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Audio Guide for the Holidays

imageThe newest issue of Forbes has An Audio Guide for the Holidays or how to get better sound from your stereo system, MP3 (iPod) and computer.

The story is aimed at those who have doubts that they are getting the best sound from their computer or living room stereo and are willing to spend some money to improve their music listening enjoyment. The article gives the requisite advice on how the speaker is the most important part of your audio system and of finding a audio store, specifically a speaker store near you. They advice you bring your favorite CD's with you which is a great idea. Then they get a bit strange by asking you to "Ask yourself, 'Am I being emotionally involved in the music? Or being bored by it?' " Huh? How about this. While auditioning speakers ask yourself this. Does it sound natural? Do the voices sound like I expect them too? Does the bass sound satisfactory? And oh yeah, can I afford them.

Their advice on earphones is much better. "And don't be afraid of using regularly sized earphones with your iPod; you'll never be cast in an Apple commercial, but you'll get great sound."

They also tackle the big question

Can you hear the difference between compressed and uncompressed? It's a tricky question. Almost surely not if you only listen to pop music on an iPod with its regular earbuds. Even with a well-equipped home system, it may be tough. David Bryant, the programmer responsible for the WavPack lossless system, says he is usually unable to discern the difference between a 320 kilobit MP3 and a lossless file, despite the considerable audiophile gear in his house.

Overall this article is a great read and recommended.

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