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?
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…