Audiophile 101 with Raghav Somani



Headphone Zone Experience Studio

Audiophile 101 With Raghav Somani

Music is special. Everybody listens to music - some hear it on the television, some on mobile phones and some on high-end headphones. Many call music a universal language, while some call it the window to the soul. Everybody has a distinct taste in music and these specific selections create an experience unlike anything else. Music has been used to convey emotions that words fail to express and for many people, the music that they listen to is an extension of themselves. All of these describe the power of music and its ability to connect with us. Unlike reading a book or watching a movie, listening to music does not depend on language. Any human from any part of the world can appreciate a music composition. Therefore, music can touch anybody and everybody. Music provides many people with relaxation and quiet often also a soundtrack to their life. Certain tracks can enhance your mood and this is a scientifically proven fact. We can safely say that listening to music benefits you in numerous different ways. However, the problem with listening, of course, is that we don’t. Listening to music with intent and attention is now becoming a lost art. Most people have too much going in their heads and because of this, active listening is not an important part of their life anymore.

Most of us are so used to carrying a phone around, giving us immediate access to music; whether that is through a single song or an entire album. Our favourite tunes are just a tap away. But, this is not the best way to get the most out of your music experience. Devices such as phones, mp3 players, and iPad simply cannot provide the same type of quality through their speakers that a proper sound system/headphone can. Consistently listening on your phone through its speaker, does not allow you to hear everything the music has to offer because the quality isn’t good enough to isolate every note and ensure you are hearing all the details in the sound. As important as music is to our lives, few really “experience” it. Most never get the pure listening experience and are not connecting to music in the way that the artists have intended. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you choose a quality system/headphone, create a personal space, and ensure proper set up you should have no problem getting the most out of your music with sharp clear audio that evokes a multitude of emotions. The best part is: Anyone can do this! The art of listening to music with intent and critically is achievable by ANYONE.

In today's time, it's great that speakers and headphones are easy to get, but it's up to the listener to truly listen, not just have music playing in the background. Listening should be active, not passive. When you listen more attentively you'll hear more. It's not complicated at all. We're not just talking about sound quality, but you get closer to the intentions of the musicians, what they wanted you to feel about their music.
You love your music, but your listening experience may not be as great as you think it is. Bad media players, crappy headphones and poorly encoded files are just a few reasons that your songs may not sound their best.

Knowing this situation, we at Headphone Zone decided to do something about it. After careful consideration, we initiate “Audiophile 101”. Audiophile 101 is a sincere attempt to introduce music enthusiasts to a whole new way of actually listening to details in the music. Understanding what concepts such as Dynamics, Compression, Soundstage, Imaging, Warmth, Brightness truly mean by spending time listening to a curated playlist of popular songs as well as some critical recordings. The core idea for Audiophile 101 is for you to listen to music you’ve probably heard a bunch of times, but to get into details and listen to the songs in their entirety and discover elements you might have missed. This session is conducted with the highest quality of files and the best equipment! Right from the DAC, Amp to the headphone, everything we use is of the highest quality and best in class. We will be using lots of different headphones, IEMs and gear from brands like - Audeze, STAX, iFi Audio and Chord Electronics to name a few.

Demystifying Audiophilia

This event is perfectly suited to those who are relatively new in the audiophile community and we encourage everyone to come and experience what good sound is really about. Even those who may have had a chance to try out high-end headphones, may not know what to look out for, or how to appreciate the difference that comes with good headphones. Quite often, trying out new headphones needs to be accompanied by knowing what to look out for. This is exactly what we will achieve over a 2 hour guided listening session. If you are someone who has just started getting interested in audiophilia, or you're passionate about music, but stayed away from expensive-sounding gear, this is the ideal workshop for you. We will not be trying to share technical aspects of headphones or other gear, although we are happy to answer any questions that we can. We will be using lots of different headphones and gear that Raghav considers to simply be amongst the finest in the world.

Meet your Host: Raghav Somani

Raghav founded Headphone Zone in 2011, straight out of university, looking to create a change in the way Headphones were sold in India. Raghav is a passionate musician, and a Political Philosophy buff, self-proclaimed Idli-Sambar connoisseur, and a Guinness world record holder for his collection of Airline Baggage Tags. In equal parts an A.R. Rahman buff, and a Classic Rock geek, his playlists borrow from his childhood memories growing up in Chennai.

Frequently Asked Questions

When you're ready to take the audiophile pill, here's the way by the bay

We're right in the most glamourous part of Mumbai full of studios and acting agencies. Yup, you guessed right, we're in Andheri West - the Bollywood of Mumbai.

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Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
Ujjwal Thaakar (Ahmedabad)
Relive the Mozart of Madras like never before

We all have grown up listening to Rahman. But what makes this listening session special is the amount of information you learn from Raghav. Having grown up in Chennai, he has known Rahman like most in the north don’t. He also has a ton of inside stories from first hand sources that make this a joy. Spoiler: There is no way you can cover everything in the given 3 hours. Nonetheless this was a joy! Highly recommended!

Rushabh Shah (Mumbai)
Fascinating Experience

I had a wonderful time getting to know more about one of the most influential music composers of India. It was a fascinating experience learning more about his musical journey spanning 3 decades, interspersed with listening to his tracks on some of the world's finest headphones.

Hey Rushabh,
So glad you loved the listening session. We hope to see you again real soon for more of these!

Chirag Bagadia (Mumbai)
A heavenly Earful!!

A unique concept of it's own kind, this experience truly made us rediscover Rahman and his songs like never before..
Raghav, being an amazing host, never let a dull moment seep in with his unique behind the scenes bytes. Each song assumed a different purpose as we viewed it through Rahman's musical journey..
High profile audio gear brought in rich details from the songs heard a hundred times before...
We would return back soon with another musical journey soon...

Hey Chirag,
Thank you for the great review. We hope to see you again & so glad you enjoyed the listening session.

Ujjwal Thaakar (Mumbai)
The red pill to the audio world

I think Headphone Zone has been the introduction to the audiophile world for a lot of us. And in this session, Raghav truly helps you understand what good sound means. It's quite technical but aimed at absolute novices like me and by the end of it I had the tools to listen to music and understand how good it sounded as separate from how good the music was. And of course you have the help of the finest audio equipment money can buy. This is a pure eargasm and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is even a little serious about audio. Take the red pill.