I think that's one thing that's so appealing about a trio format; It's easier to absorb all of what's going on. I'd even go so far as to say that the guitar trio is the best trio, because a pianos tend to take up a lot of space by always using both hands (I think they practice like this), and with horn trios you'll never get more than two notes at one time to spell out the changes. Guitar trios can offer just the right amount of melody and harmony. Not that I'm bias or anything. ;-)
But this is a good subject to bring up. As I've made the transition from a non-musician to a musician, I've been noticing a lot lately that I "try" to listen now, whereas before I started to play I never tried, I always just, I don't know, listened.
I don't know if "trying" to listen is a good thing or a bad thing overall, especially when listening to complicated music, but I do know that trying too hard at anything is a bad thing. I've been getting into this book: The Natural Classical Guitar: The Principles of Effortless playing. I bought it, but it's also available to read on Google Books here: http://tinyurl.com/2vlcmyz
This is an amazing book. It's really less about the classical guitar specifically, and more about how to mentally approach playing music and the guitar (any kind of guitar), and how to get the most out of the least effort (which is great for someone like me who has weak hands from overuse). Anyways, the author as a big advocate of what Huxley called "Dynamic Relaxation", which is basically trying without trying, or trying only as much as you need to accomplish something. Google "Huxley Dynamic Relaxation" to see how many different kinds of disciplines use this principle.
So, I think if you really want to listen to everything that's happening in a piece of music, you have to develop a way of doing so straining your mind and your ears. You have to just direct your attention to the music, instead of forcing yourself to listen.