- Jul 18, 2014
Yes that’s the way I see active listening also... easy with my horn setup it’s actually hard to do anything else with either the horns or the Magnepan 20.7s... completely engaged... not drifting or reading or browsing or anything.It may come down to how you think of "background" or "active" listening.
I think most people, including Roon users, aren't giving their full attention, or even close to full attention, to music listening most of the time. There are many levels of attention from deep focus to distant background.
I have my system in my work studio. It might be on 4 to 10 hrs a day. If I'm doing work with only my hands, I can still listen with maybe 75% average attention, but wavering in and out with short periods of 100% attention. If I have to be doing more verbal or analytical work, my attention to the music has to go much lower (what most would consider "background"). If I really have to concentrate on something verbal, I'll have to turn the music off or to very low volume.
For active listening, with total immersion, I can't be doing anything else. It's like meditation. Ideally, I'd like to spend 1-2 hours a day attempting to listen with total immersion, if I can find the time.
There's a great piece written by Herb Reichert on the art and effort of deep listening. It's a practice, like meditation, and a skill to be developed over time.
Herb says the best he's done is 2 minutes of perfect concentrated music listening.
The Harbeth 40.2s are specifically for multi tasking... great wide sweet spot you can still be musically connected while your active brain does tasking or while having friends around.
There are plenty of people I know using Roon who are just more into the music and access than the sonic sharpening which can also be a perfectly good focus for people as well. I like both.