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5 Ways to Improve Your Music Listening Experience

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Image credit: Lee Campbell/Unsplash

Is your music collection or Spotify lineup starting to look stale? Do you find yourself not getting the same enjoyment from the songs you love? Maybe it’s time to rethink how you go about listening to music rather than change up what you’re listening to.

There are plenty of different ways to find more enjoyment from your music, but not every option will work for every listener. People tend to listen to music differently, so here we’ve gathered some tips that are diverse enough that most people should be able to find at least one tip that works for them.

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1. Upgrade Your Speakers

Some people are happy simply listening to music on the built-in speaker of their phone. If that’s you, by all means, keep on listening that way. After all, music is (at least for the most part) meant to be enjoyed, so don’t let anyone tell you the “right” way to listen to music.

That said, if you’re listening on a cheap Bluetooth speaker, try a slightly better Bluetooth speaker. If you’re not happy with your Bluetooth speaker, upgrading to a simple amp or receiver and a set of bookshelf speakers will get you a noticeable increase in sound quality, and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

2. Upgrade Your Headphones

This is similar to the above tip. There are a ton of different headphones out there, and these vary wildly in how good they are. If you’re using a set of earbuds that came with your phone, spending even $15 or $20 on a replacement set may be well worth the money.

Of course, as with speakers, this can become somewhat of a rabbit hole. If you’re constantly chasing an unknown “better,” you’ll soon find yourself spending too much money on headphones, DACs, and headphone amps. You don’t need to go this far if all you’re looking for is a slight improvement in your listening experience.

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3. Listen as Your Sole Activity

Music is largely relegated to a background activity these days, and that’s a shame. People work long hours carefully perfecting arrangements and performances only for us to half-listen to it while we do something else. The easiest way to enjoy music again is to just sit and listen.

We’ve already covered the benefits of listening to music mindfully, and it can even help improve your health. In this case, that doesn’t matter. Just sit, close your eyes if you want, and listen. You’ll find new dimensions in the music that can help you enjoy it in an entirely different way.

4. Listen to Better Quality Music

Again, like the tips regarding speakers and headphones above, I’m not saying you need to listen to the absolute highest of the high-resolution audio to even begin enjoying your music. It doesn’t take long before upping the resolution results in a guessing game of which file is higher quality.

If you’ve been listening to Spotify streams, try upping the quality to Highest if you haven’t already. If you prefer to buy your music still, try buying CD-quality FLAC files from sites like BandCamp so you never find yourself wondering if you just imagine that you heard an MP3 artifact or if you really did. Slight improvements can help you enjoy your music much more.

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5. Build a Vinyl/CD/Tape Collection

Do you fancy yourself a collector? Maybe you look to your right and there’s a shelf full of Nintendo amiibo, while you look to the right and you see your nicely organized video game memorabilia shelf. Okay, probably not, but there’s still something very satisfying about putting together a physical music collection.

Whether you prefer vinyl, CDs, or even the lowly cassette tape, it doesn’t matter. Choose the one that speaks to you and start collecting. Just make sure not to get so focused on the collection aspect that you forget to actually listen to the music.

It’s Never Too Late to Build a Collection

If you read that last section and it inspired you to build a vinyl record collection, there’s no better time to start than right now. You don’t need to amass a huge collection of vinyl overnight. Just start collection and build your collection one record at a time.

If you’re just getting started, take a look at our guide to collecting vinyl records. Then, once you’ve bought a few key records that you love, take a look at our list of places to buy vinyl records online to help you track down more elusive records.

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