Picture the one-piece ski jumpsuit.

Epic, right?

It seems like the perfect design at first — pants and jacket integrated into one sleek package. Because why would you ever want snow going down your backside?

The idea of integrating two devices into one has always been pursued with a specific benefit in mind. But in most cases, the all-in-one approach makes compromises along the way. Some are big, some are small and some aren't noticed by the end user.

But other times, as in the case with the integrated ski jumpsuit, the compromises become apparent after simple use of the product.

What if you don't fall while skiing, and the weather heats up to the point you need to shed a layer? In wonderful '80s fashion, you might roll down and tie the arms of the jacket portion around your waist. But then you've got essentially a scarf for your waist, and you start sending sweat down the backside instead of snow.

Clearly a need and market existed for "not that." The ski suit made money for some product visionary while people were figuring out that they hated the design, and by now of course we've all moved on.


I write this column about a variety of topics relating to music. You might see an album or a band review, like last week's writeup on the wonder sisters of SHEL. Other times you'll see some geek talk about how electrons travel through wires, or occasionally I'll report from a live show or preview a promising event. The whole gist of what I'm after though, and the reason I name the column what it is, is that I'm an audiophile.

I've created, recorded, witnessed and played back so much music over the years that I have developed natural tastes and preferences. These are purely based on the best stuff I've heard and seen, the best bands I've come across, and the best experiences I've had between two speakers.

Having heard the pure analog sound of a band going full-tilt through the mix board before anything has been digitized or manipulated, I now chase after that kind of intense experience in music playback. It's exhilarating when you really feel the music going through you. So many times when I was recording for Second Story Garage, I was moving the faders with arms covered in goosebumps.

So for me and a growing number of young people nationwide — see Reddit's audiophile section for evidence — unprecedented access to information and personal music products online has created a new field of interest for music lovers.

Building a system that takes music listening to a whole new level is easy, because in today's day and age we're snapping up smaller and smaller all-in-one playback devices like tiny Bluetooth speakers, and we're not paying attention to the massive compromises at play. It's nice to have some music where otherwise there was only silence, but a 1-inch speaker is not going to make your neck snap from dancing to the riveting beat. And since that's what I'm after, I look at those silly tiny "boom" boxes like I look at a one-piece ski suit in a thrift store window. With a chuckle and a smirk.

Read more Taylor: coloradodaily.com/columnists