to enter the listening room, but loves watching TV.

@nonoise +1 "I listen when I want to and not to some ideal from a forum or peer group that's all caught up in the gear and minutiae."

...and, I got a tuner and tune it to KUSC classical music station and just let it run in the background most of the time while I live my life in the house, including when I'm "at work" online.  That, plus a multi-disc cd player... good to go.  "Dedicated listening sessions"... meh, sure why not, when the spirit moves me, lights low, a little weed and some chamomile tea, maybe a snuggle lover along for the ride.

and @noromance +1  Turn off the TV.  

@curtdr it didn't take long to turn this into a race of who has more hours of "dedicated listening sessions" a day.


@curtdr , Like you, I've gotten to where when I'm not listening to something really enjoyable, I just tune my radio to KKJZ (88.1FM) and listen to jazz for most of the day. Life it good if you know what you've got and appreciate it. 👍

All the best,

I think you can work and listen to nuances but true listening time is a couple hours per week for me.

If listening to music through your system helps to alleviate some stress and connect with that part of your soul that find bliss does the amount of time really matter? 

I currently have the luxury of my 2nd system at my desk, so I've got my diy Walsh 2ways' driven by a small Phillips that's clean enough for an office.  Driven with CD or the 'puters.  One is work, the other is on hold.  There's that I listen to while working, various live outdoor concerts in S America, held in remote places, blasting a crowd with house music and firehoses.... Looks like more fun Being There than Here...but, gotta pay to be doing This to at least. *S*

Use the beat & rhythm to drive the day along... ;)

At 72.75, I guess I ought to retire.

FThat, too much to do keeps one on foot, thinking, doing.  Lots of irons in many fires keeps the Light on per Leonard. ;)

One project proposed is to build self a 'studio' of sorts here for my obsessions.
A better space for that which I've amassed, and all the tinketry that it accompanies it....  

Anyway, more later elsewhere. Main system is 'offline' for the moment, and could use 'freshening'...*s*

It’s a great question and one I grapple with. I am retired so have the potential for long hours of listening, but sadly I don’t.  To really enjoy music I need to be alone and as my wife is also retired and we like to spend our days together I rarely have those moments.  As in most UK homes, due to their diminutive size, we don’t have dedicated listening rooms, so the hifi and TV are in the lounge, the only relaxation room in the house, so the chances for time alone listening are sporadic. We occasionally listen together but usually our preferred joint activity is watching films and dvd box sets. So dedicated listening is a few hours a month.  
We have a second great system firing through the dining area to the kitchen - now this gets lots of play whilst cooking!

In college, the music didn’t stop until late into the night.  Every Friday night the local DJ would play Martian Boogie (Brownsville Station).  It was hard for a while after college working in silence at the office.  I have had a stereo system ever since college.  Some years I would listen nearly everyday and some years maybe just a couple of hours a week.  Since retiring and building my dream system, the hour meter on my preamp shows it is powered on 1250 hours/year.  I listen about 3-5 days/week- sometimes in the morning and sometimes in the evening.

Streaming with Qobuz has opened up a whole world of music at my fingertips.  It’s great finding those 60s and 70s songs that I have not heard in years as well as new stuff that I would never get to hear otherwise.  Things are not like back in the day when we discovered new music on the radio.  So I can play my favorite records and CDs or I can explore and find new gems to listen to on Qobuz.

I turn it on. I’m not trying to be funny but you don’t have to sit and listen to it like your head is locked into a vice. Turn it on and listen to it if you can and whenever you can. Go about your business. Enjoy your system. My two cents….

People always find the time to do the things that really matter to them. 

While listening I’ll often read this forum as in right now. I’ll bet I’m not alone. 

I work 2 full-time jobs this year. Luckily, I work from home. If it was not for my stereo, especially my RAAL headphones for late night work, no chance I would be working so many hours. I also have a 6-year-old, though this year he is not getting my full attention.

Music is playing in my home for about 18 hours a day.




What Player replaced the SCD-1 in your system?


Happy Listening!

@jafant If I manage to last the year without getting fired from a second job I am doing, then I will get the Playback Designs Dream or Edelwise for both streaming and SACD. The designer of the Playback Designs DACs is the same guy that was involved with the SCD-1 at Sony.

BTW - I posted that it is very difficult to shop the SCD-1. The guy that bought mine told me to take it to Kinkos and let them do the packing. It made it to the other side of the country in the same shape as I had it. That is the CD section was still working when the buyer received it.


Honestly I sold off my very $$$ (well at least to me) all Shindo system to help finance a new business. I just couldn't justify it sitting there not getting the love and play time it deserved. I replaced it with Kef LS50 Wireless II's and the matching KC-62 sub. I use it everyday because I don't feel bad about it just playing in the background while I work or putter about. It will also rock clean-the-F$%^# out if you want. Is it on the same level as the old rig - nope, not at all, but I get much more enjoyment out of it as I use almost daily vs. maybe once a week for an hour or two. Bad news is that new business is doing well so I'm getting that itch again...

Maybe different for me. It's funny, now that I had a home built with a dedicated 2 channel room, it doesn't get much love. And here's the problem.

I'm retired but my wife works a lot of hours, so there's little time for her to sit and enjoy the fruits of our audio room.

In the past, with all the homes we've occupied, the stereo was the main focus of entertainment. We would rent or buy homes predicated on where would the stereo go. Our entertainment with friends (not family) would center on the audio experience. BBQ's and wine, having friends bring their cable or amp to test, attending shows and constant tweaking, it had been the focus of my life for 57 years. But now I'm in the middle of Utah, custom room, amazing equipment and a wife who shares in the audio experience. And I'm down to 10 hours a week. Well, we do have a 12 year old, so there's that.

So my wife doesn't love my speakers and I didn't know that until a few weeks ago! When I moved our much cheaper $2K speakers into the main room she got interested again. Time for new speakers.

And there are no audiophiles that I can find in this part of the country. So it largely became a solo experience. I've though of moving the system to the living room where the kitchen is as well and damn the custom room and all those circuits. At the end of the day, I just want to listen to music. 

Maybe new speakers that my wife will love will double the listening time. She's also deleting one of her jobs, that'll help. 

Anyone out there that lives in southern/middle Utah, come over for a listen!

It definitely helps to be retired which I am. I dedicate a few hours daily usually late afternoon or evening for critical listening and new music research. These are luxuries I could not afford while working and raising a family but I’m taking full advantage of it now.

I have my mian system in my main living area, because my goal was to have a system I can enjoy as much as possible in as many use cases as possible. And enjoy it when company is around. That has tradeoffs versus a dedicated room of course, mainly around acoustics and WAF.


However, I'd much rather trade those for getting to enjoy it more of the time. I probably listen on average at least 10-12 hours a week purely for music. Combined use with the AV setup, probably double that.

Since covid, I mostly work from home. I set up my home office desk directly behind my listening couch so the imaging is fairly good. I have music on whenever I'm not on the phone or in zoom meetings, so I average around 6 hours/day. 

Most of this listening is background music while I work, but it still sounds fabulous. When I need a break from the computer, I'll sit down for a serious listen to a song or two.

When I was going into the office every day, I had a nice headphone rig which I listened to, but I far prefer listening to good speakers.

the only time i listen to my reference system is when i have to audition a new piece of gear or i have to QC check a CDR i just made. the rest of the time, i listen to music on some "antique" MP3 players that have the best of my collection of roll-your-own's on them, via a decent set of relatively efficient/sensitive sennheiser cans. 

When I was still working my listening was usually done during dinner, or on Sunday afternoon. Now that I'm retired, I try to find a couple of hours in the early evening and sometimes during the dinner hour. My wife is tolerant of my listening habit and doesn't seem to mind. I would say that I listen about 20 hours/week on average. 

I undestand your problem. Many years ago, I used to do post production and listened to music 12 hours a day.

I must confess that I listen to more music in the car than I do on my seven or eight different hi-end systems.

Wish I could find unlimited time, but alas, life. It would be great to make a living at it, but I use my precious hours to unwind after work. Somedays just the music. Hard days with Bourbon.

Like several here, I'm semi-retired and on average listen to the main system 3 - 4 hours daily. Primarily vinyl with an occasional CD if I'm feeling lazy and don't feel like doing the record ritual. Most of my listening is in the evening in the mancave. TV on, volume down, with a sporting event (NCAA bball currently) on.

This has been a lifelong habit (passion) that I believe is therapeutic, helping me keep my sanity and stay mentally and emotionally stable with the many things that life seems to throw at us. Having invested significant dollars in equipment, upgrading and media over 50+years of collecting, I feel it would be a crime not to find the time to listen.   


I find a few hours a week to listen to music.  Usually 1-2 hours per session.

Background music usually just annoys me.  I cannot relate to people that have music going on all the time (TV going all the time is even worse).

That said, I sometimes will turn on a little radio when I am cooking or messing around in the shop.  HiFi would be too distracting.

Find a great hobby for your wife that will get her out of the house.  LOL.  My wife and daughter are big time into riding their horses.  Works for everyone!  

To me, listening to music is a treat that I don't get to do every day, but when I do, I can spend hours sipping and listening. I work from home and have the blessing of a 1700 SF basement with a dedicated listening room. About twice a month I tell my wife that I will be listening to music, she knows what that means :) I've had a few people over from the FB forums, which is really cool.

Enjoy the Music