For some people, music is a part of daily life from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep. I am one of those people.
From my HAIM ringtone waking me up in the morning, to my curated Spotify playlist that I listen to while getting ready for work, to the playlist I sing along to on my commute to work…music is there. This got me thinking about which part of my musical day I enjoy the most. Is it when I’m getting ready, or when I’m driving, or is it when I get the chance to see music live?
I think for me, live music will always be Number 1. There’s just something about the energy of live music; however, with live music comes inconsistency. I’ve been to some live shows where I went in so excited because I loved the band’s record, but then they were super-underwhelming live, and I left so disappointed.
Given that live music is hot and cold, I would say my favorite way to listen to music is either in my car or through headphones (I’ve always preferred headphones over earphones). I love the surround sound feel a car gives you, especially if you’re listening to a bass-heavy track and the car sort of vibrates with you. It becomes a sort of full-body experience. On the other hand, headphones offer this super-intimate listening experience, where I feel like it’s just me and the music in my ears, like I’m in my own little world where nobody else can hear what I’m listening to or experience what I am in that moment. I love listening to music with headphones when I’m working or thinking. Sometimes I’ll listen with headphones when I’m cooking too!
I figured I couldn’t be the only one who had specific ways they liked to listen to music, so I asked some of my coworkers where their favorite places were and why.
Stephen Kohler, Senior Director of Marketing
“I generally like listening to music on the go—traveling on airplanes, at the gym, driving around town, etc. I tend be constantly running around, and listening to music this way fits into my lifestyle. In a more specific sense, believe it or not, my first choice is in my car, using my car’s CD player. Why? I prefer CD level audio quality to MP3. My second choice is using my iPod at the gym. When using MP3s, I do my best to use high-level encoding when possible.”
Lindsey Lerner, Product Marketing Specialist
“My favorite way to listen to music is in my car. To me, it is almost like a personal concert space where it is just me and my music. Listening to music in my car allows me to sing along to my heart’s content and act like fool (because I think no one is watching), but to me, that’s how I connect with a song. In my car I can adjust the bass, the tone, the balance etc., so it helps me customize my listening experience a little further than I could just listening on my phone.”
Sam Bicak, Customer Service Representative
“My favorite way to listen is absolutely seeing music live. When you see a band or musician play live, you really get the full experience of their music by seeing the passion and emotion behind what they are playing. Now, if I’m not talking about being at a show, then it would definitely be at home through some nice big speakers. The format of the recording (CD, vinyl, laptop etc.) doesn’t matter to me quite as much, though I do have a tendency to be anti-lossy formats. I prefer speakers over headphones so I can really turn up the music and jam out without hurting my ears too much. For me, music just makes every part of the day-to-day better. Whether it’s cooking up a nice dinner or having to clean up my dog’s mess for the umpteenth time, having a great album playing keeps everything fun and easy.”
Matt Kordonowy, Technical Writing
“The medium and your environment greatly impact the listening experience. I consume music in all formats.”
- Classical on the radio: in the kitchen, making food, listening to classical. Calming, and insightful. Helps to digest the day.
- Vinyl in the living room: for hanging out and analyzing classic records and recording techniques. Learn from the pros; time-tested tunes. Vinyl encourages atypical record listening because of bizarre / esoteric, practically free scores at the thrift shop or record store.
- Cassettes: local bands, lo-fi culture. Cassettes can be magical and confusing.
- Live music: local bands, community happenings. I always appreciate something in seeing a band live, regardless of my overall opinion of them. You also get to understand what is (or isn’t) important to crowds.
- Earbuds on public transit: time for introspection and dissecting amazing recordings, à la Aphex Twin, Björk, or something more ethereal like Hank Williams. I tend to listen to moodier music on earphones, for some reason. Perhaps because the sounds are internalized so much quicker.
Do you have a favorite place to listen to music? Let us know in the comments below!