I've covered a lot of great sounding budget gear this year, but the very best audio is far from cheap. That's hardly unique to high-end audio; the best cars, cameras, and clothes are always pricey, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that cutting-edge audio can be crazy expensive. What follows is a list of most astonishing gear I listened to this year. I love my job!
Converting your audio files to another format so you can play them on a different gadget becomes a breeze with this software. 1Click Audio Converter will convert your files into one of three formats that work on most media players. The transfer is very fast and you can convert multiple files in a single go.
When people talk about bare-bones downloads, they mean this program. It installs easily and does one thing and one thing only: convert audio files. You can make quick audio clips of the song you want, but that's all. While this may be a negative … Read more
A great-sounding recording will sound its best only when it's properly mastered to LP, SACD, DVD-Audio, or a high-resolution file. Those formats will reveal the full glory of the music in ways that lower-resolution formats like MP3 or analog cassette always miss. But if you didn't have access to the high-resolution file to compare it with, a great recording will still sound pretty terrific as an AAC, M4A, or 320kbps MP3 file, because the recording's innate quality would shine through. On the other hand, a heavily compressed, processed and crude recording will always sound heavily compressed, processed … Read more
Do you talk to your fellow passengers on public transport or perhaps on your cell phone to your beloved?
Do you enjoy listening in to passengers' conversations? It's so much more interesting than watching them clip their toenails.
Do you even, as I do, talk to yourself on occasion, when there's nothing better to do?
How would you feel if you local police force could listen in? I merely ask this, because of the mundane fact that they might be.
It seems that video surveillance just isn't enough these days. Your local everyday busybody authorities apparently are feeling the need to listen in on buses, just in case someone is discussing yesterday's bank robbery or tomorrow's drug deal.… Read more
The best I can say about most cheap subwoofers is they make bass. The bass won't be the deepest, most powerful, or the clearest, or blend all that well with most speakers, but all subs make bass. Better subs, like the $449 Hsu Research VTF-1 MK2, generate deeper, less distorted sound, so you can actually hear distinct bass notes, and can play louder and fill larger rooms better than most cheap subs.
I've long admired Aperion Audio's Intimus speakers, but for one reason or another, I never auditioned the company's higher-end Verus speakers. The line starts with the $350-per-pair Verus Forte satellite speakers, but I went for the bigger Verus Grand bookshelf speakers that run $598 a pair. The speaker has a 1-inch dome tweeter and 5-inch woven Kevlar woofer. It measures 13 by 7.5 by 9 inches, weighs 14 pounds, and the curved sided cabinet feels like it's well put together.
Aperion Intimus speakers' satin real cherry wood or high-gloss black finishes are superb, but the … Read more
While audiophile gear can be quite expensive, picking out a selection of terrific gift ideas that won't break the bank is still doable. Here you'll find books, music, gear, and even a free download that will put a smile on any audiophile's, or music lover's, face. The Audiophiliac had a self-imposed price limit of $100 max and easily met that goal. Seven of the 10 gift ideas are under $50!
Despite the move to tiny portable music systems, some of us still long for the good old days of extremely noticeable boomboxes. You can indulge your nostalgia by dressing your iPhone up to look like one, or you could strap some wearable speakers to your feet.
The Sneaker Speaker from New York design group Ray Kingston Inc. wraps a set of speakers over the top of the shoe. Information about both the product and the designer is pretty sketchy so far.… Read more
While there are a number of media players and audio programs that can be used to play music through your Mac, iTunes being a library and content manager as well as a player that comes preinstalled on Mac systems makes it the most popular option out there. The program offers simple controls for sorting through music, generating playlists, and playing your music, but in addition there are some settings that can be used to greatly improve sound quality during playback.
The first of these is the Sound Enhancer setting in the iTunes preferences, which is activated by going to the … Read more
I don't know how I missed Kudos Audio before, but the company has been in business for more than 20 years. When I heard Kudos' little X2 speaker at Sound by Singer in NYC I knew it was a serious high-end contender, but one that can easily fit in the most cramped apartments. Andrew Singer knows his market, and even fairly wealthy New Yorkers live in small spaces. The X2 is a mere 31 inches high, unusually petite for a tower speaker.
Though the speakers are made in England, the X2's 6-inch woofer and 1-inch tweeter are manufactured … Read more