Calling all trained listeners

Today’s Paul’s Posts has numerous references to “trained listeners”. This is a frequent occurrence.

I’ve never had listening training.

Is anyone out there a trained listener?
Where do you get such training?
What do they teach you?

I am self-taught :wink:


It was easy for me… Prodigy.


It cost me, a lot of money in gear to get my training.


It’s what my wife would like me to be.


Many countries recognize Tonmeister degrees.

That’s the perfect answer, I hadn’t anticipated.


To be honest with you, it does take time and effort. Some, who for decades have worked with or installed systems professionally, with that comes a set of experiences that only having done it reveals. Having the ability to hear some really good systems, gives you a benchmark. Or working in the audio industry. Knowing how music is actually produced, or having experience as a musician, where you know exactly what the pit sounds like, or 7 rows back. These experiences all give benchmarks for your own senses to have a frame of reference.


So I’ve been to several thousand concerts, recitals, opera and ballet, but does that make me a trained listener to tell one cable from another in today’s Paul Post? My only musical credential is a role in the choir of Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, and it wasn’t professional as I was 9 years old at the time.

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What do you think?

I thought Duncan and @DarrenMyers did a nice job of discussing practice/training our listening skills in their recent HiFi Podcast.


As an ex-musician (I no longer play, clarinetist, saxophonist, anything with a single reed), I’ll assert that if you’ve ever played an instrument with even a passing level of skill you become an accomplished listener. Especially true if you’ve ever been an orchestral musician (as I was). It’s mandatory. I’ve benefitted tremendously from my days as an active instrumentalist. Quite possibly one of the reasons I gravitated to high end audio as a serious hobby.


Musicians and high end audio | PS Audio

I hear a cry for help.

Darren admitted fine-tuning the Stellar Phono Pre by ear. He said that measurements did not give him what he wanted, so he had to go back and tweak things by ear! I believe he did a great job.


Everyone who does things for a longer time with a certain addiction is trained more or less.

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A friend of mine, the more golf he plays the worse he gets.

Just because you do something a long time, doesn’t make you any good at it. Worse, human hearing diminishes with age.

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I recently went on to the YouTube channel and saw Paul coming out with this bizarre argument that professional musicians don’t do high end audio because high quality sound (live) is their day job.

The obvious fallacy is that professional musicians often spend their free time listening to other professional musicians. If Paul’s argument was correct, they would not go to other musicians’ performances, which they do, a lot.

The obvious reasons are that most don’t have the money and you don’t need high end audio to appreciate the nuances of a recorded performance. You can do that with a $200 pair of headphones.

In Paul’s defense, I personally benefited from his numerous advice videos and online comments. I happen to agree with some of his views, and disagree with some others, something that happens everyday at home, work, etc. and I happen to have his initial(s) on most of my HiFi components. I am very happy with the stuff I bought from PSA and never had an issue, not even a minor one. So you may call me a satisfied customer.

Back on to the topic. I think this is not a scientific discussion, so we are allowed to speculate! I personally think musicians spend a lot of time learning and rehearsing alone and/or with their bands / orchestras. Whatever time is left after that should not be spent with a pair of speakers. There should be time for self, family, and friends! Besides, live music is never like recorded music. Trust me, if I were good with an instrument, I would spend more time playing than listening even as a hobby, but I am not :disappointed:


Well said Serhan…well said !!