Il New Yorker si chiede se la diffusione delle cuffie — della musica ascoltata in mezzo agli altri, ma in solitudine — abbia influenzato il tipo di musica che viene prodotto:
As more and more people choose to listen to music on headphones—and we are now nearly forty years deep into portable audio; I have a friend who claims he only listens to music on headphones—it seems silly not to wonder how that technology might be beginning to dictate content. If headphones allow for more introspection, do headphone users favor introspective sounds? […]
Ambling down a city street with headphones on—you know, maybe it’s dusk, maybe it’s midsummer, maybe you had a really nice day—is, without a doubt, one of life’s simplest and most perfect joys. Humans have long enjoyed secret communions with sound, and headphones allow for the development of a particularly private and tender relationship. How headphones’ sudden omnipresence might affect the ways in which musicians attempt to communicate with their audiences—how it might dictate what people require of or appreciate about songs; how it will change the way records are made and produced—is, of course, still being sorted out. It seems possible, though, that we are slowly reconfiguring music as a private pleasure—that, in fact, all pleasures, soon, may be private. We are all the lone stars of secret films, narrated by and in our own minds, and we seek out music that validates that position: separate, but forever plugged in.