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Office 2023

Writer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Desktop system: Source: HP Z230 work station Win10/64 with Qobuz Sublime, Audirvana Origin and local files; USB bridge: Singxer SU-2; Headamp/DAC: COS Engineering H1 & Schiit Jotunheim R; Headphones: Final D-8000, Raal-Requisite SR1a; Active speakers: Fram Audio Midi 120 with LHY Audio linear PSU

Review component retail: priceless

Office is part of Microsoft's popular software suite. In the office is also where I spend most my days working on this site. That means being in it must energize and revitalize me. It must be clean, properly lit, attractively decorated… everything you'd expect of a space well served when you take a vacation and didn't book no budget dump but posh resort instead. When you love what you do, every day does become a vacation of sorts. Working in a soulless sterile office with one diehard cactus simply isn't the most conducive ambience for such a creative state of mind; I find.

We all have different notions on beauty and comfort. One man's monastic Zen is another gal's baroque ostentatious opulence. That's not the point. The point is of a very obvious difference between seeing deliberation and skill applied to a room's feel; or blatant disregard.

I'm sometimes asked how after 20+ years on the beat I can remain productive. That's easy. Find something you love doing. That automatically means you want to do it. And that means doing a lot of it without real pressure, just self-serving discipline. Doing anything a lot invariably means getting better at it. That feeds right back into loving it more. And so the wheel keeps greasing itself. Another key ingredient for my personal recipe which works out of the home is to treat our home as a sanctuary. Whatever that word means to you, do that to it. Then it's impossible not to want to spend time there. It's why I no longer really enjoy traveling. I like where we are better. It's like cooking for ourselves exclusively during the pandemic and doing it really well always fresh. When the hospitality industry opened again, many I talked to no longer enjoyed eating out the same. More often than not it was disappointing versus their home cooking which had become a family affair well beyond just the eating of it. For our tastes, needs, constitution and the critical matter of exactly when, we can really do it better than those total strangers called pros. That's not about Michelin-star dining. It's about everyday meals which make up the bulk of our caloric intake.

Today's mini feature is about not underestimating the importance of the constant feedback loop that's in place between us and our place of work. If our space inspires us, it bolsters our mental and emotional faculties. That can't fail to pool right back into our work. If our space is depressing, dirty, dim and neglected; if our tools are in disrepair, outdated and hard to find; none of it can optimally feed us. We can still function of course. The question is why put up with getting by if we could be pumping on all cylinders. It's why I work on a big curved monitor of top resolution. It's why Ivette made me some wonderful desktop art. It's why my desktop hifi is of good quality then set up with care. I do this for a living. The same goes for all of audiophilia. If our listening space makes us want to hang out even when no music plays because it's cozy and welcoming, that tacit climate can't fail to influence our playback experience. It's no rocket science. It's as basic as personal hygiene.

As such it's about many little things coming together. Compare this article's link thumbnail with the image just above. The former's red just doesn't work as harmoniously. For the purposes of a warning sign that's obviously the very intent. But for long-term comfort, changing the color is clearly better. And for purposes of work which could consume more than eight hours of our daily waking hours, comfort ought to be high on our list, in all its various expressions. It's how we last at our job. It's how we produce better work. It's how that rewards us. Unlike audio's negative feedback, that's an endlessly positive feedback loop; without unstable gain. Next time you have spare funds to upgrade your hifi, consider putting them toward making your room the most beautiful and cozy it can be. It could make more of a difference than any shiny new hifi toy. When we feel better, our perception is sunnier all around; including listening to music.