On the experience of good audio

I recently started listening to music with my Sennheiser 6XXs after around six months of using nothing but earbuds (Sennheiser Momentums and Momentum True Wirelesses).

Now, I love the sound on my earbuds, especially compared to the many other earbuds that I've tried, something about Sennheiser's audio engineering just works particularly well for my musical tastes. I had found, however, that as time went on I used my earbuds less and less, and was generally more happy to listen to music and podcasts using nothing but the speakers of the device they're playing on. Part of the reason for this is that my Pixel 5 doesn't have a headphone jack (although I do have wireless earbuds) and my experience of bluetooth audio on my desktop and laptop (regardless of operating system) has left a lot to be desired, so the easiest common ground was just the speakers.

Since I've restarted my use of my Sennheiser 6XXs, I've spent the days doing nothing but listening to music for the sake of the audio experience, which I never really did with the various earbuds. The songs I'm listening to I have heard before, but with the better audio quality and dynamic range comes a whole new range of experience that I simply didn't have access to before - and its hard to quantify how much better it is.

I think that's part of the reason that "audio quality" is so difficult to sell - it's an almost unquantifiable metric that is both incredibly subjective and extremely expensive. High quality audio gear sells for thousands of dollars, and the curve of how much more needs to be invested for a substantial difference is such that gear that is "good enough" sells for less than a hundred dollars. How on earth could you convince anyone that hasn't already invested into audio gear that it is worth it?

I'm certainly going to try to start using my headphones more, and that's also going to involve a level of investment and care from me. My house gets extremely dusty (especially in the summer) - which is part of the reason that I put my headphones away in the first place - and so I'll have to figure out a way to make using them both easy and largely dust proof.