All News & Blogs
BY MICHAEL DEEDS
The Idaho Statesman
If you're like the rest of the world, music is part of your daily routine.
You crank it at the gym. You blare it in the car. You hum along to it while boiling pasta for dinner.
You can't imagine life without music. But are you hearing it? Until a few weeks ago, I wasn't--at least with any regularity.
Most of my listening was done through earbuds, computer speakers and iPod docks--convenient, low-quality options. Just like you, right?
I'm not sure when this happened to me. To us. It has everything to do with the proliferation of downloadable music and portable listening devices.
But I had an epiphany recently. I have since reconnected with music. And I ain't going back.
The first slap in the face came on a weeknight. Rifling through a drawer, I found a forgotten pair of Sennheiser HD-280 Pro headphones. I haven't used them as much as I'd hoped. I use earbuds.
On a whim, I plugged them into my laptop. The first random song I clicked was by '90s ghoul-metal band White Zombie.
What the--? I did not remember White Zombie sounding anything like this: immersive, clear. I sampled another band: Steely Dan. Another: Rush. I clicked from song to song. Everything was so stunning. I finally forced myself to bed at 1:30 a.m.
Dragging into work the next morning, headphones in hand, I felt excited. Ashamed. Stupid.
For the past few years, I've been listening to music at my desk through Sennheiser CX 300B buds. An upgrade from stock iPod earbuds? Yes. But these HD-280 Pro cans crush those.
The downside: They feel like wearing a football helmet. The upside: Instruments separate, unfold, like a peacock's feathers. Even tunes streaming online.
I couldn't stop. This was the music I remembered hearing before everything was played through tiny iStuff speakers and earbuds. I had to find my way back home.
The next step took place in a cinderblock workshop next to my house. I spend hours in that old room listening to tunes with friends. There's a beer fridge. And pretzels. Life is good in the shop.