What is the ultimate way of enjoying music? Well, for me that would be live music, period. There is something that happens when I listen to music live that I can not describe with words, that I can not explain in a simple video. I guess that there is a mix of things, the ambient created with people that are on the same page than me, that we share similar likes. The excitement of hearing that band live. The suspense of not knowing what song would be next… and most importantly, those huge speakers that are placed on the right ant left side.
I will confess something though. Like almost any other thing in the audio world, there is no short answer to the question: What is the ultimate way to listen to music? Not considering live music, obviously… You see, that is subjective.
I will tell you that my favorite way of listening to music is with two loudspeakers. The reason for it is because that reproduces a very similar, or for me the most similar, experience to hear live music.
I’m not an expert, I don’t measure anything in audio, actually, I do not care about that. You know if something sounds good if you test it and you like it. I do not care if I get more isolation or less harmonic distortion hearing through some headphones rather with speakers. I only care what sounds more pleasant for me.
When you hear music with loudspeakers, the soundwaves bounce to your shoulders before entering your ear canals. For me, this way of listening to music is more physical.
We have to stay clear in something. Depending on the situation, some source is better than the other. For example, If I go for a walk, I prefer IEM, because they block me from ambient noise and allows me to hear the music better than OEM. If you are exposed to a lot of ambient noises you won’t be able to appreciate good music. But, if I’m home, I would use my OEM because they move air effortlessly. And just like live music, compared to IEM, these big cans reproduce a more physical experience in my opinion.
To be fair I would say that depending on the situation, one source could be better than the other. But if I just have to choose one I would go for the loudspeakers.