Sunday, March 6, 2011

Difference Between Men and Women, Installment 11672

Men are concerned with the way high-fidelity speakers sound.

Women are concerned with the way high-fidelity speakers look.

This appears to be an immutable truth. Guys want big, awesome sounding speakers the size of your living room wall. They want amplifiers that weigh seventy pounds and put out 300 watts per channel. When Jim Morrison sings about Texas radio, or Anton Bruckner is spinning out one of his glorious symphonic ideas, guys want it to rock the house.

Women, on the other hand, prefer stereo speakers the size of a pair or earrings, powered by an amplifier you can hide under a Longaberger basket. To a woman, stereo equipment should arguably be heard, but never seen. This is one reason why Bose is so popular. To most guys, it sounds good enough, and it will blend in nicely with a woman's living room decor.

But for some of us men, Bose is not enough. This built-in conflict of interest makes for some, shall I say, interesting discussions in the course of a marriage.

To a woman, the following conversation makes perfect sense.

Husband: "Sweetheart, Sam has an old pair of AR 19s for sale, he's only asking $400. Is it okay with you if I buy them?"

Wife: "How big are they? Do you really need another pair of speakers? I think the old ones look fine."

However, reverse the parameters and the following conversation is best to be avoided:

Wife: "Sweetheart, I found a new wall hanging and bought it for our living room. It was only $400."

Husband: "I think the old wall hanging sounds fine."


Anonymous said...


Why are Bose speakers inadequate for some?

Lee said...

My opinion? On the plus side, Bose systems are ergonomic and unobtrusive. The remote controls are well-designed. On the minus side, they are quite expensive and the sound-for-the-buck ratio is not good, particularly when compared to what you can get in the used market.

But ultimately, there are just better sounding systems. But mostly we're talking about big, bulky. heavy amps and preamps, and speakers that are at least large enough to be seen. My buddy Sam has a living room full of stereophonic equipment, including old Fisher tube amps from the Sixties, modern McIntosh amps, and McIntosh speakers that take up an entire wall. It sounds glorious. A Bose system is just no match for this sort of rig.

But women tend not to like their living rooms looking like a stereo shop, hence the market for Bose.

Mad Percussionist said...

WIRES! Everything you said is true, but you missed WIRES! Even if you could find a pair of speakers with the performance of AR19's and the size of a pair of diamond stud earrings (1 carat or less), if they were connected to the under-the-basket amp by WIRES, they'd be unacceptable.

My lovely wife of 27+ years and I have had numerous "conversations" about WIRES. [WIRES include AC power cords, phone cable, and coax from the cable outlet] "Wires are not decorative items!" I've been told in mostly forceful tones.

Lee said...

You're right! Should never forget the WIRES!

Mad Percussionist's Wife said...

WIRES are not decorative items! That is why folks make those nice, tidy organizers/covers for the blasted snake-like thingies. AND, brown organizers do not work on white walls or with white surbases and white carpet!!!!

Lee said...

They should make audio speakers that run on corn flakes and bananas.

"How do you like your new speakers?"

"They're grrrr-reat!"

Bob Avery said...

Lee, what a great article! My stereo speakers go back to before I met my wife. I have a pair of Omega 15" 3-way studio monitors with front reflecting tuned bass ports, and a pair of Cerwin Vega N-12" 3-ways with rear reflecting bass ports. I've had them longer than my wife of 30 years, though I have had to replace the woofers.

They look like nice walnut furniture, though the Omegas approach the mass of a VW Bug :) I told Christine they are highly suitable for the display of objet d'art, and I concealed all of the wiring as a dutiful husband should. There's only one problem... she only lets me play them at a suitable volume on Leap Day!!! Perhaps I'm exercising hyperbole just a wee bit, but more often than not, It's the iPod and headphones for me. ;-P

Lee said...

Great to hear from you, Bob!

> I've had them longer than my wife of 30 years, though I have had to replace the woofers.

Consider yourself fortunate. Many wives only come with tweeters or mid-range.