The Dedicated Two-Channel Listening Room - R.I.P.


I have a dedicated listening room for my stereo system - I've had one in various domiciles for over 30 years. Most of the people I meet at HiFi shows and get-togethers also have dedicated listening rooms; so what makes me think that dedicated two-channel rooms will go the way of the Dodo? Demographics...

The world is becoming more populated and living spaces, especially in the most popular urban environments, are becoming more compact. The numbers of new apartment or townhouse layouts that include a room that only serves one purpose are diminishing. The man-cave has given way to the media and family room, and in many urban apartments that media/family room is also the primary living room/social space. In that space one sound system can serve as the primary entertainment/media center for the entire apartment.

Sure, the well-to-do urbanites and their country cousins will still have the ends and means for a dedicated sound room, but most people, especially in the city, will find the only true private listening space they have left is through their headphones. In a world where peace and quiet will become increasingly difficult to find, it could even be considered poor manners or worse to play music loudly enough that anyone else could hear it. Yes, serious music listening could become a solitary endeavor, similar to reading a book.

I don' think the dedicated listening room will vanish overnight, but I do think that by the middle of the 21st century the concept of the "man cave" or "audio room" will be a quaint old custom only embraced by a few humans...

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