Nothing beats the sound of live music. But then again, I often wish I was listening to music in the comfort of my home while seated in the cramped, nose-bleed section of Carnegie Hall, for instance, between an 80 something who unknowingly toys with her medicated-candy wrappers and a bored Wall Street gentleman who has to leaf through the program notes--in search of corporate sponsor listings--throughout the entire performance. Let's not forget the pretentious chatterers ("Oh, I heard the 5th last season with so and so, blah, blah, blah"), the all-season coughers and sneezers, and the "let's leave before we get hit with tunnel traffic" people.
Of course, background noise adds to the ambiance of a jazz club performances. (Hey, what beats the sound of clinking glass in live recordings?) But when it comes to classical music, all I want to hear is music. Yes, nothing beats the sound of live music, that is, if it's music that you are listening to.