Since March is “Women’s History Month,” I find myself wondering about why women seem to be less involved in audio than men. Do women just not like music as much as men do? Or is it something about the way in which audio is presented to them?
My feeling is the latter. When I attend concerts or go to other events where music is played, the audience seems to be evenly divided and the women appear to enjoy the music as much as the men do. We know that young women provide a huge audience for popular music of every generation. They were a mainstay of Sinatra’s audience when he was young and a heart-throb to Bobby Soxers. And they swooned at the Beatles no more – or less – than they seem to be transported by Justin Bieber.
In short, the question may come down to “What do women want?” Again, my hunch is simplicity. I think most women want the music without the mess. I think women want the music – reproduced as well as possible – coming from invisible speakers that require no wires. If the speakers must be seen, they must be attractive. They must fit with the décor, not clash with it or dominate it. The fewer controls and adjustments, the better.
While many men like to tinker. We look at adjusting a stereo the way a fine vintner approaches soil and fertilizer. The more “control” we have, the better we like it. And, if the controls come with blue lights, that’s really cool.
I do not mean to make fun of my compatriots. I am “One of the Brethren” and I plead guilty to all the foibles cited above. I do enjoy working to make that small, evolutionary improvement. For many years, audio has provided me with a fun job, great pleasure and a comfortable lifestyle. And I don’t mean to bite the hand that has fed me. But I also recognize that perhaps half the population thinks I am being obsessive if not ridiculous.
So, in celebration of “Women’s History Month,” I want to recognize the women who love music and audio – and the women who love music, do not love audio, BUT tolerate the men who do.
Ultimately, for both men and women, it is – or should be – about the music. Let us never get so absorbed in the gear that we fail to listen to the music.
Enjoy & Good Listening!
John Strohbeen Author
John Strohbeen is the president of Ohm Speakers.