Do you have to keep your system at less than the optimum listening level at home? Why?

Do you have to keep your system at less than the optimum listening level at home? Why?
Can listen as loud as needed anytime
25% (70 votes)
Must turn it down sometimes
26% (72 votes)
Can only listen loud once in a while
24% (68 votes)
Can rarely listen loud
12% (32 votes)
Can never listen as loud as I'd like
6% (18 votes)
Not a problem—I prefer to listen quietly
6% (18 votes)
Total votes: 278

Last week's question about car systems prompted many readers to respond that their car is the only place where they can crank up an audio system. Are you restricted to quieter-than-ideal listening levels at home?

Jonathan Buckley's picture

With a 2 1/2 year old and a 5 month old baby at home, it is mostly earphones these days, although I do manage to listen (quietly!) after 10 pm or so.

al marcy's picture

My DIY system has no volume control. How careless of me . . .

Scott Hegman's picture

It's called apartment living.

Harold B.  Roberts's picture

Have a sound isolited room for my stereo

Ashley Covey's picture

Currently, I live in a downstairs apartment and the upstairs people have super hearing. Or they must, anyways.

Karim Plasencia's picture

One of the benefits from living on a House!

Robert's picture

Must turn it down between midnight and 8am

jasman's picture

I work nights, so in the daytime is when I do most of my litening at whatever levels I want.

Anonymous's picture


Tony R.  Harrison Sr.'s picture

I'm fortunate in that I live in a detached 3 story home and have a dedicated listening room in the basement. The listening room is well insulated and most of the sound is contained. As a result, I can listen as late and loud as I wish and not disturb the family. Tony R. Harrison Sr.

Joe Hartmann's picture

My wife reads while I listen to music. Most of the time she is in another room if not the volume goes down. Why do some compontents sound fine at lower levels and other must be turned up for full toneal development?

Mark McKinney's picture

I live in an apartment complex with paper thin walls; it is the biggest fault in my system.

K Segur's picture

Our family is fairly typical in that everyone is going in different directions on the weekend. If the family is out and I am in, I will put it at the level that brings out the best from the particular source I have on. Records seem to be easier to find a level than CD's (less dynamic range and a smoother sound).

R.  Guy Tr's picture

Very extended bass spkrs, low power amp 100 W/ch/4ohms cant stand clipping, retiered on a small pension, room ok, loves theather organ.

Tony P., Washington, DC's picture

I listen mostly to acoustic jazz and classical music (more chamber than orchestral), and if, as most audiophiles will profess, the goal is to approximate live sound as closely as possible, it does not need to be loud. In fact, it must not be. Think about it -- even a full symphony orchestra cooking on an fff section in a good concert hall does not sound "loud" by hi-fi standards.

Ron Newton's picture

My "Boss" only allots me certain times for loud listening.

James's picture

When we purchased a new home recently, we only considered homes which would provide me with an isolated listening room.

Mike H.'s picture

The only times I listen to loud music are in the car, at home on headphones, or at home when the Missus and Miss are running errands without me. I do not want to strain my daughter's hearing. Sometimes she tells me "That's loud music, Daddy!" if I'm playing Beethoven, Bruckner, Ginastera, or Dream Theater at moderate listening levels. What she doesn't know won't hurt her ears. Besides, I need her to hear the pink noise tests when helping Daddy set up his loudspeakers!

Ray Garrison's picture

Cranking the La Scalas with anything, uh, exciting on the platter is restricted to times when the rest of the family is out shopping...

Warren L.  Rubin's picture

My move of music, both performing and listening, does not extend to every member of my family. In deference to them, I place limits on myself. I do not live in this world alone.

Tim Donahue's picture

Usually it's just the Velodyne that needs to be taken down a notch or two. I awoke one morning to the bass line of The Gypsey Kings Live, and my bedroom is one floor up on the other side of the house.

Rob Cornelson's picture

I can crank it when I get up for work but keep it down after work. I work a little later in the day than most folks.

TDA's picture

I usually listen to music about as loud as I'd like. There are occasions, when listening to giganticly proportioned symphonies by Mahler, Bruckner, Scriabin, and a few others, where I'd like to crank the vloume just a little bit more but do not since I must respect my upstairs neighbors' right not to go deaf, too. Damn apartment living!As consolation, as a chamber music freak, I can usually listen to my string quartets quite loudly. And there ain't nothing wrong with that.

V.  Glew's picture

I built a music den in the basement and have let it rip for all of my adult life. My family doesn't complain. My only limiting factor is what I can stand.

ALEX PAULINO's picture


Stephen's picture

Since the listening/home theater is located below the master bedroom, I sometimes need to tone it down when the wife goes to bed early. She doesn't seem to mind too much except when a loud explosion causes the subwoofer to toss her out of the bed!

Ryan Del Re's picture

I live in a dorm which is great for rent, but crappy for music. The only time I can really listen to music at reasonable levels is in mid-afternoon (don't want to piss off the neighbors). This is unfortunate because my favorite time to listen to music is evening to late evening (8-12)

TMO's picture

My wife wears ear protectors.

Ronode's picture

Many people listen at levels way too loud relative to the size of their room! How can you attempt realistic playback levels in an unrealistically small room?

ted baca's picture

live alone house is distant from neighbors what else is there in life