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I prefer to listen to recorded music ...

Displaying poll results.
In mono.
  536 votes / 1%
In stereo.
  15873 votes / 58%
In 5.1 surround sound.
  2195 votes / 8%
In 7.1 surround sound.
  837 votes / 3%
In quadraphonic surround sound.
  611 votes / 2%
In some more exotic channel configuration.
  317 votes / 1%
Through bone conduction.
  1733 votes / 6%
Your question is already wrong.
  4996 votes / 18%
27098 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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I prefer to listen to recorded music ...

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  • by Nationless (2123580) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @11:38PM (#39545735)

    How it is intended, which depends on the source.

    If it was recorded in stereo, I will listen in stereo.
    If it was recorded with 12.2 in mind, I will (try) to listen to it using 12.2

    • by xaxa (988988) on Monday April 02, 2012 @06:49AM (#39547215)

      I understood that point to mean "I don't listen to recorded music", i.e. find me at a gig, in a concert, in my mum's garage, etc.

      • by residieu (577863) on Monday April 02, 2012 @09:49AM (#39548215)

        I hire a band to follow me around and play all my favorite hits.

        I need to find a new one, my current singer is getting lippy when I tell him to put on the Lady Gaga costume

        • by BlueStrat (756137)

 current singer is getting lippy when I tell him to put on the Lady Gaga costume

          It would probably help if the meat was fresh (no wearing last week's outfit...yuck!) and pre-warmed (to prevent male "shrinkage") before wearing.


      • Live music all the way, I prefer to support bands over supporting labels and distribution networks. Not to mention that where I live we have a great local music scene. I'll buy CDs at the gig itself if the band is any good.
        • by xaxa (988988)

          I just thought of another option: in a nightclub. [Possible language/cultural difference: some Americans I met recently said there was no such thing as a "metal nightclub" (or rock, etc), i.e. a nightclub that played metal music. That's certainly not the case here, clubs don't just play electronic dance music -- but it is most common.]

          I discover stuff fairly regularly in my favourite place, which has a pretty clear idea of what music they like, and often a band on stage at 2:00 or so.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      Depends what I am listening on. I mostly use headphones and early stereo recordings have so much separation (basically instruments are on one channel or the other) that they need some cross-fade to be enjoyable. Generally I'm a purist and go for as little alteration of the sound as possible, but for early stereo I make an exception.

    • by Thanshin (1188877)

      How it is intended, which depends on the source.

      Exactly. Depending on the source, I may prefer to listen to it lipsynched by the original singer while sharing a shower.

      It's such a good multimedia system it could make you enjoy many songs you really wouldn't expect to care about.

    • That recording was made by Krell musicians a half a million years ago.

      It plays directly into your brain.
  • by Concerned Onlooker (473481) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @11:58PM (#39545801) Homepage Journal

    When I was in high school (many years ago) my friend and I were poking around in his garage and we happened upon an old Magnavox mono sound system. There was an amp and one big speaker. We hooked his turn table up to the thing, got the tubes warmed up and wham! That thing had incredible sound! It was then that I realized that not everything that was old was inferior.

    • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Monday April 02, 2012 @12:34AM (#39545969)

      Ah, memories... as teenagers we used to stay up all night and all day starting new years eve, listening to Casey Kasem present the yearly top 100 countdown. When he'd announce a song we really liked was coming up, we'd prop the cassette recorder right next to one of the speakers of my parent's coffee table radio & record player. We'd fill up one side of the tape, then turn it over. Occasionally our calculation of how much tape remained would be off, and we'd have to scramble and get the cassette flipped and recording again during one of the songs.

      Those recordings were pretty bad (what's the next step down from mono?), but we had a lot of fun listening to them during the next few weeks...

      • Taping off the radio and high-speed dubbing: Two things I don't miss from the 70s and 80s.

    • by type40 (310531)

      That thing had incredible sound! It was then that I realized that not everything that was old was inferior.

      Reminds me of my RCA console stereo. When it was in fully functional condition it had a nice rich sound. Not overpowering, just nice.
      But then the turntable started to act up, and now the amp will randomly make a full volume "click" after its been running for a few minutes.
      Someday I'll fix it but for right now it just serves a nice place to put my keys and wallet.

    • by Fluffeh (1273756)

      Around eighteen years ago, the store where I worked after school was closing down, as I had some money saved up, I decided to buy a really nice sound system. I got a fantastic deal on a set of Jamo speakers and a Harman Kardon amp to run them - theyretailed around $7k at the time. I am still using them today, and while I have the money to go out an buy pretty much whatever I would want, there is simply no need at all to upgrade.

      If you get good quality whatever, it will stay good quality assuming it is looke

  • by LearnToSpell (694184) on Monday April 02, 2012 @12:04AM (#39545827) Homepage
    Stereo can be fine. If there's access to the original recordings though, there can be fantastic remixes. I'd recommend the surround mix of Nine Inch Nails - the Downward Spiral. If you like that album at all, surround really takes it to another level. A very immersive experience.

    I voted 7.1 though. :-D Love the channel separation if it's done right.
    • by pla (258480) on Monday April 02, 2012 @09:40AM (#39548117) Journal
      I voted 7.1 though. :-D Love the channel separation if it's done right.

      I know, right? I love it when the sound smoothly "rotates" in space from my left ear to my left dorsal ear!
  • Anything but (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dark grep (766587)

    Anything but lossy compressed MP3's! An MP3 just sucks the life out of the sound. Even on an average stereo system in my car, while driving, the loss of fidelity is noticeable, and just becomes more and more annoying over time. If anyone thinks and MP3 is in any way a substitute for 40Khz dynamic range, then they just have no soul.

      • Re:Anything but (Score:4, Interesting)

        by locopuyo (1433631) on Monday April 02, 2012 @01:24AM (#39546179) Homepage
        Actually surround sound does make a difference. Human ears aren't stuck in a fixed position. You can turn your head.
        • by fusiongyro (55524)

          Nice jab! Would be better if it were relevant though: we're discussing 40KHz dynamic range and MP3 sounding shittier than uncompressed, which simply isn't true (unless you're using a very old encoder or very low quality settings).

      • Great article! Bookmarked and will definitely pass on to other people. Thank you!

    • Re:Anything but (Score:5, Insightful)

      by VVrath (542962) on Monday April 02, 2012 @01:33AM (#39546219)

      40Khz dynamic range

      Frequency is measured in Hertz. Dynamic Range is measured in dB.

      Just in case you weren't trolling: if you can notice a "loss of fidelity" in an mp3 you listen to in the car there is something wrong with your encoder. LAME -v2 (~192kbps) is almost impossible for even those with Golden Ears to ABX under ideal circumstances. In a car with 70dB of background noise you'd struggle to identify a 64kbps encode.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It's perfectly possible to distinguish, if only you know what to listen for, even in a running car.

        The sad thing is, once your heard it, you'll hear it more often. Maybe not all of the time, but occasionaly. Drums will sound shittier, anything with a hissing sound will miss detail, The sound color of guitars and vocals might be slightly off. And on and on the list goes.

        But nooo, of course we can't hear it. Because your science proven we can't hear it right? You are the first to post partly correct - at 192k

      • by Khyber (864651)

        I've got LAME 256kbit and I can clearly hear 'underwater' artifacting of cymbals and harmonics from a distorted electric guitar. It's too easy to pick out for me since I've listened to crap like that since MP3 popped out, and I also can hear my much clearer guitar over it, even at lower UNCOMPRESSED levels.

        My mixer board, pedal, everything runs middle position. Volume at max coming from the computer to the mixer, max volume on the software player. Sony MDR-V150 on my head.

        • VBR > CBR

          • Re:Anything but (Score:5, Insightful)

            by arth1 (260657) on Monday April 02, 2012 @07:29AM (#39547345) Homepage Journal

            VBR > CBR

            The opinions on that are divided. Some people claim to be irritated or feel tired by the rapid shifts between bitrates which subtly changes the sound, and would prefer, say, 192 kbps CBR to 128-320 kbps VBR averaging at 192 kbps.

            I tend to agree; as long as the bit rate is high enough, CBR seems to sound better to me.

            And, of course, 320 kbps CBR is undoubtedly the best you can get in MP3 layer I.

            But with storage being what it is these days, I see few reasons to use MP3 at all, except for car stereos, DLNA streaming devices and similar that can't handle FLAC. Even MP3 players and phones take cards (or you bought the wrong one), and carrying around a small handful of cards isn't much of a hassle.

    • by residieu (577863)
      I much prefer the crisp pure warm static of music over the FM radio.
    • Sir, could I interest you in some cable risers?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by dark grep (766587)

      Really? Modded as flamebait? Are you all deaf? I am not an audiophile by any means, as you can probably tell from my use of terminology. But surely everyone agrees an MP3 sounds crap compared to a CD or an LP?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 02, 2012 @12:19AM (#39545895)

    If the recording is done with a binaural recording method (Dark Side of the Moon), or even just with headphones in mind, there's no reason for more channels. You've only got two ears, after all.

    If I'm listening with speakers, then at least 5.1 to provide that "surrounded by sound" feeling.

    • I mostly agree, but I think two good speakers make music sound better than 5 shitty ones.

      • by cayenne8 (626475)
        Absolutely, I have Klipschorns [], I heard my first pair of these, running off a McIntosh tube amp when I was about 12yrs old, and fell in love with them.

        . I've been building and upgrading my audio system little by little over the years, and I finally got a pair of these about a decade ago...and have enjoyed them so much. They are so efficient...I run them off a couple of little SET amps, from Decware...about 5 watts per channel of pure goodness.

        And yes, that 5W can get plenty loud...just ask the cops that h

      • I'm not an expert, but I thought it had more to do with the amps than the speakers?
        • by fusiongyro (55524)

          Speakers have different efficiency levels. Better speakers are more efficient and need less amperage to create the same volume of sound.

      • What if you have 2 good speakers vs 5 good ones?

      • by Trogre (513942)

        Bad car analogy follows: A Mitsubishi Chariot with 95-octane fuel drives better than a Ferrari with sugar in the fuel tank.

        The above statement, like yours, is true, but not particularly useful. Of course good speakers sound better than shitty ones in any situation.

    • by allo (1728082)

      when it was recorded with more points, then you can play it with more speakers, and notice a change, when you move inside the room. When playing using headphones you would need some sort of headtracking for this to work.

  • 5.1 vs stereo. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Delusion_ (56114) on Monday April 02, 2012 @12:43AM (#39546011) Homepage

    The 5.1 "up-mixed" sources I hear now allow me a contextual basis to better understand the initial complaints over bad stereo upmixes of mono sources from the 1960s.

    I listened to a classic album (The Doors - Waiting for the Sun) from a 5.1 source. It sounded like you were in the middle of a large studio, with each performer about 30 feet away from you, each coming out on one single channel, for the most part. It was horribly, horribly gimmicky and awful sounding. But, much like the initial move from mono to stereo, I'm sure albums or performances originally recorded with 5.1 in mind are going to be better than these gimmicky up-mixes which are a lot like the after-the-fact 3D processing a lot of movies are getting today.

    Generally, though, if I had a choice between stereo and 5.1 and neither was just a gimmicky version of the other, I'd take the stereo version. It's more convenient, you're not always in front of a 5.1 system.

  • On Cowboy Neal's sound system. It saves on my electric bill!,
    Or, better yet, I enjoy Cowboy Neal singing live, in his shower. He has such a wonderful voice!
  • He's quadraphonic he's ah.. he's got more channels

  • I don't prefer to listen to recorded music at all! I prefer it live!
  • Two Point One (Score:5, Informative)

    by LoudMusic (199347) on Monday April 02, 2012 @01:36AM (#39546223)

    Is 2.1 a thing? stereo plus a sub. That's what I typically use.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Unless you've got some augments we don't know about everyone is using bone conduction (malleus, incus and stapes).

  • I'm never sure if left is front or back, but it's definitely stereo.
    It's rather big and loud, too. []
  • by antdude (79039) on Monday April 02, 2012 @04:09AM (#39546745) Homepage Journal

    I care about clarity and bass (love the feels) since I am mostly deaf and wear a bone conduction hearing aid (mono only). :)

  • I many would prefer to hear it as realistically as possible, but uses stereo instead for practical reasons.

    • by tirerim (1108567)
      Stereo is going to be pretty realistic for most things -- most musical performances don't involve the audience being surrounded by the band.

      (I've certainly been to a number of performances that did involve a few people appearing in the back of the hall, but they're still a small minority.)
  • by ctrl-alt-canc (977108) on Monday April 02, 2012 @05:33AM (#39547003)
    I did a very accurate comparison, involving a few people and asking them to listen several times the same piece of music on each of the systems proposed in the survey. Double blind comparison, together with a very accurate statistical analysis of the respone, showed that there is no significant difference at all among mono, stereo and 7.1 surround. There is only a very slight preference of the audience towards quadraphonic surround, but this could be explained by the age distribution of the sample.
    Oh, I almost forgot to mention that this [] is the piece of music used for the listening test.
  • ...because I do not prefer to listen to recorded music at all. I prefer my music live and in person. The audio processing system doesn't matter. They all sound crappy on earbuds.

  • Oh the sweet sounds...

  • My performance vs. passive attendance ratio at concerts is probably around 3:1. As long as the opportunity exists, I'd much rather contribute to the performance -- to interpret every nuance from the conductor, to operate the instrument such that it's an extension of my lungs and limbs, to remain blissfully unaware of the old lady unwrapping her candy and the tween texting his buddies out in the audience.
  • Surprised (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AdrianKemp (1988748) on Monday April 02, 2012 @10:49AM (#39548797)

    What a useless question... the speaker quality is what matters, not the channels.

    I'm not a fool; I know that spending more than a fairly modest sum on speakers is pointless. But I couldn't give a damn about 18 versus 1 channels or even speakers, what I do care about is that they aren't dollar store speakers.

  • .

    (That's a period.)

  • Through bone conduction

    Most people my age seem to favor this.
    Back in school, I swear I was the only one who would keep my volume low enough so that only I could hear it.

    • by xaxa (988988)

      Back in school, I swear I was the only one who would keep my volume low enough so that only I could hear it.

      I'm concerned for all the people damaging their hearing. You get the same effect in cars and planes, but I notice it most on underground trains, and I think they're noisiest of the three. I set my volume somewhere quiet, and don't change it to compensate for announcements or clattery track, but many people do -- then, when they get off and the train leaves, I can hear their music from halfway along the platform.

      Incidentally, someone made music [] from sounds on the London Underground. I like the idea (I lik

  • I actually prefer my music live. That's why I've hired this mariachi band to follow me around everywhere.

  • Live, of course.

    I use an iPod Shuffle for my workout tunes.


  • Three channel for accurate reproduction of sound. Anything less is flat, anything more is cacophony.
  • by Sebastopol (189276) on Monday April 02, 2012 @02:19PM (#39551479) Homepage

    Besides Electric Phoenix and the painful irony of The Flaming Lips, has anyone actually recorded & mastered in >stereo in the last 30 years?

  • by Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) on Monday April 02, 2012 @02:51PM (#39551809)
    Missing option: Doesn't matter except that it have monster cables. :)
  • by SuperTechnoNerd (964528) on Monday April 02, 2012 @02:55PM (#39551855)
    Modulated High Voltage Sparks.. Great Sound!
  • odd timing... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Creepy (93888) on Monday April 02, 2012 @03:46PM (#39552427) Journal

    odd timing for this poll... while I'm able to answer it, a friend of mine is celebrating his last week of stereo hearing before getting a brain tumor removed that will destroy hearing in his right ear. I have to wonder if "I can only hear in mono, you insensitive clod" is a missing option for people like him...

  • ...all I care are the tubes that gives the warmth of the sound. Obviously the more expensive they are, the better.
  • Stereo, but... (Score:4, Informative)

    by jbwolfe (241413) on Monday April 02, 2012 @06:13PM (#39554163) Homepage
    Ideally, it would be in 5.1 or 7.1 as this more nearly reproduces the original experience. However, despite the available technology, SACD and DVD Audio have failed to become mainstream- much to my personal displeasure.

It's time to boot, do your boot ROMs know where your disk controllers are?


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