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luisv's picture
Last seen: 6 years 1 month ago
Joined: Aug 12 2011 - 1:35pm
Stephen Mejias - Blind opinion

Hello. I am new to Hi-Fi and to this forum. I just wanted to share some thoughts that landed in my head one Friday afternoon as I drove to collect my first integrated amplifier. After reading, Stephen's "Entry Level" stories/reviews I could not help but wonder what he would think.

I am heading north on the highway, excited about the prospect of having my first integrated amplifier. As I maintained my course to the downtown core where my NAD C 316BEE awaited, I glanced to the right side of the street and noticed a man in front of a bus stop. Then I noticed the cane on his right hand and the sunglasses covering his eyes. He twisted his head and neck in the same way that I do when I am trying to focus my hearing to capture a particular sound. The man was probably blind and patiently waiting for his bus to arrive. He was also likely searching for the distinct sound of the bus that was going to stop right in front of him.

As he rotated his ears right and left and up and down, I thought how interesting it would be to read what a blind person hears when they listen to Hi-Fi. How would they describe the music? How would a blind audiophile review Hi-Fi equipment and compare one system to the next? After all, how man times do we close our eyes to listen to the notes that started on paper and made their way through a long freeway of wires, aluminum, silicon and what have you, to reach our ears and merge on a different freeway deep into our beings? We close our eyes more often than we care to consider. On a side note, maybe I should close my eyes more often when coversing with other people.

I arrived to the store located in the western edge of the downtown core and, like a proud parent, received my "new baby", as described by the store clerk. I now understand what he meant. As I drove home, just in time to miss the congestion of cars that flood the pavement on Friday afternoons, I drove by the same bus stop where the blind man had been. He was not there. Still, I wondered how blind people see music and how they would describe it. I am searching for an opportunity to have this conversation with a person that cannot see what my eyes can but who can see things that I cannot hear.

I am curious if anyone at Stereophile has ever listened to music with a blind person and printed the experience in the magazine. I wonder how many things we could learn or discover from that experience. What do you think Stephen?

JohnnyR's picture
Last seen: 4 years 3 months ago
Joined: Sep 10 2011 - 10:12am

Stereophile doesn't do double blind listening tests since they are "flawed" (some peoples words not mine) but don't you just wish they had a blind reviewer that couldn't see what piece of equipment they were listening to, so the review would be better for a change?  Fat chance.

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