To truly feel like you are listening to a live performance, you need to feel like you are in the venue where the music is playing. A concert hall, jazz-cafe or a recording studio all sound very differently because of the size, space and acoustics of the venue, but also because of the placing of the instruments. Low quality audio systems sound flat, which makes it hard to recognize the placement of the instruments. Besides, you can clearly hear that the music comes from the loudspeakers - there is no experience of space. With high-end Hi-Fi systems, the sound is big and you feel as if you are in a concert hall, jazz cafe or rock concert. When you close your eyes, it feels as if the loudspeakers disappear, and you can hear the cello standing behind the piano, or the bass guitar in front of the lead singer. Almost as if you were listening to the live performance, while sitting on your couch in your living room.
The human sense of hearing is extremely developed. We can hear the difference between two voices, we know when we hear a violin or a viola and can even distinguish different instruments or voices when they are playing in harmony. But these differences that are clear to the human ear can easily get lost when reproducing them on low quality audio systems. The music then sounds muddy, making it harder to hear different instruments separately when they are playing in harmony. With a high-end hi-fi system you can hear the characteristics that make an instrument unique, revealing all instruments that are playing in either an orchestra, jazz band or rock band. And you don't even have to leave your house.
High-end hi-fi systems can bring you the unparalleled detail and transparency that lower quality audio systems can’t. Lower quality systems simply don’t have the capacity to show all of the details in a recording, causing the music to sound muddy and smeared. With high-end hi-fi systems, you hear details in your recordings that you never heard before: the creaking of the piano stool, the sound of the singer’s breath or slight humming in the background. The best hi-fi systems allow you to hear the tiniest details in your recordings, almost as if you would hear your favorite song for the first time again.
In the end, Hi-Fi is about the taste of the listener. These are just some examples of what a hi-fi system can add to your musical experience at home; the possibilities of hi-fi are endless, and with a real high-end system you will hear music like you haven't heard before. And that is precisely what makes hi-fi so special. The ongoing quest to find the perfect sound that fits you is intriguing and rewarding; with every step you get closer and closer to the live performance.