Where do you do most of your listening and how has that affected your collection?

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#1

Thought it might be interesting to see where everyone spends the majority of their time listening and how that affects the gear they own.

For me, the majority of my listening is done in the office. Anywhere between 8-12 hours a day Mon-Fri (Sometimes Saturday if it calls for it). Unless we are doing some testing or reviewing, I generally stick with a nice pair of closed-backs and a portable DAC/AMP for easy on-the go. Currently on the Mobius (until we have to send them back) but the AudioQuest NightOwls, Final Audio Sonorous VI, MrSpeakers AFC and the Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT have all frequented my desk over the past 6 months or so. For DAC/AMP, I generally stick with a Dragonfly Red or iFi Audio iDSD Nano Black Label just for sheer convenience sake.

When I’m commuting, I do swap between closed-back cans and in-ears (in the summer I stick with in-ears mostly just because I don’t want to be sweating all over the pads). But commuting doesn’t play as much as a role in my choice of headphones since it is only a small part of my day.

So where do you spend most of the time listening to headphones? At home? Office? Gym? How has it affected your purchase choices when it comes to gear?

As a bonus question, do you have a piece of gear that you absolutely love but don’t get to spend a whole lot of time with?


#2

Until about a year ago, the majority of my listening time was at my “day job” office. I’d get at least twice as many hours a week listening there as I did at home, though I still had my “best” rig at home. And that office system started out with Audeze LCD-2 and Sennheiser HD650 fed by a Schiit Lyr 2 and a Bifrost MB. A very enjoyable rig … but being who I am it rapidly progressed through a series of upgrades (some of which were "hand me downs from changes in my home rig) and ultimately culminated with a pair of Utopia fed from a Woo WA5-LE Mk2, driven by a Schiit Yggdrasil Analog 2/USB Gen 5 and the latest Rega Planar 3 turntable.

Now most of my listening time is at home, since I’m moving more towards official retirement and what “work” I do is usually from my home-office (or the deck, if the Seattle weather permits). That had two effects … downsizing the office rig (the Woo was replaced with an iFi Pro iCAN and the Utopia are about to be replaced with the Clear), and upgrading the home rig.

My primary chain at home now is a Chord DAVE into the Woo WA234 Mk2 Mono and SPL Phonitor x and any of a number of flagship cans (depending on music, mood etc.). The new HD820 are proving to be excellent there when there’s a lot going on outside, and for night-time listening (the HD820 easily best my existing closed-back headphones … full review coming) either from my main rig, or from a Macbook Pro and Hugo 2.

I get little mobile listening in as most of my travel today is for pleasure … and that means I spend more time chatting with my fiancé than lost in music. But when I do listen on the go it’s either an iPhone X -> AudioQuest Dragonfly Red -> EE Zeus XRA | Etymotic ER4-XR or iPhone X -> Bose QC20i … or I’m traveling alone and carrying maybe the WM1Z, Hugo 2 or using the Dragonfly Red out of the laptop.

As for gear I love but don’t get to spend as much time with as I would like. That’d be my Linn Exakt Katalyst system (speaker rig). Living downtown, and with a girl that likes music to dance to rather than to listen to, it doesn’t get nearly as much use as I’d like.


#3

A picture speaks a thousand words:

I’m currently prepping to move to a new space in the house for my computer desk, so it is a little bit messy, I think it has gotten a lil bit too much for where it currently is and the wife doesn’t like seeing all the headphones out all the time lol. I have more on the shelves on the other side of the room (headphones that is). I mostly have been using the ADI-2 DAC MCTH, and Element as my go to DAC/amps with majority of head time going to the HD800/Elex/Fostex X00PH.

So my at home is my at work setup most of the time, but I do hit the road a lot and usually have been using the Tin T2 and or Andromeda out of my Pixel 2 XL. While at the gym I’m using the MEE BTX1 with CA Comets attached.

Gear I love but don’t get enough play time with is the JBL 30X sitting on my desk…having a 23month old running around tends to limit both headphone and speaker use. That being said these are the first speakers where they just disappear into the background and I can pinpoint where instruments are ( I did a very rudimentary measuring setup to get them angled in my general ear hole direction).


#4

It’s funny you say that. going from Utopias to the Clears. I’m not sure why you did it, but for me I could not justify the cost compared to hearing some people enjoyed the Clears better. So, I thought I’d try that. I must say I enjoyed the Clears much better in many respects. Although they are definitely not as fast as the Utopias, they had much deeper soundstage to me. So sad I had to sell because my “very large head” had problems with them. They were too tight for me and after an hour or so, I started to get headache. Oh well on to newer adventures

Regarding my listening area, it is done almost all in my big chair, in the study. With regards to making upgrades and purchasing, my big problem is that my Mac is there and it’s easier to surf reviews, equipment, etc. Unfortunately for me , I am too compulsive. I’d think at 68 I’d be over that by now? :wink:


#5

I love my LSR-305s. Once the baby is at daycare and my wife back at work they’ll definitely get more playtime.


#6

I switched from the Utopia to the Clear in the office simply because I went from >30 hours listening a week there to, maybe, 3 or 4. Keeping a $4,000 headphone in that rig, especially after down-sizing other aspects of it, just didn’t make sense.

I still prefer the Utopia to the Clear, and my primary headphones in my home rig are the Utopia still, despite having most of the flagship cans sitting there as well. It’s probably not clear, but I have two pairs of Utopia, and the one from the office is just going to move to a secondary rig that gets more time than I now spend “at work”.


#7

I’d happily provide a secondary rig for your use when visiting Austin if you provide the Utopia :slight_smile:


#8

I’d gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today!

J. Wellington Wimpy


#9

Most of my listening is at my home PC. There’s a pair of LS50s in my bedroom that spend more time gathering dust than playing music because there’s never really a time when I have the house to myself. Realistically, even my “once in a while” headphones get more use.


#10

Just need to fine tune some things but this will be my new home office space/shared movie room/daughter playroom lol


#11

That looks a great spot. Unfortunately I am stuck for space at the moment as we have my elderly Mother-in-law living with us until she gets better. With my Daughter back from University at the moment too I will be confined to the Garden shed soon. Hehe :slightly_smiling_face:.

-Paul-


#12


Finalizing my setup, I busted out my input club massdrop K-type keyboard, threw some custom keys on it and here we are. Added the peg board like thing to the wall from Ikea. Other than that I think I’m pretty much done. Middle cubby will be where I’ll be putting my El DAC Bottlehead combo I think…but we’ll see when I get it completed, hopefully in the next couple days.


#13

WOW! All of you folks that get to listen in your offices. I don’t think I’d get that much work done if I tried. Maybe after another 5 or 8 years of training my clients, and I might have time to listen while I work. But if I start to listen . . . well I can sort of multi-task, but I can only do one thing well at a time.

I do most of my listening at home, in the living room. Where in the room depends on if I’m using speakers or phones. Phones - I use the recliner - a “catnapper”. That’s my careful listening chair.

I also do a fair amount of listening outside, on one of the porches. For that, I stream from the iPhone or iPad, generally using a Dragonfly Black, and some open back headphones. The base Grados are good enough, I like to be able to know there are birds, cicadas, and anything else around.

Right now, what gear do I love but don’t get to spend a whole lot of time with? Probably the old STAX phones. I need to think about how I will integrate them into my system. Several upgrades have made them the odd man out, and in my head, they are still my reference.

Thank you Taron, for putting this topic in. I’ve enjoyed others responses. Even if I’m a bit envious.


#14

I love listening to music outside, right now just a lil stoop. I usually use my Andromeda out of my Pixel2 phone outside.


#15

I listen in several places, which I might later memorialize with pictures once they’re less of a mess:

Home Office and Roaming

I have a standing desk at which I do most of my work, and I also tend to roam about the house a lot and like to take my headphones with me when I do. My “work breaks” often consistent of chores like washing dishes, picking up after the kids, etc., which I find less tedious when accompanied by some good music. For this reason, I typically keep my headphones (right now the HD58X) connected to my LG V20 during the day.

My desk does hold a Magni 3 fed by Roon via a Chromecast or Raspberry Pi with Hifiberry, which I can use if I want something more powerful, but other than for writing reviews I basically never use the Magni 3 with headphones. At this point it’s just a glorified volume control for my LSR305 monitors.

My home office also contains an Ikea POÄNG armchair in which I take breaks from standing. A small side table next to the chair provides a place to rest my LG V20 while I sit, as well as a Garage 1217 Ember II when I’m inclined that way. I can feed the Ember from Roon via another Raspberry Pi with Hifiberry. I used to enjoy the ember with the DT 1990, but now that I’m down to the LCD2C and HD58X I basically never use it anymore. I’ll probably keep it around for future headphones/headphone tests, but it might end up in my cabinet only to appear on-demand.

Bedroom

In the evenings, I like to listen in my bedroom, where I keep another POÄNG chair next to my bedside table, on which reside a Topping NX4 strapped to a Raspberry Pi as well as an LCD2C in a custom display case that my wife gifted me. I used to feed the NX4 from Roon to drive my LCD2C for some smooth and mellow evening listening. Lately, I’m actually finding that I really love the sound of LG V20 -> Topping NX4 -> HD58X, so my current evening setup is the same as my roaming setup with the NX4 inserted into the chain as amplifier.

Coworking Space

When I get to my coworking space (which is rarer than I’d like), I simply grab my Revonext QT2’s and drive those from my iPhone SE. Using the Equalizer App I’m able to EQ these naturally bright IEMs to something more to my liking, and the iPhone SE drives them well enough.

In case anyone wonders why my house has been overrun by POÄNG armchairs, it’s because I find them supremely comfortable. They cradle my body in a way that avoids pressure points and almost gives me the impression of floating in mid air, great for listening without distraction! The sitting position also allows me to comfortably accommodate my laptop, which makes it well suited to my office. They’re dirt cheap and unlike typical American armchairs take up very little space, and their mid-century modern aesthetic suits my own sensibilities.


#16

I just got a POANG for the living room as my gaming chair…it is exactly as you describe it! Such a comfy chair! My daughter has a mini one that sits next to mine. I might have to pick up another one for the movie/office/playroom!


#17

Most of my listening is around the house in various rooms but mainly between the living room and the bedroom. This makes it hard to get a good listening space set up. I no longer have a spare room because my 86 year old mother in law is living with us due to ill health. With my own I’ll health I can’t get out as much as I like so hence having to use my bedroom as the current main room. I have all my gear in here and usually just listen to my iem’s and my portable rig which usually consists of Pioneer Dap and Andromeda’s/846’s/Massdrop Plus. For the main rig I have the Matrix M-Stage HPA 3u Amp/Dac paired with the Pioneer Dac and HD800 or HD600 amongst others. Still looking to expand my gear but require room. I also have loads of portable amps and accessories. I usually get in 8 hours plus daily.

-Paul-