Has having children affected your audiophile life? Please explain . . .

Has having children affected your audiophile life? Please explain . . .
Big effect
42% (59 votes)
Moderate effect
16% (22 votes)
Little effect
8% (11 votes)
No change
4% (5 votes)
Don't have kids
31% (43 votes)
Total votes: 140

Reader Paul W. Simoni noticed a big change in his audiophile habits after his child was born. He wonders how other audiophiles deal with the impact of "rugrats."

Anonymous's picture

Screaming kids and a constant stream of cartoons in the family room can wreck this hobby. Thankfully, we're about to move into a larger house with a dedicated room for the hi-fi system. Expect your music hobby to be severely impacted by your procreation. Plan on getting closer to your car stereo and headphones...

Mike Molinaro's picture

Huge effect. They require so much time, my "quality" listening time has plummeted. But I wouldn't have it any other way, with the joy they give my wife and me. Besides, we get one chance to raise our kids (our future) right, and we can't trade up or take them in for upgrades. It's up to us to give them our time. The vinyl, CDs, and silicon chips can wait. I am, however, trying to interest the kids in this hobby, killing two birds with one stone. So far, it has cost me only one broken cantilever!

Chak Lee's picture

Me and my wife alone, we listened to every kind of music. Classical, blue, jazz, traditional, pops... etc. you name it When our first baby came, sorry, no more loud music but more kid/junior music, songs.

Bruno Bicek, Slovenija's picture

When they sleep, I put the volume down, and when they are awake I put it at a moderate level.

T's picture

But my wife has a cat and they don't mix well with Von Schweikert VR3.

Steve Williams's picture

They grew up and moved out. Since then, my equipment budget has gone up and the signal-to-noise ratio has moved way in my favor. Life is good!

John Crossett's picture

Are you kidding, try listening when either the baby is crying, or your wife is screaming at you to help. It just doesn't work very well. I just have to squeeze in time whenever I can. Wouldn't trade the kid though.

Brad - Atlanta's picture

No kids, no pets. When my rig dies it will be from natural causes. Not from peanut butter and jelly or from a need for sharpened claws.

Ray Garrison's picture

I have a 5-month-old boy. He loves listening to the stereo—sitting on the couch with him in my arms is the best way to get happy smiles, even when he's feeling cranky. He has very particular tastes in music: loves Streisand, Simon and Garfunkle, Radiohead (?!), hates Neil Young (sigh). I've found myself listening to a much wider variety of music than I have in years as I experiment with all sorts of different types to find out what he likes. Have yet to find ANY classical that he has a reaction to; Mozart, Bach, Haydn, and everything else I've tried seem to have no positive or negative effect. Saint-Saëns' Organ Symphony elicits wide-open eyes and staring when organ finale starts, but aside from that he ignores it.

Washington Irving's picture

First off, I would like to say that my daughter was never a rug rat. She is a very intense listener. She concentrates when music is playing. She also likes "Daddy's music," and has a few CDs of her own that she plays on her boombox. She has learned to be very careful when handling CDs and knows not to touch The Big System. My theory—and it is still a theory as my daughter approaches two-and-a-half—is that if you encourage children to care for their toys, they can extend that care to respect other people's toys. I'll let you know what happens when she turns three. The only sacrifice I have made is in the quality of the bass. I have been reluctant to use speaker stands because I am concerned that they would tip over too easily. Does anyone have any recommendations for anchoring speakers on stands in a way that does not compromise the sound too much?

Jussi's picture

1) less $ to spend; 2) w/first two, kept equipment high; 3rd, no special consideration; 3) tube cages; 4) one switch to turn system on/off crucial; 5) taught kids how to cue turntable; 6) turned daughter on to music; she can sing; 7) I still can't sing.

W.O.'s picture

If I spent less time listening to music, I would get out more. And . . .

Rodney Gold's picture

In terms of having to guard equipment , none. My daughter was told not to touch from an early age, and she hasn't. In terms of deriving more joy, yes, she has been exposed to music all her life and before (Mom is a ballet teacher), and really loves it . She knows all the words to Krall's "Love Scenes," and her favorite CD is "Roberto Rico and his Fantastic Orchestra" (a swingy rendition of old favorites like "Puttin' on the Ritz," etc.). She's 3 and has a sophisticated sense of music , liking jazz (what she mostly hears). I can't think of being in my music area without her wandering in and dancing or just sitting on my lap and listening with dad.

Ken Kirkpatrick's picture

The big effect was when my two-year-old boy pushed in the tweeters on my Sonus Faber Extremas. Other than that, I just listen later in the day.

BC's picture

I don't have kids, so there's no impact on my listening.



T.A.  Lee's picture

That's a big YES! Please don't get the idea that I'd trade children for stereo, because I wouldn't. Children require a lot of care and attention (and even ritual, to an extent), just like LPs.

tony esporma's picture

My four secrets: 1. As soon as they reach the tender age of 1 they need to be smacked every time they come within one foot of any ON switch. 2. Put any box with a front opening slot at least four feet off the ground until the training above (see 1) takes effect. 3. Learn to deal with shifting soundstaging as the kids decide to dance and jump between you and the speakers. 4. -this is hard- resist the tempation to get a whip or 22 caliber rifle everytime the kids come within 3 feet of a spinning turntable.

Jim Craig's picture

I had twins... and yes it had a major effect. First off, I have less money to spend on equipment upgrades (check out the price of formula! I'll bet it cost's me several grand a year!) Second off, I have less time, the spousal unit gets pretty upset when I'm not around to help with the kids because I'm listening to music. Thrid, because the equipment and time is so hard to come by... I enjoy listening even more now than before. My time alone with my system is even more precious.

Joe Hartmann's picture

My son is very interested in music, and the system is on from the time he arrives home until he sleeps. He has opened our collection to new music, reading your review section as soon as it arrives. He is not into equipment; as a musician, nothing sounds as it should, but my system sounds better than others he has heard, and he will come to listen to new equipment sometimes.

Jim's picture

After my son was born, thirteen years ago, everything changed and has not gotten back to were it was.

Anonymous's picture

My audiophile habits changed somewhat in the early stages. But with time I actually spend almost as much time with my audio system as I used to. I have played more candyland games than I care to admit, but I am in the study where the audio eqipment is and I play music to my heart's content. So, bring them in the stereo room and play their goofy games. Its actually better for them and keeps them away from the television set. I even installed outdoor speakers so there is always music playing. Not once has my system ever been threatened with tiny probing hands.

Doug Cline's picture

Prepare for a period of recession! About 18 years' worth.

Jose Garcia's picture

My listening sessions are at night, when my three kids (10, 6, 4) are sleeping. My casual listening is during the day, so they are at school. My only preocupation is about flying speakers and CDs, and damaged drivers—as in fingers pushing in cones. This minor phobias aside, no, just a little effect . . . my kids love any kind of music, so better teach them to use the gear before they destroy it.

Charles Purvis Kelly, Jr.'s picture

Well, I am privileged to say that I am living a life that any red-blooded American male audiophile can ONLY dream about. I'm single and childless, so I can continue to pursue my hobby with passion and reckless abandon. Isn't America great??!!

Roselyn B.  Defino's picture

Well, they do make a change, but not that much—but worth it.

Shane Goslin's picture

I have to listen to my stereo in the middle of the night. It is sort of like a clandestine operation. First, I have to move the baby bouncer away from the right speaker, then the playpen away from the left speaker, and then I have to sneak around and close every bedroom door while praying not to wake the baby or, even worse, "the wife." Then I get to fall asleep in the sweet spot. But the other 23.5 hours of the day belong to the little one.

David L.  Wyatt, Jr.'s picture

I don't have kids, but my father did, and children gave him someone to infect!

Eric Jansen's picture

I don't have the time to sit and listen like I used to, funny how things change. Also I have had to keep the CDs and other small items up off the floor. However as the kids get older I finf they are taking an interest in the music. It may not Always like what they like at least they are taking an interest.

Chris S.'s picture

Less time to listen, less disposable income for software and upgrades . . . however, we've managed to train our 18-month-old not to touch the stereo equipment (although he occasionally likes to pat the grillecloth on the Linn Keilidh speakers). Late-night listening with Grado SR-80 headphones fills in the gap for now.