Hi-Fi & Family Life?

Twill

Well-known member
Oct 6, 2007
124
0
18,590
Visit site
This may be a 'can open, worms everywhere' kind of post, but does anyone have any experience of fitting in music around a family?

I've always had a decent but budget level hi fi in the lounge for my music enjoyment. The thing is, the arrival of my son appears to have somewhat stunted my ability to playback my tuneage in the lounge. either the wee fella's in there rolling around - and I don't want to subject him to too much Tool at such an early age - or it's the evening, and he's upstairs asleep - at which point volume is obviously an issue.

I wonder if the days of a set piece hi fi in the lounge are gone, and this is just too inflexible an option for these current times. I have toyed with moving the system to the dining room, or even investing in some decent headphones instead of new speakers, but both these options mean I will have to take myself off in to solitary to listen to any music. I don't want music to become that guilty and private pleasure I sneak off to do away from everyone else, a competing force. that won't work for anyone, including me.

The only compromise I can come up with is to keep the hi fi in the lounge, accept its use will be limited, but add something like an rCube to have in the kitchen or bedroom for listening as I go about the proliferating list of household jobs etc etc. Obviously I know sound quality is reduced, but the portability etc of something like an rCube is attractive, not least because I'm on a tight budget and can't really afford systems in every room, or a sonos style affair - not that I haven't been tempted.

Anyone else crossed this bridge?

...and can we accept now that there are all kinds of one-liners and dated remarks we could make about 'the old ball and chain' etc etc, and thus bipass that part of the debate!?

Cheers.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Twill,

I'm in exactly the same boat as you, however I do have a decent pair of headphones but limited chance to use them. Once 'son and heir' has gone to bed it's nice to sit down with a glass of wine and watch a bit of tv with my wife, even if it's only 'Come dine with me' or some other rubbish.
 

paradiziac

New member
Jan 8, 2011
17
0
0
Visit site
I take it you have a telly in the lounge, so what's the difference between that and a hifi? Any objections and ask folks to watch telly in another room while you enjoy the hi-fi or (preferably) take it in turns.

IMHO, children should be educated to have fun listening to music. Get the wee one :dance:
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I had my hifi in the lounge while the children were growing up with no problems, however whether you want to listen to it with the children around is another matter. I actually didn't have the hifi on much (I wont go into this one), but a big advantage is that you can pipe the telly through the hifi which is great when watching movies :bounce:
 

theadmans

New member
Jun 4, 2009
20
0
0
Visit site
When my son was born I bought a quality headphone amp and Sennheiser HD650's.

Later on I upgraded the headphone amp and so put the old one in the bedroom and rigged it up with an old CD Player I had in the loft. I just plugged the CD player in under the bed and ran leads to the headphone amp on my bedside table. With this fairly neat install I got no adverse comments from the wife.

Now if I have the lounge to myself I listen to the speakers.

If my son / wife has gone to bed - I listen to the main system on headphones.

If my wife/son want to watch TV in the lounge - I retreat to the bedroom to listen to the other headphone rig.

My son / wife do not share my interest in music - so this arrangement suits me.
 

scene

Well-known member
Children can limit the ability to listen to (loud) music all the - but not preclude it. I have three little ones (well not so little now 7.5, 5.5 and a smidgeon off 4) and my experiences were enlightening. Yes I have headphones, some old Sennheiser HD520s (from the 80s!), but like you I didn't want to listen in solitude. We had one of those rocking baby chairs when the kids were babies, and they loved to go to sleep listening to rock music - Planet Rock was a favourite - just not too loud - a compromise I was willing to make.

Then I got the NAS and SONOS and my (and our) music listening was revolutionised. The kids love it, not just the ripped bedtimne stories and childrens' music, but all the other music as well! Having all the music on NAS made it so much more accessible, and I found that Mrs. Scene and I listened to more music. We have an S5 (sorry Play:5) in our bedroon and so were able to listen to music there, from the main collection, without having to faff around with CDs - makes a real difference for tired parents - just pick a few tracks you want to listen to. Also get internet radio - which is great.

Our kids like listening to music. I have an AV system cum Hi Fi in the living room, setting up another AV system in the dining room - both with ZP90s, Play:5s in ALL or bedrooms and I'll soon have my beloved a85 set back up in our study. If anything, I'll soon have more music than ever!
 

scene

Well-known member
paradiziac said:
My 7 yr old has his own Spotify playlist...I don't always love his selection but it's not too bad and fair's fair.

Isn't that one of the things being a child's all about - listening to music your parents don't like / disapprove of... ;)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
in same boat but! had the spotify streaming yesterday whilst me jnr was asleep and he didnt stir it was fairly loud maybe he likes the music :rockout:
 

busb

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2011
84
6
18,545
Visit site
I fortunately don't have this problem. However, I do need to listen at lower volume levels than I would like after let's say 11pm. Having a decent system does make low volumes bareable though. I also listen to music on my iPhone using a pair of Sennheisser MM450 Bluetooth headphones. Cordless 'phones maybe not be the last word in SQ but do make such listening far more attractive an idea. I love music far too much to get too sniffy about how I hear it.

Going the music server route would be an option worth considering as would the Pure radio already mentioned. My Totem Arros have exposed tweeters that virtually shout "Press here for attention" so whatever speakers you have need to bear in mind young fingers & limbs in general! In-wall & wall-mounted speakers are gaining in popularity as well - though not cheap.

Any option is going to be a compromise - it's a question of choosing the least worst one for your situation.
 

paradiziac

New member
Jan 8, 2011
17
0
0
Visit site
busb said:
My Totem Arros have exposed tweeters that virtually shout "Press here for attention" so whatever speakers you have need to bear in mind young fingers & limbs in general!

I'm always amazed how many eBay speakers there are with pushed-in tweeters. My lad is well cheeky, but as a baby we never stopped him from touching stuff and he never broke anything. I would have thought that by the time kids can reach the tweeters, they should know not to push it in! Little vandals!

That said, when his friend came round and the grown ups were all in the kitchen, the little monster suddenly turned the volume the full way around and I ran in the room to see the woofers practically inside out (but oddly not making that much noise as the distortion was so extreme!).

:rofl:
 

Crocodile

New member
Jan 15, 2009
38
0
0
Visit site
You may be surprised what you're son will sleep through. Once well asleep they can be quite suspectible to waking on sudden noise but can happily sleep through a reasonable constant volume.
 

paradiziac

New member
Jan 8, 2011
17
0
0
Visit site
scene said:
paradiziac said:
My 7 yr old has his own Spotify playlist...I don't always love his selection but it's not too bad and fair's fair.

Isn't that one of the things being a child's all about - listening to music your parents don't like / disapprove of... ;)

Funny thing is he seems to complain more when I put stuff on that I don't 100% like myself but that I play to broaden my tastes, jazz/soul/funk for example. He seems to prefer rock and ambient--his fave track a while back was Worm Mountain by the Flaming Lips! He also likes Afro Celt Sound System but there's only one track on Spotify and I'm tired of it now!
 

Excitable Boy

Well-known member
Feb 16, 2011
30
0
18,540
Visit site
Twill said:
.... and I don't want to subject him to too much Tool at such an early age.....

There's never a right age for too much Tool IMHO !!!
smiley-wink.gif
 

busb

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2011
84
6
18,545
Visit site
paradiziac said:
busb said:
My Totem Arros have exposed tweeters that virtually shout "Press here for attention" so whatever speakers you have need to bear in mind young fingers & limbs in general!

I'm always amazed how many eBay speakers there are with pushed-in tweeters. My lad is well cheeky, but as a baby we never stopped him from touching stuff and he never broke anything. I would have thought that by the time kids can reach the tweeters, they should know not to push it in! Little vandals!

That said, when his friend came round and the grown ups were all in the kitchen, the little monster suddenly turned the volume the full way around and I ran in the room to see the woofers practically inside out (but oddly not making that much noise as the distortion was so extreme!).

:rofl:

More likely to blow the tweeters though! Much to my embarassment, I managed to cook the ones on my SL6s ~20yrs ago. I seem to remember plumes of smoke when playing HFN's test CD at moderate rather than high volume. Tweeters don't like sine waves or what was probably more like a squarewave - it may well have been the harmonics that did the damage. The odd thing was despite the nice Cu coloured domes turning black - they still sounded OK! Needless to say, I sent the pair off to Celestion for a re-fit. I also went for the option of having the X-over split for bi-wiring.

I bought some Exposure cable to bi-wire them with & was amazed how much difference doing so made - I wasn't expecting to hear any difference what so ever. On the rare occasions when I've played the offending CD - it's not been the test tones! I have taken the CD with me to demos for checking the phase though.
 

toyota man

New member
Apr 22, 2009
79
0
0
Visit site
my son grew up on yes floyd zepplin acdc sabbath hu and cry etc from loud to very loud we now go to download at donington to listen at even louder volumes and we go to see bands locally he is 23 now and goes to the reading festival etc and enjoys his music he has an even broader taste of music than I do he is always introducing me to great new bands in fact we are going to the download festival and the reading festival this year mainly to see the black keys:rockout: :cheers:
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
I owe many of my musical passions to the fact that my folks had a good hi-fi system and a very good collection of LPs and cassettes as I was growing up. From an early age I was taught how to handle LPs and how to use the hi-fi and I discovered so much fantastic music that way.
 

HDNumpty

New member
Jan 17, 2008
86
1
0
Visit site
Lots of interesting posts here but basically YES YOU CAN maintain your interest around the kids.

I got into hi-fi and home cinema about 2002 and kids came along in 2006 and 2008. There probably was a period of a year or two where I was just too knackered to consider enjoying music, and I had to weight my speaker stands (Atacama Atabites are great) to lessen the risk of them being pulled over, plus yeah, one of my CM1s STILL has a squashed tweeter.

BUT my girls of 5 and 3 occassionally enjoy a bit of a 'mosh' (the Chemical Brothers lately) but more than that love Star Wars and all their films on a big TV with 5.1 sound.

If you creep around when the little ones are asleep they will never learn to tolerate noise, we never really turned it down and can have the home cinema/stereo cranked up pretty loud and they sleep through it upstairs.

Persevere and good luck!
 

Craig M.

New member
Mar 20, 2008
127
0
0
Visit site
our daughter is 17 months old and we are obviously not keen on waking her up. a fan in her bedroom means the ambient noise level is quite high in there, and we can make a suprising amount of noise before you can hear it in her room. also means she tends to sleep through thunderstorms and fireworks.
 

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts