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If you told me back in early 2009 that by 2014 my favorite way to enjoy music would be through headphones, I would’ve said you were insane. I was brought up in the high end audio, two-channel in-room stereo world. It all started when I began working for Harry Pearson at The Absolute Sound magazine. Eventually I left TAS to work for Arif Mardin (Grammy-Award winning Producer/arranger/composer) at Atlantic Records, where all the music listening was done through in-room stereo systems. I loved (and still do) listening to my stereo gear. I’ve experienced amazing sonic feats with in-room systems, experiences so profound I thought I’d never hear anything like that again, especially in my home!

Dave Pearson, the founder of soundproofgeek outside in his garden

What I actually find most enjoyable about personal audio has little to do with the gear. Reaching beyond the territory I covered earlier in my What is the Future of the High End series essays for Positive-Feedback, I realize I was half-right when I called Personal Audio “The Audible Gateway Drug” to high end stereo systems.

It can be exactly that, of course, and I still believe you have more possible Hi-fi converts in the headphone hobbyist community than anywhere else. But it’s also true that a majority of those hobbyists and music addicts won’t move to in-room stereo systems. And that’s OK. It’s still good for the audio community as a whole. I may have been, in my previous essays, too confident, or merely overly excited, and therefore irrationally optimistic that more Head-Fiers (as in members of – the headphone community website, or perhaps, simply a headphone devotee) would jump into high end stereo after getting a “taste” of great sound with headphones. I know saying that was partly the result of ignorance with regard to the edge of the personal audio arts at the time, but perhaps the quality of personal audio reproduction continued to improve.

Frankly, I don’t give a shit either way. The bottom line is that headphone listeners don’t merely get a “taste” of the sonic pie anymore – they can achieve the same transcendental listening experience with headphones as with a two-channel in-room system. I know that I have had the same extremely surreal experience with both. So why can’t you?

Dave Pearson runs a website,, where he posts advice on soundproofing

If you’re more of an earphone user and you feel that the standard earbuds that come with your earphones are not doing enough to isolate background noise, there’s a quick hack for DIY-ing noise-canceling earphones. To find the right soundproofing solution, it’s important to be aware of the different methods that can be used to block out different types of noise.

So if you want more information on how to soundproof and block sound, you may want to read my website or follow via