How do you listen to music?

Curious how folks mostly listen to their music… do you sit an armchair and get totally absorbed… do you listen with it on in the background, headphones, etc?

We have a pretty open planed house and I find I mostly listen while I’m either cooking or cleaning up the kitchen. I love it when the kids and wife are gone for a few hours and I can indulge with the volume up to 10 o’clock.

Sat down. Nothing else going on. I can’t do music as background other than say dinner parties. It is an activity for me in the same as immersing myself in a book is.


Exactly that.
Except when I’m reading a book or an article related to the music I’m actually listening to. But mostly, as above.

How? With my ears,

In practical terms, whilst sometimes I put music on as background while doing something else in the music room (I have a desk in there), more often I sit down to listen and intend to do something, but end up being drawn in to the music and forget all else… Only infrequently, when I have a good few hours free, do I plan to listen more seriously, moving the speakers and seat to optimum position, and no intent to do anything else at the same time: that is real bliss!

Otherwise when travelling (remembering those days when I could fly or take a long train or coach journey) I dump a couple of dozen albums (in .flac format) onto my iPhone and iPad, and usa a pair of Bose noise cancelling headphones. Not really hifi, but then the locations aren’t conducive either.

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I will grant you that exception… else we’d never read booklets or lyrics. :slight_smile:

Ha, yes, very gracious of you. Thanks.

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For me, every op I can and in the mood. Some scenarios:

  • Working and need to focus albeit environmental noises / distractions. Would listen to familiar materials which helps.
  • Early in the morning or late in the evening without any distractions fully immersed into the music.
  • Mowing lawn wearing in ears which blocks out motor noise rather well and mostly listen to guilty pleasures or sampling materials.
  • When exploring new materials or reading lyrics over computer when computer fan however faint is a necessary evil and non-ideal.
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I listen many times just as the OP does, while cooking or doing something. Nothing that requires a lot of concentration tho.
I do also just sit and listen intently sometimes; and when we have friends over and we’re listening to a playlist; we’re talking, but we’re all very aware of the excellent music playing, and if a song comes on that one of us wants to really hear, I’ll turn it up and we listen more intently and talk less for a bit.
They only ever get to hear the music so well reproduced, when they’re at our place.
I’m the only nutter with a nice HiFi in our group.

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I have music playing for most of the day as I go about my day. Within this, there will be periods when I focus totally on the music and times when it is background music to whatever I am doing. What I have found since getting the 250DR is that I am finding myself drawn into the music more often now, focusing on that and stopping what I was doing.

I PLAY music in the kitchen when I’m cooking and I PLAY music in the dining room when we’re eating. I LISTEN to music in the lounge, sat in the sweet spot, door closed and usually alone.

I will often have music playing while eating dinner, and would have music on in the barn while woodworking, if I had a suitable system. I will also have music on with headphones when mowing the lawn. But mostly I sit in a dark room with the music playing, and just listen, with no distractions. I generally manage to get about an hour or so almost every evening.

When at home it’s playing most of the time. Actual dedicated listening is quite rare; now I find the LP chunk of time about right for concentrating on the music, otherwise streaming Roon Radio of my music library is seamless.

It does not matter. I’m still discovering aspects of the music irrespective of the source: LP12, NDS, NAT01 or Unitiqutes.

However, when out of the house I listen to the world around me rather than bring my own music, and in the car I listen to R4, R4x or R5x, but not music.

I generally play music when I’m working in the office and always play music when I’m in my studio.

If Mrs Pete is out I normally have it streaming throughout the house. My wonderful neighbours often ask me to turn it up if I’m playing something they like.


Personally, I seem to have three modes of operation:

  1. A backdrop of random music roughly matching my mood; radio or picks. It is mostly here I discover new music.
  2. Laid-back, slightly focused listening. I might do other things as I listen, i.e. read or write.
  3. Fairly focused with a virtual pipe of tobacco (quit smoking 15 years ago or so).
  4. Properly brought up on Douglas Adams, any tree point list must have a fourth, which is to listen relatively carefully with a good friend, discussing the good vibrations. Pretty much like we did when we were teenagers, I suppose. It never gets super focused like 3), because there is always a thread running in the back of one’s mind, about what next to put on.

The only places where I don’t listen to music is in the car and when outside. In the car, it simply distracts from the fact that I operate a 1,000 kg murder weapon. Otherwise being outside, I just enjoy all the other sounds available; birds and mopeds and what-not. When travelling by train, I listen mostly to podcasts.


in jazz the swinging numbers i listen to. the slow ballards i read .

We have background music on occasionally either through the CD on the main system or the Roberts radio in the kitchen.

If we sit down to listen to music it is always via the turntable, how I listen to it though has changed over the years. I think when I was less happy with the sound of the system I used to listen more intently to the detail, the separation etc all the usual hifi stuff, my friend always had an exceptional system which I foolishly tried to compare to. I do still sit down with the intention of actually listening intently but now I’m happy with my system I find that I drift off very quickly, just enjoy and relax, just occasionally finding myself picking out bass lines or drum patterns etc.

I listen to music in the car when I’m on my own but never when it’s the two of us

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I turn on the internet radio of the ND5xs2 on the groove jazz radio every morning at 07.30 and listen to it in the background while I get dressed and reset the night environments. The dog likes it and listens along under the sofa. Then there are times when I’m sitting on the sofa reading forums and music news from my smartphone or ipad. I often listen to jazz vinyls strictly from blue note records (Tone Poet and Classic series) always seated and concentrated. Headphones only when walking the dog.

I work from home at the moment in the same room as my system, and have music on for much of the day (except days when I have lots of conference calls which seems to be most days currently!) while working as I find it helps me to concentrate. I also have music on in the evening, often while reading or generally relaxing. A couple of times a week I will have a more dedicated music listening session - lights down low, sat in the sweet spot. I’ve been getting back into watching TV more over the past few months which has led to less undisturbed listening time, however I use my system for the TV audio which gives TV viewing a more dramatic backdrop than using the TV speakers.


Any which way, sometimes background often R3, sometimes totally absorbed. Don’t really enjoy in the car.



R3 as background most of day .
We don’t have a TV and spend most evenings reading , doing cryptic crosswords or playing Scrabble whilst listening to chamber music.
Never listen to music in the car.

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