Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Hear the clarity and definition!

I'm not an audiophile. I can't see spending orders of magnitude more money for incremental improvements in sound ("I'm glad I spent the extra 10K - I really hear the improved transparency in the midrange!") Found this article (via the Opera-L list) that really goes overboard in trying to make the case on the importance of sound quality.

But what is the price of inferior audio quality? Can poor audio touch the heart as deeply as better sound? John Meyer, who designs and builds some of the world's best speakers at his Meyer Sound Labs in Berkeley, doesn't think so.

Um, of course a hawker of overpriced speakers is going to think this. But really - we can't respond as strongly to a mono recording as to a stereo one? I think Elisabeth Schwarzkopf singing Strauss's Four Last Songs would turn me into a blubbering wreck regardless if I'm listening on a $50K system or on my iPod, stereo or mono.

Seems to me that when we listen to poorer-fidelity music, we make the adjustment pretty quickly and don't really notice the sound quality after a few minutes. The range of acceptable sound quality is pretty wide.

Plus, weren't these same types complaining when CDs came out and how the compromise in sound quality was unacceptable there, too?

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