• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Do "audio enthusiasts" like many of us here at ASR consider audio to be a hobby?

Xulonn

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
761
Likes
1,959
Location
Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama
#1
I certainly do - audio has been a significant "hobby" for me since assembling my first HiFi system around a used 20w Bell vacuum tube amplifier as a high school student in Chicago in 1958.

Bell 2300 Amplifier-01.jpg


Bell 2300 Amplifier-04.jpg


Hobbies can be valuable parts of our lives involving distractions from our work and/or anxieties, and providing pleasant relief - or they can be obsessions that have a profound negative effect on the personality and mental health of some people. It is my observation that most ASR regulars and visitors have a healthy relationship with this hobby, but we do get occasional visitors who are in the angry aggressive (or passive-aggressive) category which almost always leads to contentious threads with endlessly repeated bogus information and ludicrous claims. Occasionally, we even get well credentialed visitors with strong academic backgrounds in science and engineering who have obviously fallen into the morass of illogical and unsupported audiophile foolishness.

In addition to my interest in audio and love of music, I have a deep interest in the relationship of humans to the world we live in - from "human-nature relationships" to "human-technology relationships". My formal background in human interactions with their environments includes several college courses in psychology and sociology, and training and certification as a neuropsychiatric technician in the U.S. Navy.

People who are interested in audio and music reproduction include a spectrum that spans a range from casual interest in the methods and styles of assembling audio (music reproduction) systems, to a pathological compulsive hobby involving a fierce and often angry defending of illogical, non-scientific "beliefs" and a total lack of knowledge about how our sensory inputs and brains interact. The "denial" of the peer-reviewed findings of psychoacoustics professionals is certainly as powerful as the denial of AGW/CC (anthropogenic global warming and climate change), another psychology-based topic that interests me greatly.

After reading a couple of ASR threads this morning, I started thinking about the role of music in the lives of people living in the modern, high-tech world, .

At first thought, I considered three primary ways we listen to music - with most of us here falling into groups 2 and 3:
  1. In the background as added "ambience",
  2. Dedicated listening (focused on and absorbed in the music)
  3. Audiophile style "critical listening (listening to the sound rther than the essence of the music)
I did a couple of Google searches, and found a wide variety of opinions and reporting on the subject, with this (LINK) search being the most interesting. The second hit at the search, "Learn About Audiophile" at www.discoverahobby.com is so poorly written as to be cringeworthy. But I did discover one bit of actual research that is quite fascinating and has some clues fr happiness and fulfillment via music - check out the last sentence below! I plan to buy a copy of the book - I find the human side of the science of music to be as interesting and fascination as the human side of the science of audio.)

a 2016 two-pronged study conducted by Sonos and Apple Music, in part with the help of neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, author of This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession. The first part of the study involved an online and global survey of 30,000 smartphone users, aged 18–79, all of whom lived with at least one other person, which explored how listening to music together affects their lives. Among the interesting discoveries: 71% of households who engaged in what Levitin terms "communal listening" saw a marked increase in kids helping with cleaning. On the adult side, 59% of people reported finding others more attractive if they liked and listened to the same music, and couples reported having twice as much sex.
 

RayDunzl

Major Contributor
Central Scrutinizer
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
8,115
Likes
5,212
Location
Riverview FL
#3
There's a little surprise toward the end...

 

RayDunzl

Major Contributor
Central Scrutinizer
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
8,115
Likes
5,212
Location
Riverview FL
#4
I don't think of music as a hobby, it's just something in which I participate, that is part of my life.

Is watching TV a hobby?

Going to check the mailbox?
 

Ron Texas

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 10, 2018
Messages
2,338
Likes
2,054
Location
Equidistant From Everywhere
#6
I don't think of music as a hobby, it's just something in which I participate, that is part of my life.

Is watching TV a hobby?

Going to check the mailbox?
These activities are an obsession for some.

I would rather avoid the hobby aspects and enjoy the music.
 

Xulonn

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
761
Likes
1,959
Location
Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama
#8
There's a little surprise toward the end...
Thanks Ray - that was fascinating and I will likely follow up on the links in the video. Correlates nicely with the brain diagram in my second post.
 

SIY

Technical Expert
Technical Expert
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
3,565
Likes
6,705
Location
Phoenix, AZ
#10
Hobby: an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation.

So, yes.

I separate music listening or playing from audio as a hobby.
 

Xulonn

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
761
Likes
1,959
Location
Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama
#11
These activities are an obsession for some.

I would rather avoid the hobby aspects and enjoy the music.
Agreed Ron. But yet here you are, having a discussion about audio. And this thread is about audio - not music.

My favorite thing about a good audio system is dedicated - but not "critical" listening. For me it is like going to a live performance - I'm there to enjoy the music. I don't often participate in music sub-forums at technology-based discussion websites. Nor do I often listen to music while doing "computer stuff." I also don't listen to music while walking or hiking because I don't like being disconnected from the world around me. I feel disconnected when I am in a car, and very often listen to recorded music in that situation.

Only when there is an audible "problem" with my system, or something irritates me - which is a rare occurrence - does my "audio hobby - side activate while listening to music. For me, audio hardware and music are related, but generally kept separate. Technology and psychology are why I am here - as most people would know from reading my posts.
 

sergeauckland

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 16, 2016
Messages
1,088
Likes
2,158
Location
Suffolk UK
#12
Hobby: an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation.

So, yes.

I separate music listening or playing from audio as a hobby.
Very much the same for me. Audio, as in the equipment, was originally a hobby that turned into my lifetime career, but since retirement has return back into an occasional hobby. Music listening has always been and remains my prime leisure activity, equipment to play the music on much less so.

As far as equipment goes, I now have far more interest in just using it than playing with it, although I do still tinker building the odd item, and repairing and making measurements just for fun.

S
 

DuxServit

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 21, 2018
Messages
263
Likes
234
#14
This is like asking how many people like “cooking” things in the kitchen but don’t like eating food. ;)

I’m following ASR because I’m interested in the engineering aspects of sound reproduction. I also like to listen to the best possible recording available, using the best budget-optimal solution available.
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2019
Messages
88
Likes
75
#15
Definitely a hobby for me, and even now I’ve got most of the parts needed for a Douglas Self-designed preamplifier standing by. My listening style is casual but I do like a big, room-filling sound.
 

anmpr1

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
1,060
Likes
1,487
#16
A hobby. Both listening to and creating. But here's an odd thing I've discovered. When listening to my hi-fi I want low distortion. That's the key. It sounds better that way. When playing my electric guitar, I want a lot of distortion. In fact, turn up the overdrive and effects, and it sounds better. Go figure.
 

raistlin65

Active Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Messages
245
Likes
205
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
#17
After reading a couple of ASR threads this morning, I started thinking about the role of music in the lives of people living in the modern, high-tech world, .

At first thought, I considered three primary ways we listen to music - with most of us here falling into groups 2 and 3:
  1. In the background as added "ambience",
  2. Dedicated listening (focused on and absorbed in the music)
  3. Audiophile style "critical listening (listening to the sound rther than the essence of the music)
I think that there are more distinct groups than 2 & 3. Here's how I would break those two up. But there's probably other ways to do it as well. And, of course, more than one of these things could be going on in a listening session.
  • There's immersion in the aesthetic experience of the music which is a form of dedicated listening. Much like being carried away by a story where you feel and absorb it. Any reflection is a consequence of the aesthetic experience asking for reflection, like how a story can challenge you to think about a character.
  • There's critical listening of the composition or performance of the music that is a form of analysis or evaluation, something like a musician might do who is thinking about the technique being used to play guitar or how the composition works from a music theory perspective. This is its own form of dedicated listening which requires focus.
  • And then there's the audiophile tendency to listen to the equipment (or the file format) through the music. The music is not the primary focus.
 

bribur

New Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 24, 2019
Messages
3
Likes
6
Location
Seattle Area
#18
It's a hobby, I like the diy aspect. Building speakers especially combines with woodworking which I also enjoy. And I like messing with electronics, I started with Dynaco and Hafler kits then rebuilt a Citation II a few years ago. Listening groups 2 and 3, with more 3 lately trying to integrate the subs I just finished.
20191202_112421.jpg
 

JJB70

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
2,022
Likes
4,145
Location
Milton Keynes, England
#19
I see an interest in audio equipment as a hobby, an a love for music as a passion (or obsession). It may seem that the two are natural companions but I know many music lovers with no interest in audio equipment, hifi, and know audio equipment enthusiasts who for some weird reason seem to view music as something they need to allow them to listen to equipment. I love both, yes the audio equipment is a tool for enjoyment of music, but I do have an interest in classic old hifi and like playing with equipment.
 

splattened

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 15, 2019
Messages
61
Likes
95
Location
St. Louis
#20
Audio is a reluctant hobby of mine for a few months every 5 years or so. Just enough to thoughtfully update or replace my existing system if and where necessary. Historically I've mostly fucking hated it and found it frustrating because of the lack of coherent and reliable information. ASR has made it much more bearable.
 
Top Bottom