Somebody may listen to music with their eyes closed, necks craned with hundred percent concentration. It’s all very well having a dynamic range of 90dB or so on your CD player, but if there is any household noise like washing machine or hair-dryer may lead to the quality lost.
Thus, this is one of the reasons why systems tend to sound better late at night. In fact, for all the other theories of late night improvements – cleaner mains, better voltage and even lower levels of interference from neighbours’ electrical such as PC, TV set. But the most persuasive argument is that of lower background noise – quiet listening environment.
Soundproofing your room is the first step of a hi-fi / music enthusiast. It is nearly impossible for a normal family to have its dedicated listening room. I don’t have it too; but I would share my experience for my pervious work in my home.
Keep your doors and windows closed, it will help much for reducing noise surrounded. Further, you should stop the washing machines, dishwashers (motor) or personal computer (cooling fan) while listening music. It is because they have mechanical activities during working time. Another suggestion is that you should have a dedicated power supply for the hi-fi equipment. Don’t mix up the usage with other electrical, even the TV set for your home cinema. It also helps much in reducing the noise.
It is not necessary to spend too much for building a listening room (even it is the best idea). The most extreme case I have seen is that there is an engineer in Hong Kong built up a very large steel cage with grounded-wire to filter all radio-frequency radiation. He is sitting inside the cage (better say – jail) for listening to his hi-fi.
Switching off potential sources of radio-frequency radiation, such as computers and dimmer switches, can help no end. Moreover, you can keep your system “always on” and you can enjoy the music immediately. For more about warming up, please check another article “How Warming up Works”.
As there is nothing absolutely right in the world, you do not need to get all mystical. It is your own practical work to make your system better – achieving better music. However, read a book or magazine while the music’s on and you are hearing, not listening; it’s a matter of your attention being distracted.
If you’ve ever listened to your system with the lights out, you’ll probably have discovered it sounds better; if you haven’t, try it. Maybe those “closed-eye” hi-fi fans had it right – reduce the visual distractions, and the sound gets better.
Your system should probably perform better than you think. I have seen many people spend lots of wasting money for nothing. If you have bought a reasonable set, just try everything to let it be its best.