Whether you’re looking for a new hobby or something soothing or even want to rediscover your favourite tracks, music is the answer. But first, let’s start with the absolute basics, shall we?
If you came across this post with a specific question in mind, you can use the links below to take a shortcut to the answer you’re looking for:
- Best streaming services
- Headphones & earphones
- Audio Players, DACs & Amps
What is music?
Music is a collection of sounds that together form a cohesive group to express emotions and ideas. It is mostly developed from musical instruments and vocals. It’s an art and experience!
What are the benefits of music listening?There are countless benefits of listening to music. Here are some of our favourites:
- It reduces stress and increases happiness
- It boosts productivity
- It’s a great conversation starter (Ever met someone with the same taste in music as you?)
- It helps you connect with yourself, meditate and even promotes better sleep
What are the basic tools you need to listen to music?
As there’s no one single ‘correct’ way of listening to music, we’ve divided this section into three parts - where to listen to music from, the basic listening tools and the equipment you can use to boost the quality of listening. Let’s start with the most popular streaming services in India.
Best streaming services
- Apple Music
- YouTube Music
- Wynk Music
- Amazon Music
- Download Music
If you prefer a complete offline service, you can download music from one of the many paid or free music download sites available. Try getting high-quality files in FLAC or WAV formats instead of mp3 files and store them on your phone or microSD card.
Note: Before using any of these sites, check for piracy. Artists put a lot of hard work and love into their creations. Don’t steal it.
Headphones & Earphones
While there’s much to dive into - from drivers to cables - we’ll be only focusing on the simpler (and budget) gear in this section and the next.
There are two major kinds of listening gear - headphones and earphones. Headphones come with a headband that’s the main source of support while wearing them. Earphones (or in-ears), on the other hand, fit inside your ears. Here, your ears are the main source of support.
You get wired versions (most come with a 3.5mm jack that can connect easily with most smartphones), wireless versions (budget versions are designed with Bluetooth) and truly wireless (without the neckbands and cables of wireless in-ears).
Audio Players, DACs & Amps
It’s not just the quality of your headphones or earphones that make an impact on your music. Most smartphones are designed to do most things well, but not everything great. And, this includes music too. To fit all that tech in a budget (and slim body) requires slight compromises on the hardware. A Hi-Res Audio Player, on the other hand, is made with a single purpose in mind - to play audio at its very best while offering convenience to the user.
When music is stored digitally, i.e. in audio files, it’s stored as binary data (or 0s and 1s). Of course, our ears require this data to be translated into an analogue format to understand it. Here’s where a Digital-to-Analogue Converter or DAC comes into the picture. The quality of your DAC determines the quality of translation and the amount of detailing you hear. External DACs can be used alongside basic hardware (like your phone’s inbuilt DAC) for better audio.
While regular earphones or headphones are not sensitive enough to benefit from a dedicated Amp, many devices have a combination of Amps and DACs. As the name suggests, it basically boosts the volume of your headphones.
Note: When using an Amp with your in-ears, start listening first at low volumes before gradually increasing it to a comfortable volume. Your ears will thank you.
What’s next?Look around for an existing pair of earphones that may be lying at home (Check the box that your phone came in. Most come bundled with a pair). Once you’ve got them, sit back and listen carefully to your favourites. Note the details you’ve never heard before. This itself should help you learn the basics of listening.
You can even reach out to our team here at The Audio Store for all your music listening and audio equipment questions. We’re happy to help!