Listening on computer speakers

28th January 2012 | Concerts, Daily Life, Musings | 4 comments

computer speakerAn intriguing article in the Guardian this week about The Chemical Brothers. They’re  thoughtful and interesting, but some of their comments about music and audiences were startling for me, because they showed such a different facet of the music world.

“I don’t really think people get that absorbed in music at the moment,” says Simons. “They’re streaming it, they’re watching YouTube clips. People say ‘I listened to this’ and you think ‘Yeah, did you listen to it on computer speakers?’

This surprised me for several reasons: first, to hear that people ‘don’t get that absorbed in music at the moment’ (not my impression at all, I must say, but I’m in a different field of music). Second, to hear Ed Simons putting forward computer speakers as the better way to listen to music.

If it had been my interview, I would have answered differently – ‘People are listening to music on computer speakers. People say ‘I listened to this’ and you think, ‘Yes, but have you heard us play live? Recordings are nothing in comparison.’


  1. Rob4

    Didn’t he mean if you listen to music on computer speakers you’ll never get into it because computer speakers are tinny?

    Also perhaps inferred is the fact that just listening to music, and doing nothing else, is no good nowadays – you must be surfing the net, catching up on TOWIE and tweeting about Coleen’s new look at the same time.

    I wonder if soon we’ll be reading live reviews of your performances Susan tweeted by ‘absorbed-in-the-music’ audience members@£$!

  2. Trevor M

    I took it the same way as Rob4 – not that computer speakers are good for listening, but that they are bad for listening and people think they’ve heard the music when they haven’t really.

    • Susan Tomes

      Well, perhaps you are right – I had read it the other way. If only passages of text carried expression marks like music does – it might be easier to gauge the correct tone!

  3. Rob4

    As for audience members tweeting during performances, have you seen this


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