Music is a very emotional experience....everyone has his "buttons" ..for me...Beethoven's 6th puts me in a relaxed "great to be alive" mood...Part makes me wonder about life (listen to Anna Akiko Meyers play Spiegel im Spiegel) Mahler sometimes makes my cry (Das Lied von der Erde - Das Abshied). Simon and Garffinkle mades me long for the old days....and so it goes. Its personal
40 responses Add your response
I'm sorry I really don't mean to shut anyone out, but I do want to get past generalizations about women's hearing to specifics.
I do remember a fellow Ayre lover, a woman, had a very very difficult time with digital sound until the Ayre QB-9. It gave her headaches and no one believed her. I would have loved to know what was different about her hearing, specifically, that caused it.
All right. As I already said, women are very sensitive to distortion in low frequences, as far as I know. This might give them headache, nausea and general feeling of discomfort. I would guess, they are more sensitive to distortions in all frequences. They usually like clarity and controlled sound, acoustic tapestry sophistication is less important.
While shopping for speakers in the 90's, I took my wife along to help me decide among the many choices available. We looked at the Martin Logan Monoliths, Quad ESL 63s and Sonus Faber Electa Amators. We chose the Sonus Fabers for their combination of sound, size and appearance. She never criticizes the speakers because she was involved in the decision to buy them. Also, my hearing is far better than hers. My Stax 009 headphones were my decision!
I don't have invisible speakers and all the ladies who've listened love them. Honestly I think lots has to do with the quality of the speakers. My audiophile friends don't love my speakers that much either, but music producing friends do. There's something going on about sound quality, women's hearing and audiophile trends.
In the case of size though, I'm with the women. We all dream of palatial listening rooms, but little annoys me more than seeing guys put two giant speakers at the end of what looks like a shoe closet. I mean, come on! Live within your means. :) The only thing that annoys me more is Michael Fremer complaining about his room not having deep bass and not doing anything about it. Boom. ;-)
Also, I rend in modest spaces. Not tiny, but speakers for me are going to have to be small foot print, and small space speakers. If a speaker needs 5' on either side to sound good it's not going to be for me.
Not sure if this fits, but as a live sound mixer working mostly "folkie" and jazz shows, I've noticed that many successful professional female performers (as compared to novice musicians performing as opening acts) are much more concerned than most male performers about the technical aspects of getting the sound to conform to their standards…which I really enjoy because it's refreshing. Often I've had women call out specific frequency tweaks from the stage during sound check, and I've learned over the years to anticipate monitor settings that appeal to more female performers…yeah, I can learn things! (amazingly)…not all successful musicians are technically savvy enough to ever care much about this stuff, and that's fine with me, but I give props to performers who DO care as well as ones who leave it all up to me. It's interesting that musicians I end up working with multiple times do tend to leave things up to me eventually as they assume I know what I'm doing (ha…fooled 'em again).
I've been a music lover since I was a kid. Wrote my first song after getting a portable reel to reel tape player for Christmas when I was about 8 (but tore it apart soon afterward trying to find out how it worked). As a teenager I installed a cassette deck in my Daddy's Caddy with the help of a fellow highschool friend (who years later ended up being my husband). I spent my first tax refund on a Pioneer Stereo Cassette Recorder and kept it until it died after my 2nd son was born. My husband was the first one to spend serious money for a stereo amp and turntable (he bought these before we had our first child and we still have them today-kids, amp and turntable). Today I'm the more serious listener. My speakers are Monitor Audio's (which I'd never claim to be the best but they sound awfully good to my ears). One day I may trade them in for a pair of Thiel's or Focal Aria's. I don't like bright colored or odd shaped speakers. I've contemplated Maggies, but my room isn't big enough. I recently bought a tall cylindrical SVS subwoofer after my HSU quit working. I can't imagine any music (not even classical) without tight, accurate, visceral bass. My 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th pair of headphones were Sennheiser's (the last 2 pair 650 and 800). I tried Audeze and Grado too but finally found my music soul mate, Hifiman HE-6. Weirdo me, I listen without earpads and they sound fantastic! I don't know any other people who care about the quality of music as much as I do. I listen to many different genre's (jazz, R&B, contemporary and traditional gospel, Celtic, Native American, classical, country, pop, rock, electronica, new age, trip hop, soundtracks, Gospel Rap, and I have an expansive Christmas collection that covers almost all these genre styles). Individualism and individual choices. I think that's what it all boils down to.
Interesting. I'm actually a big fan of Monitor Audio. The last time I heard Thiel's though Jim was still alive and I found their sound piercing, so it's hard for me to imagine you liking the Monitor Audio AND the Thiels.
If your a bit of a techie, consider building your own. I bet a pair of Klang Tong NADA's would fit you like a glove. :)
Mewsickbuff, what a great post...jogs a few memories of my own. Dunno how ’rare’ female audio buffs are exactly, I just know I don’t see posts like that every day. Thanks!
To all: My wife and I have gone round and round in the past about my system. Me: "I **Have** to move the speakers out into the living room, it’s really the best place for them!!" Her: "The best place for those speakers is out in the yard!!" Lol! She really objects to their looks more than anything else (while still small, they Are rather ugly ducks, I’ll give her that), but we each take comfort in the fact that we will be building a new home fairly soon...I get the dedicated room and she gets control of the living space back. She used to object to the sound to a degree, but, as I’ve steadily improved things over the years, things have turned around a bit. I’m convinced that she hears better than I do (I do get too close to my work with it, at times, to remain objective) and she often has been able to spot problem areas in the sound quality, even long before I felt I did, really.
Erik, took a look at the Klang Tong NADA's and they're beautiful. And yep, as a kid I built a few go-carts and a tree house so I'm familiar with hand tools. Still have an oak wall clock and several bookcases I built when my kids were very young. (My husband bought me a table saw). But I'm not up to the challenge of building anything that doesn't come with instructions written in English (and a ton of illustrations). I've read too many things with Google translate that sounded weird. I have seriously considered upgrading to Monitor Audio PL300's. Honestly, I've never heard any Focal's or Thiel's (but I did audition & was impressed with the Maggies). Maybe I should stick with the familiar Monitor Audio family.
You're welcome, Ivan. I know how you feel about speaker placement out in the living room. I moved mine out once and came back later to find them practically against the wall. But to be fair my husband was trying to keep them from attracting the attention of our curious grand daughters. He meant well. Happy 4th!
Our reactions to speakers are certainly personal and physiological. Most men lose the ability to hear high frequencies as they age. Women are more likely to lose the ability to hear low frequencies. I would also note that most women that I know have mentioned the way speakers look before responding to audio quality. As a result, I would suggest that my friend's efficient Klipshorns would not, for example, be high on his wife's list of speaker favorites, huge with roll-offs on the high end. My guess is that she would prefer speaker with a furniture profile and detailed high frequency response.
This thread reminds me of a joke:
A shipwrecked fellow was sitting on the beach scanning the vicinity for any sign of ships. He notices something tumbling around in the shorebreak. When he retrieved it he saw that it was a battered old oil lamp. He thought "I know that it is a fairy tale but what have I got to lose in trying". So he gives it a thorough polish. The Genie appears from within the lamp and says "I will grant you one wish". The shipwrecked fellow says "That's great. I know exactly what I want. I need you to build a bridge from this island, all the way back to California". The Genie said "You have given me an extremely difficult request. Perhaps you might have another different request I can help you with?" The stranded fellow said " You know what? I've always wanted to be able to understand exactly what is going on in the minds of women"
The Genie folded his hands, bowed and said " Will Sir be requiring a four or a six lane bridge?"
Great post, theophile! But all jokes aside, it's pretty simple. Each woman (like each man) looks for different things in speakers. Boils down to individual taste. I know women and men who are satisfied listening to their music on their phones. Some listen through earbuds, others through the device's tiny speakers (ugh!). I only listen to music on my Kindle (portable) when I have NO other choice. My Bose earbuds aren't awful but after listening through the HE-6, the Bose are unsatisfying. My HE-6 is attached to a WyWire Red XLR cable. If anybody on this thread knows how the WyWire Platinum speaker cable effects speaker sound quality I'm interested.
mcanaday94 posts06-25-2016 8:01amI love the British sound-- Harbeth, KEF, Epos, etc.
Those are just some of the British sounds I can get googoo over, not excluding amplifiers and anything else made over there :)
My girl thoroughly enjoys listening with me. Having similar music interests of course cant hurt. When two have music in common and share similar fondness's for the many different aspects of music its one of the best things to strengthen a bond.
I almost made a stereo type, thinking "gloss white" lol my bad. as far as aesthetics go that often gets a pass ;)
It's great one theofile. I copied-pasted for future laughs:), but still feel that topic itself in general a matter of subject independent of gender. Speakers women like or men? What's difference?
My crowd in the store likes music of 80's just like perhaps I am including all styles; my women didn't give a truck about speakers I'm using and I'm sure that there are some men don't care about speakers as long as they work.